Beauty & Cosmetics, Hair Care, Lifestyle, Nail Care, Product Reviews, Skincare

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.

Continue reading Benefit Cosmetics is Not Cruelty Free!

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.

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  • Reply Kathryn Palmer Wednesday - October 5, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    This is really sad. They’d tell you it’s “just business” but we vegans have different, more compassionate priorities – and those priorities should hurt Benefit, and any other non-cruelty free company, where they notice it most…their profits. If it’s a greedy business decision to sell in China or test on animals, in general, the loss of our dollars might just get their attention! Perhaps it’s time for an online petition to draw even more attention to these companies’ deceptive practices. It would be nice to see some good effect from a boycott of these companies. Having been a vegan for 26 years, and boycotting many companies for all that time, I can tell you that only now, with our greater numbers, can we actually hope to see a good effect! Thank you for doing the research and bringing this information to light!

  • Reply amy (healthandbeautygirl) Tuesday - September 13, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I had no idea. Thank you!

  • Reply Kyler Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Hi, I just want to say thanks for doing this research. I don’t know why, but I always just assumed they were cruelty free. Such a bummer, since I just bought some products from them. Just curious, you wouldn’t happen to know what other brands are doing this sort of thing, would you? I’ve been doing some research and I’m trying to make my makeup routine completely cruelty free.

  • Reply Rosa Wednesday - March 23, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Hi Tashina, though I am glad that i’ve stumbled upon your blog, I am still confused on the subject of Benefit’s animal testing/animal cruelty. I am obsessed with the Hoola bronzing powder, and I am sad to hear that they are not cruelty free. I recently took a trip to the mall and decided to visit the Benefit Cosmetics bar at the Macy’s in my area. I initially went in to buy the bronzer as I had run out, but before I did so, I decided to ask the girls if they knew if the Benefit products were cruelty free and if the company tested on animals. Though they did not give me a clear yes or no, they did struggle to find a clear answer and couldn’t give me an answer other than “refer to our FAQs on the website.” As heartbroken as I was, I pulled it up on my phone and told them that the website said “No,” but that other blogs or MUAs disagreed. The girls looked completely shocked and didn’t really know what to say. Instead they tried to keep selling me other products or try to offer me way to get “free gifts with my purchase.” It is unfortunate that these girls know the answer to customers’ questions and still choose to mislead their customers. Even though they didn’t give me a clear answer, their reactions were more than enough for me. I do hope that they decide to become a cruelty free company, but until then, I will no longer support them. Thank you for your research!

  • Reply Dana Schlackman Wednesday - December 30, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    If you could do an article on Vegan doops for Benefit Cosmetics Boing Concealer and Lash Roller Mascara that would be amazing. I am newly vegan (3 days) and putting animal products on my face disgusts me. Thank you so much for your amazing blog!

  • Reply Kim Sunday - September 13, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Hi Tashina, do you know if this information regarding Benefit is still true today? They have changed their response to this question on their website, but it still feels…too wordy.

  • Reply Kate Friday - August 21, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Oh boo I fell for that and just got some more foundation! I find make up is the hardest when it comes to cruelty free products

  • Reply Lauren Sunday - June 7, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Benefit say on their website they don’t test on animals! I am so confused right now…

    • Reply Tashina Combs Monday - September 21, 2015 at 8:18 am

      Sadly, they do test when required by law. It’s not in their response on the FAQ page, but is in the response they email to customers who ask for information.

    • Reply Michelle Pursell Tuesday - November 24, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      Any brand sold in China is required by China to test on animals. Benefit Cosmetics is, in fact, sold in China therefore on Benefits behalf they are allowing their product to be tested on animals. It’s a matter of greed on behalf of Benefit that they are completely knowledgeable of this but want their brand sold in a country that they know tests on animals. Benefit is NOT CRUELTY FREE!! Please put the word out there to help these innocent animals from the terribly cruel testing they’re exposed to all in the name of beauty. More people need to care about these animals subject to such terrible suffering.

  • Reply Two Degrees Sunday - June 7, 2015 at 9:13 am

    I appreciate your hard work to do this research so that the rest of us will know too. Thank you!

  • Reply xitla Lic (@xitlaliC) Sunday - November 23, 2014 at 8:08 am

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

    • Reply Tashina Combs 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.

  • Reply Karen 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.

    • Reply Tashina Combs 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.

  • Reply Crystal Saturday - May 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm

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

  • Reply 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.

    • Reply 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 .

      • Reply 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,

    • Reply Cheryl Friday - June 26, 2015 at 11:41 am

      NO! NXY parent company is L’Oreal – one of the most egregious animal testing companies out there.

