Is Maybelline Cruelty-Free: Maybelline Products Are Sold in China

Maybelline New York is a cosmetics, fragrance, skincare, and personal care company founded by Thomas Lyle Williams in 1915 in the USA. Williams was inspired by his sister, who regularly applied coal dust and Vaseline to her eyelashes. He decided to adapt the formulation and created his own product. Thus, Maybelline was born.

Maybelline changed several owners and relocated over several different states before settling in New York, US. Soon after, actress Lynda Carter joined the company as a beauty fashion coordinator, increasing its popularity. In 2001, the official slogan of the brand was changed to “(Maybe she’s born with it) Maybe it’s Maybelline,” and it’s used even today.

Maybelline quickly became one of the more popular beauty brands that sell worldwide. 

Is Maybelline Cruelty-Free?

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

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Maybelline is not cruelty-free.

In other words, Maybelline does conduct animal testing to a certain extent. Its finished products aren’t tested on animals, unless when required by law. In other words, it still tests on animals in some countries. The brand claims to use only cruelty-free ingredients but states that exceptions can be made. More specifically, if regulatory authorities demand the testing, or there are some safety concerns, the ingredients may be tested on animals. Also, there isn’t any mention of whether or not the brand’s suppliers test on animals.

If you like Maybelline cosmetics but can’t stand behind a brand that isn’t cruelty-free, you can always contact Maybelline’s official representatives and politely ask them to change their animal testing policies. Just make sure you are respectful and kind, as hate speech never accomplished anything.

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Are Maybelline products sold in China?

Yes, Maybelline’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 Maybelline Vegan?

No, Maybelline is not vegan. Most of its products use some sort of animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products, such as carmine, lanoline, and beeswax. It does have some vegan items, but as the brand isn’t cruelty-free, we wouldn’t truly call them vegan(*). 

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

Maybelline is owned by L’Oreal, a company that isn’t cruelty-free. However, L’Oreal allows its brands to choose their own animal testing policies, so Maybelline also made its own decision not to be cruelty-free.

What products does Maybelline sell?

The first product Maybelline sold was mascara, and the brand started with a single lash-brow line. It became famous for its Maybelline Cake Mascara, and later for the first mass-market automatic mascara, Ultra Lash. 

Today, the brand sells all kinds of makeup products, such as foundations, lipsticks and lip glosses, even though it is still mostly praised for its products for lashes. It also has several fragrance lines, as well as various skin and body care products.

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