Beauty & Cosmetics

Bath & Body Works is No Longer Cruelty Free

Bath & Body Works is No Longer Cruelty Free

Sadly, another brand has recently changed their stance on animal testing. Bath & Body Works has long been known as a cruelty free brand with lots of vegan options. Sadly, they now test on animals when it is required by local and regional laws.

I first began to suspect that something was up when I emailed the brand about a month ago to check-in on their status. I received a confirmation email stating that I would get a response in 24-48 hours, but never received any follow up communication. Today Logical Harmony reader Jennifer (@beautifullyvgn on Twitter), forwarded me an email that she received from the brand that stated that they test on animals as required by law.

As always, I like to get information directly from the brands themselves. I immediately emailed the brand, Tweeted at them asking if they had changed their animal testing stance, and posted on their Facebook wall asking them to confirm or deny that they were now testing on animals as required by law. I also checked the brands FAQ page, which stated, “We believe all living creatures deserve respect and would never think of testing any of our products on animals. Likewise, we don’t ask anyone who may be helping us develop or make our products to conduct these kinds of tests on our behalf.

My tweet was ignored by the brand. My Facebook wall post was deleted and I was banned from posting on their page. I did, however, receive an email response.

Dear Tashina,

Thank you for your email regarding our Animal Testing policy. We are happy to assist with your inquiry.

L Brands policy prohibits the testing of our branded products, formulations and ingredients on animals except in rare cases when required by government regulations. Through our involvement in the Institute For In Vitro Sciences, we are supporting research to develop additional non-animal alternative methods which we believe will ultimately result in the elimination of animal testing worldwide.

Thank you for your interest in, Tashina.

Bath & Body Works has now been moved to a Brand to Avoid on the Cruelty Free & Vegan Brand List here on Logical Harmony. I am very sad that the brand has decided to make this change.

Another formerly cruelty free Limited brand, Victoria’s Secret, also changed their stance on animal testing this year. Limited also owns the brands Henri Bendel and La Senza. Both of these brands are now also stating that they test on animals as required by law and are also being added to the Brands to Avoid list here on Logical Harmony.

Please note: At this time PETA still lists Bath & Body Works, Henri Bendel, and La Senza as being cruelty free. I am not sure how often PETA checks with brands. The brands are not listed as cruelty free by Leaping Bunny. Logical Harmony curates the brands list without the use of 3rd party information and by speaking to the brands directly.

Update on October 16, 2014: After a call with a representative of Bath & Body Works, I have more information about the required by law testing stance of the brand. They will remain on the list of brands to avoid here at Logical Harmony. You can read more information in the post – An Update on Bath & Body Works and Animal Testing.

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  • Reply Joele Sunday - July 21, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Hello. I just copied this from their website. Does this mean they can be considered cruelty free now or still being shady?


    Bath & Body Works does not test any of our branded products, formulations or ingredients on animals. Period. The brand is expecting to pilot selling products in China during the summer of 2019. Any personal care products sold in China will be produced in China, which eliminates the Chinese government’s requirement for animal testing as that only applies to imported personal care products. Personal care products sold in the rest of the world are produced in North America, Europe and South Korea.

    Our company continues to support the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) – a non-profit research and testing laboratory dedicated to the implementation and regulatory acceptance of non-animal methods. We share their mission to eliminate animal testing worldwide. As part of their work, IIVS is collaborating with the Chinese government to assist them in adopting non-animal methods.

    Show All Customer Service Topics

    Site Map|Terms Of Use|Privacy Policy|California Privacy Rights|Modern Slavery Transparency Statement|Ad Technology

    © 2018 Bath & Body Works Direct, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    • Reply Tashina Combs Thursday - September 12, 2019 at 7:32 am

      Hi Joele, unfortunately it does not mean that they are cruelty-free. While animal testing requirements for products produced and then sold in China have been reduced, they have not been eliminated.

  • Reply KateBushFan Wednesday - October 29, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Tashina, I understand what you mean about current testing being unnecessary, and I totally agree. But that still means that at some point component of the product you are using on your face has been tested on an animal. Buying this product (ie, any beauty product available) has still contributed to unnecessary animal cruelty.

    The only way to stop cruelty towards animals for the sake of vanity is to stop using beauty products all together.

    • Reply Tashina Combs Friday - October 31, 2014 at 9:03 am


      While it’s true that all ingredients and formulations have likely been tested on animals at some point in the past, there is no need for new animal testing to occur. I cannot change the fact that an ingredient may have been tested 50 years ago. If I support brands who are not conducting new animal testing, it’s enforcing to these brands that it’s cruel and unnecessary.

  • Reply beautyblogazons Sunday - October 26, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    I shared your article on my Facebook page (Glitter.Gloss.Garbage) and someone from Bath and Body Works messaged me this: “We’re sorry for any confusion — we have not changed our policy. Bath & Body Works policy has been and continues to be that we prohibit the testing of our branded products, formulations and ingredients on animals except in rare cases when required by government regulations. Bath & Body Works products are not sold in countries where testing is mandatory; therefore we are not testing on animals.”

    • Reply Tashina Combs Monday - October 27, 2014 at 11:49 am

      They are now claiming that it was supposed to have changed some time ago. You can read more here – An Update on Bath & Body Works and Animal Testing. What’s sad is that this means they stopped being cruelty free some time ago and were not informing consumers correctly. 🙁

  • Reply Cathy Friday - October 17, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    This is so sad and weird 🙁 They don’t even sell in China, so why change the policy? are there any other places that require animal testing?

  • Reply Hotashi Friday - October 17, 2014 at 5:30 am

    This is really disappointing news. I can’t believe they banned you from posting on their Facebook page. Seems like their social media person was not properly coached on how to handle tough questions.

