MAC Cosmetics – Are They Cruelty Free?

MAC Cosmetics animal testing banner

If you want to keep up with our latest news here at Ethics & Aesthetics, click here to follow our brand new Instagram account!

MAC Cosmetics are one of the most popular makeup brands around. A dupe of their famous lipsticks is still one of the most requested things on my local cruelty free Facebook groups! Unfortunately, MAC Cosmetics are not cruelty free – they allow animal testing to occur on their products, and they are owned by a non-cruelty free parent company.

Are MAC Cosmetics Cruelty Free?

Mac Cosmetics are not cruelty free. MAC Cosmetics state on their website:

“While some governments conduct animal testing to prove safety before they will allow us to sell our products, M·A·C has never tested on animals”

Along with many other popular brands, although MAC Cosmetics state that they have never tested on animals, you can see from the quote that they allow their products to be tested on animals by ‘some governments’. As we all know, true cruelty free brands do not sell their products under governments that conduct animal testing.

In addition to this, MAC Cosmetics are owned by Estée Lauder. This leads to a fairly complicated debate on whether or not an animal testing parent company can own a cruelty free brand. (Get more info here). I always say that it’s up to an individual to decide whether or not they want to buy from brands with animal testing parent companies, but either way it’s worth noting.

Click here to find cruelty free brands.

Do MAC Cosmetics have Vegan Products?

No MAC products can be classed as vegan because they are all subject to animal testing. Makeup Academy (MUA) is a great alternative brand that is 100% cruelty free and vegan.

Are MAC Cosmetics a Sustainable Brand?

Hidden away on their website is a link to MAC Cosmetics’ “Back to MAC” scheme, which gives you a free lipstick for every six empty MAC containers returned to store for recycling. This can only be done in-store and doesn’t seem to be particularly well advertised on their website, but at least it’s something.

This post may contain affiliate links