Beauty & Cosmetics, Skincare

Is Avon Cruelty-Free?

Is Avon Cruelty-Free?

Is Avon cruelty-free? Find out now! Logical Harmony helps make cruelty-free easy!

Avon has been around for decades. They make cosmetics and skincare and are well known worldwide. While most people know them as Avon, in 2016 Avon split into two different companies (more details on that later) – New Avon and Avon Products. Today Avon Products made an announcement about their stance on animal testing that was very promising to see. For those in the UK and Europe, this could be especially exciting!

Avon Products become a partner with Humane Society International (HSI) earlier this year to support their #BeCrueltyFree Campaign. This campaign is pushing for an end to animal testing worldwide through regulatory change. Personally, I have a lot of respect for Humane Society International. They are pushing hard for regulatory change which is not an easy process, and they have gotten a lot of large companies to see the value in and support the movement too. While not all of these companies are cruelty-free themselves, like Unilever, they are big players in the beauty space and they can have a lot of power when it comes to influencing change. Regulatory change is a slow process and takes a lot of tedious work. What the team at HSI is doing is amazing and seeing big brands join them in pushing things forward is exciting too.

In addition to Humane Society International, Avon Products also says that they are supporting Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME) and the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) and their work to end animal testing.

Avon Products raised some interest (and caused some head-scratching) with the announcements of these partnerships. They were actively selling in physical stores in China at the time, and taking part in required by law animal testing. Avon has long been known as a Brand to Avoid and not a Cruelty-Free Brand. Keep in mind that I am not publishing that they are now a Logical Harmony Approved Cruelty-Free Brand, but today’s announcement is giving me some hope in change. It’s a step and steps do matter. They add up. I wanted to break it down for you and take the time to explain the ins and outs of the update. I hope it gives you some hope as well.

Curious to know what’s currently going on with Avon Products? Is Avon cruelty-free? Find out what their current stance on animal testing is in this post and what the announcement means for cruelty-free consumers.

Remember to use #LogicalHarmonyApproved on Instagram to show off all of your Logical Harmony Approved picks, purchases, and looks! Make sure to follow me on Instagram and subscribe on YouTube as well.

Sidenote, I know that Avon Products and New Avon are both multi-level marketing (MLM) companies and that there are varying thoughts and opinions on MLM’s. I ask that you put those aside and focus instead on what this means for the cruelty-free space and cruelty-free consumers. I feel like supporting any steps brands take to move in that direction is good. It’s going to help make bigger changes overall, and that’s a positive thing. I also know that there are people interested in MLM’s and I would like to help them support the cruelty-free options out there.

Is Avon cruelty-free? It’s a complex answer, and still unclear.

What’s commonly known as Avon is actually two different brands – Avon Products and New Avon.

I dive into this deeper below but wanted to quickly address it here. Both brands sell products that say “Avon” on the packaging, but several years ago Avon split into the two separate companies. They also have different parent companies. Neither brand has any cruelty-free certifications or approvals.

Avon Products are sold in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, and most of the world. New Avon is sold only in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Note: This news is specific to Avon Products only and not New Avon.

Avon Products has announced adjustments to how they sell products in China that allow them to avoid required by law animal testing there.

Avon Products has previously sold in China through ways that required animal testing on their products. They have working on phasing these out and are focusing on sales methods that would allow them to avoid animal testing by switching to an e-commerce focused model. Brands can sell directly to consumers through websites and avoid animal testing. It’s when they are sold in physical stores that animal testing, both pre-market and post-market, is an issue.

While Avon Products will continue to sell to consumers in China, they are narrowing their sales methods and the products available. This will allow them to avoid pre-market animal testing and minimize the risk of post-market animal testing. I am waiting for clarification from them on if they will continue to sell products in ways that put them at risk for post-market animal testing.

Pre-market animal testing is when the products are tested on animals before going for sale in the general market. This is a requirement for many cosmetics. Brands can avoid pre-market animal testing by only selling non-special use cosmetics that are manufactured in China.

