While the popular cosmetics company Laura Mercier may land in a bit of a grey area, they are technically considered to be cruelty-free.
Laura Mercier is owned by a parent company (Shiseido) whose testing policy is not cruelty-free. This fact alone is not enough for them to lose their cruelty-free status. Big corporations like Shiseido allow the other brands in their portfolio to operated based on their own preferred animal testing policies.
This means that even if a parent brand doesn’t follow cruelty-free procedures, it doesn’t necessarily mean the same for the company under consideration. Along with Laura Mercier, Shiseido is the parent company of two other cruelty-free brands: Bare Minerals and Buxom.
Laura Mercier itself does not allow animal testing, doesn’t allow third parties to test on animals and doesn’t sell its products in areas like mainland China where animal testing is required by law. They’ve done their due diligence and earned their cruelty-free status, despite it being a long and difficult road.
For a while, they were following cruelty-free policies at home in the United States, but they were allowing their products to be sold in places where animal testing was required by law. Then, they changed this policy so that they could be considered completely cruelty-free. But since being acquired by their parent company, many people have shown concern that they’d adopt their non-cruelty-free practices and start selling in mainland China.
These concerns have not yet come to life, although it does seem like a possibility considering how rocky their cruelty-free status has been throughout the years. Laura Mercier, along with a few other companies, certainly seems to fall into an ethical grey area. While I believe that they’re cruelty-free for the time being, it’s best to keep an eye on the situation.
There has been a lot of confusion surrounding Laura Mercier’s cruelty-free status, and their answers to questions and policy changes can be interpreted as them switching back and forth or sitting on the fence. I have no indication that they’re not cruelty-free, for now, but their approaches to the situation have been a bit of a cause for concern.
On top of being difficult to assess, Laura Mercier is not certified by the Leaping Bunny or PETA. While this doesn’t automatically mean that they’re not cruelty-free, it doesn’t help their case. Corporations this large that are truly cruelty-free should apply for cruelty-free certification. Otherwise, they’re leaving things wide open for interpretation, keeping the doors open to allow policy changes, and confusing their loyal and potential customers.
My recommendation: proceed with caution. If Laura Mercier is your favorite brand and you’re not open to trying out alternatives, or you really want to try them out, there’s nothing directly damaging or convincing enough to prevent you from shopping their products for the time being. For new shoppers, their website lists a few compelling benefits. They offer two free samples, 15% off your first purchase, free returns, and free shipping over $65.
But if you’re not a fan of ethical grey areas, confusing responses or policies, or being uncertain, you may want to steer clear until they can show us more solid evidence or certifications that tell us that they are truly cruelty-free.
In the meantime, here is a list of some of the most popular cruelty-free brands to check out:
- Urban Decay
- Everyday Minerals
- Kat Von D
- The Body Shop
- Jeffree Star Cosmetics
- Bare Minerals
- Physician’s Formula
- Nude by Nature
- Too Faced
- Becca Cosmetics
These brands are all certified cruelty-free, so there’s no confusion or wondering involved when you shop their products. In addition to being better for all of the animals (it’s not just lab rats, it’s cats and dogs too) that can’t speak for themselves, there are a few other notable benefits of shopping cruelty-free:
- A clear conscience
- Budget-friendly options (cruelty-free products aren’t nearly as expensive as most people think they are, and if you’re on a particularly tight budget at the moment, start by trying ELF or Physician’s Formula cosmetics)
- Better ingredients (fewer dyes and chemicals means fewer breakouts, blemishes, irritations, and allergic reactions)
- More mindful beauty practices allow us to condense and cut the clutter out of our beauty routines
- It’s really just not necessary to test on animals (and this was true in the past, too, but with where we are today, it’s truer than ever before)
Think about it: that’s a pretty well-rounded list of benefits. Products that aren’t used to torture innocent animals, are better for your skin, are just as affordable as their harsher alternatives, and help you organize your space? It seems like a no-brainer!
Companies that care about animal cruelty are the same ones that are more likely to truly care about their customers, too. You can be a part of the movement that lets big beauty and cosmetics companies know that we’re here, we’re watching and listening, and we’re not going anywhere. You can be a part of a massive, beautiful change in the world.
What could possibly be better than that? I am so happy that you’re taking this journey with me, and I can’t wait to hear about what you find.