La Mer is NOT cruelty-free.
This means that this brand either tests on animals, pays for animal testing, or sells in mainland China. Some brands that fall under this category test on animals where required by law, which means they're not cruelty-free.
La Mer is owned by Estée Lauder, a company that is not cruelty-free.
La Mer's Official Animal Testing Policy
“La Mer does not test on animals and we never ask others to do so on our behalf. If a regulatory body demands it for its safety or regulatory assessment, an exception can be made. Our consumers can be certain that we are committed to producing only the highest quality beauty products which meet our exacting efficacy, safety and ethical standards.
We have a deep commitment to the abolishment of animal testing. Decades ago we were one of the first beauty companies to prove that safety can be validated by means other than animal testing. We continue that commitment today with likeminded partners that share our goal to support the acceptance of alternatives.
We have a strong partnership with the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), a non-profit research and testing consortium dedicated to the advancement of in vitro (non-animal) methods worldwide. IIVS develops and implements programs where in vitro testing is not accepted in order to educate scientists on the scientifically validated safety record of these methods.
We have consistently supported the research program coordinated by the European trade association, Cosmetics Europe, since its inception 20 years ago, for the replacement of animal tests. This broad program includes projects co-funded by the European Commission such as SEURAT (Safety Evaluation Ultimately Replacing Animal Testing).
We are members of the European Partnership for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EPAA), an initiative launched in 2005 by stakeholders from various industries, including the European Commission, to promote the sharing of knowledge across industries and facilitate the validation and acceptance of alternative test methods and strategies.
We are members of the Human Toxicology Project Consortium, spearheaded by the Humane Society of the United States, which serves as its coordinator.
We will continue to work in close partnership with industry, government and non-profit groups in countries that require animal testing to work together towards the elimination of this practice and the global acceptance of non-animal testing methods.”
Why We Classify Brands Like La Mer As “Not Cruelty-Free”
The term “cruelty-free” is unregulated. This means any brand can claim to be cruelty-free without breaking the law, even if they test on animals.
Because of this, we communicate with brands directly to gather information about their full animal testing policy.
Brands who are classified as “not cruelty-free” break one or more of the Cruelty-Free 5:
- Their company engages in animal testing
- Their suppliers engage in animal testing
- They allow third-parties to test on animals on their behalf
- They test on animals where required by law
- They knowingly sell cosmetics in stores in mainland China, where animal testing could be performed
A supplier is any company that sells the brand raw materials, ingredients, or finished products. A third-party is an outside company or entity, whether or not it’s hired by the brand.
What’s The Deal With China?
Many beauty brands choose to sell their products in China. It’s important to note that these companies can not be considered cruelty-free.
As of 2020, China still requires most cosmetics to be tested on animals in order to be sold in the country.
As for products which can bypass these mandatory tests, the Chinese authorities may still pull these products from the shelves and have them tested on animals. Although the chance is small, we believe that companies can not be considered “cruelty-free” while taking this risk.