The short answer: No, Guerlain is not cruelty free.
The long answer: Founded in 1828, Guerlain is one of the oldest perfume, cosmetics, and skincare houses in the world. It was created in Paris by Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain, a French perfumer. In 1994, Guerlain was bought by the French multinational company LVMH, which also owns Benefit Cosmetics.
Guerlain does not publish its animal testing stance on its US website. Through a correspondence with Ethical Elephant, the company says, “In the Name of Beauty, Guerlain is committed to a more sustainable world, and our initiatives include protection of biodiversity. At no stage of development or manufacturing do we test either our products, or the raw materials used to make them on animals. The LVMH Group is strongly attached to eliminating animal testing of cosmetics products everywhere in the world. LVMH plays a prominent role in developing alternatives through its support for organizations such as the American Fund for Alternatives to Animal Testing, or its active participation to the work of the European cosmetics association (Cosmetics Europe).”
However, additional information reveals that Guerlain sells products in countries that are not necessarily cruelty free. Guerlain states, “In China, where our products are marketed, authorities require that certain imported cosmetics products be tested on animals, considered the best way to guarantee consumer safety. We do not perform these tests, which are done by independent laboratories. There is thus a strong engagement and mobilisation of various cosmetics companies and associations to work with the Chinese authorities to ensure a change of the Chinese rules on imported products and the recognition of alternatives to animal testing. The NGO PETA has placed Guerlain on its list of Companies That Do Test on Animals due to the marketing of our products in China.”
The brand adds, “Again, we do not test any of our products on animals and we are strongly engaged in efforts to eliminate animal testing. We believe that by working with Chinese authorities we can have more meaningful influence to encourage changes to regulations, ultimately leading to the total elimination of animal testing.”
Despite the fact that the French beauty brand does not perform the tests on animals, they must comply with Chinese laws to guarantee consumer safety. As such, they cannot be considered 100% cruelty free.