It has recently been discovered that some very large companies have been allowing their products to be tested on animals in China in order to sell them within the country. These companies are Estee Lauder, Avon, Mary Kay, and Mac Cosmetics.
The government of China has very strict standards for allowing cosmetics to be sold, probably the most stringent in the world. One of the requirements is for each ingredient and formula to be tested on animals by one of their authorized institutions. The testing is performed on the animals’ eyes and skin. Bottom line, if a cosmetic is sold in China, it has likely been tested on animals. I say ‘likely’ because they do seem to be creating a database of test results in order to not have to duplicate testing on certain ingredients. It’s unclear as to whether some products wouldn’t have to be tested on animals at all based on previous tests completed.
The companies mentioned above previously had 100% cruelty-free policies but are now making statements on their websites such as this one (taken from Estée Lauder’s FAQ page):
"DOES YOUR COMPANY TEST ON ANIMALS?
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is committed to the elimination of animal testing. We are equally committed to consumer health and safety, and bringing to market products that comply with applicable regulations in every country in which our products are sold. We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law. We evaluate our finished products in clinical tests on volunteer panels."
Note the “except when required by law”. All the Estée Lauder companies seem to use this verbiage even though they may not be sold in China. These companies include Aveda, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and Bumble, Clinique, Darphin, Jo Malone, La Mer, Origins, and Smashbox (very sad since they used to use the PETA symbol for cruelty-free).
Cocoon Apothecary‘s policy is that we will never ever ever test on animals even in China, never.