Skip to Main Content

Avon, Mary Kay, Estée Lauder Resume Animal Tests

Written by Michelle Kretzer | February 16, 2012

After two decades of touting their “no animal testing” policies, Avon, Estée Lauder, and Mary Kay have quietly resumed paying for cruel tests on animals—without letting consumers know about this stunning about-face. After confirming with each company that chemicals are being dripped into rabbits’ eyes and that substances are being rubbed onto animals’ skin because of requirements of the Chinese government in order to market products in that country, PETA has downgraded the companies to our “do test” list.

All three companies were among the first large international cosmetics manufacturers to ban all tests on animals after being targeted by PETA. Avon was the first in 1989, following PETA’s “Avon Killing” campaign, a play on the company’s then-slogan “Avon Calling.” Mary Kay came next, after being publicly lampooned by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed in a series called The Night of the Mary Kay Commandos in his hilarious Bloom County comic strip. Estée Lauder soon followed suit.

For each test required by the Chinese government, superior non-animal methods are available. Mary Kay had taken steps to work with Chinese officials on the acceptance of these tests, but Avon and Estée Lauder seem to have agreed to the tests without objection. PETA has jump-started the effort for non-animal test validation by awarding a grant to the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, which is working with scientists and regulatory bodies to replace animal tests in China.

Please let Avon, Estée Lauder, and Mary Kay know that you won’t buy their products until they are 100 percent cruelty-free once again. Fortunately for animals, you can still choose from more than 1,000 companies in PETA’s online searchable database of cosmetics and personal-care companies that don’t harm animals at home or abroad.

Commenting is closed.
  • Robin McCorkhill says:

    I have bought Estee Lauder for years. Now that I know they test on Animals ,I will never buy Estee Lauder again. How can causing pain and suffering on innocent defenseless creatures be beautiful?

  • Agnieszka says:

    Will not buy from these companys

  • I just started myself and my mother on a full skin care routine based upon Estee Lauder’s products. Until I learn that E.L. guarantees no more use of testing on any animals, I will switch my products and encourage others to do the same.

  • wendy says:

    will not buy from these companys an will tell my friends

  • Summer says:

    I never would’ve guessed that Avon tested on animals. I’m disgusted! Never will buy an Avon product until they stop this.

  • I used to buy from Avon, but knowing that they are using animal testing they and the others are off the list, I heard that Garnier and Nivea are also using animal testing, I used to buy their products but now, they will be no longer on my shopping list. Shame on all the big bosses, do you show your kids and grand-children pictures of these animals who have to suffer for you because you want to make a lot of money, would like to see the childrens reaction.

  • Money talks and the only way to get the attention of these corporations is to STOP buying their products. It’s not like we don’t have other options. They will discontinue the testing on helpless animals when they see that it hurts their bottom line. You can be certain that they are greed driven.

  • Ana says:

    I am personally horrified by the video I just saw, bringing me to tears! I am a new consultant for Lemongrass Spa products made right here in the USA, natural skin care and beauty products that ARE NOT and never have been tested on animals! I will be throwing away what is left of my Avon and Mary Kay makeup today and begin my animal free testing journey with my company and moving forth with other areas in my life. Thank you PETA!

    • Kathleen says:

      Ana, I was interested in becoming a Mary Kay consultant, but came to PETA to check on their animal testing standards. Very disappointing to see this. Thank you for mentioning Lemongrass Spa–I will be looking into consulting opportunities with this company now!

  • lexie says:

    Margaret…Aveda supplies to China so they are also paying for animal testing. Before Estee Lauder took over Aveda they used to be completely cruelty free. 🙂

  • Hanni Gartland says:

    I never knew that all these companies tested on animals especially Estee Lauder. Shame on you all. You’ll never see another penny from me.

  • Margaret says:

    Estee Lauder owns Aveda. I wonder how this affects that product line? Disappointing, to say the least.

  • Kasia Rotton-Lewicka says:

    I’m sorry Dear Estee Lauder, but all your products are just a rubbish, from now until the moment when you stand out what is good, until the moment when customers who choose a cruelty free products, begin more important than the money from Chinese market!

