Is Estee Lauder Cruelty-Free: Estee Lauder Does Pay a Third Party Company

The Estee Lauder Companies is a multinational manufacturer of luxurious makeup, skincare, haircare, and fragrance products, founded in 1946 by Estee and Joseph Lauder in New York City, USA. Its first department store was established two years later, and the brand quickly started to sell its products all across the states.

The company became international in 1960, when it opened its first store in London, UK.

Estee Lauder is the first women’s cosmetics brand that included a separate line for men. In 1976, the ‘Skin Supplies for Men’ was founded, and it only boosted the brand’s popularity.

In 1994, Estee Lauder started brand acquisition when it purchased MAC Cosmetics. In 2020, the company owns several dozens of brands. However, when COVID-19 pandemic started, Estee Lauder claimed significant losses and announced a big workforce reduction – a decision for which it was widely criticized.

Today, Estee Lauder’s products are sold in more than 150 countries worldwide.

Is Estee Lauder Cruelty-Free?

Not sold in China? No
PETA Certified No
Leaping Bunny Certified No
Has vegan products Yes(*)
Not owned by a Parent Company that does Animal Testing?

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No, Estee Lauder is not a cruelty-free brand.

Estee Lauder doesn’t test its finished products on animals. At the same time, none of its ingredients are tested on animals, and its suppliers are cruelty-free. However, Estee Lauder does pay for third-party testing in the countries where animal testing of imported products is required by law. In other words, Estee Lauder doesn’t have an issue with testing products when it can profit from it. Also, the statement on its website clearly reads that exceptions in their cruelty-free policy can be made when a regulatory body demands it.

If you like Estee Lauder’s products, but you can’t stand behind a company that tests on animals. If this is the case, you can always contact Estee Lauder’s representatives and ask them politely to reconsider the brand’s animal testing policy. Just remember to stay respectful, as hate speech never accomplishes anything.

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Are Estee Lauder products sold in China?

Yes, Estee Lauder sells its products in mainland China.

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What is the Deal with China?

Even though animal testing is proven to be an unnecessary and unethical practice, some countries still require it by law. This is the case with the second-biggest market in the world, China.

China requires any beauty product to be tested on animals before allowing importation and being sold in Chinese stores. Any company or brand that makes the decision to sell in China has also decided to test on animals – either by themselves or, usually, by paying a third-party company to test on their behalf. This is the main reason why a lot of brands can’t achieve a true cruelty-free status. After growing public outrage, China did lift some regulations in 2014, which allowed certain beauty products, such as shampoos and other skincare items, to be imported without testing, but this is still a small percentage.

A lot of brands that claim to be cruelty-free are being misleading thanks to these laws. Even if a brand doesn’t conduct animal testing on its own, by deciding to take the opportunity and sell in countries such as China, it is allowing a third-party to test the final product on animals. This is why PETA and the Leaping Bunny Program have forbidden brands that they certify to expand their market in this direction – and rightfully so.

A lot of companies are working with the Chinese government on lifting these regulations, and legislation was proposed in 2019 that should stop mandatory animal testing. However until today, no substantial progress has been made in this regard, we continue to wait patiently.


Is Estee Lauder Vegan?

No, Estee Lauder is not a vegan brand. Most of its products use animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products, such as lanolin, beeswax, and carmine. The brand does have some vegan products; however, their labeling is unclear(*). If you are a vegan and want to purchase products from Estee Lauder, be sure to check the ingredient list.

What products does Estee Lauder sell?

Estee Lauder sells various makeup and skincare products and fragrances. It’s well known for its anti-aging creams and lotions, which were amongst the first products the brand sold. Today, it has a high-end makeup line, with products such as blush, bronzer, concealer, and lip products. At the same time, its fragrances are loved by many. Some consumers even state that Estee Lauder’s perfumes can be used as an aphrodisiac. Estee Lauder created fragrances in collaboration with various celebrities, most notably fashion designers Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan.

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