Lancome brings timeless Parisian chic to your countertops, but their cruelty-free and vegan policies are not so pretty.
Lancôme 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.
Everything from the name of the brand, the names of products, and the iconic single gold rose is all to emphasize French beauty, spirit, and elegance.
Today the brand is known for luxury perfumes, makeup, and skincare sold worldwide. They’re committed to continuously researching and pioneering science to create effective formulas.
But before you get lost in the luxurious French splendor of it all, Lancôme is not making any strides in animal welfare, and we can’t help but wonder why.
However, if you are looking for alternatives to Lancôme in the same price range with the same quality, click here.
Lancôme Ethical Overview
Lancôme 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.
Lancôme follows its parent company’s policy when it comes to being cruelty-free.
Lancôme is owned by L’Oreal, who are notoriously not cruelty-free. Lancôme and L’Oreal allow animal testing when required by law, which means they sell in mainland China.
Does Lancôme Test on Animals?
Lancôme has never been considered cruelty-free.
While they might claim that they would never allow animal testing in their own labs and factories, the brand still sells in mainland China.
Lancôme’s wording on the matter makes it sound like it’s out of their control as they only allow animal testing when it is “demanded” for safety and regulatory purposes.
But Lancôme doesn’t have to sell in China. It’s fully a deliberate decision, and they are aware of the consequences that come with it.
What Is Lancôme’s Cruelty-Free Status in 2023?
Here is a screenshot of Lancôme’s official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products, taken from its website:
Lancôme Has No Cruelty-Free Certification
As long as Lancôme continues to sell its products in mainland China, the brand can never get a real cruelty-free certification from a reputable organization.
Truly cruelty-free brands still need certifications to prove it because labeling yourself as cruelty-free doesn’t actually guarantee that there are no exceptions in the system.
Without worldwide laws and regulations, we can only trust organizations like Leaping Bunny to ensure all claims are being upheld to the highest standard.
While you might know PETA very well – it surprisingly doesn't hold the strictest cruelty-free regulations. Leaping Bunny certification is the gold standard to live up to.
Lancôme is Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law
Yes, Lancôme distributes its products in China, where animal testing on cosmetics is required as products arrive at the border.
China has a shocking track record. It is the country with the most animal testing globally, with over 20 million animals used per year.
However, if you live in China or are concerned about its cruel beauty policies, there are a couple of loopholes.
Here's how to find cruelty-free cosmetics in China: Are Cosmetics Made in China Cruelty-Free?
Lancôme is Not Vegan
As long as Lancôme is allowing their products to be tested on animals by selling in China – we cannot consider any products that are free from animal-derived ingredients as vegan.
At least the brand hasn’t claimed to have any vegan ranges or formulas.
Some of the most common animal-derived ingredients that Clinique uses are honey, beeswax, lanolin, carmine, and Bifida Ferment Lysate.
Vegan Alternatives to Lancôme
Lancôme is Not Natural, or Organic
Lancôme has never claimed to be the most natural or organic brand on the block.
The best thing you’ll find in Lancôme’s ingredient inventory is their roses. 99% of the roses in all skincare and makeup are organic.
Otherwise, Lancôme relies on synthetic ingredients to create their formulas.
All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas. Lancôme is no exception – but it does choose to use better or clean synthetics.
If a synthetic ingredient is "clean," it means it is safe and non-toxic for us. Its purpose is to preserve the stability of a beauty formulation.
Lancôme Has a 73 – 100% Allergen-Free Ranking
According to Skin Safe, Lancôme has a 73 – 100% allergen-free ranking for each product.
Many of Lancôme’s products are free of allergens such as fragrance, gluten, coconut, nickel, top common allergy-causing preservatives, paraben, topical antibiotic, MCI/MI, soy, propylene glycol, balsam of Peru, oil, irritant/acid, and SLS.
Reading the ingredient list is crucial because Lancôme is not 100% hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic, and they do not claim to be.
However, certain products specifically address these concerns, so make sure you buy what your skin needs.
The EU/UK Have Stricter Ingredient Regulations
We don’t want to scare you, but you HAVE to read up on any product’s ingredient list before you make a purchase – especially if you live within the United States. The reason why will shock you.
The FDA has only banned or restricted 11 harmful chemicals from cosmetics nationwide. Europe and the UK, on the other hand, have banned 1,328!
Given Lancôme is an EU-based brand with strict ingredient policies – you don't need to worry too much.
With skincare and cosmetics, you want to avoid these ingredients:
Lancôme Is Moderately Sustainable and Ethical
When it comes to social causes, Lancôme has focused most of its energy on supporting women of color by promoting literacy, mentoring, and entrepreneurship.
Lancôme has partnered with NAACP to provide scholarship and mentoring opportunities to young women of color.
This has included paying tuition through their Write Her Future Scholarship Fund.
It's no secret that the world has a huge waste problem, and cosmetic brands only make it worse by using unsustainable packaging and harmful ingredients.
Lancôme takes environmental accountability by:
Lancôme has been making high-end cosmetics and fragrances for almost a century, yet their cruelty-free and vegan policies are still nothing to be impressed by.
The brand still distributes products in China, where animal testing is required by law. It doesn’t matter if they claim to be working towards changing laws on China's animal testing policy.
This brand is a mega-giant in the cosmetics world. Lancôme won’t be pulling out of that market unless China changes its laws.
Lancôme at least has made a little effort with their sustainability efforts, but it’s nothing revolutionary coming from a brand worth billions.
As consumers, we can always speak up, but when brands are this big and respected, unfortunately, it doesn’t lead to much change.
If you’re an activist who cares for animal welfare, there are better brands to support.