If there is a company with a public stance on animal testing more confusing than Benefit Cosmetics, I’ve yet to find it. It’s taken me over a year to find a stable and steady stance from this brand. When Logical Harmony first changed to being a vegan beauty blog, I received six different replies from Benefit about their stance on animal testing. Six! That was enough for me to assume that they were not a company I wanted to support, but until I had something stable, I wasn’t comfortable posting about them on Logical Harmony.
When you go to Benefit’s FAQ page, they have a published stance on animal testing there.
Benefit does not test our cosmetic products on animals. When selecting the ingredients to be used in our cosmetic products, Benefit requires raw material suppliers to provide safety information based on scientifically accepted alternative testing methods that meet international safety standards and regulations. Benefit products must meet both consumers’ needs and consumer safety, while respecting animal life. Benefit continues to strongly support & favor alternative testing and is committed to following all animal testing laws and regulations in order to ensure our products’ safety for the end consumer
At first glance, many people assume that the above statement means that Benefit is, in fact, a cruelty free company. They talk about respecting animal life, and start the response by saying that they do not test on animals. They even mention their ingredient suppliers. However, “international safety standards” is what caught my eye and prompted me to do more research.
After a bit of digging, I discovered that Benefit is not a cruelty free brand. Their products are for sale on the Sephora China website. China is one of the few markets that require that beauty products be tested on animals before they can be sold there. You can read more about this by reading Animal Testing and China. By selling in China, Benefit shows that they are not completely doing their part to respect animal life and be cruelty free.
This is a perfect example of how brands often use confusing wording in their statements in order to confuse consumers. Since there is no regulation of the term “cruelty free”, it makes it easy for brands to claim this status when they are still conducting animal testing in some way, or permitting it to be conducted on their behalf. Before I switched to a vegan lifestyle and was not as savvy about checking the cruelty free status of brands, Benefit was my favorite cosmetic brand. I’ve frequently gotten emails from readers asking me to include Benefit in my cruelty free lists, or asking me about their stance on testing. Since I could not get a steady response, I wasn’t comfortable addressing the brand in any way. I am incredibly disappointed that this company would choose to mislead consumers in this way.
I urge you to reach out to Benefit Cosmetics and let them know how you feel about their stance on animal testing. Especially if you were a consumer that, due to the statement on their own website, thought that they were cruelty free.