What If The Parent Company Tests On Animals?

What should you do if you have found out that a brand you love is owned by a company who is not cruelty-free? Should you:

Well the cruelty-free beauty community is very much divided down the middle on this issue. There are valid points on both sides, so let’s take a look and we can each make the decision we think is right for ourselves.

Which Parent Company Brands Test On Animals?


  • Clorox
  • Colgate
  • Coty
  • Estée Lauder
  • Henkel
  • Kao
  • Kendo
  • Kose
  • L’Occitane
  • L’Oreal
  • LVMH
  • P&G
  • Puig
  • PZ Cussons
  • S. C. Johnson & Son
  • Shiseido
  • Tengram
  • Unilever
  • Walgreens


Parent Companies that test on animals, poster

List Of Cruelty-Free Brands & The Parent Companies Who Own Them:

AvedaEstée Lauder
BECCA Estée Lauder
Bite BeautyKendo
Bumble & Bumble Estée Lauder
Burt's BeesClorox
Carol's Daughter L'Oréal
Charles Worthington PZ Cussons
Dermalogica Unilever
Drunk ElephantShiseido
First Aid Beauty P&G
Hourglass Unilever
IT Cosmetics L'Oréal
Kate Somerville Unilever
Lime Crime Tengram
Liz EarleWalgreens
Murad Unilever
Ole Henriksen LVMH
Penhaligon's Puig
REN Clean Skincare Unilever
Schmidt's Unilever
Seed Phytonutrients L'Oréal
SmashboxEstée Lauder
St. Tropez PZ Cussons
TATCHA Unilever
Too FacedEstée Lauder
Urban Decay L'Oréal

Do The Cruelty-Free Organizations Approve These Brands?

The cruelty-free bunny logos and the organizations who run them are trusted authorities in the cruelty-free beauty community. The three of them are:

  1. The Leaping Bunny
  2. Choose Cruelty-Free
  3. Peta: Beauty Without Bunnies
 However, they are divided on the matter of parent companies owning cruelty-free brands.

The Leaping Bunny and Peta DO approve brands who are owned by a parent company that tests on animals.

The Choose Cruelty-Free DOES NOT approve brands who are owned by a parent company who tests on animals.

The Leaping Bunny and the Choose Cruelty-Free organization are the two most trusted organizations when it comes to certifying brands who are cruelty-free. Yet they disagree when it comes to parent companies and their owned independent brands being labelled cruelty-free.

Comparison Chart of Leaping Bunny vs. Choose Cruelty-Free

Surely if they can't even agree on this issue, then how can we!?

Reasons For Why...

We Should Buy From Cruelty-Free Brands Who Are Owned By Parent Companies Who Test On Animals:

1. The Leaping Bunny Supports Them

The Leaping Bunny Program is regarded as the gold standard for cruelty-free approved branding. They are the most stringent when it comes to monitoring their brands that they have approved. They are the only organization that performs random audits of brands and their manufacturing facilities. That is why if they consider a brand to be cruelty-free, even if it is owned by a company who is not, a lot of others in the cruelty-free beauty industry will side with them.

2. They Are Independent Brands

These brands are independent entities of their parent company. Just because a is under the umbrella of a parent company, doesn’t mean that money is going directly to the parent company and to their cruel practices. Profits made will still be counted with the cruelty-free brand first​

3. It Shows The Parent Company That Cruelty-Free Is Getting More & More Popular

By purchasing brands who are cruelty-free, it shows the parent company that there is a growing consumer desire for cruelty-free products and brands. This should in turn influence that company to continue ensuring that that brand remains cruelty-free. It will also encourage that company to switch their other brands over to a cruelty-free practice if they see profits to be made. It also will one day encourage that entire company to hopefully go cruelty-free. And isn’t that surely a major goal within this cruelty-free movement?

Reasons For Why...

We Should Boycott Cruelty-Free Brands Who Are Owned By Parent Companies Who Test On Animals:

1. Choose Cruelty-Free Boycotts Them

Choose Cruelty-Free is an Australian based cruelty-free organization, and it is just as highly trusted as the Leaping Bunny. They are toughest when it comes to actually accepting brands and certifying them as cruelty-free. Which makes them have a zero tolerance policy on any brand which is owned by a parent company who tests on animals. That is why many other cruelty-free consumers follow in their steps and boycott these brands.

2. Indirectly Funding Animal Testing

By purchasing the brand owned by a parent company who tests on animals it is argued that you are then indirectly funding animal testing. Even though they may be a separate, independent brand. They are still under the control of a company who is not cruelty-free. 

3. Taking Away Support From Independent Cruelty-Free Brands

If you support these brands, you are then not supporting other, smaller, and arguably more ethical beauty brands. These few huge umbrella corporations own a staggering slice of the beauty industry, and other industries too. Just take Unilever as an example, they currently own over 1,000 brands! It is estimated that about 2 billion people will use their products on any given day! So I think it is fair to say that these gargantuan companies get enough beauty business, and it is only too right to boycott them, along with their so-cruelty-free brands.


This is, and will remain, an extremely divisive issue in the Cruelty-Free beauty realm.

Both sides make completely valid points, and in my opinion, both sides are right in their own way. I personally find it hard to make up my mind on the issue. That is why I wanted to lay it out to you all and let you make the final call.

Kind Beauty Buys does include these divisive brands in all our cruelty-free shopping guides and cruelty-free brand directories. However, they are labelled with a double asterisks (**) to make it clear and easy to spot these brands.

So I leave it with you. Let me know whether you think we should support these brands, or not, in the comments below!

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