Is Kiehl’s Cruelty-Free and Vegan? (2022 Update)

Kiehl’s is a popular skincare brand, and many people swear by its products. But is Kiehl’s cruelty-free and vegan? Read on to learn more!

Is Kiehl’s Cruelty-Free?

No, Kiehl’s is not cruelty-free. That’s because the brand sells its products in countries like China, where it’s required by law to test all imported cosmetics on animals before they enter the market. This is called pre-market animal testing.

Is Kiehl’s Vegan?

No, Kiehl’s is not 100% vegan. Even though they might offer some products that do not contain animal-derived ingredients — not all of them are vegan. And since they test on animals, we recommend avoiding Kiehl’s’s products. 

Is Kiehl’s PETA certified?

No, PETA does not certify Kiehl’s as an animal cruelty-free brand.

Is Kiehl’s owned by a parent company?

Kiehl’s is owned by L’Oréal, which is not an animal cruelty-free brand. They may test on animals where require by law.

How do we determine whether a brand is cruelty-free or not?

Many brands often don’t tell the complete truth about their animal testing-policy. For example, some brands sell their products in mainland China. Others pay third parties to conduct the tests and still claim to be animal cruelty-free. 

To make sure a company is cruelty-free, we first make sure that they don’t sell their products in countries where animal testing is required. Then we take a look at their animal testing policies (if they have any) to look for discrepancies. And finally, we reach out to support and ask them a series of questions on whether the company (or its suppliers) test on animals.

Based on this, we decide whether a company is cruelty-free or not. Unfortunately, Kiehl’s didn’t pass this criteria. So, we can say it isn’t a cruelty-free brand. 

Difference between cruelty-free and vegan

The terms ‘cruelty-free’ and ‘vegan’ have grown in popularity over the past few years. People often use them interchangeably. But there’s a difference between the two.

Cruelty-free products are those that have not been tested on animals. This means that the ingredients and final product have not been subjected to any animal testing whatsoever. Cruelty-free brands also typically do not work with suppliers who test on animals, so you can be sure that no animal suffered in the making of the products. 

Vegan skincare products are developed without any animal-derived ingredients. This means that all of the ingredients in these products are plant-based, making them an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin. 

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Kiehl’s

Here are some of the leading cruelty-free brands that you can use:

  • Aubrey Organic
  • elf Cosmetics
  • Glossier
  • First Aid Beauty
  • Tata Harper
  • Tatcha
  • Paula’s Choice
  • Kate Somerville
  • Pacifica
  • Dr. Dennis Gross
  • Murad
  • Juice Beauty
  • Dermalogica


When it comes to quality, Kiehl’s is a good brand. However, it’s not 100% cruelty-free and vegan. It continues to sell its products in mainland China where their products are first tested on our furry friends. So, if you’re specifically looking for a brand that doesn’t test on animals, Kiehl’s is not a good option. 

What are your favorite animal cruelty-free brands? Do let us know in the comments below. 

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