YSL Beauty (L’Oreal)

Last Updated: October 4, 2022

Is YSL Beauty (L’Oreal) 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 YSL’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

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

YSL Beauty is also owned by L’Oreal, a parent corporation that does engage in animal testing.
Yes, YSL sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
YSL Beauty claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because YSL engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by YSL to be vegan.

YSL Beauty (L’Oreal)

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YSL is NOT Cruelty-Free!

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

In addition, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty is also owned by L’Oreal, a parent company that is NOT cruelty-free.

YSL Beauty’s Animal Testing Policy

On YSL’s FAQ page, they state their parent company, L’Oreal’s animal testing policy.

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

Based on their statement, YSL Beauty has the same animal testing policy as L’Oreal. And what’s missing from the above statement is that L’Oreal allows some of its brands’ products to be tested on animals when required by law, like when selling in China.

“Certain health authorities may nevertheless decide to conduct animal tests themselves for certain cosmetic products, as it is still the case in China” (Source: L’Oreal’s website)

Is YSL Beauty Sold in China?

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

Below is a screenshot of YSL’s Chinese website:

YSL Beauty Sold in China - Not Cruelty-Free!
YSL Beauty Sold in China – Not Cruelty-Free!

But Doesn’t China No Longer Tests 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 YSL Beauty 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 YSL Beauty) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.

Because YSL Beauty 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 YSL Beauty 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 YSL Beauty 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, YSL 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, and by any third parties, including when required by law.

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

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is YSL Certified Cruelty-Free?

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

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

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

Yes. YSL Beauty is owned by L’Oreal, 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, YSL Beauty is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its parent corporation, L’Oreal.

Is YSL Beauty Cruelty-Free?

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

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

Is YSL Beauty Vegan?

YSL Beauty claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because YSL engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by YSL 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. Also, they must not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to YSL:

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

and check out our list of high-end cruelty-free makeup brands!


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What do you think

6 thoughts on “YSL Beauty (L’Oreal)”

    1. Me too! Especially after they made their announcement to go fur-free, they’ve been getting so much positive feedback and praise! It’s almost a no-brainer for them to go cruelty-free with their beauty line too! =) Hopefully in due time.

  1. Armani was my favourite cosmetics brand for a long time…but their products are definitely not vegan, and I’m sorry to learn that they also aren’t cruelty free. Since going vegan I’ve been erring on the side of caution, but I love having your blog as a resource!

    1. Same here! By default, once I knew they weren’t vegan.. I didn’t bother to look into their animal testing policy. Glad a reader had asked me because I’m sure a lot of other cruelty-free shoppers were wondering the same thing =)

  2. It’s so disappointing that in this day and age when brands – like L’Oreal – have attempted to be be more scientifically savvy in terms of growing tissue cells in labs to avoid testing on animals, that it isn’t enough for governments that still require animal testing. I understand the temptation for brands to allow this when you think of the potential market they can tap into.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this changes in years to come.

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