Animal Testing Resumes For Avon, Mary Kay, And Estee Lauder

An Italian anti-cosmetic testing on animals ad.

As of right now I don’t know what kinds of animals they are using.

— Kenn

Animal testing for cosmetics is a hot topic in the beauty industry, with most consumers and many companies deciding to avoid products made with animal testing. After more than two decades following a “no testing on animals” policy, cosmetics giants Avon, Mary Kay, and Estee Lauder have resumed the practice without letting consumers know. In the late 1980s, PETA’s “Avon Killing” campaign eventually led to the company banning animal testing for their products, with Mary Kay and Estée Lauder following suit.

According to a press release from Rush PR, the news was broken after animal rights organization PETA removed the companies from their cruelty-free list after discovering that they had returned to using testing on animals for their products. The three companies began the tests again in order to satisfy regulations from the Chinese government so they could sell their products in China. However, PETA contends that there are alternative testing methods that are just as effective and widely used in the US.

Kathy Guillermo, the Vice President of PETA’s Laboratory Investigations was saddened by the move: “Avon, Estée Lauder, and Mary Kay have regressed a generation: Their products are once again being dripped into rabbits’ eyes and smeared onto animals’ abraded skin.” She’s urging customers to choose cruelty-free products instead.

Avon spokeswoman Reese Witherspoon may be upset to learn about the new animal testing as well. Late last year she was “dismayed” to learn a bag she was spotted with was made from real python skin and agreed to throw it away. But perhaps she can use her star power to influence Avon to go back to their animal-friendly ways.


  1. frances bell says

    these companies should be shut down for their cruelty they are a disgrace to the world. every one should stop buy their products 

    • Hayri2011 says

      Because the people would have to A) be paid or be coerced to volunteer, B) can sue if the makeup makes them sick and C) there’s a lot of ethical issues with human testing, especially basic chemicals that make up the products. Finished products are easier, such as medication.

        • guest says

          they dont know if they are safe, which is why they are testing on animals- talk to the Chinese government. I love how people are getting angry at the wrong parties! 

    • jamichele says

      How about making prisoners trying to make amends for their crimes!  Only by volunteering, I’m sure there would be some prisoners willing to do it!

    • Jmfpoet2 says

      Mary Kay does not test any of their products on animals nor do they ask anyone to do so on their behalf. 

  2. Quipfox says

    Why would we expect differently?  I know a Mary Kay dealer who will be told not to even bother asking me to buy, and anyone from Avon will be told the same as they will be as guilty.  Never thought much of Este Lauder anyway. 

  3. says

    I am sick and tired of these companies whose CEO’s allow the abuse of poor defenseless animals to experiment for the sale of their product. I want to believe there is a special kind of hell where people who allow this go. They should be treated exactly like the animals they killed as punishment for their crimes against these poor creatures.

  4. kissgirl says

    Screw China.  Why in the world would any company change their practices to appease them?  So sick of everyone only caring about the bottom line.  I will NOT buy their products ever again!!!

    • Hayri2011 says

      Because China has over a billion people in it, and most of them will want to use a product these companies sell. It’s a fantastic marketplace and any company would be foolish to miss profits like that.

    • Pockets_b says

      When 1/2 the world’s population live in China, they can’t pass up the market. It’s all about $$$$$

  5. Bushstompin says

    I am sickened that animals are going to suffer in this country in order  to make the Chinese happy !!!! Are you out of your minds? I had used Mary Kay and Avon up to ~ today. I have been throwing things out as I discover animals have been used for tests by the companies. Slim pickings indeed.

     I am disgusted by your choice of bowing down to kiss the assholes of another country and do as they tell you. A country who’s love of cruelty and depravity made a DEMAND to use animal testing as an ultimatum to using your products?? Who are you people that your morals have taken such a nose dive that you cave in and agree to harm animals so you can corner the Chinese market?? All of you should first hand over all your pets, then your children’s pets and when you’ve destroyed them, take your grandchildren’s pets. THEN start brutalizing other innocent animals. If you would rather kiss Chinese ass than North America’s I suggest you move there.

    I will never again trust any of you companies as your choice of loyalties are once again cruelty driven. Your love of money wins out over any decency or self-respect. Here we go again with the 1% making the rules.

