Charlotte Tilbury & Physician’s Formula are no Longer Cruelty Free, Selling Products in Mainland China

Two companies that have recently come to my attention have started selling products in China are Charlotte Tilbury and Physician’s Formula. Since I exclusively use products that are cruelty free, I felt it was only right to update my readers and my cruelty free guide to reflect these latest discoveries. I learned about these through Ethical Elephant and Cruelty Free Kitty, two excellent sources for information. So, what is the deal with each of these?

Charlotte Tilbury


For the last year or so, Charlotte Tilbury has been partnering with a Chinese store Little B. While they can sell eCommerce to China to avoid the mandated post-market animal testing since it goes directly to the customer, Little B has had the items in stock in their brick-and-mortar stores.

Which means if a customer complains, the Chinese authorities can test Charlotte Tilbury products in their post-market testing practices. Which means their products could be subject to animal testing at any time.

And for that reason, I have taken them off my list of cruelty free brands as there is a risk their products could be tested on animals.

Physician’s Formula

This next brand (Physician’s Formula) found itself in a similar situation as Wet N Wild did, where images started to circulate around the internet of their products being found in retail stores in mainland China. Any imported cosmetics in mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals.

The way around this would be to have the products produced in China; however, this does not spare their products from post-market testing. Which well they have cut back on animal testing, they have not eliminated it. There is no way to know when the Chinese authorities will pull products from shelves to test their products, so any company willingly selling there knows there is that possibility. Which is a shame, especially since Physician’s Formula on their website still claims to be cruelty free.

And for that reason, they are not cruelty free and have been removed from my list. Which is unfortunate, as I loved their Butter Bronzer and had recently purchased a new one before I learned this information. I will be donating that product, since I don’t want to promote/use something from a brand that’s not cruelty free.

In chance you are curious, this is Physician’s Formula response to the matter when asked about it:

Physicians Formula product sold in China are domestically produced—they are not the same product sold in North America, have no special use ingredients, and we are currently working with Leaping Bunny and their certification program. We have also remained cruelty-free according to Peta, as our products are domestically manufactured non-special use cosmetics. We are committed to not introducing any products that would require tests on animals, commit to withdrawing products from any region rather than allowing any tests on animals should they become required, and will inform Chinese authorities of this policy to ensure that they are notified and can withdraw from the market in the unlikely event that tests on animals become required for our product.

Alice Chen, VP of Marketing for Physicians Formula and Head of Corporate Communications for Markwins International

Again, post-market testing can always happen without the brand knowing. It doesn’t matter if they have a policy against it, the government can overrule that. And they are not part of Leaping Bunny pilot program, just as Wet n Wild is not. This is the only program that bypasses that law currently.

If I have reviewed anything from these brands in the past, it was when they were cruelty free so my opinion still stands and I’ll leave those posts up. But going forward, they will no longer be featured on my blog unless something changes. It’s sad to see these brands go from the list, but I’m not going to support brands that are okay with this when there are better and more modern alternatives than testing on animals. Even if it’s a small possibly that the testing may occur, it’s still a known fact that it could in post-market testing.


Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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