Before we talk about cruelty-free companies who are owned by a parent company that tests on animals, we should define what cruelty-free means. Cruelty-free means a product hasn’t been tested on animals. This includes everything from the beginning stages up to the final product. It also means a brand is not selling its products in a country where they are required to be tested, by law.
Over the years, tons of cruelty-free companies have been bought by, or acquired by, companies that test on animals. Most of the time, this changes nothing about their cruelty-free status. However, because brands often change their business practices, it is never a bad idea to check on a regular basis to see if their practices have changed to include animal testing.
I have seen a lot of positives come out of acquisitions. Brands are able to get better investments in their products and their company is able to expand and become more accessible. One example is when Schmidt’s deodorant company was acquired by Unilever, their products became available to purchase at larger stores such as Costco.
It is up to the consumer to make the decision whether or not they want to purchase from brands who have parent companies that test on animals. Personally, I choose to support these brands. Taking into consideration that blogging about cruelty-free and vegan beauty is my job, it is important for me to give people options of brands to support. My goal is to not only show cruelty free and vegan can be easy but to also show it can be accessible, affordable, and for everyone.
At the end of the day, you have to do what works best for you. Cruelty-free is not a one size fits all and you have to make cruelty-free work for you, whatever that may look like. I like to go by the term “progression over perfection” for my cruelty-free and vegan journey. I try to make choices that make the most sense for me.
Some cruelty-free brands that have parent companies that tests on animals:
- Bare Minerals (owned by Shiseido)
- Burt’s Bees (owned by Clorox)
- Covergirl (owned by Coty)
- Dermalogica (owned by Unilever)
- Drunk Elephant (owned by Shiseido)
- Hello (owned by Colgate)
- Hourglass (owned by Unilever)
- NYX (owned by L’Oreal)
- Schmidt’s (owned by Unilever)
- Seventh Generation (owned by Unilever)
- Smashbox (owned by Estee Lauder)
- Tarte (owned by Kose)
- Tatcha (owned by Unilever)
- The Ordinary (owned by Estee Lauder)
- Too Faced (owned by Estee Lauder)
- Urban Decay (owned by L’Oreal)
…and many more
Learn more about the difference between vegan and cruelty-free.