Is Laura Mercier Cruelty-Free and Vegan in 2023?

Laura Mercier, a brand made famous by celebrities and magazine editors for its melt-on-the-skin formulas, has now made it perfectly clear what its cruelty-free and vegan policies are.

Laura Mercier 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.
This French-inspired American cosmetics and skincare brand launched in 1996, and now almost 30 years later, Laura Mercier is still going strong.

Laura Mercier was made by a makeup artist looking to make products for everyone who wanted a bit of luxury. The formulas are made to give a feeling of effortless beauty by accentuating natural beauty.

People love the brand because of the creamy and gentle formulas that leave a natural finish. However, many have hesitated to try them for a long time because of their iffy animal welfare policies.

The brand might’ve once been in a confusing grey area when it came to its cruelty-free and vegan policies, but since its parent company has joined the picture – it’s now clear what Laura Mercier’s priorities are (spoiler, it’s not great news).

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

Laura Mercier Product Shot

Laura Mercier Ethical Overview

Cruelty-free: No (OGX sells products in China)

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

Clean ingredients: Yes

Sustainable & Ethical: No efforts

Mica Mining Policy: No

RSPO Palm Oil Certified: No

Laura Mercier 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.


Laura Mercier’s cruelty-free policy has been everywhere for almost 30 years, but it’s now official – The brand is not cruelty-free.

The brand was acquired by Shiseido in 2021. Laura Mercier has taken on their parent company’s animal testing policies, making neither cruelty-free.

Does Laura Mercier Test on Animals?

Laura Mercier has gone back and forth on their animal testing policy for almost 30 years, but here’s the breakdown and where the brand stands today.

When the brand launched in 1996, it claimed to be cruelty-free from ingredient sourcing to distribution, but this didn’t last.

In 2013 the policy changed to include “when required by law,” and the brand stated they were in the process of selling in China but had not begun yet.

The brand removed this “when required by law” exception not long after because the interest to sell in China had “ceased.”

This apparently didn’t last very long when in 2021, after Shiseido acquired Laura Mercier, the brand went straight into selling products in mainland China where animal testing is required by law.

It seems like all they needed to decide on their animal testing policy was a powerful enough parent company to convince them.

What Is Laura Mercier’s Cruelty-Free Status in 2023?

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

laura mercier cruelty free status

Laura Mercier Has No Cruelty-Free Certification

Now that Laura Mercier has truly cemented itself as not cruelty-free, there is no question about whether or not this brand will get a reputable certification any time soon.

While Laura Mercier continues to allow animal testing on products when it is required by law, the brand cannot be cruelty-free.

Any truly cruelty-free brand should get a certification to prove it. 

Certification from Leaping Bunny is ideal – even more so than PETA – because it holds rigorous standards and does regular audits to ensure they are upheld.

Laura Mercier is Sold Where Animal Testing is Required by Law

Yes, Laura Mercier 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?

Laura Mercier is Not Vegan

Laura Mercier claims to be in the process of finding alternatives for the animal-derived ingredients that they are still currently using.

Unfortunately, even with all the plant-based replacements, Laura Mercier can never have products that can be considered vegan. This is because the brand is not 100% cruelty-free.

With their current cruelty-free policy, it’s impossible to consider them holistically vegan.

Some of the most common animal-derived ingredients that Laura Mercier uses are honeybeeswaxlanolin, and carmine.

Vegan Alternatives to Laura Mercier


price range

100% vegan


$20 - $70


Leaping Bunny

$20 - $45



$15 - $50


Leaping Bunny

$5 - $180


PETA, Choose Cruelty Free

$6 - $20



Laura Mercier is not Natural or Organic

Laura Mercier claims to give you a natural-looking flawless face. Still, when it comes to the ingredients, there aren’t a lot of natural ingredients to be found.

The brand isn’t advertised as natural or organic, but you can still find some natural ingredients in the mix.

Many products have one or two natural key ingredients, but most of Laura Mercier’s formulas are synthetic.

All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas. Laura Mercier 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.

Laura Mercier Has an 82 – 100% Allergen-Free Ranking.

According to Skin Safe, Laura Mercier has an 82 – 100% allergen-free ranking for each product.

Many of Laura Mercier’s products are free of allergens such as fragrance, gluten, coconut, nickel, top common allergy-causing preservatives, lanolin, paraben, topical antibiotic, MCI/MI, soy, and SLS.

Reading the ingredient list is crucial because Laura Mercier 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!

But it’s still worth knowing that with makeup, you want to avoid these ingredients:

  • Butylated compounds (BHA, BHT)
  • Ethanolamine compounds (DEA, MEA, and TEA)
  • Carbon black
  • Coal tar and benzene
  • Untreated mineral oils
  • Lead and other heavy metals
  • PPG, PEG, and polysorbate 

Laura Mercier Is Not Sustainable or Ethical

Laura Mercier launched the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund in 2013, but today there isn’t much happening with it. The website is down, and there’s no mention of it on the brand's website.

And regarding the environment, saying that Laura Mercier is not very sustainable is an understatement.

Currently, Laura Mercier has yet to say anything about any sustainability initiatives, not even urging their customers to recycle their products.

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.

Final Thoughts

Laura Mercier has been a classic favorite for many people for a long time. Many swear by the formulas saying they are the only products that are great for their sensitive skin.

But there’s not much to be impressed by compared to so many other cosmetics brands out there.

Laura Mercier has never been truly committed to being cruelty-free in their 30 years of business and has cemented their not cruelty-free status by selling in China.

Further, the brand is not sustainable in any way. Beyond a vague tweet saying you can recycle the empty containers, Laura Mercier has no initiatives in place. This includes still using unsustainable and unethical palm oil and mica. 

There’s a lot to do. With a brand as established as Laura Mercier, we hope the brand can make some real effort beyond putting out new products in the near future.