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Is Kiehl’s Cruelty Free?

Is Kiehl’s Cruelty Free?

The short answer: No, Kiehl’s is not entirely cruelty free.

The long answer: Owned by personal care company L’Oréal, Kiehl’s is a skin, hair, and body care line that is sold internationally. On its official website, it states that they (as well as their parent company) prioritise their consumers’ health and safety and the support of animal welfare. The brand says, “L’Oréal has developed a very rigorous safety evaluation procedure of its products, backed by research. Well before the question of animal testing was raised by civil society or within a regulatory framework, L’Oréal has been committed to new methods of assessing safety that don’t involve animals.” 

Kiehl’s adds, “A true pioneer, L’Oréal has been reconstructing human skin models in laboratories to elaborate in vitro safety tests since 1979, as an alternative to animals. In 1989, L’Oréal completely ceased testing its products on animals, thus 14 years before the regulation required so. Today, L’Oréal no longer tests its ingredients on animals and no longer tolerates any exception to this rule.”

Despite Kiehl’s claims about being against animal testing, the brand is currently being sold in China. This means that Chinese health authorities are allowed to conduct random tests on animals while using Kiehl’s products. These are done to make sure that the products are compliant with the country’s requirements. Kiehl’s tries to appease animal activists by saying, “L’Oréal has been the most active company working alongside the Chinese authorities and scientists for over 10 years to have alternative testing methods recognized, and permit the cosmetic regulation to evolve towards a total and definite elimination of animal testing. Thanks to this, since 2014, certain products manufactured and sold in China like shampoo, body wash or make-up are no longer tested on animals.”

It is admirable to know that Kiehl’s mother company is helping redefine testing methods in China. However, the phrase “certain products” does not guarantee that all of their items are free from animal testing. 

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