Cruelty-Free Makeup Companies: Reviews of Avon, M.A.C, Almay, and More

Cruelty-Free Makeup

Buying cruelty-free makeup is the only way you can be sure that no animals have been harmed in the manufacture of your makeup.  Each year 70 million animals are used in the United States for product testing.

Thanks to the efforts of animal rights groups such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), more and more companies are eliminating the testing of products on animals.  However, it’s important to read the fine print.

Some companies claim that their products are cruelty-free or not tested on animals when the finished product may not have been tested on animals, but the individual ingredients have.  Sometimes companies claim that they don’t test on animals, but they contract with other companies to do the testing.

Cruelty-Free Makeup Companies

Fortunately, cruelty-free makeup is readily available.  You don’t have to go to a specialty store; many cruelty-free brands are available in your local drugstore.  Some brands include the following:

  • Avon
  • Almay
  • M.A.C.
  • Bare Minerals
  • The Body Shop

Avon became the first major cosmetics company to announce the end on all animal testing on its products back in 1989.  Instead, their safety evaluation process uses clinical trials on human volunteers and test tube data.  Avon also works with other companies to develop new testing methods.

Avon never tests its finished products or raw ingredients on animals.  In 2010, “Twilight” actress Ashley Greene became the face of Avon and was honored by PETA for doing so.  Avon products can be purchased through direct sales by an Avon Representative or online through an eRepresentative.

Almay products are hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.  Almay does not test its products on animals, but instead non-animal test methods and the judgment of medical and toxicological experts to determine the safety of its products.  Almay products can be purchased at your local drugstore.

M.A.C. Cosmetics has a cruelty-free beauty initiative.  This principle prohibits testing of their products on animals and also requires that the suppliers of their raw ingredients do not test on animals, either.  M.A.C. Products can be purchased in many major department stores.

The Body Shop has never tested its products on animal and does not contract with other companies to do so.  They even comply with the strict requirements of the Humane Cosmetics Standard.   The Body Shop even created a new, cruelty-free method for gathering musk from deer to use in making fragrances.

Cruelty-Free Makeup Brushes

Many makeup brushes are made from squirrel, mink, pony, goat, or sable hair.  Millions of animals are killed or injured every year as part of the fur industry for the production of makeup brushes and other fur products.  The Body Shop, Urban Decay, and Aveda offer high-quality, cruelty-free synthetic makeup brushes.

Bare Minerals also has a full line of cruelty-free makeup and products that are all natural and good for your skin.  Bare Minerals does not test any of its products on animals or work with manufacturers that do.  They make natural makeup brushes from goat and pony hair, but the animals are not harmed in that process.

Vegan Choices for Cruelty-Free Makeup

Urban Decay offers many cosmetics that are not only cruelty-free, but also vegan.  Vegan makeup includes products that are made from fruits and vegetables, so check the labels for ingredient listings if you are unsure.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie August 15, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Just an FYI but the body shop was just bought by L’Oreal which does do animal testing, so the body shop may not be on the cruelty free list anymore

jill September 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm

well done katie i had just read that myself about bodyshop and l’oreal so couldn’t understand why it was classed as cruely free

Laura October 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Beauty without Cruelty is another great company, I like their shampoos and conditioners. They have never used animal testing.

CaliPop January 17, 2012 at 2:30 am

I understood that the white musk that The Body Shop uses was actually a synthetic musk developed by Ferminich, the scent and flavor company, about 30 years ago. There are also other musk scents that are synthetic, or created from plants and ambrette seeds –and therefore not related to animals.

Lee February 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Avon, Mary Kay and Estee Lauder are no longer cruelty free. They have gone back to torturing animals so they can get in to the Chinese market.–Mary-Kay–And-Estee-Lauder-Secretly-Paying-For-Tests-On-Animals-In-China.aspx

Martha Highfill February 24, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Avon, has changed their policy on animal testing so they can sell product in China and so did Mary Kay. I have sold Mary Kay for 16 years and just found this out about wanting to sell in China and they require animal testing, this is very sad. Mary Kay is trying to convince them that successful testing can be done without animals and I do pray this happens but I will not sell or buy Mary Kay until it does.

Tara February 26, 2012 at 7:26 pm

FYI Avon is no longer a cruelty free company… check the PETA website…
very disappointing….

Lauren March 16, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Please do your research a little better. MAC is not cruelty-free and DOES test on animals. Plus, their parent company Estee Lauder is well known for their extensive and unnecessary animal testing. In addition, MAC foundations contain Octinoxate, a toxic chemical that becomes carcinogenic when exposed to sun. I’d rather spend my money at a company that is actually cruelty-free that isn’t trying to kill me.

Tisha March 17, 2012 at 4:29 am

Since Estee Lauder, Avon and Mary Kay started selling in China, they aren’t cruelty fere anymore. They are not in PETA’s list anymore because the Chinese government requires cosmetics to be tested on animals in order to enter their market. Estee Lauder’s companies are not on peta’s list either, so MAC, CLINIQUE and BOBBY BROWN are now considered companies that DO TEST on animals.

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