  • I never realised Avon did that!!! disgusted… i am seeking alternative companies….Avon and Estée Lauder… you are not worth it…get with the times please!!!

  • Paula Dingwall says:

    I wish everyone can know about this! These cruel people!

  • sara says:

    I had filled out my AVON order form and checked to see if testing was going on… Thank you and I Will NOT be ordering…

  • Christine says:

    SICK. I will be staying with beauty without cruelty.

  • Joanne Shore says:

    I will never buy from any company that tests on animals, it is despicable and totally unnecesary !!!!!

  • Charity Cosmetics and Skin Care says:

    This is horrible. Charity is a direct to consumer cosmetics and skin care company similiar to avon and mary kay yet you will never hear that our products are being tested on animals. Our wear your heart campaign this month provides contributions to assist families with veterinary costs. You can learn more about our mission at and The animal friendly makeup solution 🙂

  • MacNomadic says:

    Yes, the answer is to stop wearing make up. We don’t need any of it. Save our money and use it for better things like protecting the animals around us. Come on women – grow up and ditch the make up. Free yourself from the insanity.

  • jeannette says:

    I have told all my friends that avon is getting their products tested on animals, because they want to get into the Chinese market. They were all appalled when I sent them an email, giving this link. Like me they will never use another product sold by avon We all used to spend a great deal on avons products, BUT NO MORE!!

  • j says:


  • Laura T says:

    Rachel B! I’m an ARBONNE independent consultant too! Proves that animal testing isn’t necessary, creating gorgeous products that are cruelty free is possible!



  • Janine says:

    I am a consultant with Mary Kay. I hate that animal testing exists ANYWHERE for ANYTHING! Mary Kay is working with the Chinese government to show how safe the alternatives are, to get laws changed. How many of the people who are so disgusted with these companies have taken panadol, antibiotics or any other form of medication? How do you think we got any of these things – they start with animal testing! We are all responsible. I look forward to the day animal testing is completely done away with!

  • Ally says:

    I think its all rubbish IT NEVER HAPPEN

  • Rachel B says:

    I am so glad to be part of a company that makes FANTASTIC products that DO not and NEVER have tested on these sweet creatures. You dont have to give up having great skin care products or cosmetics. Arbonne offers over 400 prodcuts that are VEGAN and completely cruelty free!!

    • AGREED ! I was selling both Avon and Arbonne and I didn’t want to believe this because my Avon business was doing better then Arbonne, but after reading this I just can’t do it, I need to be for the animals, I love them too much to support hurting them, and Arbonne’s products are excellent and it feels good to know they never ever hurt an animal!

  • Ren says:

    Noah that’s not the point. The point is they would rather give into such a barbaric requirement instead of of just not selling in China. Other companies have not given in so they don’t sell there. These three could do the same, and maybe if they did China would consider changing its stance. To support any cosmetic animal testing in 2012 is just wrong.

  • Ray says:

    Better still, ladies – stop wearing make-up!! You are beautiful without it, so stop kowtowing to crappy companies with crappy products and excellent marketing ploys.

  • Cynthia Adams says:

    Barbaric to think that in this day and age cosmetics are still tested on innocent animals. Why not introduce this to humans who would gladly undertake experiments for the payment. I will NEVER buy these products ever again until you cease this evil practice on the animals..better to be plain jane than a glamourous woman with your rubbish applied to my face.

  • Fanny says:

    Shame on you! I´m sure a lot of constumers will stop buying your products… My mom loves Estée Lauder but won´t definitely be buying it. This is so disappointing!

  • Noah says:

    The truth is that Avon does not and has not tested on animals since 1989. China mandates that all products undergo additional testing according to their laws. Avon only complies with China so as not to break that country’s laws. So if you are selling or using Avon products here in the United States or any other country but China, the products are not tested on animals. All USA made and sold products are not tested on animals. Hope this clarifies the situation for you

  • Betsy says:

    Where did PETA obtain the video of testing on animals that was presented as actual testing done by Estée Lauder, Avon and Mary Kay and how old are the clips? Can PETA prove that these clips are from laboratories any of these companies use?

  • Ellen Truttmann says:

    Kathy Benitez must believe everything she reads. I called Mary Kay HQ and they informed me that they DO animal testing just like all the other beauty companies.

