Is MAC Cosmetics cruelty-free in 2021?

MAC test on animals

MAC Cosmetics was once a cruelty-free brand. Many people think that they still are, and you can’t blame them as we will see later in the post. However, as we will be reading later, MAC doesn’t want to exclude any of their fans. So they agreed to start selling in China. If you are new to the animal testing topic, here’s a summary on China’s animal testing laws. China allows companies to sell their products in the Chinese market as long as the company allows the authority to test their products on animals. China thinks that animal testing is the only method to check if a product is safe. I have a post about the latest animal testing status in China if you would like to read further.

As soon as MAC started selling in China cruelty-free organisations, bloggers and influencers started to consider MAC as not cruelty-free. So the quick answer to whether MAC does test on animals is no. However, they allow others to test their products. So this makes them not cruelty-free.

Since I noticed that many read MAC Cosmetics Animal Testing Policy and believe that their products are not tested animals, I thought I go through this policy with you piece by piece and explain further.

Does MAC Cosmetics test on animals?

I won’t be pasting the whole policy as the post will get too long and boring. I will be pasting the parts to watch out for when checking animal testing policies of other brands. The parts that I copy from their policy will be in bold and italics. The rest is my opinion on whether MAC test on animals.

  • “M·A·C does not test on animals. We do not own any animal testing facilities and we never ask others to test on animals for us.”
    I agree they never tested and never asked anyone to test on animals for them, BUT…
  • “While some governments conduct animal testing to prove safety before they will allow us to sell our products”
    Here’s the sentence to watch out for. Governments test their products to allow them to sell in their countries. There are countries that do not resort to animal testing, so why does not MAC limit their availability to just those countries if they really want “to be a leader in the movement to end animal testing globally” ??? We will kind of get our answer in the next section which is the FAQs part.
  • “Which countries require animal testing?
    China tests on animals as part of its safety assessment of cosmetic products. We love our fans and we never want to exclude them anywhere.” They admit that China is the only country they sell in that requires animal testing. China is a huge market, in such a large market there is a large fan base, and fans are equals to money. The way I see it is that they would rather make boost their profits and risk the trust of people who want to live cruelty-free.

Is MAC Cosmetics owned by a parent that is not cruelty-free?

MAC Cosmetics is owned by Estée Lauder. PETA lists Estée Lauder as an animal testing company.

Is MAC Cosmetics certified cruelty-free?

MAC Cosmetics is not certified cruelty-freePETA lists MAC Cosmetics as an animal testing company.

Is MAC Cosmetics cruelty-free?

MAC Cosmetics themselves stated that their products were tested on animals before being allowed to sell their products in Mainland China and PETA lists MAC Cosmetics as an animal testing company. These two points prove that MAC Cosmetics is not cruelty-free.

Which brands should I support instead?

If you are looking for a brand who is serious about its anti-animal-testing policy. Check my list of brands that are against animal testing. If you have other brands which you have questions about, please leave a comment below.

Source: MAC Animal Testing Policy as at 1/5/2019


(a.k.a. Fiona Henschel) Malta-born blogger. I have been blogging during these last 6 years on my cruelty-free lifestyle including recipes, beauty and makeup products that I discover, receive, buy and try.