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Is Maybelline Cruelty-Free?
☠️ Maybelline is NOT cruelty-free in 2023. Maybelline allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, including when selling in stores in mainland China.
Maybelline’s Animal Testing Policy
When asking, does Maybelline test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Maybelline’s ingredients or suppliers test on animals. And they don’t sell in any country or under conditions that may require animal testing by law.
To assess whether brands are cruelty-free, I always start with the company’s official animal testing policy on their website.
Maybelline states on its FAQ page that the brand is a subsidiary of L’Oreal. And then continues with L’Oreal’s animal testing policy stating,
“L’Oréal no longer tests any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals, anywhere in the world nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others. An exception could only be made if regulatory authorities demanded it for safety or regulatory purposes.“
Below is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Maybelline’s company website:
Based on their statement, Maybelline has the same animal testing policy as L’Oreal, where both state they make an exception to allow their products to be tested on animals if regulatory authorities demand it.
Policies stating, “an exception could only be made if regulatory authorities demanded it for safety or regulatory purposes” usually imply the company distributes its products in countries that require animal testing, like mainland China.
Is Maybelline Sold in China?
I found evidence of Maybelline selling its products in China. Below is a screenshot I took from their Chinese website:
But Doesn’t China No Longer Test on Animals?
With the recent changes to China’s animal testing laws, cosmetic companies can now export and sell some of their cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet ALL of the following preconditions first.
- ONLY sell ‘general’ cosmetics (like makeup, skincare, haircare, nail polish, and perfumes)
- must NOT sell any ‘special’ cosmetics like sunscreens, hair dye, hair perming, or other cosmetics claiming new efficacy
- must NOT sell products designed for infants or children
- must NOT sell products that contain a ‘New Cosmetic Ingredient’
- AND if post-market testing is required, then the company must have a policy in place where it will RECALL its products rather than allow its products to be tested on animals
Also, products must meet ONE of the following in order to avoid animal testing in China:
- manufactured in China, or the final assembly is in China
- if manufactured outside of China and then exported to China, companies must obtain the proper product safety certificates and documents
However, it’s not stated anywhere that Maybelline has taken any steps to meet the above preconditions in order to avoid animal testing while selling in China.
Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see why most cosmetics sold in China (like Maybelline and L’Oreal) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2023.
Because Maybelline 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 2023.
Although Maybelline may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, they knowingly allow Chinese authorities to test their products on animals in order to sell in China.
For those reasons, we would NOT consider Maybelline to be cruelty-free by our standards.
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Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China under conditions where animal tests may be required. Unfortunately, Maybelline 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 Maybelline already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as cruelty-free.
Is Maybelline Certified Cruelty-Free?
Maybelline is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.
Since Maybelline is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is substantiating or auditing Maybelline’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.
Is Maybelline Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?
Yes. Maybelline is owned by L’Oreal, a parent corporation that still engages in animal testing in 2023.
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, Maybelline is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its parent corporation, L’Oreal.
Does Maybelline Test On Animals?
To wrap up, Maybelline allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, like when selling in China. Therefore, we would NOT consider Maybelline to be a cruelty-free brand.
Currently, Maybelline is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.
Is Maybelline Vegan?
❌ Maybelline is NOT vegan. Maybelline claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but Maybelline engages in animal testing in some capacity, so we wouldn’t consider any Maybelline products vegan at this time.
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 Makeup Alternatives:
Looking for a cruelty-free alternative to Maybelline? We recommend the following cruelty-free affordable, drugstore makeup brands:
or check out our list of drugstore cruelty-free makeup brands!