Benefit Cosmetics is Not Cruelty Free

Benefit Cosmetics is Not Cruelty Free

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.

30 comments for “Benefit Cosmetics is Not Cruelty Free

  1. Sunday - November 23, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Question, so everything sold in Sephora China- all the cosmetic brands sold here are animal tested?

    • Monday - November 24, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      That is correct. In order to sell in China, brands must agree to comply with the government required animal testing.

  2. Sunday - August 3, 2014 at 9:34 pm


    As of July 2014 China isn’t testing on Animals. I read something about it from the Humane Society. Maybe you can follow this up with Benefit now.

    • Thursday - August 21, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Hi Karen,

      Unfortunately, those changes would not effect any large or international brands. You can read more here.

  3. Crystal
    Saturday - May 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    However, a lot of NYX products are manufactured in China (PRC). EEEW!

  4. taicraven
    Sunday - January 12, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Thank you for your work, Tashina.
    This deserves its place on the first page of Google results.
    NYX Doll Eye Volume mascara is a good alternative to Benefit They’re Real.

    • Monica
      Sunday - January 12, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Hey thanks for the suggestion! Where can you buy that? I think I always get confused with NYX and NYC .

      • taicraven
        Sunday - January 26, 2014 at 10:27 pm

        Hi Monica,
        NYX is sold at most of the big stores in the USA, at Target in Australia, at Next in the UK, and at Sephora in Asia.

        An easy way to remember the difference:
        NYX: has an X for Excellence
        NYC: has a C for Cruelty.

        All the best,

        • Carmen
          Friday - February 13, 2015 at 9:24 pm

          NYX is now owned by Loreal, which is not a cruelty-free brand. Will not be supporting NYX anymore!

  5. Monica
    Saturday - December 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    I’m so glad I noticed this. I received a sample of Benefit’s They’re Real mascara and it instantly became my favorite. I was excited to see the “does not test on animals” on the back and I was going to go to Sephora to buy a full size tube. I’m pretty naive I guess and believe things I read. I’m so glad I came across your site and learned about the rules/laws, special wording, certain ingredients, selling in China, etc. Now I know how to buy all my cruelty free cosmetics. Thanks again!

    • Sunday - January 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      You aren’t naive! It is just hard to trust a lot of companies since there is no regulation of the term “cruelty free”! Since their animal testing is done required by law and by a 3rd party, they can technically print “not tested on animals” on their products. At least now you know to avoid them going forward. :)

  6. Marie
    Saturday - December 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I am a new vegan. Can you please recommend a makeup line that would be good for a 50 year old skin type/age?

    • Melina
      Friday - December 27, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      Arbonne has great stuff! Also Milani has good bronzers and blushes. both cruelty free. eye shadows and tinted moisturizers I like TooFaced. I use NYX eyeliner, ELF brushes. Lush cosmetics is also good, I use their daily moisturizer.

      • Melina
        Friday - December 27, 2013 at 10:25 pm

        Actually, I’m not positive about Arbonne being 100% cruelty free. I would do more digging. I’ve read mixed things. But all the others are good!
        Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics I also am looking into trying!

        • Sunday - January 5, 2014 at 5:37 pm

          Hi Melina,

          I’ve been unable to get a detailed cruelty free statement from Arbonne. I know that they are PETA and Leaping Bunny certified, but I don’t feel comfortable promoting a brand that will only say, “we are cruelty free” and will not give any details beyond that.

          OCC is a great cruelty free and vegan brand! I love them!

  7. Marie
    Saturday - December 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I am a new vegan. Can you please recommend a makeup line that would be good for a 50 year old skin type/age?

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