  • Maureen says:

    What a shame estee lauder has bought out ojon and b&b hair care i won’t be buying them in future.

  • LuX says:

    Dear Estee Lauder, I found your serums to be superior to any others in the market, but my good skin is not worth the animal cruelty, I am sure I can replace you with other companies that take no part on Animal Cruelty testing to find their best “human product”.

  • Julie says:

    I was actually going to go out and buy some Estee Lauder product this weekend. I am so glad that I looked this up as I will no longer be doing so. And to me, even if a company is ‘reserving the right’ to test on animals – it’s the same darn thing as animal testing. With the science we have now-a-days—-there is no need to do such a thing. I’m glad I never started any of those products by those 3 companies and will NEVER do so.

  • robat dany says:

    C’est navrant de voir qu”autant de marques qui soit disant sont respectueuses de la nature et des Animaux nous leurre de cette façon je suis dégoutée en particulier pour l’Occitane…je leur ai fait part de cette situation ils ont zappé mes commentaires ..c’est bien la preuve qu’ils quelque chose à cacher pffff triste mentalité!

  • Andrea says:

    BUY LUSH HANDMADE COSMETICS! Over 800 stores in 47 countries. We are STILL FIGHTING ANIMAL testing since the day we started. All vegetarian products with appx 81% of those being vegan. Super green by innovative ideas/packaging concepts!

  • Allendra says:

    Just one of the MANY reasons why I use & sell Lemongrass Spa products and not any of that other stuff. Lemongrass Spa is natural and safe and does NOT test on animals at all! It’s a wonderful company. This is just so sad…

  • Andrea says:

    And this is why I sell Lemongrass Spa… natural handmade products 🙂

  • Kathy Benitez says:

    I am a Mary Kay Sails Director and am proud to be a part of Mary Kay for 14 years! I’ve talked with the company. They do NOT test on animals, however because every nation we work with must be in the agreement China will not agree to NEVER test on animals after the baby milk scare they had a couple of years ago. Because they don’t normally test on animals, but reserve the right to in case of human consumption problems they will not sign the agreemnt. People with the power of freedom of speach should collect all the facts before bashing a company’s reputation for Excellence!

  • Mayanna says:

    …I sell Avon, i just discovered this morning that All these companies now test on animals… May sound dumb, but, i’ve wanted to sell Avon since i was a little girl, because i loved my pets, and knew that big companies that care don’t test… Well growing up and doing research now, i can’t believe my eyes… I’m considering ending my Avon business…. This isn’t fair to humans and animals alike… 🙁

  • Mush A. says:

    This is upsetting. I started using Estee Lauder last year and it worked amazingg and now I have to look up another brand! After reading this, Estee Lauder is def. not my fav!

  • Claire says:

    I am terribly disappointed! Just witches to Mary Kay 1 1/2 months ago because I was thrilled to find a company that had what I wanted AND didn’t test on animals. I am going to obviously stop using their stuff and thinking about looking into returning the up to $400 worth of stuff I bought. Why would anyone want to harm and destroy these precious animals…….there are more than enough criminals in jail that should HAVE to be experimented on. It should be mandatory for convicts!!!!! LEAVE THE ANIMALS ALONE!!!!!!

  • Eline says:

    This makes me cry. What is wrong with the people who do this to beautiful animals we should take care of. Not kill and torture. I have never bought and never used these labels, and I will certainly not do it either. Why on earth they do that when ”prettier” (who those people sure care about…) friendlier, nicer, not torturing ways to test makeup. We know what they do to the animals, so they lose money. I thought they wanted to earn?

  • Eileen says:

    how do we know if any product is not tested on animals, if the rabbit symbol isn’t telling us the product is not tested on animals what can we do?

  • angela says:

    I have been using Beautiful Perfume for years. I was buying more tomorrow but thought I would look deeper into it as I just switched all my makeup to Arbonne. I now need to find a new frangrance. So disappointing as that was my favourite smell:(

  • Jeremy S. says:

    I’m confused. According to this, Estee Lauder tests on animals, and so they have been removed from the list of companies that don’t test; yet, Aveda is owned by Estee Lauder, and they are still on the list. What?