Is First Aid Beauty cruelty-free? Does First Aid Beauty sell in China? Find out more information here on Logical Harmony!
Recently there have been a lot of rumors about the First Aid Beauty cruelty-free status. They are the most well known for their Ultra Repair Cream, which has long been popular among those with sensitive skin. I have been a customer of theirs for years and have talked about First Aid Beauty a lot here on the blog, on YouTube, and on IG as some of their products are staples in my skincare routine.
Is First Aid Beauty still cruelty-free? Does First Aid Beauty test on animals? Does First Aid Beauty now sell in China? In this post, I run through all those questions to help you figure out what’s going on with the brand.
Is First Aid Beauty cruelty-free? No.
First Aid Beauty is no longer going to be on the Logical Harmony Cruelty-Free Brand List. First Aid Beauty no longer meets the Logical Harmony standard be considered a cruelty-free brand. In order to consider a brand cruelty-free, animal testing cannot occur at any point or be performed by any party. This extends from ingredients all the way to the products placed on the market for sale.
First Aid Beauty is still PETA approved as cruelty-free. There are many brands approved as cruelty-free by PETA that do not meet the requirements to be Logical Harmony Approved as cruelty-free.
As someone who has been a long-time customer and supporter of the brand, I am incredibly sad about this change. I use a lot of First Aid Beauty Products currently and will be seeking out replacements for them. I have encouraged the brand to reconsider its decision to expand into stores in mainland China. Brands are able to sell via e-commerce and avoid animal testing. I wish that the brand was doing this method instead as it would make more products available to consumers there without impacting their cruelty-free status.
For those of you who want to get into the nitty-gritty of things, I’ll outline additional details below.
Is First Aid Beauty selling in stores in China? Yes.
At the time that this post is being written, First Aid Beauty is not yet available in stores in China. They have confirmed via statements that they will start to sell in stores in mainland China next month. This would be sometime in August of 2020.
First Aid Beauty is selling a limited product range in stores in mainland China. They have selected these specific products to also be manufactured in a way that avoids pre-market animal testing requirements. That said, post-market animal testing is still a concern.
What is pre-market animal testing?
Pre-market animal testing is when the finished products are tested before they are placed on the consumer market for sale. For many brands, this is when animal testing as required by law occurs. There are now some cases in China where brands can avoid pre-market testing, but they are in rare and very specific cases.
Can First Aid Beauty avoid pre-market animal testing? Maybe.
It is possible that First Aid Beauty can avoid pre-market animal testing. They are going to be selling a limited range of their products in stores in China and have carefully selected them in order to avoid pre-market animal testing.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t remove the potential for post-market animal testing.
What about post-market animal testing?
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.
The opinion on post-market animal testing seems to vary depending on the organization that you talk to. Some say that it no longer involves animals the majority of the time, while others state that it does most of the time.
With the inconsistencies here, I feel that the takeaway is that animals can still be used for post-market animal testing. Until all organizations are saying that only non-animal tests are used or that post-market testing does not happen, I personally feel like it is a risky move for brands to make.
Humane Society International, an organization I trust immensely because they focus on regulatory change, has this to say about post-market animal testing:
It’s encouraging but not yet a guarantee that no animal testing will ever again happen post-market, and pre-market animal testing for imported cosmetics remains as before. So what’s changed? China recently released for the first time its post-market testing plan, and it reveals that no animal tests are listed for routine post-market surveillance.
However, in the case of non-routine tests, eg: a consumer complaint about a product, unless/until authorities accept modern non-animal eye/skin irritation tests, and invest in local infrastructure to use such tests, animal testing could still be the default.
Pre-market cosmetic animal testing in China for foreign imports and special-use products, remains unchanged.
This shows that animals can be used for post-market animal testing. This is in relation to some other recent changes in China, but I do think it’s important to share in this context as well.
There is no concrete evidence that indicates that brands have any control over post-market testing. The Chinese government could pull any cosmetics for post-market testing for a non-routine test at any time. It is also my understanding that they do not have to contact the brand before these tests are done, so the brand may not be aware that they are happening. Humane Society International backs up this understanding and I have had this confirmed to me by brands who currently sell their cosmetics in China.
Brands who currently sell in China have also told me that they preemptively agree to these tests when they enter the market in China and pay fees to cover them. I have not seen contracts that confirm this, but several brands have told me this in confidence independently of each other.
Can First Aid Beauty avoid post-market animal testing? No.
Post-market animal testing on cosmetics is still a reality and something that we as consumers should consider. It is not something that First Aid Beauty is likely able to avoid, especially since it can occur at any time and the brands permission is not needed for it to happen.
What can you do as a cruelty-free consumer?
In these cases, I think it’s so important to use your voice as a consumer. Let the brand know that you wish they were selling only through e-commerce, which would avoid any potential animal testing. Let them know that being cruelty-free matters to you and it’s part of why you have supported their brand. Encourage them to re-think their decision to sell in stores in mainland China.
I personally will be swapping out my favorites for new products. If you’re interested in learning about what I try and how I like it, please comment and let me know. I would also love to hear what replacements you might be making yourself!