MAC Cosmetics Is No Longer Cruelty Free

MAC Cosmetics Is No Longer Cruelty Free

For a long time, one of the most well-known cruelty free brands has been MAC Cosmetics. It was also a common rumor in the vegan community that all their products are also vegan.  Sadly, MAC Cosmetics is no longer cruelty free.

Known for their bright and bold collections as well as their wide range of classic shades, MAC seems to have something to offer to everyone. Staying up to date on what companies are animal friendly is a big priority for me. I only purchase vegan items, and I don’t want to buy any product that has caused harm to any animals. Even if I have checked with a company in the past, I email them again every couple of months to see if anything has changed in their response that might effect their status.

MAC Cosmetics is owned by Estee Lauder. This cosmetics giant has openly tested on animals for a long time and has recently come under fire for conducting secret tests on cosmetics in China. It was this controversy that sparked me to check in with MAC about their status as a cruelty free company who offers vegan options. By some standards, MAC being owned by Estee Lauder is enough to not consider them cruelty free. With a parent company that supports animal testing, any profit MAC makes does then support animal cruelty. However, I’ve always found it best to support the animal friendly brands and let people make their own decisions about the parent companies.

Sadly, in my recent response from MAC, I noticed a change that effects their status as a cruelty free company. In order for Logical Harmony to promote a company as cruelty free, I want to make sure that there is no testing on animals at any point during the production of the products or in the materials used to create the products. This includes by the company itself or third parties that may provide ingredients. If a company can’t give a straight response to those questions, I don’t endorse them and I don’t feature them on Logical Harmony.

Normally I post the entire email response from companies, but this email from MAC has a disclosure that prohibits me from doing so without permission. I have emailed asking for permission to copy the entire email but have received no reply. So I am only going to re-post one sentence here, and it’s the only sentence that matters.

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

“Except when required by law” is a phrase often used by brands who are selling their products in markets, such as China, that do require animal testing to sell there. Since these tests are done by a 3rd party, the brands often still try to claim to be cruelty free. This means that MAC, long known for being cruelty free, does test on animals. I emailed them back asking for clarification on what the terms for “required by law” are but have not received a reply. I also noticed that while PETA has endorsed them in the past, MAC has been removed from their list of companies who don’t test on animals. It’s not on the list of companies who do test, but it being removed from the don’t test list says a lot.

Because of this response, Logical Harmony will no longer be featuring any MAC Cosmetics products. All previous posts featuring MAC will be deleted or have the brand removed from the post. This just shows how important it is to support the vegan cosmetic companies out there. Cruelty free may mean no testing on animals, but there are animal ingredients used in the production that do cause harm to animals to produce. “Cruelty free” is far from actually being free from cruelty to animals. Cruelty free products are featured on Logical Harmony as a step for people who are concerned about becoming animal friendly but aren’t ready to transition to vegan cosmetics.

So what can you do?

  • If you are concerned about buying animal friendly cosmetics, please no longer purchase MAC items.
  • If you are a cruelty free or animal friendly blogger, please don’t feature MAC on your blog anymore. Please do a post about their change in testing policies and spread the word to your readers!
  • Promote this post on social networking sites to let your friends know!
  • Let your friends who use MAC know about the change!
  • I urge you to contact MAC yourself and ask them to change their stance on animal testing!

I also urge you all to consider trying vegan cosmetics brands. There are so many out there who produce amazing products without any harm to animals!

Edited on March 16, 2012 to add : If you are interested in letting MAC know how you feel about this change, please check out this post from Phyrra – Heartbroken by MAC. In it, she gives an excellent letter template for you to submit to MAC!

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94 comments for “MAC Cosmetics Is No Longer Cruelty Free

  1. Stella
    Friday - March 16, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I’ve been ordering everything here
    While some of their products contain silk or crushed pearls, there’s a LOT of vegan options, they don’t test on animals and the ingredients of their individual products are listed on the website.

    I also find their prices a LOT lower than companies like MAC that have an advertising budget and the quality is every bit as good, often better.

    • Friday - March 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      I’ll check out that link. Thank you for sharing it, Stella!!! 🙂

      • Sarsie
        Sunday - April 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm

        Seconding supporting smaller companies like Silk Naturals, Meow Cosmetics, Alima Pure, Bubble & Bee Organics, Badger Balm, Vapour, Abbey St. Clare, etc. — the list is far too long to elaborate! I’ve noticed that the smaller companies tend to be quite responsive to customer desires, are cruelty-free, and have many of their products (or all of them, depending on the brand) be vegan.

