Is Estee Lauder Cruelty Free? Here’s The Truth 2023

Recently, many animal rights advocates have raised their voices against using animals for cosmetics testing. Consequently, numerous cosmetic firms have promised to end this practice. However, Estee Lauder is among the rare companies that have not committed. This has caused people to wonder: Is Estee Lauder test cruelty-free? 

The answer is complicated. Estee Lauder does not carry out tests on animals for its ready-made products. But, the company complies with the laws that require animal testing for their products. 

In this article, I will investigate the brand, Estee Lauder’s animal testing policy, and the facts about their cruelty-free and vegan status.

About Estee Lauder

The iconic company Estee Lauder started as a joint venture between businesswoman Estee Lauder and her husband in 1946, introducing four skincare items – a cleansing oil and three varieties of lotions and creams. It eventually broadened into an entire collection of skin and beauty products and opened its shop in New York City. 

After experiencing great success, the brand expanded its portfolio and became the parent company of some of the most popular brands, such as MAC, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, and Two Faced. Let’s get back to our topic- Is Estee Lauder cruelty free?

Is Estee Lauder cruelty free?

Before using the products, you might wonder: Is Estee Lauder cruelty free?

Estée Lauder is not a cruelty-free company. They may carry out animal testing directly, through their suppliers, or a third party. 

The sale of Estee Lauder products in Mainland China, where the law requires animal testing for the distribution of goods, rules out any possibility of them being considered cruelty-free. 

Estée Lauder does not carry out animal testing on their finished products, but they allow their products to be tried on animals when mandated by law. Moreover, it has been observed that Estée Lauder sources ingredients from suppliers who practice animal testing. 

So, while Estée Lauder does not directly put their products through animal testing, they do indirectly permit it.

The truth behind Estee Lauder’s  policy on animal testing 

When asking, Is Estee Lauder cruelty free? One must look closely to ensure none of its components or associates are involved in animal testing. Moreover, they do not supply their products to any nation or under any circumstances that may mandate animal testing by law.

Estée Lauder’s website presents the animal testing policy of their parent company, Estée Lauder Companies. Estée Lauder states that they do not test on animals unless required by law. Furthermore, they mention that some countries still consider animal testing necessary to validate the safety of cosmetics ingredients or products.

Policies that say “except when demanded by law” usually mean that the company distributes its products in countries where animal testing is mandatory, like mainland China. Brands that fall under this category could also be marketing products where animal testing is required by law.

This indicates that Estee Lauder also sells their products in Mainland China, where animal testing is compulsory by law to distribute, so it can’t be considered cruelty-free. 

So, Is Estee Lauder cruelty free? Based on its animal testing policy, I discovered that Estee Lauder is not cruelty-free.

Cruelty free checklist

When asking, Is Estee Lauder cruelty free? One should know what criteria companies must meet to verify their cruelty-free status.

Many cruelty-free brands have chosen not to offer their products in China, where animal testing is necessary. Unfortunately, Estée Lauder will not follow in their footsteps and cannot be considered cruelty-free.

When deciding if Estee Lauder is cruelty-free, I utilize the Cruelty-Free Checklist to guarantee that no animal testing was done by the brand, its suppliers, or third parties – even if the law requires it.

See below for the complete cruelty-free checklist. Since Estée Lauder fails to meet the criteria, I cannot classify them as cruelty-free.

Is Estee Lauder sold in China?

Is Estee Lauder cruelty free? Is it sold in China?

I did some digging and found that Estée Lauder products are sold in stores in mainland China. The company has been partnering with Cruelty-Free International since 2019 to end animal testing. 

Although Estée Lauder has revealed that they have not conducted any tests on animals since the 1980s, they funded the testing through their suppliers or a third party.

Unfortunately, their items are still accessible in countries requiring animal testing by law, which means Estée Lauder can’t be considered cruelty-free

To illustrate this, here’s a screenshot of Estée Lauder’s Chinese website.

But doesn’t China no longer conduct animal testing? 

Is Estee Lauder cruelty free as China no longer requires animal testing?

