Is Loreal Cruelty-Free?

Last Updated on April 9, 2021 by Eco Elsie

Identifying whether or not a makeup brand is cruelty free is always a hard task, but we’ve done the hard work for you. Today we’re taking a look at makeup giant, Loreal.

Is Loreal Cruelty Free?

In one word, no, Loreal is not cruelty free. However, identifying this from the information that Loreal supplies their customers is difficult.

In their approach, Loreal states that they support animal welfare, which might lead some people to believe that they are a cruelty free brand, but unfortunately this is not the case.

Loreal is one of many companies that could be classified as cruelty-free in most countries if it were not for one thing, and that is the fact that they sell in China.

It is a well-known fact among those who are ethically-conscious that the laws in China have required any products that are sold there to be tested on animals before they can be sold.

As China is a large market for makeup, a lot of companies have been happy to overlook this law, marketing themselves as caring about animals while still selling to China in the background.

From May 1st, 2021, it will no longer be a legal requirement for products to be tested on animals before being sold in China, but the new laws are a bit of a grey area. So currently, Loreal is not cruelty free.

Is Loreal Vegan?

In order for a product to be vegan, it must also be cruelty free. While not all cruelty free products are vegan, all vegan products are cruelty free, so Loreal is not vegan. But unfortunately, due to the unclear ethics that the company boasts, this is not very clear to customers.

As we have mentioned, Loreal is a massive company in the makeup and beauty industry, as they own more than 500 different brands across the world.

This is where the ethics surrounding veganism in Loreal become a bit wishy-washy as some of the companies that are owned by L’oreal actually boast that they are vegan-friendly.

Veganism is a way of life, so if you want to purchase from a vegan company that is owned by L’oreal then, of course, you can.

But a lot of vegans also choose to avoid the companies owned by Loreal as by purchasing from these companies you are giving money to Loreal which is an ethically questionable company.

But, in short, no Loreal is not a vegan company or brand.

Is Loreal an Ethical Company?

As we have said, the ethics by which Loreal runs their company are definitely questionable, to say the least. There are two ways to measure how ethical a company is, and that is through their words and their actions.

Through their words and the statements that they release, it would be safe to assume that Loreal is an ethical company. Of course, that depends on what you class as ethical as well.

Loreal has actually been named one of the most ethical companies in the world due to the principles upon which it is run and how it treats its employees.

However, these are not the only factors that impact how ethical a company is, and as we have already mentioned, the way that Loreal treats animals is enough to question this.

Not only do Loreal test on animals, despite their words saying they care about animals, but they are also an unethical company from some other standpoints.

For example, the way in which Loreal treats the environment is unclear. Despite deep searches on their website and other comments they have made surrounding the environment, there is no clear statement regarding the use of chemicals and toxins in their products and the manufacturing process.

So despite Loreal being named upon the list of the world’s most ethical companies, a lot of people call this decision into question.

Does Loreal test on Animals?

If you look on the Loreal website, you will find a statement that says “Loreal does not test any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals”, but this statement simply isn’t true.

As we have said, L’oreal is one of many companies that are ‘cruelty free’ all over the world, apart from in one country, and that is China.

So when Loreal states that they do not test on animals, in most countries this is true. However, a lot of ethically-conscious consumers think that any brand which tests on animals anywhere in the world simply cannot be classed as cruelty free.

This is because L’oreal has chosen to sell their products in China, and so they have also chosen to test their products on animals to be able to do this. So it is arguable that the company has traded its ethics for financial gain.

But, it is worth noting that this might change and Loreal could become a brand that does not test on animals. The laws on animal testing in China are changing on 1st May 2021, so it is possible that Loreal will be able to continue to sell in China without having to test on animals.

Are Loreal Products Toxic?

Not all of the products produced by Loreal are toxic, but some products contain chemicals that could be harmful to you as the consumer.

In particular, these chemicals tend to be found in the nail polishes that are produced by Loreal, including their Color Riche nail polish.

One of the chemicals listed in the ingredients of this nail polish is benzophenone-1 which has been linked with breast cancer, respiratory problems, an imbalance in hormones, and reproductive problems.

There are some other questionable ingredients also found in Loreal products including formaldehyde and Quaternium-15.

These ingredients are not necessarily always dangerous, but if you are conscious about toxins in your beauty products then you must be aware that Loreal does use some ingredients that may be considered toxic.


In conclusion, unfortunately, Loreal cannot be classified as a cruelty free brand as they currently test on animals so that they can sell products in China. However, with the change in Chinese laws, there is a chance that this might change.

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