Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Does Revlon Animal Test?

Revlon is a major drug store brand that is commonly considered a cruelty free item. Before I began this blog I purposely bought some of products and then the next day read that they weren't completely cruelty free, I believe because their ingredient suppliers did animal test. So, I emailed the company to get to the bottom of all this.

July 22, 2011
Thank you for your recent comments from the Revlon website and for voicing your concern to us.

Revlon is in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations related to animal testing. All ingredients used by Revlon and all products manufactured and sold by Revlon comply with both U.S. and European Union laws and regulations, including
full compliance with all Europe-wide bans on testing of cosmetics and cosmetics ingredients using animals, which are part of the European Cosmetics Directive.

Revlon has long been an industry leader in the elimination of animal testing. In 1986, Revlon was the first beauty products manufacturer to close down
its animal testing facilities completely. In addition, Revlon holds its suppliers of ingredients and components to the same standards. All chemical supplier purchase orders require confirmation by the supplier that it does not perform animal testing on materials supplied.

To assure product safety, Revlon relies on the judgment of pharmacologic, toxicologic and medical experts, non-animal alternative test methods and the established safety of formulations and ingredients. Revlon is committed to providing safe and effective products and will continue to comply with all government laws and regulations necessary to assure the quality, safety and efficacy of its products.

Thank you for your interest in our company. If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to let us know.

So, sounds pretty good to me. The only thing I'm confused about is the "European wide bans." I've been receiving all kinds of emails lately asking for me to sign petitions ensuring that the European wide ban on animal testing goes through. Based on information on the European Commission website here and my recent emails, it seems that steps to phase out animal testing to varying extents have been in practice since 2004. The deadline for finding alternative testing methods to replace all animal testing is in 2013. Therefore Revlon could be complying with the European animal testing ban and still be animal testing.

In fact, there are suddenly a lot of issues being raised about this 2013 timeline can be met, and it seems if enough alternative tests are not "developed and validated before March 2013" testing will still continue.

You're probably wondering why I'm acting all weird with Revlon when the email seems to clear them, right? Hopefully you have already read my post on the Leaping Bunny program to the right under July 2011. Leaping Bunny uses third party auditors to check up on companies to verify that they adhere to the animal testing guidelines they tell us they are using. Any company can be put on the Leaping Bunny list for FREE. Leaping Bunny has a page on their website (here) asking people to contact Revlon and insist on them taking the pledge, since they already declare that they are already cruelty free and not only that but practicly a pioneer for animal rights. It isn't explicitly said anywhere, but it seems Leaping Bunny has been trying to get Revlon on their list for a while.
Regarding why a company may not want to join the program and take the pledge, the Leaping Bunny website states:
"Some companies choose not to join the Leaping Bunny Program because they continue to conduct or commission animal testing for their ingredients or formulations, or they wish to reserve the right to test on animals in the future. Other companies simply may not realize the importance of joining the program to demonstrate their commitment against the use of animals in product testing."

Overall, I feel as if I need to exercise caution in regards to Revlon. If the email is enough for you that is fine; it would have been enough for me if I hadn't seen the page on leapingbunny.org. Something about this seems not right to me so I'm going to stear clear of their products until I find a definitive answer.

As far as subsidiaries are concerned, I have only been able to find Mirage Cosmetics which Revlon purchased in March of this year.

I just found this article on uncaged.co.uk regrading EU laws regarding animal testing. There are no photographs but some of the descriptions are graphic regarding how animals can be treated in labratories. This is a change trying to be pushed through as of September 2011. If this is legal in the UK, which is a EU country, I'm confused what it not allowed under EU law.


  1. Revlon also own Mitchum deoderants... I am in the process of going cruelty free with all my products - thanks for your helpful post!

    1. Congratulations on going cruelty free!

      Thank you for telling me about Mitchum. I have been wanting to check out their whole business setup again. I'll edit this post as soon as I can but until then I found a list of their subsidiaries under Investor Relations here:

  2. In regard to your update: UK is not a EU country. They don't even have the same currency. They have some ties to EU, but not all laws and regulations are the same.

    1. Yes, the UK is a member of EU. They, like a few other EU countries, have reserved the right not to use the euro. You can easily google this online.

      I do not know how binding and uniform all laws and regulations are across the EU, as this is mainly an economic entity, but as this post is discussing a regulation on beauty products I believe it falls under the realm of economics and should be fairly uniform.

  3. FYI, Revlon DOES test on animals now...erg!

    I, like you, was very happy for many years thinking that they didn't, but they are now off all the "do not test" lists. Deceitful scummy company!

    I think this person's blog sums up my feelings best... http://carolyntestedcubbyapproved.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/trust-issues.html

    1. Yeah, Gretchen. When I did my own research into Revlon I quickly realized their statements were misleading (as you can see above). It's sad that companies are so willing to purposefully mislead their loyal customers for the almighty dollar.

      The blog is very interesting, but Carolyn, for all her good intentions, didn't look further into the issue and was also using PETA's list which I find to be sub-par.

      This is why I tell people to listen for "No, we do not test" rather than "we follow all these guidelines." The European ban of cosmetics was never designed to go into full effect until 2013, and as of now, it looks like the ban is falling apart and being replaced by other legislation that allows for animal testing.

  4. I had read a while back that they didn't test so when I went to target today to find some red lipstick I bought a Revlon shade. Now I feel horrible that I bought it :( I know e.l.f cosmetics doesn't test as it says that don't test with a bunny logo on all of their packaging. I will be on the lookout and see what else that company has. I've gone almost 100% cruelty free on my products. I'm using up the products that I still have left that were tested, which are few and far between, and then I will just check frequently on different companies and products.

    1. Don't feel bad, Courtney! If the store is close by and you haven't used the product yet, feel free to return it and let the store know why. I like elf and wet n' wild products which are both inexpensive and can be found in quite a few chain stores like Target, CVS, Walgreens.

      Unless a product has the Leaping Bunny logo (look for my post on this under July 2011) or Vegan Society logo, I do not trust other images or anything else that says the product is cruelty free. These are regulated by the company selling the product so it could mean anything.

      Congrats on going cruelty free through! Remember deciding to be cruelty free is a journey not a destination. We just have to do our best.

  5. I, like many others, had trusted Revlon, and now have to find out that they do indeed conduct animal tests. Well, Revlon you just lost my business. I buy cruelty-free products. Anything else is not acceptable to me. Thank you, Rebekah, for doing important work to educate consumers.


    1. Thanks, Katja! :)

      I know its a rather cynical outlook, but I find one needs to be skeptical and thoroughly research cruelty free claims since we have so often discovered they are hollow declarations.

  6. I am writing to you from South Africa and regrettably found out yesterday purely by accident that Revlon does test their products on animals. A Revlon consultant told me that a young lady came up to her in a shopping mall this week and told her that Revlon tests their products on animals. Now I am so sorry that I bought their lipstick last month, and will never buy another Revlon product. Revlon are being duplicitous by saying they do not conduct animal tests. Shame on them!

    1. Hi, Lorraine! I understand your anger. I actually had a similar experience with Revlon. Before I understood how to accurately research cruelty free claims, I bought some Revlon nail polishes specifically because I thought they were cruelty free. Imagine how annoyed I was when I realized they weren't!

  7. Hi!

    Thank you for clarifying that... it makes me sad since Revlon was a really great brand for me :( I want to write to the CEO so he can join the Leaping Bunny program but I live in Turkey and they don't provide an email :(

    I love NYX cosmetics, do you know if they test on animals?


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