MAC Cosmetics was one of the first makeup brands to be everyone’s go-to because they have always had a huge offering. Foundations, paint pots, pigments, brushes and every shade of lipstick imaginable. They focus on artistry and they have a huge range of products that are unique to them and only them. Since MAC has been around for a while, has their ingredients and cruelty-free status evolved to match with the times?
MAC is not cruelty-free because they are sold in Mainland China. Animal testing is required by law in Mainland China so any brand sold there is not cruelty-free. While MAC claims that they don’t test on animals anywhere else, their presence in China negates that. MAC has very few vegan products so if you’re looking for cruelty-free and vegan makeup, unfortunately MAC is not it.
Here is a statement from their website:
“M·A·C does not test on animals. We do not own any animal testing facilities and we never ask others to test on animals for us. While some governments conduct animal testing to prove safety before they will allow us to sell our products, M·A·C has never tested on animals and we continue to be a leader in the movement to end animal testing globally. To this end, we are proud to partner with IIVS (INSTITUTE FOR IN VITRO SCIENCES) to expand the use and acceptance of non-animal testing methods worldwide.”
When asked about their presence in China, MAC said:
“Which countries require animal testing?
China tests on animals as part of its safety assessment of cosmetic products. We love our fans and we never want to exclude them anywhere.”
MAC used to be cruelty-free but that changed when they were bought by Estee Lauder in 2005. This statement from them regarding their cruelty-free status is super misleading. They use big words to skirt around the topic. They test all their products on animals in China which means they are not cruelty-free.
MAC has some vegan products but it’s tough because is a product still vegan if it’s tested on animals? No. As for what products don’t contain animal byproducts, it’s tough to spot and MAC does not share that info. Many of their products contain animal byproducts whether it be beeswax, carmine, lanolin, HA, or propolis. MAC will not share their vegan products, only if you ask for a specific product can they tell you if it’s vegan or not.
If you’re looking for 100% vegan makeup brands try Milk Makeup, Tarte, and Urban Decay.
Is MAC Organic?
No, MAC is not organic and has no claims to be. They have never been organic and probably won’t ever be because that’s not really their niche. Our favorite organic brands are Kosas and Lawless Beauty so if you’re looking for organic brands with a full face of products, check there!
A majority of MAC products are made in the US and Canada. They are a Canada based brand.
Yes, MAC is sold in Mainland China. They have stores there and sell online. MAC tests on animals specifically to comply with laws so they can be sold in Mainland China. They claim that this is the only place they test on animals.
One thing MAC has got going for them is yes, MAC is paraben-free! Parabens are used as preservatives to further the shelf life in beauty products. MAC still contains preservatives, just not parabens and it’s a great decision by them!
Overall, MAC is not the greatest option if you need cruelty-free makeup because they all share and are made on the same equipment.
The Long-Wear Concealer and Paint Pots are gluten-free. MAC is tough because their ingredients vary by shade so one matte lipstick may be ok in one shade but not in another. The best thing to do is reach out to MAC’s customer service to see if they can help with ingredients. Sometimes they can so it’s worth asking.
MAC is not fully phthalate-free. MAC doesn’t share that information in a list so it’s a little tough to decipher what products have it and what don’t. Phthalates are most common in eye products like eyeliners and mascaras. As well as perfumes and nail polishes. MAC mascaras have phthalates.
MAC has some non-comedogenic complexion products! Those include:
Studio Fix Foundation
Stupid Fix Powder Foundation
No, MAC is not PETA approved because they aren’t cruelty-free. Any brand that sells in China will never have a PETA or Leaping Bunny cruelty-free certification. MAC will have to make some big adjustments and changes if they ever want a PETA or Leaping Bunny cruelty-free certification one day.
MAC is available at their stores which are located all over the world along with maccosmetics.com.
They’re also available at:
Simply put, MAC cannot be considered cruelty-free because they engage in animal testing as they test on animals where it is required by law. Along with their animal testing status, they are very confusing and unclear with their ingredients. They’re paraben-free but other than that you have to contact them for questions on vegan products and ingredient allergies. Many people report that MAC never responds to them or doesn’t have the information to share.
MAC creates some beautiful, cult classic products that work for makeup lovers and newbies alike. Hopefully they can work to be more transparent with their ingredients and one day, truly become 100% cruelty-free. As for now, if you’re cruelty-free with your makeup, MAC is off the list.