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Clinique, a subsidiary of Estée Lauder, is a skincare, cosmetics, fragrances, and toiletries brand. For those of us who are skincare enthusiasts and makeup lovers, it is very difficult to ignore the relevancy and popularity of Clinique. It is everywhere. Unfortunately, much like most other multi-million-dollar makeup brands, Clinique has also been accused of animal testing and cruelty. Is there legitimacy to these claims? Actually, why do companies even practice testing on animals? We aim to answer all of these queries and delve into the dark side of the makeup industry.

Don’t worry though! We won’t leave you high and dry. We understand the importance of skincare and the elegance of makeup which is why we will also provide you with some amazing cruelty-free alternatives so you can look and feel your best while consuming consciously.

Does Clinique test on animals?

Does Clinique Test on Animals? Is It Cruelty-Free?

Clinique claims to not conduct animal testing on its website; the exact words being “We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.” They also mention bringing to market products that comply with applicable regulations in every country in which their products are sold.

When phrased in such a manner, it usually means that animal testing is still conducted in order for companies to sell in countries that mandate it. A cruelty-free brand will choose to not sell in such countries. Unfortunately, Clinique, at the end of the day is driven primarily by a profit motive and does not want to let go of a huge consumer base such as that which exists in China.

So, in conclusion, yes. Clinique does tests on animals. And, no, it’s definitely not cruelty-free. In fact, its parent company Estée Lauder is definitely not. While Clinique might offer some vegan products, their overall stance on animal testing is clear: they are not a cruelty-free brand.

Companies like Clinique inadvertently participate in greenwashing, conveniently phrasing their policies in such a way as to not get into legal trouble. It is important for us, the conscious consumers, to read between the lines and make well-informed decisions. it is important for us to do our research and make an active effort to participate in sustainability.

Is Clinique Cruelty Free?

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Why Makeup Is Tested On Animals?

Animal testing is done to determine the toxicity levels of a product and to observe any skin or eye irritations caused by it. Animal testing rose to prominence and became the norm after the FDA (Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) was signed in the USA. Since this law required cosmetic products to be tested for safety before being sold, it incentivized companies to indulge in animal testing. The Draize test, an acute ocular toxicity test was conceived in 1944 and was essentially a method for assessing the irritancy potential of materials on human eyes. It became the gold standard for testing in the cosmetics industry.

Fast forward to the 2000s; with growing awareness of the topic of animal cruelty and alternatives to animal testing, a number of laws and regulations banning/ regulating animal testing came into place. However, due to the ambiguous nature of a lot of these laws as well as the disparities concerning said laws in various countries, the decision to practice animal testing was essentially left to the corporates themselves. Owing to this, unfortunately, animal testing is still prevalent. Companies want to market themselves as “clinically tested” by taking the easier, crueler alternative.

The USA lets the companies decide whether to test on animals or not. The EU has conflicting regulations and has issued a vague directive to avoid animal testing unless absolutely necessary which can of course be exploited by companies aiming to sell their products in the EU. While China ended mandatory animal testing for general cosmetics, it is still mandated for special cosmetics such as deodorants, sunscreens, hair removal products, etc. So, if foreign brands want to sell special cosmetics in China, they still need to conduct animal testing.

Why Cosmetic Animal Testing Is So Bad?

There is something inherently morally wrong with the idea of animal testing. It essentially views animal lives as being less valuable than those of humans. It takes advantage of the fact that animals cannot consent to being tested and subjects them to extremely torturous and rigorous experiments. Guinea pigs are completely shaved and smothered in chemicals, cosmetic compounds are poured into the eyes of rabbits, and rats are forced to inhale large doses of chemicals. Rats are subjected to these tests for months so that researchers can look for any long-term effects of these chemicals such as cancer. Pregnant rats are also subjected to these tests and then euthanized with their unborn babies. Moreover, animals are subjected to extremely large doses of these chemicals to determine the amount that would be lethal and lead to death. Animals that do not die in the testing are later on killed and disposed of in cruel ways often without any pain relief.

What’s sadder is that animal testing isn’t even scientifically accurate. Different species respond differently when exposed to chemicals so a product determined to be safe on a rat need not be safe on a human. Animal testing successfully predicts human application only 40% to 60% of the time. Advancements in technology have led to the discovery of new and improved methods to test cosmetics such as in vitro-testing which utilizes human cells and tissues, silicon testing which uses computer modeling techniques, and more.

Moreover, companies can also actively choose to use already-tested chemicals in their products. After the invention of millions of products and their long history of safe use, companies need not opt to use new ingredients and still come up with innovative cosmetics.

Best Cruelty-Free Alternatives For Clinique

It is difficult for those with a conscious mind to find cosmetic companies they can 100% trust. But do not worry! We did the research for you and are here to provide you with some of the best alternatives that are guaranteed cruelty-free.

1. Youth To The People
Youth To The People

Youth To The People is a skincare brand that combines superfoods and science to create effective, natural products. They believe in sustainable and conscious beauty, ensuring their ingredients are ethically sourced. Their formulations are made with powerful antioxidants and are free from harmful additives.

Buy Now
2. Biossance
Biossance

Biossance is a clean beauty brand that utilizes biotechnology to create skincare products that are effective, sustainable, and safe. They are known for their squalane-based products, which are derived from renewable sugarcane.

Buy Now
3. Derma E
Derma E

Derma E is a skincare brand that focuses on harnessing the power of vitamins, antioxidants, and botanicals to create high-performance formulations. They are committed to health, well-being, and the natural environment, producing eco-ethical, therapeutic skincare products.

Buy Now

4. Pacifica Beauty
Pacifica Beauty

Pacifica Beauty is a cruelty-free and 100% vegan brand that has been championing ethical beauty practices since its inception. With a mission rooted in love and compassion, Pacifica has been dedicated to creating eco-friendly products for nearly 25 years. Their commitment to the environment is evident in the sustainable ingredients they source and the eco-conscious packaging they design.

Buy Now

5. Herbivore Botanicals
Herbivore Botanicals

Herbivore Botanicals is a cruelty-free and entirely vegan brand known for its natural, high-quality skincare products. With a focus on harnessing the power of nature, Herbivore Botanicals crafts products that are not only effective but also environmentally responsible. Their dedication to ethical practices is reflected in their certifications from Leaping Bunny and PETA.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, while Clinique claims not to conduct animal testing, their policies indicate otherwise, especially in countries where such testing is mandated by law. As a brand under Estée Lauder, Clinique’s stance on animal testing is clear: they are not cruelty-free. This revelation is crucial for conscious consumers who value ethical practices in their skincare and makeup choices. Fortunately, there are numerous cruelty-free alternatives available, offering the opportunity to support brands that align with ethical and sustainable values. By choosing these alternatives, consumers can enjoy quality skincare and makeup products without compromising their commitment to animal welfare and environmental sustainability.

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Dr. Divya Goil

Dr. Divya Goil

Dr. Divya Goil is a Sustainability Researcher at Ecowiser. We empower individuals to make sustainable choices. I am a medical doctor with a passion for environmental conservation and have dedicated my career to finding solutions for a more sustainable future.

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