Last Updated: January 6, 2022

Is MAC Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

MAC is a popular cosmetics company, offering more than 100 shades of cosmetics, but is MAC cruelty-free or vegan in 2022?

Ethical Analysis

Is MAC cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on MAC’s policies.
MAC is NOT Cruelty-Free. MAC engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.
Yes, MAC sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
Since MAC’s products are animal-tested, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by MAC to be vegan.


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Is MAC Cruelty-Free?

MAC is a popular cosmetics company but is MAC cruelty-free in 2022? We’ve got the answers here!

Is MAC Cosmetics Cruelty-Free?

MAC is NOT Cruelty-free. MAC Cosmetics sells its products in stores in mainland China where animal testing is mandatory for most imported cosmetics. As a result, MAC pays and allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law.

In addition, MAC is owned by Estee Lauder, a parent company that is also not cruelty-free.

MAC Animal Testing Policy

Below is the statement found on MAC Cosmetics’ website:

MAC Cosmetics Cruelty-Free Claims

On their website, MAC Cosmetics claims they do not test on animals. However, they state that some governments conduct animal testing before they’re allowed to sell their products there.

It turns out that MAC chooses to sell its products, specifically, in mainland China where it is mandatory for most imported cosmetics to be tested on animals.

Is MAC Sold in China?

It’s been confirmed that MAC does indeed sell its cosmetics in stores in mainland China.

They state this is the case on their website, “China tests on animals as part of its safety assessment of cosmetic products. We love our fans and we never want to exclude them anywhere.”

Below is a screenshot I took from MAC’s website,

MAC and China's laws

MAC is actually able to serve and include its customers in China without having to test on animals, if only they stick with selling its cosmetics online.

Cosmetics that are shipped directly to customers in China but are not sold in a physical store in mainland China are actually not required to be tested on animals. But instead of this, MAC chooses to sell in stores.

The following are a couple of screenshots I took from the company’s Chinese website, clearly showing several stores in China carrying MAC Cosmetics:

MAC Sold in China
MAC Cosmetics sold in stores in China

Because of MAC’s decision to sell in mainland China stores, they must consent and pay to have their products tested on animals. That’s why most cosmetic brands selling in mainland China cannot be considered cruelty-free in 2022.

Although MAC Cosmetics may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, they are knowingly allowing Chinese authorities to test their products on animals in order to sell in China.

Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China because of the country’s animal testing laws. Unfortunately, MAC Cosmetics refuses to do the same and has decided to put profits before the welfare of animals.

Summary: MAC is NOT Cruelty-Free!

To sum up, by choosing to sell in mainland China, MAC Cosmetics must have their products tested on animals. Therefore I would not consider MAC to be a cruelty-free brand.

Currently, MAC Cosmetics is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.

Is MAC Cosmetics Vegan?

Since we would not consider MAC to be cruelty-free as their products are tested on animals when required by law, we also wouldn’t consider anything sold or manufactured by MAC Cosmetics to be vegan.

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, and also must not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to MAC:

Looking to switch to cruelty-free brands? Here are some cruelty-free and vegan-friendly options that are similar to MAC Cosmetics:

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