L’Oréal do test on animals. They also go through great lengths to conceal this. For example on L’Oréal’s website they promote their policy on animal testing as follows:
L’Oréal no longer tests any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others. An exception would only be made if regulatory authorities demanded it for safety or regulatory purposes.
If the exception is “only when regulatory authorities demand it“, then this means they do test on animals. Many countries (such as China) require new ingredients to be tested on animals.
L’Oréal does try to clear this up, but only provides another smokescreen response confirming they still test on animals.
What do you mean by “An exception could be made if authorities required it for human safety or regulatory purposes”?
The exception is very rare and stems from the variety of regulations worldwide. Certain authorities have not yet accepted alternative methods in their country and could hypothetically require us to conduct safety evaluations on animals. Also, in response to questions raised by the scientific community and by civil society, local authorities could choose to reexamine the safety data of a known family of ingredients, and could require new safety data.
In addition L’Oréal claims they don’t label their products ‘cruelty free’ due to the term being “ambiguous”. The reason is most likely due to the fact it won’t standard up to Advertising Standards Authorities.
L’Oreal has in the past also unsuccessfully tried to block animal testing changes which are in favour of the animals. For example on 2002, after 13 years of discussion, the European Union agreed to phase in a near-total ban on the sale of animal-tested cosmetics by 2009, and to ban all cosmetics-related animal testing. L’Oreal protested the proposed ban by lodging a case at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, asking that the ban be quashed.