        Over the past year, I have slowly moved away from the larger cosmetics/personal care companies (with the exception of my beloved Urban Decay) and moved towards these smaller companies. Doing so aligns with not only my cruelty-free preferences, but also my preference for supporting local/indie companies who also tend to use ingredients I prefer. I thought it would be tough to find product replacements of an equivalent caliber, but it has been the opposite — the quality is excellent and the costs are much less.

        My only caveat would be to do your research if you are exploring a brand that is hitherto unknown to you, because just as there are shady larger companies, there are also some shady indie companies. But I pretty much research everything I buy anyway, so it’s not really that much of a burden on me.

  2. Deirdre
    Friday - March 16, 2012 at 7:08 am

    For the love of everything, is there a reason you keep writing that cruelty is free instead of referring to things as being “cruelty-free”? The hyphen isn’t optional for that compound adjective, you know.

    • Friday - March 16, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      Proper grammar doesn’t always match up with what’s best for SEO, unfortunately.

  3. Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Ok I am really confused because as far as I knew (from my discussions with the company) this has been their policy for at least a few years, and it is a policy adopted by all companies in the Estee Lauder Companies group.

    I wonder if this different between markets because Australia is often grouped into the ‘Asian’ market (so very annoying). I just don’t get it.

    Nevertheless, China sucks. It shocks me that in this day and age a country can demand that for a product to be sold there, it is required to go through animal testing. So stupid. So insane. Makes me sick. This puts a huge kink in my new found love of the MAC brand.

    • Friday - March 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      Huh. I’m not sure. Even just a couple of months ago (the last time I had emailed MAC until a couple of weeks ago) they had a no animal testing at any point and no use of animal tested ingredients stance. So, here in the US at least, this is very recent.

  4. Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Lily – I’m pretty sure that when that exception is in a company’s policy – citing “where required by law” – it means they are being sold in a certain country that requires some things to be tested. Because this is a recent change, MAC could just pull their product from whatever country is requiring the testing and go back to selling where it was sold before. Or it could mean they recently added some kind of ingredient that is required to be tested on animals in the countries they already sell in, in which case they could replace that ingredient with something else.

    Anyone please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s what I’ve always understood that part of the policy to mean.

    • Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      As far as my understanding goes, that’s what it means too. If someone has more information I’d gladly welcome it!

    • Krista
      Thursday - April 5, 2012 at 10:28 am

      Unfortunately the almighty dollar rules over ethics. Selling their products in a coutry with a population over one billion is a great way to like their pockets. There are alternatives however. For example : L’occitane sells in China but instead ships their finished cruelty-free products to China instead of opening a production facility where the finished products would need to be tested on animals. However it is more cost effective to produce and sell in China so that is what these companies have opted to do. It’s unfortunate that morals get pushed aside for the almighty dollar. I will not buy product that choose to test on animals or that are owned by a company that tests on animals, because that is still lining the pockets of the [aren’t company. I don’t care if the tests are done here or a million miles away. There are other options like shipping their products to that country or simply not doing business in a certain country that does not meet the companies’ requirements. Urban decay has beautiful formulated products; it is independently owned and has been certified cruelty-free by an independent company. Every purchase we make is a vote for a product and the only way to stop animal testing is to hit them where it hurts.

      • Thursday - April 5, 2012 at 7:48 pm

        I didn’t know that about L’occitane! That’s really interesting and a great point to bring up. These companies do have other options if they really wanted to stay cruelty free. However, just like you pointed out, the dollar often means more.

  5. Lily
    Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Sorry, but are you suggesting MAC should disregard laws that may require animal testing?

    • Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      Not at all. They are free to do as they please. I just don’t support companies that choose to test on animals when it’s unnecessary. In this case, my guess is that it was so they could sell products in China. China is the only place where animal testing is required by law.

    • Krista
      Thursday - April 5, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Like I said before: there are alternatives. Many other companies don’t test on animals! Just because a company wants to increase market share by selling their line in another country or decide to produce products in another country, that requires animal testing, to save money, doesn’t make it right. Not by my standards. It’s greed plain and simple! There are lots of different makeup companies out there that will get my money instead. I was a devout MAC supporter and spent probably thousands on their makeup before I heard this. They better hope that their Chinese customers are just as loyal because they aren’t getting another penny from me.

      • Thursday - April 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm

        Just like you said, it’s SO easy to NOT test on animals! Doing so is simply to have access to more markets to make more money. It’s really sad. Especially from a company that used to be so vocal about their stance against animal testing.

