Bath and Body Works Canada: Our Final Product Is Never Tested On Animals. What does this mean?

Other / Canada


So tonight I was trying out the “one minute manicure” that I recently purchased at Bath and Body Works.  While reading the directions I came across the statement “We never test our final product on animals.”

Say what? What does this mean? Does that mean that they test all the products before they are finalized on animals? That the individual ingredients are tested on animals? Or does it mean that the Bath and Body Works employees don’t personally test the final product shipments on animals, but the companies that actually make the product do?

Generally when a product doesn’t test on animals they are pretty clear about it.  This was really vague and has me wondering if some quick wording has made us think they are an animal friendly company.

I did some online research (read Google) and came across a pretty big mix of yes and no’s to my quandary.  Now I’m just really confused. I’ve found a majority of answers such as

Often times, products claim to be “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals,” but their claims may only refer to the finished product. As you may be aware, the majority of animal testing occurs at the ingredient level. Similarly, some companies may state, “We do not test on animals,” when in fact they merely contract other companies to do the testing. These kinds of claims are often confusing and misleading for consumers Source 

Now; I am not a memer of Peta, or an activist but I find this very interesting and a tad misleading to consumers.  Basically my final conclusion is that Bath and Body Works does not personally test their final product received on animals themselves, but anything before they receive their product from companies, ingredients, testing etc is up for interpretation.

26 responses to “Bath and Body Works Canada: Our Final Product Is Never Tested On Animals. What does this mean?”

  1. Alicia says:

    Yup, basically all of the INGREDIENTS used in the product were tested on animals, but the final product itself (with everything all mixed together) is not tested on animals… It is VERY misleading, especially if consumers are unable to decript that statement:(
    Learned that in my Anthro class…

  2. psychojo213 says:

    ALL ingredient testing has been done on animals a some points in history. Any company that claims they do not test on animals can only do so because someone else has done the testing in the past…they are just piggy-backing off the research of others.

  3. caroman says:

    I think this is their way of saying ‘not tested on animals’ so they are covered legally. They can’t claim that it’s not tested on animals because they don’t know (choose to ignore?) whether or not the source ingredients have been tested on animals.
    psychojo213 makes a good point of saying that all ingredients have been tested on animals at one point or another. Question is ‘are new ingredients still being tested on animals’

  4. Bride to Be says:

    I actually think it’s most honest to say that the final product is not tested on animals as compared to “not tested on animals” because it’s admitting the reality of cosmetics… they are tested on animals so that they can be proven to be safe for humans.

  5. Stephania says:

    Interesting post. Although I do enjoy going in to BBW to take a whiff, I am slowly shying away from their products ’cause I think they’re sketchy and compose, entirely of chemicals. Who knows what the long-term effects will be!

  6. Lisa says:

    I agree, I have come across this often as well – I suppose they hope they’re customers will interpret that as they do not test their product whatsoever on animals – which as we know is not necessarily the case. I also am not a member of Peta, however I do have a strong personal desire to protect the rights of animals – and I don’t agree with animal testing so I find it very interesting that you have decided to expand on this concept. Kudos to you !

  7. Sally says:

    I think my cuz said it the best on my facebook “The final product testing is on the humans”

  8. Tracy says:

    Sorry in advance if I offend anyone, however, I agree with Lisa in that I believe animals should be protected. They need a voice, they didn’t sign up for this. I find animal testing repulsive. Why not sign up some criminals? Murderers, rapists, you know the real worthy test rats. They can earn their room and board instead of us paying for it.
    P.S. I am not a member of PETA. Thank You for the heads up I am reconsidering shopping at BBW

  9. Reality says:

    MAN! After reading this =.= I went out and checked out dove, apparently they also do animal testing! WHAT THE! =.= I use the sensitive cream for my face now I dont know if it has been tested on animal! I should send them an email asking if it was done on animal or not! I have two parrots, a huge fish, two gerbil, now I honestly feel bad! Apparently LYSOL USES ANIMAL TESTING AS WELL =.= MAKES ME MAD! I use their product =.=……Can someone check if the sensitive day cream for dove is safe? :S or else I will just send them an email demanding a response.

  10. kissjo says:

    I love the products at BBW, however, I stopped using them about a year ago when I found out how harmful their products were not only for my skin, but for the environment as well. I have since started using natural products from Rocky mountain Soap Co., and have found a huge difference in the way my skin feels. Reading this post just reinforces my desire to continue using products that are safer not only for me, but for the environment, and animals.

  11. Seaglass says:

    The bottom line for all these companies is money, there are lists online of safe companies to buy from 🙂

    I never buy anything tested on animals if at all possible. No animal should have to suffer for my sake.

  12. BMyltoft says:

    Ive been watching what companies I buy from alot more recently.

