Is dōTERRA cruelty-free in 2022?

Is dōTERRA cruelty-free?

If most of your vegan friends were supporting a brand, would you check whether it is cruelty-free before you start supporting it too? It rarely crosses my mind to do so. After finding out that dōTERRA sells in China, I have started checking every new brand that I discover. I am angry at myself for this to this day. The reason is that I checked the cruelty-free status of all brands that I have collaborated with for the cruelty-free kit. However, I did not think of checking the status of dōTERRA. My mind somehow assumed that since my vegan friends use it, it has to be cruelty-free, when it seems that it’s not always the case. One always learns something new. So it is a new thing I learned during my cruelty-free journey and it made me extra careful for any future brands I learn about.

As some of you might know dōTERRA is an MLM company. As Wikipedia describes it, Multi-level Marketing “is a controversial marketing strategy for the sale of products or services where the revenue of the MLM company is derived from a non-salaried workforce selling the company’s products/services, while the earnings of the participants are derived from a pyramid-shaped or binary compensation commission system”. In short, while other companies play the long game, MLM companies want to reach people faster.

Since many consider this strategy unethical, many cruelty-free bloggers consider all MLM companies as not cruelty-free. They don’t bother to check on a brand level. On the other hand, since even some non-MLM strategies might be unethical too, I am currently opting to check on a brand level.

So now let’s go through the steps I take to find out whether dōTERRA and other brands are cruelty-free.

Is dōTERRA certified cruelty-free?

No dōTERRA is not certified cruelty-free.

Does dōTERRA test on animals?

No dōTERRA does not test on animals.
“doTERRA is 100 percent committed to not conducting any clinical or experimental research on animals”

Do any of dōTERRA suppliers, manufacturers or any third parties they work with, test on animals?

Yes, dōTERRA is sourcing studies conducted on animals.
“To protect the safety of the animals and prevent unnecessary pain or death, all studies conducted on animals are required to undergo a preliminary screening by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IUCAC)”

Is dōTERRA owned by a certified cruelty-free parent?

No, dōTERRA is not owned by a cruelty-free parent company.

Does dōTERRA sell cosmetics in China or any other country where animal testing is required?

Yes, dōTERRA sells in Mainland China.

What measures did dōTERRA take to avoid pre-market tests in China?

“dōTERRA’s essential oils need not be tested on animals because they are not imported as cosmetics, but rather are classified as aromatics or food additives. Also, dōTERRA locally manufactures its topical products, which exempts dōTERRA from China’s animal testing requirements for those items.”

What is dōTERRA’s cruelty-free status?

As they claim to source studies conducted on animals, it seems to me that dōTERRA supports animal testing. Although I pointed this out to some of my vegan friends, they still support this brand so it raised a question in my head on whether there can be ethical animal testing. Probably it’s a similar “joke” as humanely slaughtered animal meat. No idea. Either way, I would stay away from this brand until the subject of ethical animal testing (if possible) is general knowledge or until dōTERRA decides to get certified cruelty-free.

Which brands should I support instead?

If you are looking for a brand that is serious about its cruelty-free status. Check my list of brands that are against animal testing.

Source: dōTERRA Mainland China Website and animal testing policy at 11.7.2020 


(a.k.a. Fiona Henschel) 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.