Let’s look into the Biore brand’s current animal testing policy and cruelty-free status in 2020.
Is Biore Cruelty-Free?
Is Biore a cruelty-free brand? NO! One of the main reasons why Biore cannot be considered cruelty-free is because its products are available in China and by law, all cosmetics imported and sold in physical stores in the Chinese market have to undergo animal testing.
Biore is a Japanese brand and renowned worldwide for its cleansing products and they follow the EU conventions which bans all kinds of testing on animals but because they sell in China and are required to finance these tests so that their products are deemed safe for use and permitted for sale; they are not cruelty-free.
Is Biore Sold in China?
Is Biore sold in China? YES! Biore products are available in mainland China.
China has a $32 billion cosmetic industry and is reported to use almost 300,000 animals each year for the required product testing.
Although there has been changes to the laws regarding animal testing and domestic brands are not mandated to do these tests, all international imports of cosmetics, however have to undergo testing on animals before the products are released into the market. Barring soaps and oral care, all other products fall under the cosmetic category.
Also apart from pre market tests, any product can be taken off the market shelf and tested for, especially after a consumer complaint and the officials are not liable to inform the company incase of such tests. These unregulated tests are the main reason why any brand that chooses to sell their products in China cannot be considered cruelty-free.
Is Biore Vegan?
Is Biore Vegan? NO! For a brand to be vegan, not only should the products have ingredients (active and inactive) which are derived from plants entirely but also it should not be involved in any process, directly or indirectly in which animals are subjected to any form of cruelty.
Biore on its website claims to be vegan friendly and also has the cruelty-free and vegan-friendly labels in each of its product pages. However, this can be interpreted as greenwashing its consumers as complete information is not made available and just by stating that they do not use products derived from animals, does not make it vegan friendly.
Biore has a list of common ingredients and information about them on their ‘my commitment’ page which drives home the fact that complete transparency is not practiced by the brand. They may use plant based ingredients as the core active ingredient in its products, however there are many inactive ingredients that make up a whole product and these can be obtained from animals. And hence whether the brand actually uses all ingredients that are plant-based is certainly a grey area.
Also because Biore sells its products in China where testing on animals is a mandatory law, the brand fails both criterias and that is why Biore is NOT vegan.
What is Biore’s Animal Testing Policy?
Biore’s Animal testing policy is mentioned on its official website on the ‘our commitment’ page. It states:
We know you LOVE animals and so do we! That’s why all the Bioré® products in our western markets are cruelty-free and vegan friendly. We do not test our products or the materials within them on animals and we do not use any animal-derived ingredients.
We follow the conventions of the EU and other governmental bans on animal testing for cosmetics. Occasionally, laws and regulations require testing of materials outside of the cosmetics category. Since the 1980’s, Kao Corporation has been actively working together with industry associations and relevant third parties to find robust alternatives to animal testing which have been successfully adopted as international guidelines.
The statement that laws and regulations require testing of materials is vaguely mentioned so as to not openly commit to be involved in animal testing. It also does not mention if their suppliers test on animals. So as a brand they may not directly test on animals but when required by law, they do consent to it.
Is Biore Owned By a Parent Company?
YES! Biore is owned by Kao Corporation, a chemical and cosmetic company with its headquarters in Japan.
What Does Biore Sell?
Biore is a skin-care brand with its main focus on cleansing and sells products like pore strips, scrubs, cleansers, micellar water and face masks.
What is Biore’s Current Cruelty-Free Position?
Biore’s cruelty-free position in 2020 is that it is NOT a cruelty-free brand.
Biore is classified as a not cruelty-free brand because it adheres to one or more of the 5 criterias
1) A company directly engages in animal testing
2) A company’s supplier’s engage in animal testing
3) A company permits a third party to test on their behalf
4) A company tests on animals when required by law
5) A company sells products in stores in mainland China despite being aware of the country’s mandatory animal testing policy
I Use Biore Products. What Can I Do to Help?
Write to them! Let the brand know that the world is going through an environmentally conscious shift and consumers are more aware. Cruelty free and vegan friendly are more than just labels and the brand as a company should truly believe in it and follow their claims and not use it as a marketing tactic to greenwash its consumers. They should have every information available to back up their claims.