Olay (P&G)

Last Updated: March 1, 2024

How Ethical Is Olay (P&G)?

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 Olay’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Olay cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Olay’s policies.
Olay is NOT Cruelty-Free. Olay engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.

Olay is also owned by P&G, a parent corporation that does engage in animal testing.
Yes, Olay sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
Olay does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since Olay engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by Olay to be vegan anyways.

Olay (P&G)

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Is Olay Cruelty-Free?

☠️ Olay is NOT cruelty-free in 2023. Olay allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, including when selling in stores in mainland China.

Olay’s Animal Testing Policy

When asking, does Olay test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Olay’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.

On Olay’s website, they claim Olay does not test its products on animals, however, 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:

Olay Animal Testing Policy

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 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 Olay Sold in China?

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

Below is a screenshot of Olay’s 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 Olay 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 Olay) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2023.

Because Olay 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 Olay 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 Olay to be cruelty-free by our standards.

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Cruelty-Free Policies

Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China under conditions where animal tests may be required. Unfortunately, Olay 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 Olay already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Olay Certified Cruelty-Free?

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

Since Olay is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is substantiating or auditing Olay’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.

Is Olay Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?

Yes. Olay is owned by Procter & Gamble, 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, Olay is NOT cruelty-free, and neither is its parent corporation, Procter & Gamble.

Does Olay Test on Animals?

To wrap up, Olay allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, like when selling in China. Therefore, we would NOT consider Olay to be a cruelty-free brand.

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

Is Olay Vegan?

Olay is NOT vegan. Olay does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since Olay engages in animal testing in some capacity, we wouldn’t consider any Olay products 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 Olay:

Looking for a cruelty-free alternative to Olay? We recommend the following cruelty-free brands:

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What do you think

3 thoughts on “Olay (P&G)”

  1. Susan Marie St.Denis-Searle

    Until Olay stops selling to animal testing countries, I will not buy, and encourage all on social media to do also. If corporate greed is more important than compassion for helpless animals, I will campaign against their sale . So disappointed, I’ve loved their product for years and sincerely hope they take this to heart!!!!

  2. I have used Olay products for years and would probably have used it for the rest of my life. But I cannot in any conscience continue to support a company that puts corporate profits ahead of the cruelty of animal testing! Do you REALLY need the Chinese market to fiscally survive? I am so very disappointed and will be throwing out my remaining product and turn to a cruelty free option. My wrinkles are not as important as eliminating animal testing requirements.

  3. How do we contact the company and request for them to go cruelty free?
    I know companies need to make a profit but not at the cost of testing on animals .
    Any suggestions? I used Olay when I was younger . Now I try to buy all cruelty free products from beauty to cleaning . I buy cruelty free natural cleaners or make them myself.

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