Post-market animal testing is when the finished products are tested after they have been approved to be placed in the consumer market. This means that they are pulled from the shelves of stores to have testing conducted on them. This is something brands do not have control over and they cannot simply say, “No thank you,” to them either. My understanding from talking to brands that sell in China and animal groups is that brands are also not given a heads up before these tests occur and may not find out about them until months after they are completed.

Is Avon Logical Harmony Approved as cruelty-free? Not at this time.

Avon Products is not currently Logical Harmony Approved as cruelty-free, but I still think their announcement is promising and wanted to share it. It shows how brands can adjust to help minimize the risk of animal testing requirements in China. We should encourage more brands to do so and what Avon Products is doing shows that pressure from the cruelty-free community is pushing brands to make those changes. It may be a small change, but changes do matter.

New Avon and Avon Products are now on the Grey Area list here on Logical Harmony. They are not on the Logical Harmony Cruelty-Free Brand List. It’s also possible that either one or both may move back to the Brands to Avoid list.

Update on January 5, 2020: Both Avon Products and New Avon have been placed back on the Brands to Avoid list.

It sounds as if Avon Products is making big strides and I think that is worth sharing. I hope to have more details about the animal testing stance of both brands soon. It is still unclear if either brand is taking part in animal testing through other methods, or using ingredients that have been tested on animals.

Is New Avon Logical Harmony Approved as cruelty-free? Not at this time.

New Avon is not on the Logical Harmony Cruelty-Free Brand List. I have reached out to them to see if they would be interested but have yet to hear back.

Is Avon Products Logical Harmony Approved as cruelty-free? Not at this time.

Avon Products is not on the Logical Harmony Cruelty-Free Brand List. I have reached out to them to see if they would be interested but have yet to hear back.

What’s the difference between Avon Products and New Avon?

What’s long been known as just one company, Avon, is actually now two different companies – Avon Products and New Avon. This changed happened in 2016.

Avon Products and New Avon are separate companies and even have different parent companies.

Not only are New Avon and Avon Products two different companies, but they have different parent companies as well. In 2019, it was announced that New Avon was acquired by LG Household & Health Care and Avon Products was acquired by Natura.

Natura also owns brands like The Body Shop, which is Logical Harmony Approved as cruelty-free. While Natura is currently not Logical Harmony Approved as cruelty-free, we are in talks and I am hopeful that they will be soon. This post will be updated when and if that time comes.

Avon Products is based in Europe and New Avon is based in the United States. They have separate corporate offices. They have separate websites as well.

New Avon and Avon Products sell in different regions.

Is New Avon Cruelty-Free?

The New Avon website.

New Avon is available in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Anything purchased as Avon in those regions is from New Avon. New Avon uses Avon.com for business. You can see the New Avon website above.

Is Avon Products Cruelty-Free?

The Avon Products website.

Avon Products is available everywhere else in the world. Avon products purchased outside of North America are from Avon Products. Avon Products uses AvonWorldwide.com for business. You can see the Avon Products website above.

Is Avon Products cruelty-free? It’s unclear.

While they are changing their sales methods in China, which is a promising step, it’s currently unclear if they are cruelty-free. These adjustments do not automatically mean that they are cruelty-free. It’s not clear if they are using ingredients that are tested on animals or taking part in required by law animal testing. I have reached out to Avon Products for additional details on their animal testing policies, but have yet to hear back. This post will be updated when and if I receive a response.

Update on January 5, 2020: Both Avon Products and New Avon have been placed back on the Brands to Avoid list.

Avon Products Animal Testing Policy

Avon Products Animal Testing Policy

You can see the Avon Products animal testing policy above.

It reads –

Avon does not test products or ingredients on animals anywhere in the world. We have been working for acceptance of non-animal methods for three decades. In 2019 Avon became the first global beauty company* selling in China to stop all animal testing of ingredients and across all its brands**.

Does Avon Products sell in any markets that require animal testing per local or regional laws?

Avon Products did previously sell in Mainland China in a way that required animal testing. They are phasing this out. They have been transparent that some products currently being sold may have been tested on animals, but they have now stopped selling in ways that require animal testing. Going forward, products will not be tested on animals.

