Animal testing: how to spot it — and how to avoid it!

Who does it? Who doesn't? Your five-minute guide!
Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 14 March 2013

Does it sometimes feel like every second tv commercial is for makeup or cleaning products, and features fluffy puppies, dimpled babies or smiling women washing their hair in slow motion? The pastel colours and cutesy soundtracks of these ads are meant to inspire us with trust, and a ‘warm and cosy’ feeling…

But sadly, the reality is anything BUT cosy for the millions of animals — including rabbits, cats, dogs and mice — who are burned, poisoned and killed in painful and unecessary experiments every year in order to test the products featured in those ads.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

The Draize Test: used in cosmetics testing, this cruel procedure involves applying a potentially toxic substance to the eye or skin of a restrained, conscious animal (usually an albino rabbit although other species, including dogs, are used) and monitoring its effects.

Animal testing feels so out-dated and cruel that many people are surprised to learn that lots of the big name products on our supermarket shelves and in our department store cosmetic counters are STILL being tested on animals.

But the good news is that finding out which products and brands are cruelty-free is easy. And best of all? The cruelty-free list gets bigger and bigger every year as customers and companies embrace an animal-friendly way of life!

In the latest development, global giant Unilever, which owns many of the best-known cosmetics and household brands — such as Dove, Rexona, Sunsilk and Vaseline — has announced its support for a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics! With big names like this speaking out, an end to animal testing for cosmetics may be in sight…

We're very hopeful that through collaboration — amongst companies, NGOs and Governments — it will soon be possible to assess the safety of all cosmetics products without any need for animal testing anywhere in the world.
David Blanchard
Chief Research and Development Officer at Unilever

How to shop cruelty-free!

A great place to start is downloading the free Apple/Google store app from our friends at Cruelty Free International (Choose Cruelty Free). It’s an at-your-fingertips list of products (including make-up, skincare, deodorants, household cleaners and car care) that haven’t been tested on animals!

No apps? No worries. Check out the Cruelty Free List online here!

Companies that still use animal testing

Some tests are standard practice for such companies and brands, while other animal tests are carried out because of local laws in importing countries (such as China) that require all beauty products to be tested on animals before they are allowed to be sold in that country.
So while some companies and brands may state they don’t support animal testing, they may not make it on to the cruelty-free list because they choose to sell their products in countries that do require animal testing.

The following list shows companies that use animal testing, as well as particular brands that are likely to test on animals due to importing laws in countries like China.

Acuvue
Andrew Collinge
Anna Sui
Aramis
Aveeno
Avon*
Band-Aid
Bic Corporation
Biotherm
Bobbi Brown
Bonjela
Braun
Cacharel
Cashmere Bouquet
Chapstick
Clairol
Clean & Clear
Clearasil
Clinicare
Clinique
Colgate
Covergirl*
Crest
Dolce & Gabbana
Donna Karan
Dufour
Durex
Elizabeth Arden
Estee Lauder*
Eulactol
Fruitrience
Garnier
Gillette
Giorgio Armani
Gucci Fragrances
Head & Shoulders
Herbal Essences
Hugo Boss
Impulse
Johnson & Johnson
Kerastase
Kiehl’s
Lacoste
Lancome
Lemsip
Listerine
L’Occitane*
L’Oreal*
Lux
Lynx
MAC
Mary Kay*
Max Factor
Maybelline
Michael Kors
Missoni
Mitchum Deodorant (Revlon)
Mum
Nair
Nars
Neutrogena
Nice ‘n Easy
Nurofen
Olay
Old Spice
Optrex
Oral B
Palmolive
Pantene
Pearl Drops
Pears
Pert
Plax
Ponds
PPS
Radox
Ralph Lauren Fragrances
Reach
Redken
Revlon
Rexona
Rogaine
Sanex
Saturn
Savlon
Scholl
Sensodyne
Sephora Cosmetics
Shiseido Cosmetics
Shiseido
Shu Uemura
Simple
SK-II
Speed Stick
St Ives
Stayfree
Steradent
Strepsils
Tampax
Thursday Plantation
Tom Ford
Tommy Hilfiger
Tony & Guy
TREsemme
Vaseline
Veet
Venus
Versace
Vicks
Vidal Sasson
Viktor & Rolf
V05
Waxeeze
Wella
Wella Balsam
Zest

3M
Aeroguard
Air Wick
Ajax
Ambi-Pur
Armor All
Autan
Baygon
Bloo
Brasso
Calgon
Castle
Clorox
Cold Power
Comfort
Crisp
Cuddly
Dawn
Dettol
Domestos
Drano
Drive
Duck
Dynamo
Easy-Off BAM
Exit Mould
Fab
Fabulon
Fairy
Febreze
Fiesta
Finish
Fluffy
Freedom
Glad
Glade
Glen 20
Gumption
Handy Andy
Harpic
Hurricane
Jeyes
Jif
Kiwi
Kwit
Marveer
Mortein
Mr Clean
Mr Muscle
Mr Sheen
Napisan
Nifti
Nu-Clenz
Off!
Omo
Oust
Pea-Beau
Pine O Cleen
Pledge
Preen
Raid
Sard
Scotch-Gard
Silvo
Soft Soap
Spree
Steelo
Tide
Vanish
Windex

Please note that this list is not exhaustive and reflects research at the time of publication.

*This brand has a ‘no animal testing’ policy in the make and manufacture of their cosmetics, however they have chosen to sell in markets that require (by law) animal testing on their products before they are cleared to sell in those markets. This means that their end products are tested on animals in some markets — in China, for example.

PETA2 also keeps an updated list of companies that DO conduct cruel tests on animals here. Check in regularly!


You can help spare animals from cruel tests

Consider that every dollar you spend is a vote for a kinder world. Next time you purchase makeup or cleaning products, will you vote for cruelty or kindness?

  • Pledge to use non-animal tested products!
  • If after reading this you’ve struck a cruel company off your shopping list, please contact their customer feedback team to let them know why you won’t buy into animal cruelty