Ethical Consumer delivers damning verdict on makeup brands – Daily Mail

You might pride yourself on buying makeup that’s not tested on animals and reading the labels carefully to look out for chemicals that may harm the environment. 

But a report by Ethical Consumer magazine has given poor ratings to hugely popular cosmetic brands on factors such as workers’ rights, environmental policies and animal testing. 

Researchers have unravelled the often complex structure behind brands to reveal how customers may be buying into an unethical system without even realising. 

For instance, a makeup brand may advertise itself as not being tested on animals, but be owned by a larger company that is not cruelty free.

Popular brands such as No 7 makeup, Benefit cosmetics and Maybelline scored less than five out of 20 for ethics, because of the policies of their parent companies.

Mail Online has contacted all the brands featured below for further comment.  

BOOTS  

A report by Ethical Consumer magazine has revealed how products such as Soap & Glory may not be tested on animals, but is linked to the practice via a parent company 

A report by Ethical Consumer magazine has revealed how products such as Soap & Glory may not be tested on animals, but is linked to the practice via a parent company 

A report by Ethical Consumer magazine has revealed how products such as Soap & Glory may not be tested on animals, but is linked to the practice via a parent company 

Several of Boots’ brands, Sleek MakeUP, No 7 and Soap & Glory were at the bottom of the table for ethical policies.

Sleek MakeUp came right at the bottom of the table with just one point out of 20, with one contributing factor being animal testing. 

While Sleek MakeUp is not tested on animals, its parent company is Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA).

WBA does not test on animals, but its suppliers do ‘in order to meet legislative and regulatory requirements and protect health’. 

Researchers from Ethical Consumer magazine ranked brands out of 20  on everything from labour policies to environmental reporting to use of palm oil and animal testing 

Researchers from Ethical Consumer magazine ranked brands out of 20  on everything from labour policies to environmental reporting to use of palm oil and animal testing 

Researchers from Ethical Consumer magazine ranked brands out of 20  on everything from labour policies to environmental reporting to use of palm oil and animal testing 

‘As a result, suppliers of ingredients, components and finished goods used in Walgreens Boots Alliance may have to or continue to carry out tests on animals at the request of regulators.’

Similarly, No 7 and Soap & Glory fell down on their animal testing rating for the same reason. 

A spokesperson for Boots told MailOnline: ‘No animal testing is undertaken by Walgreens Boots Alliance. For our own product brands, we do not conduct or commission animal testing on products, or on ingredients used in these products,

Popular high street makeup brands from Boots, such as No 7, Soap & Glory and Sleek MakeUP scored poorly in the research 

Popular high street makeup brands from Boots, such as No 7, Soap & Glory and Sleek MakeUP scored poorly in the research 

Popular high street makeup brands from Boots, such as No 7, Soap & Glory and Sleek MakeUP scored poorly in the research 

‘Until satisfactory replacements are available and all regulatory authorities stop requiring animal tests, we recognise that other companies will continue to carry out some animal tests in order to meet legislative and regulatory requirements and protect health. 

‘As a result, suppliers of ingredients, components and finished goods used in Walgreens Boots Alliance may have to or continue to carry out tests on animals at the request of regulators. 

‘Recognising that it is necessary to develop validated alternative methods, we give financial and technical support to the development and introduction of alternative methods.’

BENEFIT 

Benefit scored a disappointing 1.5 out of 20, based on findings on its parent company LVMH. 

LMVH has not signed up to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for its palm oil policy.

The practice of ‘slash and burn’ to clear land for planting the controversial vegetable oil used in everything from cosmetics to biscuits is a major cause of catastrophic wildfires. 

A report by Amnesty International last year found a ‘wide range of abuses’ at Indonesian plantations, including child labour and exposure to toxic chemicals.

Expansion of plantations also infringes on the habitats of endangered species such as elephants, rhinos and tigers.

Additionally, Benefit cosmetics are sold in China where government regulations require products to be tested on animals. 

