Estée Lauder

Last Updated: October 24, 2022

Is Estée Lauder Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Make a positive impact by supporting companies with the same values and ethics as what matters most to you. To navigate and find ethical brands, here’s a summary of Estee Lauder’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Estee Lauder cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Estee Lauder’s policies.
Estee Lauder is NOT Cruelty-Free. Estee Lauder engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.
Yes, Estee Lauder sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
Estee Lauder does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since Estee Lauder engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by Estee Lauder to be vegan anyways.

Estée Lauder

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Estée Lauder is NOT Cruelty-Free!

Estee Lauder allows its products or ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law including when selling in stores in mainland China.

Note that Estee Lauder is the flagship brand of Estee Lauder Companies Inc., which owns several other beauty brands. In this post, I’ll be exploring the brand, Estee Lauder’s animal testing policy, and cruelty-free/vegan status.

Estée Lauder’s Animal Testing Policy

On Estee Lauder’s website, they state their parent company, Estee Lauder Companies’ animal testing policy. Estee Lauder claims they don’t test on animals, except where required by law. And “there are, however, still some countries that believe they need to conduct or require animal testing in order to validate the safety of cosmetic ingredients or products.”

See below for a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Estee Lauder’s website:

Policies stating, “except where required by law,” usually imply the company is selling its products in mainland China. That’s because cosmetics sold in stores in mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals.

Is Estee Lauder Sold in China?

In my research, I discovered that Estee Lauder products are indeed sold in stores in mainland China.

Below is a screenshot of Estee Lauder store locator showing results in mainland China:

But Doesn’t China No Longer Test on Animals?

Companies can bypass China’s pre-market animal testing by choosing to manufacture their ordinary or general cosmetics in China, but it’s not stated anywhere that Estée Lauder has taken this route.

Additionally, the possibility of post-market animal testing is not completely ruled out and may be conducted on some cosmetics sold in physical stores in China.

As of May 1, 2021, cosmetic companies can also export and sell their ordinary or general cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet a set of preconditions first. However, meeting these conditions has proven difficult, and it’s still unclear what exactly is accepted according to the new regulations. So there’s no word yet of any company that has successfully done so.

Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see why most cosmetics sold in China (like Estée Lauder) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.

Because Estée Lauder has decided to sell in mainland China stores, they must consent and pay to have their products tested on animals. That’s why most cosmetics brands selling in mainland China cannot be considered cruelty-free in 2022.

Although Estée Lauder may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, they knowingly allow Chinese authorities to test their products on animals to sell in China.

For those reasons, we would not consider Estée Lauder to be cruelty-free by our standards.

Cruelty-Free Policies

Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China because of its animal testing laws. Unfortunately, Estée Lauder refuses to do the same and therefore cannot be considered cruelty-free.

At ethical elephant, we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, or by any third parties, including when required by law.

See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist. Since Estée Lauder already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Estée Lauder Certified Cruelty-Free?

Estée Lauder is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.

Because Estée Lauder is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is looking into or substantiating Estée Lauder’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.

Is Estée Lauder Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?

Yes. Estée Lauder is owned by Estée Lauder Companies Inc., a parent corporation that still engages in animal testing in 2022.

Some cruelty-free consumers may choose to purchase and support cruelty-free brands owned by animal-tested parent corporations as they hope it will convince the parent company to become cruelty-free.

But in this case, Estée Lauder is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its parent corporation, Estée Lauder Companies.

Is Estée Lauder Cruelty-Free?

To sum up, by choosing to sell in mainland China, Estée Lauder must have its products tested on animals. Therefore, we would NOT consider Estée Lauder to be a cruelty-free brand.

Currently, Estée Lauder is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.

Is Estée Lauder Vegan?

Estée Lauder does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since Estée Lauder engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by Estée Lauder to be vegan anyways.

In order for products to be considered vegan by ethical elephant’s standards, the products and their ingredients must not be tested on animals anywhere in the world. Also, they must not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Estée Lauder

Looking to switch to cruelty-free products? Here are some cruelty-free brands to check out:

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What do you think

18 thoughts on “Estée Lauder”

  1. I have been going to an Aveda Hairdresser for the past 20 years, since I have found out that Estee Lauder now owns Aveda I have stopped going and have to find an alternative brand that really does not test on animals themselves or by others, no easy task.The excuse that they have to supply to their customers all over the world is unadulterated eye wash. To not sell to such a vast Chinese population would affect their profit and it is obvious they put that before the welfare of animals. Heaven knows animals in China already have such a cruel life I have vowed not to buy one single thing that is made in China, ever again a mammoth task, but I would rather go without. Currently I would like a new radio to replace a broken one, a hand mixer, to replace a broken one and a toaster, again to replace a broken one (never rains but it pours) but as of yet I have had no luck. How is it possible that no-one manufactures these items other than China?

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