Here’s what they had to say about it –

We’re currently working through low volumes of remaining stock. We have stopped testing on animals, but there may be products in circulation in the near term.

If you are a cruelty-free consumer, I would suggest holding off on purchasing their products for the time being. Not only will I update on their cruelty-free status, but I would also suggest checking in with the brand and letting them know these clarifications are important to you as a cruelty-free consumer.

Does Avon Products sell in Mainland China in a way that requires animal testing? It’s being phased out.

Will Avon Products continue to offer products to its customers in China?

Yes. Avon Products will continue to offer products to consumers in China via e-commerce. This is a method that does not require pre-market animal testing and can avoid post-market animal testing as well. Some products may still be available physically in China. I am waiting on clarification from Avon Products at this time.

The press release from Avon Products indicates that they will still have products sold in stores in China, which would mean required by law animal testing will take place. They have told organizations that they will be removing the products from shelves. They did not respond to my questions about this, so I can only go by their public statements.

This is what Avon Products had to say about this –

Because we don’t believe that walking away from the problem is the solution. We have a growing business in China – with customers that we want to continue to serve. And we want to support our Boutique Owners in China – women building their own businesses through selling Avon. What is more, we are optimistic that Avon’s influence as a leading global cosmetics company, together with others in the industry and our extended network of partner organisations, can help advance change with the goal of ending animal testing.

What about post-market animal testing in China? Is Avon Products avoiding that?

They are narrowing their risk for post-market animal testing. This is a big concern because many brands claim that they can sell in China and be cruelty-free. Even if they are able to avoid pre-market animal testing requirements, they are not able to avoid post-market animal testing that is done by authorities there. I am waiting for clarification from Avon Products on how they mean to avoid post-market animal testing.

Avon Products is moving to a mostly e-commerce model for products in China. This means that consumers can order through an online store and have the products shipped directly to them, a method that does not require pre-market animal testing and is not subject to post-market animal testing.

This is what Avon Products had to say about this –

We will only sell ordinary cosmetics in China which have been manufactured in China.  Unlike imported ordinary cosmetics, this does not trigger an animal testing requirement.  Special function products (previously manufactured in China and which therefore triggered animal testing) will now be manufactured outside of China and sold only in China through eCommerce.  There are no animal testing requirements for products sold through eCommerce.

They also addressed their stance on products that currently are considered to be special use products. These types of products can be available to customers via e-commerce without animal testing, but when sold in physical stores they do fall under pre-market animal testing requirements. Avon Products has made these types of products currently unavailable to those in China while they reformulate them.

Avon Products confirmed that they will be making changes. This is what they had to say about it –

We have developed new ways to deliver products for our customers in China that do not require animal testing. We are reformulating a number of our products and discontinuing some ranges that cannot be reformulated.

Where does New Avon fit into all of this?

New Avon sells its products only in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. While they do have a statement on their website about animal testing, I am unclear if they are cruelty-free or not. It does not address all the areas where animal testing could occur.

New Avon Animal Testing Policy

New Avon Animal Testing Policy

You can see the New Avon animal testing statement above. Please note that the bunny logo present on the page is not one from a cruelty-free certification.

It reads –

New Avon Company (“Avon”)†, with operations in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, has a deep respect for animal welfare and does not conduct animal testing. Avon does not conduct animal testing on its products or ingredients, nor does it ask others to do so on its behalf.

Avon is a strong advocate of both the ethical and humane treatment of animals and the protection of human health and safety. Our products are developed utilizing alternative testing methods such as extrapolations from existing data, computational modeling, in vitro (test tube/cell culture) testing and clinical tests with human volunteers to ensure both their efficacy and safety.

Consumers can be assured that Avon has not tested on animals any product carrying the Avon name sold in the U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico. These products have undergone rigorous and thorough safety evaluation and can be used with the utmost confidence.

Is New Avon cruelty-free? It’s unclear.