    I’m going to ask all men and women to stop using ALL of these products until they decide that the North American, non-animal testing ways are better for their future ~ and the thousands of animals who will now have to suffer for a Chinese profit. Get out of North America until you stop this brutal and absolutely ridiculous reason to harm any animals. When you are through using your family’s pets, perhaps you could use yourselves for testing and make a stand against being bullied to the point of caving in to a foreign country’s demand for cruelty based products. What on earth are you thinking?

    To Mary Kay ~ you were leaders now you are going to be loosers. Avon ~ where do you get off? Estee Lauder ~ you’ve blown it.  The campaign against you is about to start and you don’t want to be here ~ so why don’t you all get packing for China. 

    • guest says

      If you are going to say goodbye to these cosmetic companies, may I suggest looking in to all the products that you use- food, hair products, vitamins, whatever it may be- if those same companies are selling in China- they are testing on animals in China- if you want to go around hating companies who are not only following the laws of the country, but working to change them, you should be boycotting ALL products that are sold in China~

  6. Cbccosminsky says

    I would like to encourage everyone to check out the facts and make sure this is true. It was reported over the weekend that PETA and other animal “rights” groups killed over 90% of the very animals they were supposed to be protecting and saving in 2011. These groups received 30 million plus dollars, yet still killed the animals. So, please, lets fact check here. 

  7. guest says

    China by law requires animal testing. I know that Mary Kay does not sell any products that were tested on animals in the US or any other country where it is not required by law. 
    Also look into what these companies are doing as far as working with the Chinese Government to end animal testing and to promote other ways. 
    Mary Kay has stated that they are working closely with the Chinese government to change their ways, if they left the country then who would be working for a change?
    There is always a bigger picture. 

    • Deerut says

      America has needed to cease and desist all relations with communist foreign Countries since it began…They hate America and now they have moved in…”The New World Order” is not ever gonna happen…if all these stinking companies want to bend over for these countries let them move there and America needs to ban the use or sell of those products here…Our (America current government is better suited for a communist country as well)

  8. guest says

    these companies are only doing what is required by law to sell their products in China, all the while looking to change the laws in China. Did PETA look into that? do they realize the movement Mary Kay Inc is making in China to end this, to prove to the government that there are other ways?
    do they realize that Mary Kay is one of the founding members of the Institute for InVitro Sciences which was created to promote internationally the principals on non-animal safety testing. They are also creating the very first lab as part of the Key Laboratory for Research on Cosmetics Alternative Toxicology in China? 
    When it was law in the US to test on animals, Mary Kay also complied, however they were one of the first in the US to petition alternative ways of testing and now look the US has found and promoted other ways- Mary Kay is now doing the same thing in China. 
    PETA should applaud them for the research and work they are doing to change things in China, yes for now they must by law comply in order to do business, but if they left the country, then who would be doing all the things Mary Kay is doing to stop animal testing there. 
    It is I guess a catch 22- but this world is not as black and white as we would like. 
    They can continue in China, and make a difference 
    or they can leave China and let it continue-

    • Kitty says

      Suppose China required them to use child labor, and they went ahead with it while saying “yes, we’re using 5-year-olds as wage slaves, but we’re looking into getting that changed?”  Feh.  Require China to change their laws if they want our products.

    • Deerut says

      blah, blah, blah…that’s what our American Government has been saying after each war as an excuse to keep our U.S.A. Soldiers in those Communist Countries to show them a better way and look now who is suffering….America…America is now a Communist Country because of that very kind of thinking…These other Countries have never changed their wicked ways but have compromised America’s Moral Values Instead… 

  9. Lemon says

    Mary Kay issued this letter to all consultants in light of the matter, hope this helps 

