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I’ve been getting a lot of questions and, well, opposition to Mary Kay being on my list of brands that test on animals.

After looking into this company, I can see that they’re very vocal about them “not testing on animals”, so this might come as a shock to some: Mary Kay tests on animals where required by law. And unfortunately, they do sell in mainland China.

At A Glance

  • Finished products tested on animals: NO
  • Ingredients tested on animals: NO
  • Third party animal testing: NO
  • Tested on animals where required by law: YES
  • Sold in mainland China: YES
  • Certifications: NONE (On PETA’s “do test” list)
  • Parent company: N/A

Cruelty-Free Pioneers

From Wikipedia, we learn that Mary Kay was among the first beauty brands to drop animal testing:

In 1989 the company announced a moratorium on animal testing of its products, after pressure from animal rights groups. They were among the first in their industry to do so and to sign the PETA pledge.

This might explain why being cruelty-free is a part of the company’s ethos and culture, but the sad fact is that Mary Kay went back to animal testing in 2012 when they joined the Chinese market.

Not accurate since 2012.
Not accurate since 2012.

Presence in China

Mary Kay currently has a presence in more than 35 countries, including China.

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Because animal testing is required by law for foreign cosmetics selling in China, they forfeited their cruelty-free status in 2012. They’ve also been removed from PETA’s cruelty-free list.

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Current Animal Testing Policy

Here’s a statement from Beth Lange, Mary Kay’s Chief Scientific Officer, which confirms Mary Kay’s “unless required by law” position:

“Mary Kay does not conduct animal testing on its products or ingredients, nor ask others to do so on its behalf, except when absolutely required by law. There is only one country where the company operates – among more than 35 around the world – where that is the case and where the company is required by law to submit products for testing – China.”

The source can be found here.

It’s too bad that a company who was among the first to put an end to animal testing decided to take a step back. Mary Kay isn’t cruelty-free, and I won’t be supporting this company.

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29 Comments on "The Truth About Mary Kay’s Animal Testing Policy (2016)"

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Isobel Bruning
Guest

Really informative post, I am currently become cruelty free! 🙂
https://plantbasedizzy.wordpress.com/

Suzi
Guest

That’s awesome, glad it helped! 🙂

Cydney
Guest

I knew it, thanks for sharing! I was recently demonstrated some Mary Kay products by a rep, first of all not impressed they use microbeads as exfoliant and saw they’re in China, very informative though so thank you ?

Suzi
Guest

Plastic microbeads?! o_o Hah, you’re welcome and I’m glad it was helpful!

Suzi
Guest

They were doing so great!

Suzi
Guest

I don’t really get that logic haha. Thanks Danielle! 🙂

Brianna
Guest

bummer

Suzi
Guest

I appreciate your input, but this article just shows that Mary Kay tests on animals in China.

Elizabeth Faulkingham Alteri
Guest
Elizabeth Faulkingham Alteri
Mk is working with China to share our science with them so maybe one day china won’t feel the need to test on animals. Maybe one day rather than saying oh Mary Kay how dare they allow their product to be tested on animals by a country that requires it you’ll be praising them for helping bring an end to all testing on animals in China. Also, it is important to keep in mind the human impact MK has on China such as women being able to support their families enough to have more than one child. It may not… Read more »
Jeanne Clayton
Guest

maybe “one day” means testing is being done now. I would love to see women succeed in China but not on the backs of suffering and abuse. Building a business by abusing others, no matter what species, is unacceptable. Period

Suzi
Guest

Not to mention that Mary Kay is multi-level marketing.

CeCi.
Guest

Hi Suzi! Actually, Mary Kay is duo-marketing. For instance, if I recruit you onto my team, I make no money just because you say yes. It’s only when you’re successful and purchasing your products from the company for your customers, that Mary Kay sends me a recruiting check of 4-13% of what you ordered, from their half of the dollar; not yours. Consultants do not make money by getting warm bodies “under” them. 🙂

Pawfect
Guest

I find it difficult to believe that a cosmetic company like Mary Kay is so concerned about the Chinese population that it allows animal testing on their products. However, I do believe that they permit this uncalled for cruelty to boost their profit margin by expanding their line into a country that requires this – especially when there are other markets that do not.

