Thursday, July 21, 2011

Does Estée Lauder Animal Test?

Estée Lauder, of course, owns the cosmetic brand Estée Lauder but also owns many other well known brands including, but not limited to, MAC cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, and Coach. I will be adding other posts regarding some of these individual companies for shoppers interested only in the individual brand's animal testing policies. A full list of Estée Lauder's companies can be found here.

Before emailing customer service I reviewed the animal testing policies on the parent website. These policies can be found here under "Animal Testing" and "Respect for Animal Welfare." A section of their animal testing policy reads:

"We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law. We evaluate our finished products in clinical tests on volunteer panels."

For me personally, I take issue with the "except when required by law" they tactfully added. I know there are companies who are 100% cruelty free so I am confused as to how they get around these required animal tests so I emailed Estée Lauder's customer service. Below I have listed the emails that I sent and received.

July 19, 2011
I have been using many of the products provided by your company from MAC, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Michael Kors, and Origins to name a few, but recently I have had some questions with your animal testing policy. I have read the information regarding this on your web pages, but I have one question. Your statement says that "We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law." However, the FDA does not require that this testing be done on animals.

Your company talks about using and researching many alternatives to animal testing so I am curious when you will exclusively use alternative testing of both the finished products and ingredients? I will sadly not be able to repurchase any of the products I currently own from your company, but look forward to possibly being able to do so in the future.

July 19, 2011
Thank you for your interest in Estée Lauder.
We have always been against animal testing. Recently, the global regulatory climate has become more stringent and cosmetic companies are being asked to further validate the human and environmental safety of their ingredients and products. We are equally committed to consumer health and safety. Given these increased requirements for ensuring the safety of cosmetic ingredients, animal testing may be legally necessary under certain circumstances when no non-animal test alternative is available or acceptable to governmental/health authorities. Be assured that we will make every effort to avoid having ingredients tested on animals, taking all practical and available steps to see that existing or non-animal test data is used instead. However, if ultimately this is required in order for the Company to sell its products, we will, of course, comply with the law.

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your question, and sincerely hope I was able to be of assistance. You are valued as our consumer and I hope you will continue to use and enjoy our products with confidence and satisfaction.
I personally will no longer be purchasing the products from Estée Lauder or any of its subsidiaries. These companies are often considered cruelty free by a majority of people, so I had been repurchasing some products over the past few months which I am very upset about.

I am unsure if there is any way for me to know whether these companies truly only animal test due to legal reasons and only in these cases or not, but any animal testing is too much for me. However, I will be looking into more information regarding when the government will not accept alternatives to animal testing. I suppose the government also has a way of wording statements so as to appear as not encouraging of animal testing (shocking I know!).


  1. Thanks alot Estee Lauder. I thought you were cruelty free which you obviously are not. I will not be purchasing any more Estee Lauder or Estee Lauder subsidiaries anymore. I am very upset as I was under the impression you are cruelty free which was why I chose your brand over others. VERY UPSETTING. I will be letting others know you are not cruelty free. SHAME ON YOU!

  2. I understand how you feel. I was upset when I learned this too. This reinforces the importance of emailing and researching ourselves instead of simply using a list compiled by someone else.