Clinique is a brand that feels like it’s been around forever with its iconic chic packaging and science-based formulas. Unfortunately, when it comes to solid cruelty-free ad vegan policies we can trust, Clinique has still not made any major steps.

Clinique is not 100% cruelty-free or vegan, as its products are sold where animal testing is required by law. It also cannot be considered vegan as it is not cruelty-free.
Clinique started when the daughter-in-law of the creator of Estee Lauder, Evelyn Lauder, came across a US Vogue article called “Can Great Skin Be Created?” in 1967.

This article had a huge influence and led to Clinique officially opening in 1968 with the idea that skincare needed a more focused approach. Clinique began selling their 3-step cleanser, exfoliating, and moisturizing method.

Seems simple enough, but 55 years ago, it was pretty much revolutionary.

Since then, this cosmetics giant has become associated with high-end stores and expanded into makeup and fragrances. And with the newest resurgence of their decades-old ‘Black Honey lipstick’, Clinique is still keeping up their popularity.

But while Clinique has been around for decades with its formulas, the brand has still not made an effort to be cruelty-free and vegan. What’s holding them back?

However, if you are looking for alternatives to Clinique in the same price range with the same quality, click here. 

Clinique Product Shot

Clinique Ethical Overview

Cruelty-free: No

Vegan: No (Clinique cannot be considered vegan if it is not cruelty-free)

Clean ingredients: Yes

Sustainable & Ethical: High efforts

Mica Mining Policy: yes

RSPO Palm Oil Certified: Yes

Clinique is Not Cruelty-Free

Test any of its products or ingredients on animals


Purchase any ingredients tested on animals within its supply chain


Distribute its products to any countries that require animal testing by law.


Clinique might claim to be working towards getting animal testing banned worldwide, but that hasn’t stopped them from distributing their products where it’s required by law.

The brand is also owned by Estée Lauder, a cosmetics giant that, similarly to Clinique, allows animal testing when required by law.

Does Clinique Test on Animals?

After 55 years of creating and selling products, Clinique still has not become 100% cruelty-free.

Clinique has a stance on cruelty-free cosmetics, claiming to be completely against animal testing, but that stance apparently doesn’t apply when it comes to mandatory testing by law.

Clinique still sells products in mainland China where animal testing is required by law, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon.

What Is Clinique’s Cruelty-Free Status in 2023?

Here is a screenshot of Clinique’s official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products, taken from its website:

Clinique cruelty-free status

Clinique Has No Cruelty-Free Certification

Without a clear and solid stance on animal testing, Clinique won’t get any certifications soon.

As long as Clinique continues selling products in mainland China, no reputable company can stand behind them.

A Leaping Bunny certification proves that:

  • No animal testing is conducted on the ingredients, formulas, or final products they sell.
  • No animal testing is conducted by the brand suppliers or on their ingredients or formulas.
  • No animal testing is done by someone else that the company itself paid for.