  • Reply Melissa Gandarinho Wednesday - October 15, 2014 at 10:58 am

    NNOOOO!!! I love B&BW. WHHHYY??!! 🙁

  • Reply Cathy Tuesday - October 14, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    How sad – two steps forward, one step back >.<

  • Reply ?Sissi Tuesday - October 14, 2014 at 10:41 am

    This Is so upsetting!!! ????

  • Reply KateBushFan Monday - October 13, 2014 at 9:26 am

    The FDA requires that companies prove that their products are safe. At some point virtually every raw ingredient that goes into skincare products has been tested on animals at some point. Cruelty Free companies get to use the CF claim, because they didn’t do the dirty work, and are relying on research done by others to prove safety.

    • Reply Tashina Combs Thursday - October 16, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      While it’s true that, at one time, all ingredients were tested on animals. However continued testing is completely unnecessary. There are so many ingredients that have been proven safe to use and are no longer required to be tested on animals.

      I ask brands very detailed questions about testing that may be done by any 3rd party, affiliate, or parent companies. If testing is occurring at this stage, the brand could say that they are cruelty free. This is because there is no regulation on the term. However, neither myself nor organizations like Leaping Bunny will endorse them if there is any 3rd party testing.

  • Reply chrissy Sunday - October 12, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    so sad….This was just one of the many reasons i only use Perfectly Posh…. anyone can friend me to find out more about this cruelty free, all naturally based skin, face & body care…

  • Reply Laura Sunday - October 12, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Thank goodness I found something that is cruelty free and just as good if not better then B&B

  • Reply Soledad Sunday - October 12, 2014 at 10:26 am

    What do they mean, “required by law” and how would they be able to get around whatever law they are talking about?
    If there is a law, then doesn’t that mean there technically isn’t a company that can honestly say they are cruelty free without adding that disclaimer?

    • Reply Tashina Combs Thursday - October 16, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      There are some laws based around ingredient testing and some that require animal testing to sell in specific regions around the world. In both cases, the testing is not necessary. A brand could avoid the ingredients or choose to not sell in those markets.

  • Reply Leslie Wayman Sunday - October 12, 2014 at 9:06 am

    their pg still says this
    What is your policy regarding animal testing?
    We believe all living creatures deserve respect and would never think of testing any of our products on animals. Likewise, we don’t ask anyone who may be helping us develop or make our products to conduct these kinds of tests on our behalf.

    • Reply Tashina Combs Thursday - October 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      They addressed this with me and their explanation was that the page hasn’t been updated yet. You can read more in this new post – An Update on Bath & Body Works and Animal Testing

      • Reply arayah Thursday - October 16, 2014 at 11:11 pm

        just feeling inspired to thank you again, tashina, for your diligence and for bringing us the truth about these companies!

  • Reply Meliss Saturday - October 11, 2014 at 8:45 am

    SO disappointing! It really is all about the money.

  • Reply Kaily Friday - October 10, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    How sad 🙁

  • Reply marylangmt Friday - October 10, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I didn’t ever know they had been cruelty free to start with. I was always suspicious because their packaging said “the finished product is not tested on animals.” I always thought that meant that perhaps the individual ingredients were.

  • Reply Emily Friday - October 10, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    This is really disappointing. Whenever another company sells out and decides to sell in China, I feel another part of my heart breaking…

  • Reply Bobby Photos-by Friday - October 10, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    It will most definitely affect my decision to purchase products from them in the future.

  • Reply Sarah Friday - October 10, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I used to think Bath and Body Works was cruelty-free, but then I noticed the label actually said the finished product was cruelty-free. To me, that says that testing might be done somewhere along the line, just not in the final step. That wasn’t good enough for me, so I’ve avoided them for years. Also, they stopped making the scents that I liked (Gardenia and Honeysuckle) and the new scents are off-putting to me. Fortunately I find plenty of other products available that are vegan and smell nice. Sorry, B & B W.

  • Reply Cocktails + Quinoa Friday - October 10, 2014 at 7:11 am

    So sad to hear this! I’m going to need a new hand sanitizer company!

  • Reply Suzanne Larkin Friday - October 10, 2014 at 4:30 am

    I am so upset to here this! I buy ALL my products from them. Warm Vanilla Sugar products are all that I use. I am sending them a message to ask them to please stop! I hope everyone does the same….;jsessionid=nTbGJ3BG4bLgTK5MhdQsSJMdHnnVTF0H61scwZdq424Qr0x93649!-570577175?display=corp&subdisplay=contact&stillHaveQuestion=yes

  • Reply elianaposada Friday - October 10, 2014 at 4:18 am

    Hi Tashina,
    Thank you very much for your info as it demonstrates your serious commitment with finding out about the brands that are currently testing on animals.
    I am from Colombia, SA and we surely know very little about animal testing.

  • Reply Lisa Golden Thursday - October 9, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    An absolute shame. Thank you for your investigative work and the (disappointing) information.

  • Reply arayah Thursday - October 9, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    wow… great customer service or facebook moderator-ship…banning you from posting on their page??? who needs them!

    • Reply Irene Hall Tuesday - October 14, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      It’s absolutely sad and disgusting that BBW would delete a comment to avoid answering a question. Shame on them. And shame on a company that has taken no responsibility for their actions. I will no longer purchase anything from them.

  • Reply Samsam Cherie Thursday - October 9, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    How sad is this!!! WHY do they feel the need to test on animals?!?! Their products were just as good beforehand, if not better knowing they were cruelty free. Seriously disappointed in such a great chain…
    ~ Samantha

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