While they are only available in North America, this does not automatically mean that they are cruelty-free. It’s not clear if they are using ingredients that are tested on animals or taking part in required by law animal testing. I have reached out to New Avon for details on their animal testing policies, but have yet to hear back. This post will be updated when and if I receive a response.

Update on January 5, 2020: Both Avon Products and New Avon have been placed back on the Brands to Avoid list.

What’s the full Avon Products Press release?

On December 12, 2019, Avon Products released a press release titled Avon Takes Global Stand Against Animal Testing. You can find the full press release below as well as on the Avon Products website.

Avon takes global stand against animal testing

LONDON, 12 December 2019: Avon Products, Inc. has announced it has ended all regulatory-required animal testing, making it the first global beauty company* selling in China to stop all animal testing of ingredients and products across all its brands**.

Respect for animal welfare is a cornerstone of Avon’s product safety philosophy and Avon was one of the first companies to stop animal testing to support product safety 30 years ago. Since then Avon has supported the development of non-animal approaches and has worked in partnership with organisations such as the Institute for In Vitro Sciences and Humane Society International (HSI) to promote their acceptance by regulatory authorities around the world.

Now Avon has taken the significant step to immediately stop all animal testing for China by making a series of investments, which includes moving away from products requiring testing, innovating in new products and expanding into alternative distribution channels. Jonathan Myers, Avon’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “As a global beauty company it’s hugely important to us to be able to continue to build our business in China. Our goal is to deliver products to meet our customers’ needs without compromising our commitment to animal welfare, our high product safety standards or our adherence to regulatory requirements. By investing in how we develop new innovation for China and in some cases changing distribution channels, we are able to deliver this landmark change. Globally, none of Avon’s products will be tested on animals”.

With these changes, Avon will focus on working with suppliers on their animal testing policies for ingredients used in Avon’s products. Meanwhile Avon will continue to work with its partners to push for regulatory change and greater acceptance of alternatives to animal testing.

Kathy Guillermo, Senior Vice President at animal rights organisation PETA said: “PETA celebrates Avon’s commitment to ending all cosmetic testing on animals everywhere in the world, and we know millions of consumers will too. It’s the ethical thing to do and we’ve been delighted to work with Avon throughout this process.”

Earlier this year Avon joined HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign to outlaw cosmetic animal testing in key global beauty markets, and to support government safety regulators, smaller companies and other key stakeholders in building capacity to fully transition to animal-free safety assessment for cosmetic products and ingredients.

Troy Seidle, HSI Vice President for Research & Toxicology, said: “We applaud Avon’s initiative to make these changes in China and to stop animal testing. We are delighted to count Avon among our #BeCrueltyFree campaign supporters as we work with lawmakers across the globe toward meaningful policy change that reflects our shared vision of cruelty- free beauty.”

Amy Beale, Scientific Liaison Officer at FRAME (Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments), said: “FRAME is dedicated to the development of new, valid and ethical scientific methods that will replace the need for laboratory animals in medical and scientific research, education and testing. FRAME has partnered with Avon for 30 years to develop more relevant, non-animal tests to predict adverse human effects in cosmetics. This is a positive move from Avon and sends an important message to the global cosmetics industry that animal testing for cosmetics is unnecessary and unacceptable, and that we must push for global acceptance of alternative techniques that are scientifically valid and have human relevance.”

*Based on Euromonitor International (April 2019) top 10 global beauty and personal care companies

**Associated published global animal welfare policies and animal testing certification as of November 2019

Looking for more cruelty-free brands?

Here on Logical Harmony you can find a full list of cruelty-free brands as well as shopping guides to help you find the cruelty-free brands at Dermstore, Ulta, Nordstrom, Sephora, Beauty Bay, Beautylish, Cult Beauty, and tons more. There are also lots of vegan product lists for cruelty-free brands too.

Editor’s Note: By using the affiliate links in this post you are supporting Logical Harmony! How does it work? When you purchase a product through one of these links Logical Harmony gets a small commission at no extra cost to you. This is a very large part of what keeps Logical Harmony running – Thank you!

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