  6. Krista
    Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    This really sucks as Mac was a company that used to get quite a bit of my buisness. You should know though that PETA isn’t as perfect as it claims. They don’t believe that animals should be pets so animals that they’ve saved from various places are almost always put down instead of placed up for adoption. Just something to think about. Thanks for posting this information!

    • Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      Oh, trust me, I know that no company or organization is ever as perfect as it claims. I do think that they are a trustworthy source when it comes to checking in on companies being truly cruelty free though.

    • Krista
      Thursday - April 5, 2012 at 10:35 am

      That was an article produced by the company that owns KFC that was recently attacked by PETA. Not sure if I would put any stock in that claim considering the founder of PETA owns several pets herself. There was a shelter in virginia that had a high euthanasia rate that was apparently run by PETA, but according to PETA this is false. Also this shelters euthanasia rates were not any higher than other shelters in the south where there is an influx of unwanted pets. Just cause it may have been run by PETA doesn’t mean that they can work magic or miracles. I worked in a shelter where animals had to be euthanized twice a week to make room for the ever revolving door of new animals being abandones and there was nothing we could do. It’s supply and demand: not enough homes for the animals being abandoned!

      • Thursday - April 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm

        “Just cause it may have been run by PETA doesn’t mean that they can work magic or miracles.”

        So true. I think that people hold them to a higher standard. In some cases because they believe in PETA and in others because they don’t. Either way, I don’t think it discredits their information about cruelty free/vegan brands or the amount of information they offer about so many animal friendly related things.

  7. Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Horrible to read. I thank you, so much, for letting us all know. I have RT the link to your post, and I will also add your post to my FB page. Again, thank you, Tashina. x

    • Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      Thank YOU for helping spread the word about this change! 🙂

  8. Crystal
    Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    So stupid when they try to make it sound like they’re cruelty free when in reality they’re not.

    I haven’t purchased any MAC in awhile. I’m usually just a fan of their limited edition collections with the pretty packaging.

    • Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      I agree. I just want to know a company is up front and gives me a trustworthy statement. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for.

  9. Jessica
    Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I knew something was up…I was interested in a few MAC products so I checked around for the animal friendly stuff + such + saw nothing. I was really considering getting some lip products from them last week + I am so glad I decided to wait since I could not find the info I was looking for…ty for sharing this=)

    • Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 11:40 am

      You’re welcome! I’m glad that you are not going to buy the MAC products you were thinking about!!! They used to have an anti-animal testing claim in their FAQ too, but that is now gone.

  10. Natalie Smith
    Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I was on the PETA (UK) website the other day, and MAC WERE on the list for companies that DO treat on animals. Couldn’t believe it! MAC/Estee Lauder should have the money and power to not do it.

    • Thursday - March 15, 2012 at 9:44 am

      MAC didn’t used to test on animals either. That’s what’s so sad/frustrating about this. It’s a recent change. 🙁

      • Stella
        Friday - March 16, 2012 at 9:31 am

        Yes…a giant step backwards. 🙁

    • Thursday - May 3, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Common sense would lead anyone to believe that. From my experience it’s the opposite though. The larger the company is the more likely they are to use crap synthetic ingredients and to test on animals.

      I started working for a few years ago (after several years with Estee Lauder) they’re small, cruelty free, vegan, and completely non-toxic. <3 <3!

      Smaller cosmetics companies are popping up all the time and I think the quality of the product is WAY higher.

      • Em
        Thursday - May 31, 2012 at 11:00 am

        Gosh that is very interesting to know and thank you for sharing – it will help me make better decisions in future. I also am extremely disappointed with Estee Lauder….and they own so many companies whic now I no longer use. I can’t believe these huge corporations are re-testing again just to break into the China market….they should have stuck to their guns and made China changes IT’S policies, rather than the other way around!!

    • Moe
      Tuesday - June 19, 2012 at 7:39 am

      MAC does not test on animals. I work for the company; Estée Lauder does but MAC Cosmetics does not. An when it mentions “by law” it means if we sell on certain countries we have to because their laws state it is a must. Don’t just go by what people post, do your research people. PITA put them on the list once Estée Lauder bought MAC just because of how they are now offilliated… Their name should be taken off unless they know the truth.

      • Tuesday - June 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

        When a company says that they only test “when required by law” it is still testing on animals. There is no way around that. Whether it’s required or optional, testing on animals is still testing on animals.

        I’ve done my research. Trust me. I do very extensive research on all the brands that I post about, whether it’s saying that they are cruelty free or not. Nothing is based off what others may be saying. This post is based on information that I received from MAC. The PETA list is just an interesting note, but it is not what this post is based off of.

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