MAC Cosmetics has been a cult classic in the makeup industry for decades. The brand has been a staple for many, with a reputation for superior quality products. But when it comes to the brand's cruelty-free and vegan policies, we’re still waiting for some innovation.

MAC Cosmetics 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.
If you’re in the industry, you, without a doubt, will know about MAC Cosmetics. This Toronto-founded company is now one of the top global makeup brands around.

The brand was founded in 1984, and thanks to Madonna wearing one of the signature lipsticks in the late 80s, MAC Cosmetics took off.

Today MAC Cosmetics is known for high-quality and innovative formulas that are rich in pigment and are long-wearing. And while they are mostly known for their makeup, the brand also sells skincare!

The brand has managed to stay relevant for so long because they have evolved with the times and have strong core values.

It’s unfortunate, however, that this does not apply to their cruelty-free and vegan policies. After almost 40 years, we still have not seen any real improvement.

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

Mac Cosmetics Product Shot

MAC Cosmetics Ethical Overview

Cruelty-free: No

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

Clean ingredients: Yes

Sustainable & Ethical: High efforts

Mica Mining Policy: No

RSPO Palm Oil Certified: Yes

MAC Cosmetics 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.


MAC Cosmetics can’t be considered cruelty-free while the brand continues to sell products in mainland China.

Further, MAC Cosmetics is owned by Estée Lauder, which is also not cruelty-free for the same reason – allowing animal testing when required by law.

Does MAC Cosmetics Test on Animals?

MAC Cosmetics has always claimed to be against animal testing, partnering with IIVS (Institute For In Vitro Sciences) to find non-animal testing methods worldwide.

But this does not change the fact that MAC Cosmetics has been selling in traditional stores in China for over a decade, and they do not intend to pull out.

The brand has made a statement saying that because they love their fans, they do not want ever to exclude them anywhere.

Claiming to be against animal testing but continuing to allow it to happen makes any of their cruelty-free claims misleading.

What Is MAC Cosmetics Cruelty-Free Status in 2023?

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

mac cosmetics cruelty free status

MAC Cosmetics Has No Cruelty-Free Certification

Without a solid cruelty-free policy, MAC Cosmetics won’t get a certification from a reputable organization.

While the brand continues to sell in mainland China, it’s impossible to consider it cruelty-free.

If you’re looking for a real cruelty-free brand, you always want to look out for certification to prove it.

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.
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