    Some of you may have seen or heard news coverage regarding a decision by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the animal activist organization, to change the status of Mary Kay and other cosmetics companies on its website, moving us from its list of “Companies That Do Not Test on Animals” to its list of “Companies That Do Test on Animals.”We want to be extremely clear about the facts and ensure you have all the information: Mary Kay is deeply committed to the elimination of animal testing and our actions and our record speak to that. We have been a longstanding leader on this issue. Our policy has not changed. Let us say again – we do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to do so on our behalf, except when absolutely required by law. There is only one country where we operate where that is the case and where we are required to submit our products for testing – China. You can be assured that none of the products you purchase in the United States (or Canada, Latin America, Europe and most all other Asian countries, for that matter) are tested on animals.For more than 20 years, we have been a global leader in the commitment to end animal testing. We are working very closely with the Chinese government to demonstrate that alternative testing methods ensure safe and effective products. In fact, Mary Kay is the first founding member of the International Outreach Consortium of the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc. (IIVS), created to promote internationally the principles of non-animal safety testing. We are also creating the very first laboratory as part of the Key Laboratory for Research on Cosmetics Alternative Toxicology in China. This innovative lab will be instrumental in the evaluation, validation and, we hope the eventual acceptance and adoption of alternative testing methods.Along with being a leader in advocating for alternative testing methods and sponsoring an alternative testing laboratory in China, Mary Kay has also done the following:Mary Kay was one of the first companies to meet with Chinese safety authorities to discuss alternative testing methods.
    We sponsored an “Alternatives to Animal Experimentation for Cosmetics” conference in Beijing in April 2011 organized by the China Cosmetics Research Center in the Beijing Technology andBusiness University.
    We were also one of the first companies to work directly with the dermatology experts used by the Chinese government in their review process of alternative testing in lieu of animal testing for cosmetic products. In fact, we sponsored a symposium for dermatologists in China on the use of human clinical methods for product safety in 2007.
    We conducted an educational forum for the Chinese Society for Toxicology in 2009 to again share information on alternative testing methods.
    Mary Kay is one of only two cosmetic companies listed as scientific contributors to the first book in Chinese describing alternative principles and applications.
    We have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University.As you can see, finding alternatives to animal testing has, and will continue to be, a top priority for Mary Kay.You might be asking yourself, if this is such an important issue to Mary Kay, then why doesn’t the company simply leave China? There are several reasons. First, we have an impressive record encouraging the Chinese government to consider alternative testing methods. But, if we’re no longer doing business in China that means we’re no longer at the table and the Chinese government will not be interested in what we have to say. And, if we did leave that means this extremely important issue would be left to those who do not care as much or at all.We at Mary Kay are passionate about the elimination of animal testing and our actions and our record speak to that. That commitment has not changed or wavered and it never will.

      • Lemon says

        Yes, Mary Kay has admitted to testing on animals as required by the law of the Chinese government. 
        You are missing the point animal testing is not optional in China it is mandatory, by law. 
        If in your life you ever visit China and purchase a product, know that it was tested on animals- the Chinese Government requires it. 
        They are also working very diligently to persuade China to focus on alternative methods of testing products. 
        The products you are purchasing in the US are not tested on animals. 
        PETA as well as everyone here is missing the point, Mary Kay and these other cosmetic companies are not making products in China, testing on animals and then selling in the US. 
        They are following China’s laws to sell in China. 
        At one time the US by law made companies test on animals, at the time Mary Kay did comply,but they were also among one of the first to petition and to show the US government other options, they are doing the same thing in China. 
        There fore I praise their efforts! 

        • says

          If they really cared about animals they wouldn’t sell in China. That sends a message, since the Chinese Government takes a percentage of everything sold in China.

          • Lemon says

            You are not seeing what they are saying, they can walk away in hopes that it proves a point or they can stay and directly impact the chinese goverment. 
            If they walk away, they are walking away from any say at all in making a difference. 
            Its not as black and white as you are making it. 
            I love animals and cried when I hit a bird with my car yesterday (it flew into it) so I am the first person to not want this going on, but I also see where the company is coming from. 
            Mary Kay’s presence in China has given many Chinese women the opportunity to work, which isn’t as available in the US, many chinese women have been arrested for working and Mary Kay has gone in and bailed them out and they are creating opportunity. Closing doors in China is just about a cooperation not making money in that country anymore, its would be a major impact on those working for and with the company, Think of all that would be out of work and struggling if they did choose to leave. Its about so much more. 
            By staying in China they are being proactive, they are setting up labs and proving to China the differences not testing on animals would make, they are there in their faces. Mary Kay was forfront in ending animal testing in the US they are working on doing the same in China. 
            So really, would walking away and hoping China gets it make a difference or would staying and showing China tthe truth and other options be more beneficial? 

          • says

            They are torturing animals for makeup, not the cure for cancer. I’m against it. I don’t care what they are trying to do. If they cared for animals more than profit they’d stop. The sites called the Dog Files, not The Cosmetics Files. I’m on the side of the animals. That’s just my opinion. You are certainly allowed to have yours.

