Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Does MAC Animal Test?

EDIT: March 25, 2012- I emailed MAC to receive their supposedly new animal testing policy but it has NOT changed. I am very unhappy with the response I received as it seems no effort was put into answering my questions at all. My email and MAC's response is below.

March 2, 2012

Can you please provide me with MAC's animal testing policy. Please provide information regarding the testing of finished products and ingredients as well as any animal testing conducted by a third party on your behalf.

In addition, can you please provide some information regarding whether or not your company, like your parent company Estee Lauder, sells to China or any other country that requires animal testing of all cosmetic products.

March 22, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to contact MAC.

MAC has a longstanding policy to not test on animals, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.

MAC Cosmetics is undoubtedly the most well known cosmetic brand available today. MAC is a subsidiary of Estée Lauder, which from my point of view is not cruelty free. My email correspondence with their company can be found under the July 2011 tab to the right. I was unable to find any information regarding MAC's animal testing policies on their official website.

Since many people do consider MAC a cruelty free company, I sent them an email to see if their animal testing policy differs from that of their parent company.

July 27, 2011
I have been a very happy MAC customer for some time, but I have some questions regarding your animal testing policy. Do you share the same animal testing policies as your parent company Estee Lauder? Could you please send me some information regarding testing of finished products and ingredients as well as any third party testing. Thank you for your help.

July 28, 2011
Thank you for your interest in M.A.C.

The Estee Lauder Companies are committed to the elimination of animal testing. We are equally committed to consumer health and safety, and bringing to market products that comply with applicable regulations in every country in which our products are sold.

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.

The Estee Lauder Companies fully supports the development and global acceptance of non-animal testing alternatives. To this end, the Company works extensively with the industry at large and the global scientific community to research and fund these alternatives.

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.

So MAC does have the same animal testing policies as its parent company Estée Lauder. I find its frustrating that a common response I have been getting is that companies don't test "except when required by law." How often is it required by law? What percentage of your products end up being tested on animals due to these legal reasons? I have already stopped purchasing MAC's products due to their parent company's animal testing policy, but this reinforces my commitment to not buy from MAC.

They say they don't animal test except when they have to... so really they are animal testing.


  1. Fucking frustrating! As a former employee, I'm ashamed...:-p
    Thank you for this important article!

  2. Hi Rebekah.
    My friend posted a link to this post so it brought me to your wonderful blog!
    I live in Israel and M.A.C is the biggest makeup company we have here ( we don't have that much...)
    I was really upset to read that they do test on animals. This means no more M.A.C for me!
    Thank you so much for this wonderful blog! Please keep writing!

  3. Thank you both for your feedback!

    I was upset when I realized MAC wasn't cruelty free as well, but I've found much less expensive brands, such as elf and wet n wild, that I like just as much. I don't know what brands are sold in Israel, but hopefully some upcoming posts will help you out!

  4. No problem! I emailed MAC to get an updated animal testing policy after all this going on with their parent company but have yet to get a response. Hopefully I will hear back and can update this post.

  5. Oh no...
    I just bought M.A.C today
    I thought it's cruelty free ToT

    I hate this...

    thanks for the information

  6. Maybe if the MAC store is close enough to where you live you can return it? They let you return purchases even if you have used it already, as long as most of the product has not been used.

  7. Dear Rebekah,
    I have been doing research into companies that test on animals and that brought me to your site. I too and greatly dissapointed in MAC, and just sent an email asking for their policy as well. I stated that " only when required by law" is not good enough for me and that is itself mean you are a company testing on animals. I will let you know how they respond.
    Thanks for you interest as well!

  8. They have to put that statement in their policy-FDA requires that some products be tested on animals (pharmaceuticals and some chemicals, so it isn't always their choice). I've been trying to do the same research...

    I think that MAC is giving everyone the answer they can--from the email responses they wrote it sounds like it is definitely an issue they are aware of and that it matters to us customers.

  9. Although, the fact that their animal testing policy is the same as their parent company Estee Lauder is concerning because Peta identified them as not cruelty free. We need more information!

  10. Hey, Trycel!

    Thanks for commenting. In regards to the FDA, they only require testing of ingredients/products/etc. that contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to consumers. There are many, many companies that avoid these potentially harmful substances as much for their consumers as for the animals. It is MAC's choice to use substances which they know will be tested and that I find to be a fault.

    Even with all this supposedly necessary animal testing, the FDA still allows a lot of harmful carcinogens to get into our products because they are considered to be a negligible amount. However, if you use that product once or twice a day every day for an extended period of time these toxins build up in your body.

    I personally do not use Peta's cruelty free list because I find the guidelines to be very lax and not up to my standards. I have a post on Leaping Bunny which I use instead. However, if Peta marks Estee Lauder as not cruelty free than EL is obviously very blatant in their disregard for animal welfare. I think they may have been taken off Peta's list after the recent China debacle, which I also have a post on. This post really highlights how care for and honesty with consumers seems very tied to honesty about animal testing.

  11. Thank you so much for posting this, I was a little confuse if they do or not test on animals, and I am sure many others are still confused, shame on them.