Companies in the Grey Zone

The following are companies that themselves are cruelty-free, but their parent company is NOT… so it’s up to you if you choose to still do business with them. The products you buy from them haven’t been tested on animals, but your money is still going to a yucky parent company (listed in brackets).

Aveda (Estée Lauder)

Burt’s Bees (Clorox)

EOS (Evolution of Smooth) – say they aren’t tested on animals, but their products are sold in China, which means they are subject to animal testing by law requirement

M.A.C. Cosmetics (Estée Lauder)

NARS (Shiseido)

nyx Cosmetics (L’Oreal)

PureOlogy (L’Oreal)

Sean John (Estée Lauder)

Smashbox Cosmetics (Estée Lauder)

Tarte Cosmetics (Kosé)

The Body Shop (L’Oreal)

Tom’s of Maine (Colgate – Palmolive)

Urban Decay (L’Oreal)



29 thoughts on “Companies in the Grey Zone

  1. My heart is broken over the Body Shop being owned by L’Oreal… Part of me thinks that buying from “grey zone” products sends a message to the home company about what people prefer. But now that i know it will be difficult for me to shop there… Thank you for providing this information to the public. 🙂

    • I know it’s hard breaking up with products we have used and loved for a long time; but think of it as a fun opportunity to try new things! BETTER things. Body Shop products are also full of crap, parabens etc. so now you can use stuff that is better for you! If you have any trouble giving up specific products, let me know and I can maybe suggest alternatives! Good luck.

  2. I am saddened that The Body Shop is owned by a company that DOES test on animals, I thought the whole idea of The Body Shop came about to be about NOT testing on animals. It was always my “go-to” place, not anymore.

    • It’s sad that the original owner sold out to L’Oreal. I remember back in the day they used to sell shirts that read Against Animal Testing (a friend of mine had one in high school!)… now you will notice they are not at all vocal about it.

  3. I just send a note to Lancome/Loreal reagarding their animal testing and they claim that they do not do any animal testing world wide. Except on the rare occasions that regulations have asked them to do do. So what do they mean by Rare occasion? I have asked them the question & have not rec’d a reply yet

    • Oh they don’t test except when required?? Sure. Grrrrr. This is just a typical vague response that companies send out which really just means yes, we do test on animals but are trying to find a way to say so nicely. L’Oreal is known as one of the worst offenders so I wouldn’t believe anything they say.

      • What it means is that they have moved their operation to China, such as MAC, where the law states that you must test the products on animals. It’s their loop hole saying that the don’t want to but have to follow the law in that country. Asian countries are buying a lot of these companies because of the new EU regulations on products.

  4. What’s with L’Oreal?! In one swoop, it bought up Urban Decay, The Body Shop, and NYX cosmetics, all brands we LOVE and have long been cruelty-free. Are they trying to take over the make-up world? Then Clorox bought Burt’s Bees! I don’t like it.

    • I’m not sure what you mean. Ingredients that have been tested on animals in the past? I mean, if a company uses ingredients that were tested years ago, then whatever. I already have them in the grey zone – at some point people have to do their own research and make their own decisions. I’m a blog. I’m not an authority or a company with unlimited time and resources.

      • wow that was a manic response. That person was offering you new knowledge and you jumped down their throat…bye bye blogge

        • That was a year ago… I honestly don’t remember writing that response. But you’re right, it looks like I was in a bad mood that day, and I’m sorry. I’m only human. If I’m feeling cranky or upset I have to try to keep that out of my responses here. I will try harder in future. I’m sorry if it overshadows everything I try to do here.

          • I don’t think your comment was rude, at all. You can only do your best. But your response and apology was impressive. You are only human, and I don’t think your original comment required an apology buy kudos on being far more accommodating to your readers than I would be 🙂

  5. Thank you for providing all this wonderful cruelty free information! I have a question regarding MAC cosmetics. Since MAC sells in China where they are required by law to test on animals-does that mean only the products sold in China are tested on animals and the products sold in the US/Canada aren’t?
    Thank you for your time!

    • Hi Caitlin – I honestly don’t know the answer to your question. I guess you have to ask yourself if it matters, right? If the company is testing any of their products on animals, do you want to give them money? That’s the way I look at it, same as I look at The Body Shop, how my money ultimately goes to a cruel parent company. I find that makes the decision easier – even though it can be hard to give up brands and products that I’ve used for years prior. Hope that helps a bit!

  6. I noticed two more on PETA for your grey zone: Dermalogica and Ren Clean Skincare don’t test but their parent company Unilever does. 🙂

    • Hi, I guess technically they are grey zone, you’re right – but Unilever is such a terrible parent company that I don’t like to list any of their companies 🙁 I guess I should…

      • You’re right, they are. It amazes me that some of the largest companies are the worst. I have been stunned to find out how many companies still test on animals and still test already-tested ingredients, if you know what I mean. Thanks for you blog 🙂

  7. Hi Kelly, it’s so sad and disappointing just how many companies still test on animals, especially as it relates to cosmetics. It’s easy to get emotionally worn down thinking about it, but blogs like yours help remind us that not everyone is interested in supporting such archaic and cruel practices, and lists such as this help us be mindful of which companies to avoid. I think you’re right; there are enough 100% vegan and cruelty-free companies out there that avoiding these grey-zone dwellers isn’t a loss or a deprivation, it’s an opportunity to discover something better, and send a message with your money at the same time. Keep up the good work!

  8. It is quite sad how many companies still test on animals or the companies that say “well I only test on Animals for the countries that require it” well then don’t sell in that country , is it seriously worth it to torture animals to make a Buck ? I know they would still make up that money from those of us who boycott them because they test for other Countries or have Parent company’s that test , Same Difference how can you call yourself a cruelty free company and claim to care about Animals when you are owned by a company that tests on Animals. Just my Opinion and Rant for the Day.

  9. 100%Pure – is now available direct for Canadian shipping (originally only thru California) is also cruelty free…their products are great. They also have vegan and gluten free products!! Since this is a fluid list and we all are looking for new companies thought the info might be appreciated. 🙂

  10. A very important piece of information which helps me decide which companies to support or to boycott. Companies like MAC, Body Shop are no longer what they were so we’re boycotting them and all others who’ve sold out to companies using disreputable, cruel practices.

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