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Is MAC Cruelty-Free: They Want To Be One But They Are Selling in China

MAC Cosmetics is a cosmetics manufacturer founded by Frank Angelo and Frank Toskan in Toronto, Canada. Its founders’ intention was initially to produce makeup for professional makeup artists; however, they quickly decided to sell products to the general public. The brand has its own stores worldwide.

In 1994, a large portion of MAC’s shares went to Estee Lauder, which began managing the company’s commercial and business aspects, while Angelo and Toskan kept dealing with the creative elements until Angelo died in 1997. This lead to Toskan leaving the company in 1998, after selling it to Este Lauder completely.

Today, MAC has stores worldwide. It has collaborated with various celebrities in creating specialized makeup lines. It even had makeup lines dedicated to several late stars, such as singers Aaliyah and Selena Quintanilla Perez.

Apart from their specialized stores, MAC’s products can be found in Ulta stores, as well as on Sephora Canada’s website.

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Is MAC 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? No

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No, MAC is not cruelty-free.

MAC, as a company, isn’t conducting animal testing. The company states that its products are tested on human volunteers and that it does in vitro testing when necessary. However, it is allowing third-party testing where required by law. This means that they have no problems giving money towards animal testing. At the same time, it isn’t certain whether or not its ingredients and formulations are cruelty-free.

MAC has formed a partnership with the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS). Together, they work on educating countries in which in vitro testing isn’t allowed. They are also promoting these alternative methods worldwide. However, we still can’t consider MAC as a cruelty-free brand.

Are MAC products sold in China?

Yes, MAC’s products are sold 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 MAC Vegan?

MAC is not a 100% vegan brand. Most of its products contain animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products such as carmine, lanoline, or beeswax. They do have some items with full-vegan ingredients. However, keep in mind that MAC isn’t a cruelty-free brand. It is open to debate whether or not a brand that allows animal testing can ever be considered vegan.

Who owns MAC and does the parent company test on animals?

MAC is owned by Estee Lauder, a company that tests on animals. However, Estee Lauder allows its brands to choose their own cruelty-free policies, and it owns several cruelty-free brands. This means that MAC decided on its own to sell its products in China and thus support animal testing.

What products does MAC sell?

MAC sells various makeup products that are used by makeup lovers and professionals alike. They are famous for their big, luxurious-looking stores and a wide range of makeup shades. The brand is well known for its lipsticks, eyeshadows, and foundations. Its setting spray is one of the best-selling on the market.

Best Alternative Cruelty Free Lipsticks

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