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Is L’Oréal Cruelty Free and Vegan? (2021 Update)

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L’Oréal is not cruelty free and vegan. They test their products on animals. Some L’Oréal products are vegan, but this brand is not 100% vegan.

Read my analysis below and find out why L’Oréal is not cruelty free and vegan.

I’ll also share some of my favorite cruelty free and vegan alternatives to most popular L’Oréal products.

Is L’Oréal cruelty free? Are L’Oréal products tested on animals?

Yes, L’Oréal products are tested on animals.

Their animal testing policy is a little misleading. They clearly state that they do not test their finished products or their ingredients on animals.

Does L’Oréal test on animals?

L’Oréal does not test any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals and has been at the forefront of alternative methods for over 30 years.

They try to avoid the fact that they agree and pay to have their products tested by third parties. An example is when such testing is required by health authorities.

Additionally, L’Oréal is listed in PETA’s list of companies that do test on animals.

This is the official statement by L’Oréal, where they kind of admit that third parties do test L’Oréal products on animals.

If you don’t test products on animals, why is L’Oréal still on the PETA list of companies who test?

L’Oréal does not test any its products or any of its ingredients on animals. Nevertheless, because our products are sold in China, L’Oréal still figures on the PETA list. In China, the health authorities still require and carry out animal testing for certain products.

However, I must note one positive thing about this company:

L’Oréal has been investing in the development of alternative methods to animal testing.

L’Oréal engineers have developed Episkin – a reconstructed skin model aiming to provide an alternative to animal testing.

In 2011, L’Oréal opened the Predictive Evaluation Center, based in Lyon, France, where the products are tested using alternative methods to animal testing.

Also, L’Oréal owns other brands which are cruelty free, such as Pureology, Urban Decay and NYX Cosmetics.

For more details, please see L’Oréal’s official statement regarding the question of animal testing.

So, in conclusion, although they’re making efforts to go cruelty free, L’Oréal is not cruelty free because their products are still tested on animals.

Let’s take a look at the details.

Is L’Oréal sold in China?

Yes, L’Oréal products are sold in mainland China.

Although China has recently relaxed the animal testing requirements, non-routine post-market animal testing is still required. This means that L’Oréal’s products can be pulled from the store shelves and tested on animals at any time, in case of a customer complaint or health concern.

L’Oréal has even openly admitted to selling in mainland China where their products are subject to animal testing.

So why are you still present in China ?

By being present in China, L’Oréal can enable the regulation to evolve. L’Oréal is the most active company working with the Chinese authorities towards a total elimination of animal testing. As a result, the vast majority of products we sell in China are no longer tested on animals.

Their answer sounds like an excuse – several brands have stopped selling on the Chinese market so they can stop contributing to animal cruelty and go cruelty free.

If L’Oréal really wanted to make a difference, they’d follow their cruelty free competitors’ example and stop selling in mainland China.

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 L’Oréal owned by a parent company? If yes, is it cruelty free?

Nestlé has 23.29% ownership stake in L’Oréal. Nestlé is not cruelty free.

This is a short excerpt from their animal testing policy:

We have to use animal testing when it is required as part of the regulatory authorization process to commercialize a product, during research and development of novel ingredients, or to show their safety.

Additionally, Nestlé is the largest food company in the world, known for various controversies regarding the mistreatment of animals.

Is L’Oréal vegan?

L’Oréal is not vegan.

Some of their products are vegan, but as a brand, L’Oréal is not vegan.

None of their products are certified as vegan, although they do use a “100% vegan” label on some of them. 

Animal-derived ingredients found in some of L’Oréal’s products are: egg white, mink oil, beeswax, honey, and other animal by-products.

Is L’Oréal vegetarian?

No, L’Oréal is not vegetarian.

Some of their products are vegetarian, but as a brand, L’Oréal is not vegetarian. None of their products are certified as vegetarian.

L’Oréal has a skin care ingredient library on their website. Multiple non-vegetarian ingredients can be found on the list.

One example is mink oil, which is not vegetarian-friendly as it is extracted from mink fat removed from pelts used in the fur industry.

Cruelty free and vegan alternatives to L’Oréal

L’Oréal offers a wide variety of skincare, haircare and makeup products. These are my favorite cruelty free alternatives:

Skincare:

The Ordinary
Pacifica
Youth to People
Paula’s Choice
Tatcha

Makeup:

Milk Makeup
ColourPop
Urban Decay
CoverGirl
IT Cosmetics
NYX
Tarte

Fragrance:

Le Labo
Pacifica


Now, I’d like to hear from you.

What do you think about L’Oréal’s cruelty free status? What are your favorite cruelty free and vegan alternatives to L’Oréal products?

Tell us in the comments below!

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