          • Lemon says

            Of course, opinions are OK. 
            Its unfortunately not as simple as leaving to stop animals cruelty though. Imagine if the US made all cosmetic companies begin to test on animals, would a cosmetics company be making a statement by leaving- yes they would, but they would also be devastating the 1000’s of employees involved I understand it is the dogfiles and of course your opinion is well warranted.
            Even forgetting what I said above regard affecting those employed in the company, please rememeber that Mary Kay is doing all they can to stop this and to show China that there are alternative ways. 
            You may think the best way for them to make a statement is to leave, but they believe the best way for them to make a statement is to stay and show and invest in other ways. 
            I still stand by the company, knowing they are a upstanding company in all ways.

          • Lemon says

            Of course, opinions are OK. 
            Its unfortunately not as simple as leaving to stop animals cruelty though. Imagine if the US made all cosmetic companies begin to test on animals, would a cosmetics company be making a statement by leaving- yes they would, but they would also be devastating the 1000’s of employees involved I understand it is the dogfiles and of course your opinion is well warranted.
            Even forgetting what I said above regard affecting those employed in the company, please rememeber that Mary Kay is doing all they can to stop this and to show China that there are alternative ways. 
            You may think the best way for them to make a statement is to leave, but they believe the best way for them to make a statement is to stay and show and invest in other ways. 
            I still stand by the company, knowing they are a upstanding company in all ways.

          • says

             I am in complete agreement. None of this is completely black and white – nor is anything in life that is this complex. I also do not agree with animal testing and am very glad to hear that none of Mary Kay’s products are tested on animals in the US. I am also dismayed to hear about the animal testing REQUIRED in China but I completely understand the reason why these companies do NOT pull out. Staying and re-educating is absolutely the best way to make changes. We are taught form a very young age to mediate problems and talk them out – not to stomp off in a huff and never talk to that person again. If you want change, you talk and eventually (hopefully!) make that person (or in this case – country) change their mind.

        • Deerut says

          America does not need China or any other Countries money to survive…America was self sufficient and we fought to be that way…We can and will be self sufficient again…Every Country needs to be a stand alone country including America and if it crumbles let it crumble…

    • Independent_voice says

      So they are testing because of China.  This really ticks me off especially since China does not give a crap about its exports.   What about the lead and other harmful chemicals found in childrens toys?  Or the dog treats that killed several dogs?  They don’t give a damn about their own people either having them work in harmful areas.  China should follow their own rules on exports.    Why we even trust this country is beyond any logical thinking.

  10. Briannevillano says

    The beagle dog in the ad is an accurate portrayal. Much animal testing is done on that breed, unfortunately, because of its docile nature.

  11. ALP4367 says

    China?  Really?  The same country that sells the USA toys that are contaminated with lead?  Oh yes Avon, Mary Kay & Estee Lauder…all for the sake of money, money, money.  Greed surely is an ugly thing.  I won’t support it!

  12. says

    Here’s the Head office’s phone line and address. Avon Products, Inc.
    Global Headquarters1345 Avenue of the AmericasNew York, NY 10105212-282-5000 main
    Let’s email, call, write and let these companies know how angry we a
    re what they are going to defenceless animals.

  13. Glenda_russell says

    After they use the animals for testing their products they will use them for dog treats. Does Mary Kay think we should be okay with them testing on animals in China? Just because it is not in the USA does not make it okay. Shame on you!

  14. Michcorrea says

    EEEEEveryone wake up!!!! we all have cats and dogs that we love PETA is an extremist cult organization that focuses on any word they get off the street then bombards people…i stand for animals but you can’t spend your life nit picking every little thing…Estee lauder who is a parent company for several beautylines and fashion including michael korrs has done so much to stop animal testing!!! now they are getting accused of animal testing due to chinese government!!! it is not estee lauder it is the chinese gov. that continues this..i wish these crazy eradict people would learn their f’n fax before exploiting companies that have played a major part in stopping animal testing…get a life and worry about your own mental health before you go spreading lies!!!

  15. Mohugly says

    Have you ever read the very small print on your dogs heart worm prevention pills. The people who make it test it on labs beagles. They overdose the puupies till they go into convulsions so they can tell you how safe their product is

      • Grace Kelly says

        Your sick. You think that justifies what they do. If you think its worth taking lives to save one be a man & test the medicine on yourself so your dog wont convulse and die.

    • Shillvphillpot says

       most, if not all medications are tested on all breeds of animals before being released to the public all over the world including AUSTRALIA. Animal Technicians are there to ensure the animal does not suffer and they are pts as soon as they show signs of suffering. These test animals are bred for this purpose. I DO NOT AGREE  with any of it but seriously people wake up!! take a good look around you, its not just China, its not only Avon, Mary Kay or Estee Lauder its happening everywhere.  I do not like what I have read about these 3 companies this morning anymore than you but get over your tunnel vision and take a look at the big picture!!