    Here is petas list of companies that DO test on animals,

    And here the list of those who DONT test on animals,

    Hope this will be helpful to some. 🙂

  13. Sally says:

    Well, Im still working on research. Some anti animal testing sites say they do test on animals, other say they don’t.

    They are owned by Limited brands whom claim to not test unless they have to. But they also just brush off claims or toxic and hazardous chemicals in their products as, its in other stuff too (Formaldehyde as an example)

  14. muffinman says:

    I don’t understand why people are against animal testing. Are you gonna test those product on human??

  15. tattoodprincess says:

    I’ve noticed this before too, which is why I no longer buy their products (plus they leave my skin super dry), so I googled and found this on the peta2 website long story short.. “it sells its products in the U.S. and the U.K. and uses the same packaging in both countries. At some time, most ingredients have been tested on animals, so England does not allow a company to state “no animal testing” or use anything to that effect on its products, even if it has not conducted animal testing of ingredients.” So it’s pretty much how it sounds…every ingredient along the way was rubbed in some bunnies eyes but not the final hand lotion :/

  16. Sally says:

    See, I found that too Tattooed princess and I totally believed that UK mumbo jumbo until I checked out some of my lotions and potions that were MADE in the UK that say “this product is not tested on animals” so if thats the law that they have to state that then why do my products that were made in the UK not have the strange wording? The ingredients in them are most certainly common.


  17. Tlvncen says:

    All beauty companies are like this. At some point in time (as many have already stated) one or another of the products have been tested on animals. THE BODY SHOP prides themself on the fact that their products are not tested on animals – but this still simply pertains to the final product. If all of this information is “news to you” i wonder why you would put products on your skin that you didnt know anything about? Maybe it’s just me but I sure like to know what’s going into my body, being absorbed into my bloodstream.

  18. Charmaine says:

    Thats why I don’t but any products from Bath and Body Works, they are not an animal cruelty free Company. The truth of the matter is, it is not necessary to test the product ingredients on animals, its not the law here or in many countries, its totally unnecessary. Peta has great links on their website concerning companies that do and do not test on animals. There are a lot better and more natural products out there, at good prices, that don’t test on animals. If your upset about this, I suggest you write the company and let them know how you feel, thats the best way for making changes!

  19. Lu says:

    There’s a great site called that I go to from time to time to check out the toxicity in a product I’m using or interested in using. It’s listed under the sub category health/toxics in Cosmetic Database or you can go directly to the page by It’s awesome because you can look up most products to see how toxic they are, their ingredients and whether they were tested on animals or not (most are unfortunately). They score products from low (0-2) to high (7-10).

  20. Kelly says:

    I think it should be reiterated that animal testing DOES NOT equal animal cruelty. Lab animals are an essential and necessary part of any research, that includes all the common drugs we use, cosmetic products, as well as to advance the medical and scientific field. If you are against “animal testing” in general, then I assume you are also against cancer research, taking an advil for your pain, and even consuming “herbal” products for health purposes.

    The question that you should be asking if you are concerned about animal rights is not whether there IS animal testing involved in a certain product or not, but whether the lab animals are being TREATED humanely. At all research universities, all research done with animals go through strict ethics approval and their care is tightly monitored. Heck, at my university they treat animals better than some of the human participants! Whether this applies to privately funded cosmetic companies is a matter of debate.

  21. P says:

    Thanks for posting those 2 links , BMyltoft! I only purchase cruelty free items and only use non-cruelty free items if they are given as a gift (no sense in wasting it..i’m not rich :P)

    Unfortunately with the PETA list many companies can make it on to the list as long as their final product is not tested on animals. As some would say…only 50% cruelty free.

    The above website has a list of companies that don’t test their final products on animals but they ALSO source their ingredients only from suppliers that don’t test on animals as well. 100% cruelty free! Not all companies that are 100% cruelty free are on the list, such as Method products.

  22. P says:

    To Kelly

    I’m glad your university is responsible and treat the animals nicely but it is an oxymoron to say animals are treated humanely in any kind of experiment. These animals did not volunteer to be tested on and to be put in a cage. They are being held against their will – already, that isn’t humane.

    Not all universities treat their lab animals well. There have been many cruelty cases in USA universities. Unfortunately, animal welfare is not always regulated. Again, it’s great that your university treats the lab animals well but please don’t generalize and say all universities treat their lab animals well.

  23. Kelly says:

    P: It is ultimately your decision if you choose to go with the extremist PETA view. Companies that use animals in an ethically appropriate way are not trying to harm their animals, but are only being responsible to provide safe products to humans. What’s not responsible is NOT testing of the product at all. Would you rather humans endure the consequences of potentially harmful products then? Are you saying that a rat’s life is equivalent to a humans? Would you rather save a rat lab over a child suffering from cancer? Where do you draw the moral line? Isn’t keeping a pet the equivalent of inslaving them to live with you as they did not choose to?

