Last Updated on April 9, 2021 by Eco Elsie
French-American makeup brand Laura Mercier was founded in 1996 by celebrity makeup artist Laura Mercier, and this sleek, luxury brand is just as popular today as it was when it first emerged on the beauty scene.
Understandably, if you’re looking to buy from Laura Mercier for the first time, you’re probably wondering whether or not it’s cruelty-free.
To ensure you can make an informed decision, we’ve put together all the necessary information on Laura Mercier and its testing policies and ethics.
Let’s take a look.
Is Laura Mercier cruelty-free?
On its website, the company states that Laura Mercier
“is committed to the elimination of animal testing.”
They go on to claim that they
“do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf. We evaluate the safety of our finished products with alternate methods and in clinical settings on volunteer panels.”
While Laura Mercier has previously claimed to be cruelty-free, as the Ethical Elephant points out, the problem with the term “cruelty-free” is that there is currently no standard or legal definition for its use, so companies often use this even if they are not formally certified as being “cruelty-free.”
When trying to assess whether or not a brand is cruelty-free, it’s best to check whether they’re listed on accredited sites such as Leaping Bunny or PETA. Sadly, we checked both of these, and Laura Mercier is not listed on either.
So whether or not you determine Laura Mercier as being cruelty-free is up to you. The company claim to be against animal testing, and, as far as we can tell, they don’t sell in China where they would be subject to animal testing requirements.
Is Laura Mercier vegan?
Laura Mercier doesn’t claim to be vegan, so it’s probably right to assume that their products aren’t vegan, as most companies are keen to display this if they are.
On their website, Laura Mercier state the following:
“We do use animal bi-products, such as lanolin and beeswax, in some of our products. We also do use natural animal hairs in some of our brushes and we use emu oil in some of our products. For a complete list of ingredients for a product, please click on the ingredients tab on the product’s detail page.”
However, seeing as we’re still not 100% sure on whether or not Laura Mercier can be classed as cruelty-free, it seems unlikely to expect any of their products to be vegan, and most vegans will want the guarantee of buying from a cruelty-free brand anyway.
Is Laura Mercier an ethical company?
It’s difficult to find information specifically on Laura Mercier, but information on their parent company, Shiseido, is widely available online.
Shiseido was founded in 1872 and is the world’s fourth-largest, and Japan’s largest, cosmetics manufacturer. Shop Ethical rated the company a D (on a scorecard of A which represents praise and no criticism, to F – which indicates criticism), so in terms of ethics, it’s a middle-ground company.
The brand scored highly in some of its environmental policies, including a CDP climate change score of A- and a CDP forests score of B-, however, it lost points for animal testing, supply chain practices in China, unsustainable palm oil use, and workers’ rights in China.
However, this is all a bit unclear as in 2016, Shiseido Co., Ltd. was awarded the 2016 World’s Most Ethical Companies designation for the fifth consecutive year by the Ethisphere® Institute, a U.S.-based international think-tank apparently “dedicated to advocating best practices in business in such areas as corporate ethics and corporate social responsibility.”
So I guess it’s important to note that the definition of ‘ethical’ is used in different contexts, and a business can be seen as ‘ethical’ to one person and ‘unethical’ to another.
Does Laura Mercier test on animals?
As we said previously, Laura Mercier claims on their website that they don’t test on animals, however, their parent company Shiseido, claim to not test their cosmetic products or ingredients on animals “except when absolutely mandated by law, or where there are absolutely no alternative methods for guaranteeing product safety.”
According to the Ethical Elephant who reached out to Laura Mercier, their products are not sold in stores in mainland China or any other country that requires animal testing.
However, one thing that isn’t so clear is whether or not the raw materials that go into the products are tested on animals, and this is something that Laura Mercier hasn’t addressed.
So this is still a bit of a gray area. On the whole, it seems Laura Mercier doesn’t test on animals, however, their ingredients could well be tested on animals, as well as products made by their parent company Shiseido.
Are Laura Mercier products toxic?
There’s been more talk in recent years about how toxic beauty products and their ingredients are, and to what extent a brand is considered ‘clean.’ Clean beauty mainly refers not only to the products being kind to our skin, but also kind to the environment.
EWG’s Skin Deep rating system is usually great for checking up on how well a product rates in terms of its ingredients, and they use a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being good, and 10 being bad.
Laura Mercier scores between 3 and 7 on their rated products, which is quite a significant difference! For example, their popular Translucent Powder is rated a 7, whereas products such as their Natural Skin Perfector scored a reasonable 3.
Laura Mercier lists information about their ingredients on their website. They also state that some contain parabens. Parabens are legal, but they’re pretty controversial in the clean beauty world.
For example, EWG suggests that parabens have been linked to health issues concerning hormones and reproductive organs, and they’ve also been known to cause skin irritation.
However, parabens are commonly used as preservatives and according to Laura Mercier they are necessary to “prevent product deterioration.”
Like we noted before – this is a very subjective issue, so how ‘toxic’ a company is depends on what you’re comfortable putting on your skin.