Recently, China has modified its guidelines so that certain cosmetics from other countries can sell in China without animal testing. However, they must meet all the conditions following the alterations in China’s animal testing regulations:

  • Only offer the regular variety of cosmetics – think makeup, skincare, haircare, nail polish, and perfumes. 
  • Must not sell any unique cosmetics, like sunscreens, hair dye, hair perming, or anything that guarantees new effects.
  • Must not sell products for infants or children and any product containing a ‘New Cosmetic Ingredient.’ 
  • If post-market testing is required, the company must have a policy to recall its products instead of using animal testing.

Additionally, to avoid animal testing in China, products must fulfill one of these requirements: 

  • Manufactured within the country, or the final assembly is in China.
  • Businesses must acquire the applicable product safety certificates and paperwork if manufactured elsewhere and then exported to China.

Despite the lack of specified measures taken by Estée Lauder to fulfill the prerequisites necessary to avoid animal testing while selling in China, they decided to sell their goods in Chinese markets. This requires them to accept and finance tests on animals by Chinese authorities. 

So, Is Estee Lauder cruelty free? From the information above, I conclude that Estée Lauder is not cruelty-free in the conventional sense. 

Is Estee Lauder vegan?

When asking, Is Estee Lauder cruelty free? You might want to know if it is a vegan brand.

Estée Lauder is not vegan, as they don’t advertise vegan-friendly choices and engage in animal testing. For something to be tagged vegan, it has not to be tested on animals in any way and must not incorporate any animal-derived components or derivatives. 

Double-check that it is vegan if you want to be sure you are not backing companies that use animal-derived items. 

When determining, Is Estee Lauder cruelty free? It is wise to be vigilant of brands that do not explicitly mention that their products are vegan, plant-based, or environmentally friendly, as they may be craftily hiding this information by using appealing words. 

Therefore, if a product does not clearly say that it is vegan, plant-based, or eco-friendly, it is best to assume it is not.

Vegan Policies 

Always remember that there is no set definition of vegan products. Usually, these items do not contain animal-based substances such as carmine, lanolin, honey, beeswax, silk, glycerin of animal origin, keratin, or squalene of animal origin. 

Fortunately, it is now possible to create vegan products using plant-derived and artificial alternatives. However, deciding if a vegan product can be challenging by looking at the ingredients list. 

The surefire way to confirm that a product is vegan is to get in touch with the company or manufacturer to ensure that no animal-based components are present. Let’s learn more about the topic- Is Estee Lauder cruelty free?

Does the parent company of Estee Lauder conduct animal testing?

When asking, Is Estee Lauder cruelty free? One must know if the parent company of Estee Lauder conducts animal testing.

Estée Lauder is indeed a part of Estée Lauder Companies Inc., which still carries out animal testing as of 2023. Some people who prioritize not using animal-tested products may still buy from Estée Lauder’s cruelty-free brands in the hope that it will pressure the parent company to stop testing on animals. 

However, in this case, neither Estée Lauder nor its parent company Estée Lauder Companies Inc., can be considered cruelty-free.

Does Estee Lauder have any cruelty free certifications?

When asking, Is Estee Lauder cruelty free? You must know if Estee Lauder has any cruelty-free certifications.

Estée Lauder is not verified as cruelty-free by external certifications like PETA and Leaping Bunny. Therefore, nobody can prove or audit Estée Lauder’s claims and commitments to being cruelty-free. 

PETA has a well-established system to decide if an item can use its cruelty-free seal. A company can demonstrate that its products are not tested on animals with the PETA logo if it fulfills the criteria. 

Leaping Bunny even has more strict requirements – if the company can meet all of them, they can demonstrate with the assurance that their items are animal-friendly.

Cruelty free alternatives to Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder is a well-known company, and their items are readily available. Sadly, I can’t give them my support since their offerings do not include vegan options, and they have a history of animal testing. 

Fortunately, there are a lot of other excellent brands that do not test on animals. Here are a few of my recommendations:

Luckily all these brands are cruelty-free according to our standards.

Wrapping Up

Is Estee Lauder cruelty free? Estée Lauder permits animal testing of their products when mandated by legislation, such as when trading in China. They may conduct these experiments themselves, through their vendors, or with a third party. 

Companies in this position may also be selling merchandise where animal testing is obligatory by law. They finance these animal tests, which authorities and third parties conduct.

Consequently, I would not think of Estée Lauder as a cruelty-free brand. Furthermore, Estée Lauder can’t be considered vegan because they distribute items with animal-based components in their entire collection.

Hopefully, this guide answers your query: Is Estee Lauder cruelty free?

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