    There are indeed cases of animal cruelty, but what’s reported in the news is not an accurate portrayal of most animal research at universities and research hospitals. Don’t let these few cases skew your view on how much care most animals are given in research.

  24. P says:

    Not supporting animal testing doesn’t make one a PETA extremeist. You are generalizing those who don’t support animal testing. I support most of PETA’s mission and values except for the fact that they don’t believe domesticated animals should be pets. Through many years of people living with animals, many animals have become domesticated. Having a pet is only enslavement if they are locked up in a cage 24/7, are not treated properly, and/or forced to provide entertainment to humans. And how is it enslavement when they are happy, full and treated well?

    I don’t support animal testing because there are other ways to test a product’s efficacy using non-animal tests. I never said a product shouldn’t be tested before it is made available to the public. I just said I don’t think it’s necessary to tests products on animals. With medical research, a few have come up with ways to perform tests without the use of animals or are striving to find ways to do so. I just don’t think it’s necessary to test on animals when there are other ways (w/o the use of animals) to find results.

    Btw, if a product can potentially be harmful if tested on a human being, I don’t think you should be using it anyways. For your own sake.

  25. Tracy says:

    Amen P. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Thank you to everyone for the websites. I will be doing my homework tonight!

  26. AnnV says:

    Animal testing to prove whether or not my hand lotion moisturizes for the full 24 hours, well, that definitely falls into the unnecessary category. I’ll agree with P on that. As well, it’s completely ridiculous to test the eye irritancy of a compound by rubbing it in the eye of a rabbit. Yes, it’s cruel, but beyond that, it logically makes no sense as a) rabbits don’t have tear ducts, and b) they are restrained so they can’t manually rub the eye — two key differences that make the test silly for predicting reactivity in human. Hello! When you get something in your eye, the first thing that happens is it spontaneously waters to flush the irritant, and you generally rub it to aid this process. Additionally, if the properties of the product (ie. high acidity) guarantee irritation, then why require the test? This is one test I agree should go.

    HOWEVER, in some cases, animal testing IS required either by the government or simply because of the impracticality of doing a lifetime or multi-generational study on humans. For a product to which someone will be exposed regularly and long-term (read: medication or regularly used cosmetics, etc.), certain proof of it’s safety & efficacy must be provided. Those above are correct in pointing out that many of the chemicals used in our every day cosmetics have already been tested, therefore companies can use them freely without additional testing (which they misleadingly boast means their company is cruelty free). That said, there are over 30,000 known chemicals registered with the European regulatory body (North America has similar numbers), but they obviously cannot all be tested. Therefore they are prioritized as to which pose the greatest risk due to having greatest exposure to the public. To verify the safety of these chemicals, there are a number of types of test (generally on animals) that must be undertaken. I’ve already mentioned the the Eye & Skin Irritancy Study on rabbits is silly. An Acute Study (short term: are there negative side effects?) could be done in humans in practicality, but not ethically. However, a Chronic Study must cover 90% of the lifespan of a test species (not practical on humans, but only 18 months if using mice). For Reproduction and Teratogenicity (birth defects) Studies, again, where are we going to ethically (& legally) find women who are willing to be administered a chemical to test both pre- and post-natal effects? This is instead typically done on rats and mice. Additionally, this type of study is required to go a generation further to verify the offspring didn’t ultimately develop reproductive abnormalities or pass genetic defects. You can imagine the impossibility of studying three generations of humans for birth defects before approving a chemical for use!

    Again, for those of you who insist that animals have no choice and that animal-testing should be avoided on principle, I do not disagree as far as generic cosmetic claims go (soft skin, shiny supple hair, whatever). But for safety, these tests often MUST be done, and this is not just for cosmetics. Drugs, pesticides, fertilizers, house hold cleaners… everything we are exposed to on a regular basis is a chemical! (Aside: For those who say, but it’s “natural”, I am a Chemist by education, and I promise you, Mother Nature was the best mad scientist of us all!). As an example of my point above, it was the absence of the requirement for these types of tests that allowed Thalidomide to be prescribed to pregnant women in the 50s. It was only after that tragedy that multi-generational Reproductive & Teratogenicity Studies became required for pharmaceuticals.

    In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need to test on animals at all. I genuinely wish this was the case. But for those of you on birth-control, or SSRIs or blood-pressure medication… those of you who use moisturizers or makeup (and yes, chemicals can be absorbed through your skin)… those of you who light scented candles or Febreeze or use (& inadvertently breath) house hold cleaners… wouldn’t you like to know that they don’t cause cancer or birth defects?


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