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Is Kiehl’s Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

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Kiehl's Products

Is Kiehl’s Cruelty-Free?

Kiehl’s is NOT cruelty-free.

Is Kiehl’s Vegan?

Kiehl’s might have some products without animal-derived ingredients, but I don’t consider any of their products vegan since they test on animals.

Is Kiehl’s PETA Certified?

No, Kiehl’s is not PETA certified, and PETA lists Kiehl’s as a company that tests on animals.

Is Kiehl’s Leaping Bunny Certified?

No, Kiehl’s is not Leaping Bunny certified.

Is Kiehl’s Owned By A Parent Company That Tests On Animals?

Yes, Kiehl’s is owned by L’Oréal, a company that tests on animals.

Kiehl’s Animal Testing Policy

Kiehl’s has the following paragraph on their website:

Kiehl's Cruelty-Free Claims

“Cruelty-free” has no legal definition. Any brand can claim “cruelty-free” even if they do test on animals.

Some brands like to say that they are “cruelty-free” because it is a marketing buzzword to sell more products.

The only way to find out is to ask the company. One important question to ask is if their products are sold in China.

Animal Testing in China

Animal testing is required by law in China for all foreign cosmetics companies. All American and European cosmetic brands that are sold in China must undergo animal testing. 

Any brand that chooses to sell its products in China cannot be considered cruelty-free. Even products that can bypass mandatory tests may still be pulled from the shelves by Chinese authorities to be tested on animals.

This does NOT include products that are made in China, only if they are sold in China. 

The only way to know if a brand sells products in China is to ask them directly. Make sure to note that Hong Kong is not included in this policy, and neither are products only sold online to Chinese consumers.

Is Kiehl’s Sold in Mainland China?

Yes, Kiehl’s products are sold in mainland China.

Here is a screenshot showing where Kiehl’s products are availabe in China:

Kiehl's Products Sold in China

Vegan and Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Kiehl’s


Biossance Products

Biossance is a mid-range skincare brand that believes in pioneering sustainable beauty through biotechnology.

Herbivore Botanicals

Herbivore Botanicals

Herbivore Botanicals was created by a husband and wife duo in their attempt to create plant-based, food-grade skincare from scratch.

OSEA Malibu

OSEA Malibu

OSEA Malibu is a safe, non-toxic skincare brand created in 1996. They were the first company to sign The Compact for Global Protection of Safe Health and Beauty Products. This means that all of their products are free from ingredients that are strongly suspected or known to cause cancer, mutation, or birth defects.

Shop the full list of 100% cruelty-free and vegan brands.

Email to the Company

Before classifying any brand as cruelty-free and vegan, I send them an email with the following questions:

  1. Are your products vegan? If only some are vegan, which ones?
  2. Are any of your products or ingredients tested on animals?
  3. Do you have a Leaping Bunny or PETA certification?
  4. Do your suppliers or any third parties test animals on your behalf?
  5. Does your company sell products in mainland China (except Hong Kong)?
  6. Are you owned by a parent company that tests on animals?

Here is how Kiehl’s responded:

At L’Oréal, we care for animal welfare and do not test on animals.  We are for a world without animal testing.  The L’Oréal Group, which includes Kiehl’s, has always made our consumers’ health and safety an absolute priority. Since 1989, we have not tested the safety of our products on animals, 14 years before regulations required us to do so.

There are effective non-animal ways to ensure the safety of cosmetic products.  For example, over 40 years ago we led the development of human reconstructed skin that is more accurate for analyzing how cosmetic ingredients and products will behave on human skin.  We continue to pioneer new non-animal methods and technologies.

For more information, please visit:

The L’Oréal Group, which includes Kiehl’s, is always attentive to respecting the personal choices of its consumers throughout the world and therefore offers a very wide range of products to meet their diverse beauty needs.

L’Oréal does not use any ingredient from rare or endangered animal species, nor any ingredient of porcine, bovine or ovine origin; except lanolin (which is taken from live sheep). We use derivatives of raw materials of animal origin in restricted quantities, such as honey, beeswax, lanolin, as well as fish derivatives and poultry egg derivatives.

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