Is Kiehl’s cruelty-free?

Is Kiehl's cruelty-free?

I usually prepare these posts and schedule them on Sunday. Since last week I requested for my domain to be transferred to the same provider as my new hosting, the site was not available for me until the transfer was through. As today is Carnival, my German school gave us Carnival holidays, so I could use the opportunity to write my blog post on the same day that I am supposed to publish it. Today I will be investigating Kiehl’s cruelty-free status.

Does Kiehl’s test on animals?

  • “We at Kiehl’s do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.”
    As usual the “except when required by law” part convinces me that Kiehl’s does test on animals.

Is Kiehl’s owned by a parent that is not cruelty-free?

Kiehl’s is owned by L’Oréal. PETA lists L’Oréal as an animal testing company. I also explained why I also consider L’Oréal not cruelty-free.

Is Kiehl’s certified cruelty-free?

No, not only it is not cruelty-free but also, PETA lists Kiehl’s as an animal testing company.

Is Kiehl’s cruelty-free?

From the first question, we already know that Kiehl’s is not cruelty-free. However, I always try for a moment to assume that the “except when required by law” is written there just in case when in reality they don’t sell cosmetics in China.

Does Kiehl’s sell in Mainland China?

Yes, Kiehl’s sells in Mainland China. They have a Chinese official website with a Chinese registration number. There is a difference between having an international online shop and offering to ship also to China, and the company being registered in China and sell online and/or offline. In the first case, the brand would be still considered cruelty-free as the products are not available for the authorities to confiscate and test. In the second case, the products are easily available for the authorities to confiscate and test.

Are Kiehl’s products in Mainland China are cosmetics?

Our concern with China is cosmetics. Some cruelty-free companies sell in China. However, they sell products that are not considered as cosmetics to the Chinese such as oral care products and soap bars. In the case of Kiehl’s, I saw creams and hair care products, which unfortunately the Chinese consider as cosmetics. So the answer of both China questions prove that Kiehl’s is not cruelty-free.

Which brands should I support instead?

If you are looking for a brand who is serious about their anti-animal-testing policy. Check my list of brands that are against animal testing.

Source: Kiehl’s Mainland China website and Kiehl’s animal testing policy as at 24.2.2020 


(a.k.a. Fiona Vella) Malta-born blogger. I have been blogging during these last 6 years on my cruelty-free lifestyle including recipes, beauty and makeup products that I discover, receive, buy and try.