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Is Shiseido Cruelty Free and Vegan? (2022 Update)

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Shiseido is not cruelty free because their products are tested on animals where required by law (in mainland China).

Additionally, Shiseido is not 100% vegan as a brand. 

To learn more about this brand and find out why they’re not cruelty free, keep on reading!

By the way, if you’re looking for new Korean beauty products to add to your beauty routine, make sure to check out the last section of this post where you’ll find some of the best Shiseido cruelty free alternatives.

Let’s dive right in!

Is Shiseido cruelty free? Are Shiseido products tested on animals?

Shiseido is NOT cruelty free.

In order to be cruelty free, brands:

  • Must not test their finished products or ingredients on animals
  • Must make sure that their suppliers don’t test on animals
  • Must not commission third parties to test their products on animals
  • Must not sell their products in stores in mainland China, or other countries where animal testing is still required by law

Let’s look at Shiseido’s animal testing policy (I’ve highlighted the important part):

Shiseido has established a safety assurance system based on alternative methods and has discontinued animal testing in cosmetics/quasi drugs that are developed in April, 2013 or later. This excludes cases in which we must explain the safety to society.

We will continue to develop effective alternative methods in the future and proactively and sternly work with administrative agencies in various countries with the aim of establishing alternative methods as official methods (to be certified as official experimental methods according to laws and regulations of various countries/regions).

Source: Shiseido

So, they admit that they test on animals in “cases in which they must explain the safety to society”. But what does that mean?

This refers to cases in which we must prove again the safety of ingredients that are in the market and the only option in order to do so is animal testing, as well as cases in which animal testing is essential to assure the safety of cosmetics in some countries*.

*some countries : In China, in order to guarantee the safety of imported cosmetics, safety studies including animal testing may be required.

Source: Shiseido

So, Shiseido admits that their products are sold in mainland China, where animal testing is required by law.

Currently, all brands that sell their products in stores in mainland China have to agree to have their products tested on animals, so they can’t be cruelty free.

Therefore, Shiseido is not cruelty free.

Keep on reading for more information!

Is Shiseido sold in China?

Shiseido is sold in mainland China where animal testing is still required by law.

Why can’t cruelty free brands sell in mainland China?

Animal testing is still happening for products sold in physical stores in mainland China.

Pre-market animal testing is required for all special-use imported products, and non-routine post-market testing on animals may also be done in cases of customer complaints.

However, please keep in mind that this doesn’t apply to products sold in stores at the airports, or in Hong Kong.

Also, products can be sold online and shipped to mainland China without being tested on animals.

Is Shiseido owned by a parent brand? If yes, is it cruelty free?

Shiseido is not owned by a parent company.

Shiseido is a Japanese multinational cosmetic and personal care company that owns several beauty brands, most of which are also not cruelty free.

Is Shiseido vegan?

Shiseido is not 100% vegan. Some of their products contain animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.

Additionally, please note that since Shiseido products may be tested on animals in China and are therefore not cruelty free, I wouldn’t consider them vegan-friendly.

Cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Shiseido

Shiseido is a popular brand that sells mostly skincare products, but they also sell makeup and other beauty products.

There are so many beauty brands that are cruelty free!

That’s why, in my opinion, there’s really no excuse for supporting brands that test on animals.

Some of the best cruelty free alternatives to Shiseido are:


The Ordinary
Youth to the People
Paula’s Choice


Milk Makeup
Urban Decay
IT Cosmetics

If you want to discover more Korean beauty and other awesome skincare brands, check out my post on Cruelty Free Korean Skin Care: 7 Best K-Beauty Brands (2021 Update) or my post on the 7 Best Cruelty Free Skin Care Brands in 2021 That Are Also 100% Vegan and Sustainable.

Now it’s your turn!

What are your favorite cruelty free brands?

Let me know in the comments below!

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