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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.

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  • linda says:

    this makes me sick…if this is really true and chances are it it….I am disgusted….I have 3 animals at home…i use to buy avon products but i dont anymore and I dont think I ever will again…..

  • FYI... says:

    estee lauder = MAC no more mac purchasing.

  • Lea Ladyraven says:

    I will not be buying any of these brands from know on. How disgraceful.

  • Shawn says:

    Very upsetting!!! Not a fan of any of these companies since I prefer to buy natural beauty care. I love the fact that our little soap boutique tests ONLY on very happily willing family & friends!

  • Marlene says:

    If this is true then im no longer going to sell avon products.

  • Karolina Ćwie says:

    nie kumam po co!!!

  • Donna Vizsla James says:

    Chinese government still allows many violations against animals, bile from bears, testing of chemicals on bunnies, skinning of live dogs. I have written to our Australian Government and received a letter stating that the Chinese government has banned the skinning of live dogs and working on other animal cruelty. Clearly, this is not the case! Which makes them liars.

  • Courtney Harding says:

    Absolutely disgusting. I love my make up and products like any other girl girl but NOT at the expense of animals! This is why I am so glad to be a consumer and consultant with ARBONNE!

  • michael matrix says:

    This is why I love Arbonne! For 30 years now Arbonne has been cruelty free!

  • Tracey says:

    Wow – this is really sad. I know a few avon and MK consultants who don’t know anything about this, and are shocked and appalled. How shameful to do it, and then keep your people in the dark about it. I am so happy my company is on the do not test list! Anyone using products from any of those three companies, and want a product that is just as good (and in most cases better) check out beauticontrol. If Beauticontrol EVER made that switch, I would be out in a heart beat!! Disgusting and so dicietful!!!!

  • Dana says:

    I am very disappointed about these companies – thinking no one will notice. I have used Estee Lauder in the past because I knew that they did not test animals and I’m glad I switched brands a long time ago. I would be horrified if I was still using this brand. I will never trust another large cosmetics company again and I’m thinking of boycotting everything from China! This is a huge step back.

  • Carla* says:

    And in China not only do they skin and torture animals alive for food and “fur” BUT now I’ve just learned today they are baking dogs and cats ALIVE because the more torture the better their flesh becomes… Please EVERYBODY boycott CHINA!!! And ALLL their cheap a** products!! Sign all petitions!!

  • Michelle says:

    This is disgusting!!!!! I’m horrified 🙁 Does anybody know if this includes all the products owned by Estee Lauder? Like Aveda,clinique,etc? Because they’re still are on the Peta Cruelty-Free list.

  • Jane says:

    Aveda is owned by Estee Lauder…

  • bridget says:

    i am ashamed to be a human being,it is wrong, it is unethical, it is not necessary what is wrong with these people, they should be tested on see how they like it. stop animal testing now.

  • Christine says:

    This is unfortunate and very sad. It needs to be stopped, and it will with the right amount of people. This is why I love selling and using BeautiControl!!

  • Marina Wielander Vanzetta says:


  • Mary Ellen says:

    Just awful! I’m so proud that I am part of a company that has NEVER tested on animals!!!! Just another reason why I LOVE ARBONNE!!!!!

  • Karen says:

    I make my own natural products now and I test them on my best friend. I will never buy anything from any of these companies ever again and I am already boycotting anything that I know comes from China.

  • Patricia Sjöberg says:

    While refusing to buy products from these companies until they stop animal testing is laudable, pressure also needs to be put on the Chinese government to stop requiring such tests for ANY products sold in China, and for them to stop their egregious human rights violations in sweatshops and other places. We in the west are AFRAID of upsetting the Chinese. WRONG TACTIC. PETA has not been afraid to take on governments in the west. Well, PETA, take on China as well. Where there are abuses anywhere, no one (I should say no BUN) is safe.

  • nancy kickken says:


  • catherine Robb says:

    I refuse to buy anything that has been tested on animals.This includes cosmetics and perfume and anything else to do with Estee Lauder.

  • DeidreAnne says:

    More companies to put on my ‘no frigging way’ list – Have you formally advised the ‘celebrities’ of this so they can make an informed decision about what they endorse or how they want their reputation sullied? PS-love your work

  • Antonie de Vry says:

    Beauty and cruelty does not go together

  • Liberty says:

    I used to use Estee Lauder cosmetics up until now. NO LONGER! I’m ditching them all now and that’s it. SHOCKING about-turn from a company that should know better!!!!!

