The short answer: No, Shu Uemura is not cruelty free.
The long answer: Shu Uemura is a cosmetic line created by Shu Uemura, a Japanese makeup artist from Tokyo. He is known for developing a facial cleansing oil in 1960, and opening a makeup school. The brand Shu Uemura was created in 1983 and was purchased by L’Oréal in 2004.
The brand reveals its animal testing stance in its FAQs section, stating: “Shu Uemura does not use animals to test its products, and does not have animal testing conducted by anyone else to support our product safety review. Instead, Shu Uemura ensures product safety through L’Oréal’s research and development of state-of-the-art alternative methods to animal testing, including the use of reconstructed skin models. Others, completely independent of L’Oréal and outside the direction or control of L’Oréal, might do animal testing pursuant to their local requirements.”
Despite this promise, Shu Uemura does not have any cruelty free certifications. In fact, PETA states that the cosmetic brand tests on animals. Additional sources have also indicated that Shu Uemura’s products are being sold in China—an Asian country known for its mandatory animal testing laws for imported beauty products. Shu Uemura must permit Chinese health officials or authorised third parties to test their products before or even after they are deemed safe for use. As such, the cosmetic brand cannot be considered completely cruelty free.