  16. cbola says

    Keep in mind that Estée Lauder own 27 companies.
    American Beauty
    Bobbi Brown
    Bumble and bumble
    Daisy Fuentes
    Donald Trump The Fragrance (discontinued)
    Donna Karan

    Estée Lauder
    Good Skin
    Jo Malone
    Kate Spade (divested)
    Lab Series
    La Mer
    MAC Cosmetics
    Michael Kors

    Prescriptives (as of January 31, 2010, available only on-line)
    Sean John Fragrances
    Smashbox Cosmetics[9]
    Stila (sold)
    Tommy Hilfiger
    Tom Ford Beauty

  17. Animalover says

    Let those who wear make up be the testers, why should animals, who don’t wear make up or perfume and have no choice in the matter, be made to suffer in this way to appease human vanity. I will no longer be buying from these companies until I hear that they are no longer treating animals in this barbaric way.

  18. says

     My Avon Canada: Avon does not test on animals to substantiate product safety. In fact, we were the first major cosmetic company to end animal testing more than 20 years ago. A very small number of countries require additional safety testing, under the directive of a government or health agency. This may include animal testing. Avon always attempts to persuade authorities to use non-animal test data, but if a compromise cannot be reached we must comply with the requirement; we cannot break the law. Respect for animal welfare is a cornerstone of our product safety philosophy, and we continue to actively work to advance the use of alternatives to animal testing worldwide. This is an issue faced by all global beauty companies and we encourage you to call for the global acceptance of non-animal test data.

    • says

      Mary Kay is NOT animal free. Go to their site and you will find that they say, “except when a country’s law requires it.” China’s law requires it and Mary Kay does it to sell their products in China.

      • guest says

        No company that sells in China is animal free under your definition!  The products you are using in the USA are animal free, stay out of China though, products used there will be tested on animals… (from any company)

  19. Grace kelly says

    I’m glad someone has shined the light on these three companies but when are they ever going to show PETA for their cruelty to animals? Seeing as they have been known to skin animals on tape & pass it off as other companies testing facilities.

  20. guest says

    the one thing everyone is missing its not just these 3 companies! Its ALL companies that sell in China- any skin care, make up, hair care and even food that is sold in China must be tested on animals- if you want to boycott these 3 companies so be it, who am I to argue- however before you do that open your cabinets and see what you have in your home that can also be bought in China and boycott those companies as well. 
    Or stop going after the companies that are trying to make a difference and go after the Chinese Government as Avon and Mary Kay and Estee Laurder are doing 
    Kenn keeps saying its make up- not a necessity and in that it not being a necessary product he is correct, but people in China have the right to have a quality product don’t they? 
    Imagine we were punished for all the US Governments mistakes? We would be lacking a lot of things! 
    Regardless I understand this is a web page that supports animal friendly, so there is no winning when justifying the practices of these companies- so fine hate them, don’t buy from them and be angry at them. But if you are in be in 100% and now that you know the information make sure NONE of the products that you use are sold in China and they are you need to be boycotting them and annoying their cooperate headquarters with your letters and calls also- oh, or wait, you can go to where the difference would be made- the Chinese Government! 

  21. Narellekemp says

    from Avon Australia’s website. Avon does not conduct animal testing on any of its products or raw ingredients, and does not require that suppliers of raw ingredients and finished products produced for Avon to conduct animal testing on our behalf, except where required by law. Avon independently substantiates the safety of its products without any animal testing, and the company’s entire global product safety program is built on the foundational principle of opposition to unnecessary animal testing and respect for animal welfare. In 1989 Avon was the first major cosmetic company in the world to establish a policy of no animal testing.

  22. Cinda says

     I just wonder how many things we buy that is made in china as something that is tested on animals.
    I think we should be protest against China and not against companies like Avon and Mary Kay who as already made these products with out animal testing which other countries do not have a problem with.

     I was just wondering. Does China test the already made product? For example do they have to wash a dog in Avon’s Skin So Soft body wash to say it is all right to use on people. If that is the case all they have to do is ask me. I use it all the time on my dog. I could tell them it is very good, makes you nice and soft and keeps flies away better then any flea shampoo you may use. Smells better to. You also do not have to leave it on for a long time to work.
    I know that is wrong but I could not help myself.

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