  • Jean says:

    Good bye Advanced Night Repair

  • Rob says:

    I will not purchase a single product from these companies testing on animals and i have several women in my family that readily uses their products whom have said they will stop buying immediately!!! TEST ON ANIMALS … GO OUT OF BUSINESS!!!

  • S. MIDDLETON says:


  • Laura says:

    No more Anew for me! Bye bye Avon! I’ll have too find another skincare regimen. It won’t be easy, I’ve used Anew for years but I can’t use their products now with a clean conscience.

  • Veronica Cagnola says:

    I will not buy or sell their products until they stop doing their testing on animals. That is sadistic and cruel.

  • Mica *Argentina* says:

    Thank you PETA for letting us know and share the truth about the TERRIBLE suffering animals have to go through so some ladies have their creams and lipsticks….. knowing there are already non-cruel methods in the markets to test the products. If there is no demand there is no offer….

  • susan collins says:

    I will no longer purchase any makeup from Estee Lauder or any other of the companies listed above until the testing of animals is stopped.

  • Sam says:

    I will no longer be buying Estee Lauder products because of this. Just once it would be nice to see a company stand up for what is right and fighting for a change instead of giving in. Absolutely feeble.

  • Egle says:

    No more cosmetic’s when poor animals dying in pain!Shame on u!

  • Ashley K says:

    This is absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe these companies not only have the indecency and selfishness to abuse animals, but also to lie to their loyal customers and employers about the truth of their dirty business tactics. It’s incredible what this world has come to, and I’m very ashamed to know that our own country is so money hungry that they would go to such great lengths to make a couple bucks. Unbelievable.

  • James says:

    Here is an idea…you worry so much about shutting down companies…how about you go after the government standards in China?

  • Lauren says:

    Just quietly resuming testing? Well I’m just quietly crossing your products off my shopping list Estee Lauder. ‘Beautiful’ is not smelling so beautiful anymore.

  • vanessa says:

    i am so not buying the products to feed the stupidity of this people by making money torturing this poor animals what if we torture them the same way? then we go to jail?? … this is so not fair

  • Ali says:

    These companies have to abide by the regulations in China so they can market their products in China.

  • Dorota says:

    I started using Mary Kay because it was one of those which didn’t test on animals – I will stop using their cosmetics if they will do that!

  • Wendy Taylor says:

    I have been a long time Avon customer and I just called my Avon Lady and told her I will not place anymore orders until Avon stops testing on animals !!!

  • aConch says:

    I tried to use PETA’s online searchable database but it does not seem to be truly “searchable”. i would think that searchable means I can enter a name of a company and then see their status. Am I missing something? Right now it seems really time-consuming to find companies.

  • Chris says:

    I will never buy any of your products while you continue to test on animals, shame on you.

  • karen allen says:

    Typical hey…these big companies hide so much from us consumers…wanting us to believe they dont. Support. Animal testing…then resort to doing it in secret…they will neva change…boycott their products…buy from companies who are determind to show their support for good…not on a temporary basis…

  • Shelia says:

    I wont b buying ur products because of the animal testing and i will b spreading the word. How could u people????

  • Naomi Olenek says:

    Please discontinue using animals to test your cosmetics.

  • Dawn Villani says:

    I am a recent victim of Avon because recently signed up as a sales rep based on the false belief that they were cruelty free. I’m still trying to get my $10 enrollment fee reimbursed. I still see many avon reps making false statements about avon being cruelty free on their My Avon Sites and on their Facebook pages. Avon doesn’t even have the decency to inform their own reps of their cruelty free status. They are too busy trying to keep it hush hush in the USA that they allow them to unknowingly commit perjury! Its true Money & Greed are the roots of all evil!

  • Christine says:

    this is horrible. i just hope Revlon or almay never makes it on this list. i really like their products.

  • Ashley says:

    I felt sick when I read this. I started selling Avon last July because I thought that they did not test on animals which was very important to me. What they did was sneaky and disgusting. I feel violated. Every time I told a customer that Avon does not test on animals I was speading their lie for them. I truly did not expect this from Avon. I will be letting my like-minded customers know the truth.