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Is Olay Cruelty Free and Vegan? (2021 Update)

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Olay is not cruelty free. Some of Olay’s products are vegan, but Olay is not 100% vegan.

Read my analysis below and find out why Olay is not cruelty free and vegan. I’ll also share some of my favorite cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Olay’s most popular products.

Let’s dive right into the details.

Is Olay cruelty free? Are Olay products tested on animals?

Olay is not cruelty free. Olay products and ingredients used within them may be tested on animals.

On their website, Olay has a post titled “5 Facts About Olay’s Push for Cruelty-Free Skin Care in the Industry” where they explain their stance on animal testing.

We do not test our products on animals. Olay is working closely with governments around the world to provide alternative research methods to eliminate testing on animals, enabling cruelty-free skin care in the beauty industry. For example, in a few countries where Olay is sold, governments still mandate animal tests. In those cases, Olay can be required by law to submit our products to labs where we know animal tests are happening. This is why we do not claim cruelty-free on our packaging. We do not believe these tests are necessary to evaluate safety or performance. But today, they won’t accept alternative non-animal testing methods. We remain steadfast and will continue to advocate for alternative methods to end animal tests in the industry

Olay is careful with their words – they clearly say that they themselves do not test on animals, but third parties do test Olay products on animals where required by law.

Also, to be cruelty free, each brand has to make sure that their suppliers don’t test on animals. Olay doesn’t mention anything about animal testing of the ingredients used within their products.

Olay is on PETA’s “companies that do test on animals” list.

So, in conclusion: Olay is not cruelty free and their products may be tested on animals.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the details.

Is Olay sold in China?

Yes, Olay is sold in mainland China.

Animal testing is still required by law for all cosmetic products sold in stores in mainland China. This means that Olay products may be tested on animals.

This is what they’re referring to in the animal testing policy (quoted above) where they say that they don’t claim “cruelty free” on the packaging because they are required to submit their products have them tested on animals to remain compliant with laws and regulations in some countries.

This is the case with China, so Olay must agree and pay for animal testing to remain on the Chinese market.

If they really believe that animal testing is unnecessary and want to help put an end to animal cruelty, they should follow their cruelty free competitors’ example and stop selling in 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 Olay owned by a parent brand? If yes, is it cruelty free?

Olay is owned by Procter & Gamble (P&G), which is not cruelty free.

P&G owns several non-cruelty free brands including Gillette, Always, Ariel, Pampers and Gain, to name a few.

Although P&G is not cruelty free as a company, one positive thing to note about them is that they invest in developing alternative testing methods to put an end to animal testing.

Olay’s parent company, P&G, has devoted a total of $410 million to develop cruelty-free alternatives. Additionally, P&G has joined industry coalitions to share research and testing methodologies so that other skin care brands and the industry-at-large can end animal testing and move toward cruelty-free skin care.

Is Olay vegan?

Olay is not vegan.

Some of their products are vegan, but as a brand, Olay is not 100% vegan. None of their products are certified as vegan.

Several Olay products are based on retinol. Retinol is a preformed Vitamin A, and is derived from animal fats (liver, eggs, cod liver oil, etc.). Therefore, retinol is not vegan-friendly and Olay products containing it are not vegan.

Is Olay vegetarian?

No, Olay is not vegetarian.

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

As I previously explained, many Olay products contain retinol, which is an animal derived ingredient. Retinol may be derived from animal parts such as liver of cod fish, which makes it non-vegetarian. Another non-vegetarian ingredient found in Olay products is collagen, which is extracted from the connective tissue of animals.

Cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Olay

Olay is mostly known for their anti-aging products including night eye cream, moisturizer, hydrating primer, serum and sunscreen. These are my favorite cruelty free alternatives:

The Ordinary
Pacifica
Youth to People
Paula’s Choice
Tatcha


Now, I’d like to hear from you.

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

Tell us in the comments below!

8 thoughts on “Is Olay Cruelty Free and Vegan? (2021 Update)”

  1. I was going to buy the Olay under eye cream, but now I’m not going to because it may not be cruelty free. It’s a bit confusing reading all this information about Olay. So, China labs do animal testing along with a few other countries, but Olay doesn’t do animal testing in the U.S.? Drew Barrymore is advocating the Olay under eye cream and that is why I was interested but I’m not anymore. Animals should not have to suffer in order to make a beauty product! I’m disappointed with Olay.

    1. Hi Donna,

      Thanks for your comment and sorry for the late reply!

      I understand where the confusion regarding Olay and similar brands that sell in China comes from. Basically, animal testing is a requirement for all foreign brands that sell in mainland China. So, even if the brand doesn’t test on animals themselves, they must allow third parties to test their products on animals in mainland China so they can sell their products there. There are several brands that have given up on the lucrative Chinese market just so they can keep their cruelty free status.

      Also, some other brands claim that they managed to circumvent the Chinese animal testing requirement by utilizing different loopholes in the law, but the general opinion of the entire cruelty free community (at least currently) is that that’s impossible – basically, selling in China implies animal testing is taking place.

    1. Bev Breeze-Stancliffe

      me too. my mum always used oil of Ulay(olay) for 50 years and i have followed, but now will not be buyimg anymore. STOP SELLING TO CHINA IF THATS WHST THEY INSIST ON!!!

  2. This is horrible there should be no testing on animals for any kind of beauty product this is absolutely an outrage that this is still continuing Olay should come out with a vegan cruelty-free line off products and no testing on the animals the animals should not have to suffer for this I will turn to cruelty-free products and vegan I am sick into my stomach to know that there is still testing on animals needs to stop

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  4. I too will no longer be buying Olay products after reading this. No company should EVER test their products on animals. This is outrageous and makes me SICK TO MY STOMACH!!! No animal should have to suffer through testing in order to make a beauty product!!! Bye, bye Olay!!! No longer a loyal customer.

    1. Olay should stand by their principles and stop selling in China. If they truelly believed in cruelty free they would support it by not allowing their products to be used on animals. Very disappointing decisions by this company. I won’t be buying g their products until they change that.

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