If you buy something through the links, I may earn an affiliate commission (at no cost to you). Read the full disclosure here.
I independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you buy something through the links on the site, I may earn an affiliate commission (at no cost to you). For more information, read the full disclosure here.
The idea of living a cruelty-free and vegan lifestyle has recently gained a lot of traction as more and more people become aware of animal suffering and the impact of animal products on the environment.
Consumers are increasingly looking for brands committed to animal welfare and the environment, creating a demand for cruelty-free and vegan products.
Many companies have responded to this demand by offering products that are free from animal testing and animal-derived ingredients. But how can you tell if a brand is truly cruelty-free and vegan?
And in this case, specifically, is MAC cruelty-free? Let me help you find the answer.
The first step is to understand the difference between cruelty-free and vegan. Cruelty-free means that the products were not tested on animals, while vegan implies that the products do not contain any animal ingredients or byproducts.
Some companies claim to be both cruelty-free and vegan, while others may focus on one or the other.
In this article, I will share if MAC is cruelty-free, vegan, and/or sustainable. But also if it’s clean, non-toxic, fragrance-free, and/or paraben-free. This way, you can easily decide whether to buy their products.
Is MAC Cruelty-Free?
MAC is not cruelty-free. Even though MAC is trying to distance itself from the animal testing involvement, MAC most likely paid for its finished products to be tested on animals in China to sell its products there.
Is MAC Owned By A Cruelty-Free Parent Company?
MAC is owned by a parent company that tests on animals. The parent company is Estée Lauder, and this is not a cruelty-free company Estée Lauder states that they do tests on animals where required by law. This policy makes them a company that still tests on animals.
Is MAC Sold In China?
MAC is sold in China. This is an important fact because, in China, animal testing is required by law. If a brand sells its products in China, they’re not cruelty-free.
|Skincare Brands||Makeup Brands|
|Fenty Skin||Rose Inc**|
See more cruelty-free makeup and skincare brands here.
Is MAC Vegan?
MAC is not entirely vegan. They might offer some vegan products, but they’re not 100% vegan, meaning some contain animal-derived ingredients.
Non-Vegan Ingredients To Avoid
If you’re interested in going vegan regarding your beauty routine (or complete lifestyle), then I recommend checking the ingredients list on the following most well-known and frequently used animal-derived ingredients that you should avoid:
- Animal fats/oils
Mind you; there are vegan versions of some of these ingredients. So, for example, if you spot Squalane on an ingredient list, it doesn’t have to be shark derived as it can be plant-derived too.
Vegan Ingredient Alternatives To Look For
There are many other vegan options for animal-derived ingredients. Squalene can be derived from plants such as olives, wheat germ, and amaranth, while collagen can be derived from sources such as seaweed and algae.
Carmine can be derived from vegetable sources such as beetroot and carrots. Lanolin can be replaced by vegetable oils, such as shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil. Beeswax can be replaced with plant-based waxes, such as candelilla wax, carnauba wax, and vegan wax.
Keratin can be replaced with plant proteins such as soy, wheat, and oat. Gelatin can be replaced with agar agar, carrageenan, and guar gum. Guanine can be replaced with synthetic mica or bismuth oxychloride.
Honey can be replaced with vegan honey substitutes, such as maple syrup and agave syrup. Silk can be replaced with plant-based fabrics, such as bamboo and hemp. Animal fats and oils can be replaced with plant-based oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil.
Vegan Brand Alternatives
|Skincare Brands||Makeup Brands|
|Youth To The People*||Haus Labs*|
|Glow Recipe*||LYS Beauty*|
See more vegan makeup and skincare brands here.
Is MAC Considered Clean?
Yes, MAC is considered a clean beauty brand. They use safe ingredients, and products are formulated without Phthalates, Parabens (Except M·a·c Pro Chromacake), Formaldehyde Donors, SLS, Hydroquinone, Triclosan, D&C Yellow No 11, Ethanolamines, or Paba.
The term “clean beauty” is controversial because it isn’t regulated; this means that brands can slap ‘clean,’ ‘green,’ and ‘natural’ on their products whenever they want.
In broad terms, clean beauty products are those made without ingredients shown or suspected to harm human health (source: Goop) or the environment.
To me, clean beauty is defined by mindfully created products without any proven or suspected toxic ingredients. Clean beauty products include ingredients made with the health of our bodies, animals, and the environment in mind.
So to conclude: A clean beauty brand sells products that don’t contain harmful ingredients for humans, animals, and the environment. Keep in mind; It doesn’t mean a brand is vegan or cruelty-free.
Harmful Ingredients You Want To Avoid
Sadly, quite a few (actually… thousands) of harmful ingredients or ingredients that are suspected to be harmful to humans, animals, and/or the environment.
Some examples of the ingredients that don’t make the cut in clean beauty products are sulfates, silicones, phthalates, parabens, pesticides, petroleum derivatives, artificial coloring, and synthetic fragrances.
In the picture below, I share some of the most common harmful ingredients you may want to avoid.
Is MAC Fragrance-Free?
MAC is not entirely (synthetic) fragrance-free.
Is MAC Paraben-Free?
MAC is paraben-free.
Is MAC Sustainable?
MAC is committed to sustainability. MAC is committed to doing good for our global community via programs like VIVA GLAM. And to further their pledge to do good for the planet, they’re continuing to improve the sustainability of their packaging. They remain dedicated to programs like Back-To-M·A·C.
|Skincare Brands||Makeup Brands|
|rhode skin||ILIA Beauty|
|The Inkey List||bareMinerals|
See more clean makeup and skincare brands here.
How To Find Out If A Brand Is Cruelty-Free And/Or Vegan Yourself?
The easiest way to tell if a brand is cruelty-free and vegan is to look for third-party certification. Several organizations, such as Choose Cruelty-Free, Leaping Bunny, and PETA, offer cruelty-free certificates for companies that have agreed to adhere to their strict guidelines for animal testing.
Similarly, the Vegan Society provides a Vegan Trademark to companies that do not use any animal-derived ingredients in their products. Look for these certifications to sign that a brand is truly cruelty-free and vegan.
It’s also essential to look beyond the label. Many companies may claim to be cruelty-free and vegan but may not actually adhere to those standards.
Check the company’s website for animal testing policies and ingredients. If a company does not have clear information about its policies, you may want to contact them directly to get more details.
Finally, look for reviews from other cruelty-free and vegan consumers. They may have had firsthand experience with the brand and can provide insight into the company’s actual practices. Additionally, they may be able to recommend alternative cruelty-free and vegan brands that meet your needs.
Following these steps, you can determine if a brand is truly cruelty-free and vegan. Check out this cruelty-free makeup and skincare guide if you want more information and tips. With more and more companies offering animal-friendly products, it’s easier than ever to find cruelty-free and vegan products that fit your lifestyle.
We found out the answer to the question “is MAC cruelty-free?” and the answer is no, MAC is not cruelty-free. Even though MAC is trying to distance itself from the animal testing involvement, MAC most likely paid for its finished products to be tested on animals in China to sell its products there.
On top of that, MAC is owned by a parent company that isn’t cruelty-free, and MAC products are sold in China, where animal testing is required by law.