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Is Estée Lauder Cruelty Free and Vegan? (2022 Update)

Is Estée Lauder Cruelty Free and Vegan featured image

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Estée Lauder is not cruelty free. This means that their products are tested on animals.

Additionally, Estée Lauder is not 100% vegan as a brand because some of their products contain animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

If you’d like to know why they’re not cruelty free and learn more about this brand, keep on reading!

And by the way, if you’re looking for new cruelty free products to add to your beauty routine, make sure to check out the last section of this post where you’ll find some of the best Estée Lauder cruelty free alternatives.

Let’s dive right in!

Is Estée Lauder cruelty free? Are Estée Lauder products tested on animals?

Estée Lauder is NOT cruelty free.

In order to be cruelty free, brands:

  • Must not test their finished products or ingredients on animals
  • Must make sure that their suppliers don’t test on animals
  • Must not commission third parties to test their products on animals
  • Must not sell their products in stores in mainland China, or other countries where animal testing is still required by law

Let’s take a look at Estee Lauder’s animal testing policy (I’ve highlighted the important part):

Our Position Against Animal Testing

More than 30 years ago, The Estée Lauder Companies was one of the first cosmetics companies to eliminate animal testing as a method of determining cosmetic product safety. We don’t test our products on animals and we don’t ask others to test for us.

We acknowledge our brands are sold in countries where animal testing on cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients is required by law. As a global company dedicated to bringing many of the beauty industry’s most beloved products and experiences to our consumers in over 150 countries and territories, we believe it is our responsibility to contribute to the sustainable solution to end animal testing for cosmetics, and we believe that through strong partnerships, sharing our science and engaging with our communities in a meaningful way, we can contribute to the global end of cosmetic animal testing.

source: Estée Lauder

In the highlighted part, Estée Lauder is referring to mainland China, where animal testing is still required by law.

Testing on animals where required by law is in contradiction with one of the requirements for cruelty free brands.

Even though China has relaxed their animal testing requirements, brands that sell in China still can’t be cruelty free.

Therefore, Estée Lauder is not cruelty free.

Keep on reading for more information!

Is Estée Lauder sold in China?

Estée Lauder is sold in mainland China where animal testing is still required by law.

Why can’t cruelty free brands sell in mainland China?

Animal testing is still happening for products sold in physical stores in mainland China.

Pre-market animal testing is required for all special-use imported products, and non-routine post-market testing on animals may also be done in cases of customer complaints.

However, please keep in mind that this doesn’t apply to products sold in stores at the airports, or in Hong Kong.

Also, products can be sold online and shipped to mainland China without being tested on animals.

Is Estée Lauder owned by a parent brand? If yes, is it cruelty free?

Estée Lauder is not owned by another company.

However, Estée Lauder owns other brands that aren’t cruelty free, including Dr. Jart, La Mer, MAC, Clinique and Origins, to name a few.

Is Estée Lauder vegan?

Estée Lauder is not 100% vegan.

They have some vegan products, but a lot of their products contain animal-derived ingredients or by-products, which means they can’t be vegan.

Also, please note that since Estée Lauder products may be tested on animals in China and are therefore not cruelty free, I wouldn’t consider them vegan-friendly.

Cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder is a beauty brand mostly focused on makeup, fragrance and skincare. 

There are so many beauty brands that are cruelty free! That’s why, in my opinion, there’s really no excuse for supporting brands that test on animals.

Some of the best cruelty free alternatives to Estée Lauder are:


The Ordinary


Youth to the People

Paula’s Choice



Milk Makeup


Urban Decay


IT Cosmetics




Le Labo


Now it’s your turn!

What do you think about Estée Lauder’s animal testing policy? What are your favorite cruelty free brands?

Let me know in the comments below!

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