The short answer: No, AXE or Lynx is not cruelty free.
The long answer: Also known as Lynx in certain territories, AXE is a male grooming brand that is distributed by the British-Dutch multinational consumer company, Unilever. It was first launched in France in 1983, and was geared toward the younger male demographic. It currently sells body sprays, deodorants, antiperspirants, body washes, bars, hair care, and hair styling products.
On its Chile website, Axe reveals its policy on animal testing, stating: “Animal testing is a contentious issue, and there are strong and diverse opinions on the need for animal testing to underpin the development of new consumer products, particularly cosmetics. Unilever is required to provide animal data to comply with the safety regulations in place in different countries across the world. Where we are legally obliged to commission animal studies, we ensure that the minimum numbers of animals are used.
Unilever is committed to the elimination of animal testing for its business, and is at the forefront of research into non-animal approaches for assessing consumer safety. Currently, a very small amount of animal testing is still necessary to deliver innovative products that provide consumer benefits and are market competitive.
At Unilever, using non-animal approaches is the norm. Most of our products reach consumers without testing any of their ingredients on animals. We do not test our actual products on animals (any testing is undertaken on individual ingredients), and we do not undertake animal testing in our own laboratories (any studies are conducted by third party laboratories). A few countries still undertake product testing in their government laboratories. We are working with the local authorities to ensure the implementation of non-animal methods.”
As mentioned earlier, Axe is sold in some countries as the brand Lynx. This includes China, a country where imported beauty products undergo compulsory animal tests to guarantee user safety. Lynx products are sold alongside items by its sister brands, Pond’s and Vaseline. All of its products may be tested before they are released in the Chinese market or afterwards, whenever a customer files a complaint. Due to the presented information, Axe or Lynx cannot be considered 100% cruelty free.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons