L’Oreal bans animal-hair brushes due to pressure from animal rights groups

Read Time:   |  15th January 2021

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The L'Oreal group has finally banned animal-hair from its brushes, due to mounting pressure from animal rights groups and the public.


L’Oreal – one of the largest cosmetic brands in the world – has finally banned the use of animal-hair in its make-up brushes. The new ban will extend to all animals including goats and badgers.

The company ditched animal hair after a campaign led by PETA documented the huge animal cruelty found in the badger-brush industry. An investigation in China exposed badgers being kept in small wire cages and living in horrible conditions.

Moreover, the animal charity exposed the goat-hair industry and uncovered that shearers “cut broad swathes of skin off some animals – and crudely stitched up the most gaping wounds right there on the filthy shearing floor, without providing any pain relief whatsoever.”

PETA’s campaign for L’Oreal to ditch the cruel animal-hair industry was supported by 80,000 members of the public, demonstrating just how outdated the use of animals in cosmetics really is.


‘Embrace synthetic brushes’

Speaking in a press release, PETA’s Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said:

“Every badger- or goat-hair brush represents a sensitive animal who endured a violent death.”

“The L’Oréal Group’s compassionate decision will help PETA push the beauty and art industries to embrace synthetic brushes that don’t harm a hair on a badger’s head.”

More and more beauty and fashion brands are ditching animal hair from their products, and we hope that one-day using animals in the industry will be obsolete.

L’Oreal and animal testing

Whilst we applaud the move by L’Oreal to ban animal hair brushes, the company still sells its products in China where animal testing is required by law by government agencies. The company has also admitted that some of the products it sells there are required by law to be tested on animals.

This means L’Oreal cannot be classed as cruelty-free as it must agree not to conduct, pay for or allow tests on its products or ingredients anywhere in the world.

In recent years, L’Oreal has introduced new policies and agreed not to test its “finished products” on animals or its ingredients and has invested in the research and development of non-animal test methods. However, whilst they continue to sell their products in China, they are complicit in animal testing although they do not conduct them themselves.

Brands without the cruelty

If you’re looking for vegan-friendly makeup brushes there are dozens of brands who use synthetic fibres instead of animal hair.

Our favourites include Eco Tools who use recycled aluminium and renewable bamboo in their brush handles, and Real Techniques who don’t compromise on quality to create cruelty-free brushes.

Got your makeup sorted and want to know more about cruelty-free footwear?
Read our guide to Everything You Should Know About Vegan Shoes.

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