Jodie Martin Cordell
Guest
Mary Kay didn’t “go back” to animal testing. The truth is Mary Kay stayed out of China for many years while trying to battle the use of animal testing from the outside. However, the Chinese government was less interested in an outside company that didn’t have a stake in their market. So, in 2012 they made the decision to go into the Chinese market to help change the legislation and thinking of the Chinese government and scientists, showing them alternative methods to animal testing. Mary Kay will again be 100% cruelty-free once the Chinese stop their practices of animal cruelty.… Read more »
PJ
Guest

Thank you for this information. I was planning to order from a friend / consultant but Sadly now I won’t.

Jennifer
Guest

Why not order? At they are telling you the truth! Also be aware China’s MK is a closed market. No import nor export!

There are MANY USA based companies that are also there that have attempted to keep that information secret.

Nikhi Janae
Guest
Jeanne Clayton
Guest

read it and it clearly says testing is done for countries that require it. What did I miss?

Teresa
Guest

Thank you for this post. I thought they were 100 percent cruelty free so I bought some makeup a few months ago. I will NOT be purchasing any more. I will be emailing the company also. I’ll be going to Ulta with my list of cruelty free beans and buying from them.

Trisha Idleno Morey
Guest

Never buying Mary Kay again. Anywhere in my life that I can cut the support of this practice out, I am doing so. Bad move Mary Kay.

Ann Brown
Guest

They sell to China which animal tests. DO NOT buy from this company.

Nicola Marie Jackson
Guest

So not doing for themselves?

Suzi
Guest

They’re literally allowing animal testing to be done on their products, and FUNDING it. Just because it’s happening in China, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

Suzi
Guest

Mary Kay is listed on Wikipedia under “Multi-level marketing companies” here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_multi-level_marketing_companies

Dani
Guest
Wikipedia is not a credible source of information, and the previous comment on how MaryKays career side works was accurate. A consultant does not gain from just simply adding someone to their team the consultant only receives the established 4-13% commission if that person is selling therefor producing. Also, about the issue on animal testing as wrong as it is maybe instead of bashing the company you should consider the work they are doing in order to eliminate it throughout a whole country and try to be a little more supportive towards that cause since saving the animals is the… Read more »
Natasha Hedlund
Guest

It’s really easy to say “I’m not going to sell in your country because of X” but a lot harder to be in a market where it is required by law and say, “Hey look, you do don’t have to test on animals. Look what we have done.” and change how things are done in other countries. It’s a slow process but has been effective. Mary Kay with other cosmetic companies have been the change they want to see in the world. They could easily not sell in China’s market but then nothing would change.

Dmanches
Guest

I work with a woman who sells MK and tried arguing with me about how they don’t animal test and to “trust me I just went to a seminar.” Then she proceeded to tell me they only test where it’s required by law. Doh! Apparently animals in China aren’t real animals.

Dmanches
Guest

I’m cringing at the comments saying that Mary Kay only sells in China knowing animals will suffer because in the grand scheme of things Mary Kay is trying to stop animal testing. Umm, what? Considering the dog meat trade and the merciless beatings and torturing of live dogs while fully conscious because they think it improves the taste of meat…I don’t think a cosmetic company is going to have much pull behind closed doors while dogs are hanging in the street in broad daylight and being skinned alive for all to see.

CeCi.
Guest

Did you know Mary Kay is working directly with the Chinese government to stop animal testing there, and show them a better, more humane way? http://www.marykay.com.au/MKPressReleases
Also, since Mary Kay started in China, the number 1 National Sales Director spoke at a summit, saying the reason for Mary Kay’s success there is due to the money the women make, and their ability to be able to afford more than one child because of that. Just wanted you to have all of the updated facts <3

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