      • Reply Tashina Combs Sunday - October 4, 2015 at 5:09 pm

        At the time the comment was posted, NYC was independently owned. I don’t think they meant to steer anyone wrong. 🙂

  • Reply 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!

    • Reply Tashina 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. 🙂

  • Reply 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?

  • Reply Alyssa Sunday - August 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks for sparking me to do some research too!
    Benefit’s website has the nerve to say “Benefit’s parent company, LVMH, has always been actively involved in the search for alternative testing methods” LVMH -as in Louis Vuitton; first of all, ‘searching’ for alternatives doesn’t mean they actually USE any alternatives. More importantly, ‘testing’ isn’t an issue for Louis Vuitton since they don’t sell makeup! They just skin animals for purses by the truck load!
    Besides, Dior (who does test on animals) is the primary share holder of LVMH; and both use leather and fur products in nearly all their goods. BOO!! I’m so disappointed! I gave up Dior, I had no idea they owned Benefit too!! BOO! Now I need to find alternatives all over again! 🙁

    • Reply Tashina Sunday - August 25, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      Hi Alyssa,

      I’m so glad that you decided to research them! This statement is similar to the one that L’Oreal and many other brands that test on animals have. It’s very misleading. Benefit used to be my favorite makeup brand, so I know what you’re going through. Thankfully, there are lots of great cruelty free and vegan alternatives out there!

  • Reply Patricia Lanney Friday - August 23, 2013 at 5:38 am

    Hi there.

    I am outraged to know they test on animals I was using their panstick as I love the coverage it gives me as I have hyper sensitive skin and always have break outs but I am involved in animal rescue and use all organise skin care not tested on animals so thank you for this information I will not be using their brand again.
    Its so frustrating the way they dont give you a straight answer.

  • Reply Emily Thursday - May 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I recently emailed Benefit to find out if they were a cruelty free brand and they sent me back the following:

    “Thanks for reaching out! Benefit loves animals and doesn’t test products on them. In addition, our parent company LVMH hasn’t carried out animal testing since 1989, well before the official European Union ban in 2004. Some of our products are vegan, while others may contain animal derived ingredients. If you need to know if a particular item is vegan, please send us a list of any items you’re interested in, and we’ll be happy to research those items for you.”

    Are they just full of shit, or did their stance on testing change?

    • Reply Tashina Monday - June 3, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Hi Emily!

      While Benefit themselves does not test on animals, they do sell their products in markets where testing is required by law. In these cases the brands pay for the products to be tested on animals. This is the loophole that lets them say that they do not do the testing. :-/

    • Reply Elly Monday - August 12, 2013 at 8:02 am


      This is a common confusion. While it may be true that their finished ‘products’ aren’t tested on animals, the ingredients and formulas that are in them ARE tested on animals. So, they’re not full of shit, as such, but they are deliberately misleading you. It’s a trick they all use.

  • Reply BlushandBarbells Monday - March 4, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I know China is a huge market, but it’s not cool that cosmetic companies abandon their cruelty-free stance to sell there.

  • Reply Morag Lee Tuesday - October 30, 2012 at 2:19 am

    I boycotted a few months back after going on their UK site and spotting the link to their China site. The first thing I always check when researching brands is whether or not they sell in china – and it was obvious they did given they have a Chinese site.

  • Reply daisychain Thursday - October 18, 2012 at 9:22 am

    wow. the list of cruelty free cosmetic companies is dwindling. thank goodness urban decay put ethics before money and chose not to sell their products in china. so sad about benefit. i know i can trust your site to be up to date and honest about companies’ stances. thank you!

    • Reply Jennyli Friday - September 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      But Urban Decay’s parent company is Loreal… so even if they don’t sell in China, being own by a company that is notorious for testing on animals is still NOT cruelty free. =/

  • Reply Sarah S. Thursday - October 18, 2012 at 6:21 am

    I couldn’t get a straight answer from them, either, so I stopped using their products. Such a bummer, b/c their mineral veil is a favorite of mine. I really wanted to buy up all their pressed powder products, too! But, it’s not for me until China discontinues this ridiculous requirement.

  • Reply Sascha Thursday - October 18, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Too sad. I used to like them! And they were sold in Sephora, so easy to find. Too bad!

  • Reply Phyrra Wednesday - October 17, 2012 at 11:19 am

    This makes me so sad. Their stance is so confusing, too. I would have read that paragraph as they were cruelty-free. But I’d put them into my ‘unsure’ pile after talking with you a while back. Thanks for this post.

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