Is MAC Cruelty-Free and Vegan in 2022?

Who has not heard of MAC Cosmetics?

Pretty sure everyone has heard of it. And why would they not? I personally have grown up watching my mother use MAC products. And that means that MAC has been here for a while.

Considering how widely popular it is, you would expect MAC to be more on the affordable side. Since it is not, and yet it has such a huge consumer base, tells you a lot about its quality.

But quality and popularity are not all that matters. What about MAC’s ethical stance? Is MAC cruelty-free and vegan in 2021? That is the important question.

Is it not time you found about it? so, keep reading!

Is MAC Cruelty-Free?

No. MAC Cosmetics is not a cruelty-free brand. It is because they chose to profit off markets that conduct animal testing. That means MAC allows its products to be tested on animals if it is required by the local law.

We all know what that means. It is difficult to call MAC Cosmetics cruelty-free. Because it allows its products to be tested on animals under certain circumstances. And we also know that it is not that hard to avoid animal testing as many brands are cruelty-free.

About MAC

MAC, an acronym for Make-Up Art Cosmetics, was founded in Toronto, Canada in 1984. The founders were Frank Angelo and Frank Toskan. There is a fun story behind MAC’s inception. Makeup artist Angelo and Toskan were both frustrated seeing how bad the makeup on models looked in pictures.

The duo then literally created MAC Cosmetics products in their kitchens! Initially, the products were targeted towards professionals in the makeup industry. However,  for years now, MAC Cosmetics has been available to consumers worldwide.

MAC Cosmetics mainly stole the show with its base products. But with time, it expanded its product lines and developed and improved existing ones. Within a decade, MAC  had started a revolution in the beauty industry that we are still in awe of.

Currently, MAC Cosmetics is a brand recognized and loved globally. It is a giant in the global beauty network. Although founded in Canada, it now has its headquarters in New York, United States.

Is MAC Owned by a Parent Company?

Yes. MAC Cosmetics is owned by Estee Lauder Companies. Estee Lauder Companies gained rights to 51 percent of MAC’s shares in 1994. But it completed the acquisition in 1998.

Estee Lauder Companies is a great entity in the beauty industry as well. Besides MAC Cosmetics, it owns a lot of other brands, including Tom Ford, Smashbox, La Mer, Jo Malone London, etc.

 Testing Policy: Does MAC Test on Animals?

MAC Cosmetics personally does not conduct any animal testing. However, they do allow third parties to conduct animal testing on their products. This is only applicable in the cases where the law of the local market requires so.


This means, that we cannot say MAC is not cruelty-free just because it claims not to test on animals. It is aware that at some places where it sells, animal testing is done on its products.

Does MAC Sell in China?

Yes! MAC Cosmetics sells in China. In fact, Mac Cosmetics is quite popular in Mainland China.


MAC says that it does not want to exclude any of its consumers, as you can say. But we cannot ignore that it is being done at the cost of innocent animals being harmed.

Is MAC Certified by PETA?

No! MAC Cosmetics is not certified by PETA. Nor is it certified by Leaping Bunny or other organizations that believe in the same cause. Look up MAC on PETA’s website. You will see that PETA categorizes it as a brand that tests on animals.


In fact, PETA speaks up quite often about MAC’s business in China. It addresses MAC Cosmetics as a brand that is not cruelty-free at all.

Is MAC Vegan?

No. MAC Cosmetics is not 100 percent vegan. That means that most of its products contain ingredients derived from animals or animal by-products. Carmine and beeswax are two of the common ingredients found in most of its products.

This means that as a vegan, you ought to be careful while buying MAC products. Some of their vegan products are:

  • MAC Pro Lash Mascara
  • Brow Finisher (Certain Colors)
  • Synthetic Makeup Brushes
  • Brow Pencils (Certain Colors)

Is MAC Gluten-Free?

No. MAC Cosmetics is not gluten-free. The brand addresses the fact that regardless of a product not containing gluten, the products cannot be claimed to be gluten-free. This is because the manufacturing process may not always be in a gluten-free environment.

It is always wise to reach out to the brand to know more, if you are allergic!

Is MAC Paraben-Free?

Nope! MAC is not completely free of parabens! That means that many of its products contain parabens.

This is why I would suggest one to carefully check the label while making a purchase!

Is MAC Hypoallergenic?

No. The brand is not entirely hypoallergenic.

By that, I mean you will find some hypoallergenic products offered by MAC. But not all of their products are hypoallergenic.

Alternative Brands to MAC

I know that finding alternatives to MAC Cosmetics can seem difficult. But it is not impossible!

I have already found a few alternatives that you should definitely check out!

  • RMS Beauty: This brand is an ethical alternative to MAC Cosmetics. It is cruelty-free as well as vegan. Moreover, its products are in the same price range as those of MAC! If you love organic makeup products, you would be a fan of this brand on the first try!
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills: This brands’ products are amazing enough to give MAC Cosmetics a run for its money! ABH is an extremely popular brand for all the right reasons. Additionally, you will find great vegan options too in this brand.

Fact Check

Let us now do the final fact check!

MAC Cosmetics is:

  • Not cruelty-free.
  • It allows animal testing when the law requires it.
  • MAC is owned by Estee Lauder Companies.
  • This brand sells in China.
  • Most of its products are not vegan.
  • It is not completely free of parabens or gluten.
  • Some of its products are hypoallergenic.


Hope you enjoyed this article! It is really heartbreaking to find out that MAC is not cruelty-free. But as I keep saying, it is not very hard to find ethical options! You just need to be open to alternatives!

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