Benefit told MailOnline: ‘Benefit does not test our products on animals. 

‘We are deeply committed to the elimination of animal testing… We are one of only a few companies to have invested in creating our own internal department to test raw materials and ingredients to further ensure the quality of our products and the satisfaction of our customers, which is our top priority.

‘As a result, all Benefit products undergo very strict tolerance tests using non-animal methods during the development of each product to ensure quality and safety prior to market.

Some customers expressed concern regarding the situation in China. Our products are made in Europe and for imported cosmetics, the Chinese health authorities order some test on animals: they require companies to make their products available to be tested in state-certified laboratories for registration purposes only, as it is currently their only recognized method to demonstrate product safety.

We are hopeful that alternative testing methods will be adopted worldwide and we will see an end to animal testing. 

Benefit makeup is owned by LVMH, which has been criticised by Ethical Consumer for failing to sign up to responsible use of palm oil 

Benefit makeup is owned by LVMH, which has been criticised by Ethical Consumer for failing to sign up to responsible use of palm oil 

Benefit makeup is owned by LVMH, which has been criticised by Ethical Consumer for failing to sign up to responsible use of palm oil 

SUPERDRUG 

The popular high street chain received a poor score of 2.5 out of 20 from Ethical Consumer, falling down in categories such as environmental reporting. 

Researchers requested an account of the company’s environmental activities from Superdrug, but were told that it does not produce its own report. 

According to the company’s Corporate Social Sustainability policy, it has listed plans such as reducing emissions and making stores energy efficient. 

But there was no quantifying of what these targets entail or dates set to reach them and no reporting of the company’s environmental performance to date, therefore it received Ethical Consumer’s worst possible rating.  

Superdrug scored poorly, partly because of its lack of a clear environmental policy

Superdrug scored poorly, partly because of its lack of a clear environmental policy

Superdrug scored poorly, partly because of its lack of a clear environmental policy

YVES SAINT LAURENT, MAYBELLINE, LANCOME AND L’OREAL

YSL’s eternally popular Touche Eclat is a must for the make-up bag of any self-respecting beauty junkie. 

But unfortunately YSL cosmetics scored just three out of 20, thanks to being 100 per cent owned by L’Oreal, which is in turn part owned by Nestle. 

Maybelline is also owned by L’Oreal and received the same score, and the same goes for Lancome.  

This is partly because Ethical Consumer was not satisfied with L’Oreal’s commitment to end the use of microbeads by the end of 2017. 

Maybelline scored poorly as it is owned by parent company L'Oreal

Maybelline scored poorly as it is owned by parent company L'Oreal

Maybelline scored poorly as it is owned by parent company L’Oreal

It has committed to abolishing polyethylene microbeads from its exfoliants, cleansers and shower gels. 

But it did not widen the commitment to eliminate microbeads from all its products, or to get rid of all types made from plastics other than polyethylene.

L’Oreal does not test its products on animals, except where required by law and in China authorities insists on carrying out animal tests on finished products before going to market.

A spokesperson for L’Oréal told MailOnline: ‘In 1989 L’Oréal completely ceased testing its products on animals, and since 2013, L’Oréal has completely stopped testing ingredients on animals.

‘Only one exception prevails for L’Oréal just like all other cosmetic companies: the health authorities in China require some tests on animals for certain products or ingredients.

‘For over 10 years, L’Oréal has been committed to working alongside the Chinese authorities and scientists to have alternative testing methods recognised, and permit the cosmetic regulation to evolve towards a total and definite elimination of animal testing.

‘Thanks to this, since 2014, certain products manufactured and sold in China like shampoo, body wash or make-up are no longer tested on animals.’

Yves Saint Laurent make-up is owned by L'Oreal, which came in for criticism from Ethical Consumer magazine 

Yves Saint Laurent make-up is owned by L'Oreal, which came in for criticism from Ethical Consumer magazine 

Yves Saint Laurent make-up is owned by L’Oreal, which came in for criticism from Ethical Consumer magazine