Is Kiehl's Cruelty Free

What is Cruelty-Free?

As consumers, we need to be aware that labels such as cruelty-free and not tested on animals are not regulated or defined by any government agencies. As a result, these ambiguities make the labels somewhat meaningless unless you know what to look for.

It can be hard to find great cosmetics or premium skincare without the cost of harming animals. Fortunately, there are a number of resources that have begun surfacing as a response to such labeling practices in an effort to identify those brands that are complying with specific guidelines. By utilizing these resources and developing a deeper understanding of the cruelty-free meaning, you can become a more informed consumer with a greater chance of purchasing the products that actually align with your values.

Kiehl’s is a high-end American cosmetics brand retailer that can be found in malls around the world. The company specializes in skin, hair, and body care products. It started as a single pharmacy in Manhattan at Third Avenue and East 13th Street in 1851. Kiehl’s was purchased by the L’Oréal Group in 2000 and has 65 stores in the United States and 400 stores worldwide as of 2015, with over 1,000 points of sale supplemented by sales in high-end department stores, select airport locations, as well as independent stockists.


Is Kiehl’s Cruelty Free?

According to the Kiehl’s company’s website, it allows their products to be tested on animals when required by law as the case is in countries like China, where products must be tested on animals before they are approved for human use. So Kiehl’s products are not considered to be a cruelty-free brand.

Whruelty-free brand

Leaping Bunny is the highest cruelty-free standard in the US, Canada, and EU. The technical name in the US and Canada is Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals; in the EU, it’s the Humane Cosmetics standard.

Because of the logo, the shorthand name is the Leaping Bunny standard and that’s the term we use here – it’s easier to remember!

To get Leaping Bunny certification, companies must meet these criteria:


  • Products and the ingredients used in those products cannot be tested on animals by anyone (including third parties) at any stage of the product or ingredient development.


  • Companies must provide written documentation of this, including from their suppliers and manufacturers.


  • Companies must undergo regular audits by Leaping Bunny to confirm the status.


Leaping Bunny is a fixed cutoff date standard. This means each company chooses the cutoff date after which they and their suppliers will halt animal testing. It can be any date up to and including the date a company applies. For company suppliers, the cutoff applies only to the ingredients supplied to the company. Suppliers may still conduct animal testing on ingredients supplied to non-certified companies.

If an ingredient supplier starts testing an ingredient used by a company, the company must find a new source for that ingredient to remain in compliance. Companies are audited regularly for compliance, so this is a highly reliable standard. SEE: Is Cetaphil Cruelty Free?


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