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Olay is a popular American skincare brand, known for their “ageless” skincare and beauty products, but is Olay cruelty-free?
Is Olay Cruelty-Free?
Olay is NOT Cruelty-free. Olay pays and allows their products to be tested on animals when required by law. Olay also sells its products in stores in mainland China where animal testing is mandatory for most imported cosmetics.
In addition, Olay is owned by P&G, a parent company that is also not cruelty-free.
Olay Animal Testing Policy
On Olay’s website, it states that Olay does not test their products on animals and that in some countries where Olay is sold, they may be required by law to submit their products to labs that conduct animal testing. And for those reasons, Olay does not claim to be “cruelty-free”.
Below is a screenshot of what is currently stated on Olay’s website:
Where Olay states in their animal testing policy, “in a few countries where Olay is sold, governments still mandate animal tests. In those cases, Olay can be required by law to submit our products to labs where we know animal tests are happening” implies that Olay products may be selling their products in mainland China where animal testing is required by law for most imported cosmetics.
Olay Sold in China?
I later discovered that Olay products are indeed sold in China.
Below is a screenshot I took from their Chinese website olay.com.cn:
Because of Olay’s decision to sell their products in-stores in mainland China, they must consent and pay the Chinese government to test their products on animals.
Olay claims that they “do not believe these tests are necessary to evaluate safety or performance. But today, they [China] won’t accept alternative non-animal testing methods. We remain steadfast and will continue to advocate for alternative methods to end animal tests in the industry.”
Although Olay may not be conducting these animal tests themselves and don’t believe these tests are necessary. At the same time, they are knowingly consenting the Chinese authorities to test their products on animals in order to sell in their country.
Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell in China for this very reason or until China changes their animal testing requirements for imported cosmetics. Sadly, Olay refuses to do the same and has decided to put profits before the welfare of animals.
Olay also claims they are working closely with the Chinese government to provide alternative research methods to eliminate animal testing in the skincare and beauty industry, as well as, partnering with Humane Society International’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign which aims to ban animal testing for cosmetics in all major global beauty markets by 2023.
In my opinion, I feel it’s hypocritical for Olay to claim they are trying to end animal testing for cosmetics but at the same time, their products are being tested on animals.
Summary: Olay is NOT Cruelty-Free!
By choosing to sell in mainland China, Olay must have their products tested on animals. Therefore I would not consider Olay to be a cruelty-free brand.
Olay is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.
Is Olay Vegan?
Since we would not consider Olay 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 Olay to be vegan.
Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Olay:
Looking for a cruelty-free alternative to Olay? We recommend the following cruelty-free brands:
- Mario Badescu – some vegan options
- Skyn Iceland – 100% Vegan
- Paula’s Choice – some vegan options
- Murad *owned by Unilever – some vegan options