Mary Kay

Suzana Rose

Mary Kay 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.

Mary Kay

At a Glance

Finished products tested on animals Yes, where required by law
Ingredients tested on animals Uncertain
Suppliers test on animals Uncertain
Third party animal testing Yes, where required by law
Sold in mainland China Yes

Mary Kay's Official Animal Testing Policy

“Mary Kay does not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients. Nevertheless, there are still some governments that conduct animal testing before they will allow certain products to be sold in their country. Mary Kay is committed to the elimination of animal testing and is a strong advocate of utilizing alternative methods to substantiate the safety of our ingredients and products. For almost three decades, we have been a global leader in helping to develop alternative testing methods to ensure product safety, and we will not rest until we convince all governments that alternative methods are a better way to ensure cosmetic product safety. Our commitment continues in partnership with global regulatory agencies that manage cosmetic safety, with animal advocacy groups and with leading animal alternative researchers.”

Here’s their older policy to compare:

“Mary Kay does not support animal testing. Mary Kay is committed to the elimination of animal testing and is a strong advocate of utilizing alternative methods to substantiate the safety of our ingredients and products. We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to do so on our behalf, except when absolutely required by law. For more than two decades, we have been a global leader in helping to develop alternative testing methods for product safety. This commitment continues today, in partnership with global regulatory agencies that manage cosmetic safety, with animal advocacy groups and with leading animal alternative researchers.”

What This Means

This statement confirms that Mary Kay pays for their products to be tested on animals in China. Although they claim that this only happens when “absolutely” requires by law, the brand willingly entered the Chinese market, and knowingly funded animal testing in the country.

Even though Mary Kay claims not to test on animals, and not to “ask others” to test on animals on their behalf, they’re not providing any information about their suppliers. When brands claim not to “ask others” to test on animals on their behalf, this is a meaningless statement. Mary Kay may not have “asked” the Chinese authorities to test their products on animals, but they allowed this to happen nonetheless.

Mary Kay: A Cruelty-Free Pioneer?

When researching this brand, you’ll notice that Mary Kay is very vocal about “not testing on animals”, and so are their fans. In the beginning, this used to be true: Mary Kay was considered a cruelty-free company, and was even approved by PETA.

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.

Taking A Step Backwards

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. Mary Kay can no longer claim to be cruelty-free, and in this regard, they took a huge step backwards when they decided to have their products tested on animals in China.

Presence In China

On their official site, we can find a link titled “Mary Kay Around The World” in the menu at the top. This shows us a list of all the countries where Mary Kay is sold, which includes China.


Their animal testing policy can also be found on their website.


Why We Classify Brands Like Mary Kay 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.

View Comments (192)
  • MARY KAY Cosmetics is not a MLM. It is a dual marketing company. While the facts may be true about mainland China, MARY KAY has always l tried to go above and beyond to manufacture products products with integrity.

    Please try to get your facts straight.

  • Multi level marketing is not a pyramid scheme. Stating this calls into question your other ‘facts’

  • While you do not support that’s ok, but do understand that Mary Kay is in the trenches, aka working hands on in person, as a lead influence in China turning to non animal testing alternatives. So I understand how avoiding works too, but China and its mass market won’t be going anywhere, it is noteworthy and should be appreciated that Mary Kay is attempting global change from within China. Feel free to ask for the 2-3 page description from the company leading this change, a mission that will benefit more than just MK Company. I too understand that until the battle is won, it’ll then be respected, which is why I’m just saying it’s at least noteworthy to recognize the company’s heart is more aligned with you than you think.

  • Please contact Mary Kay to update your information on China so your your information on animal testing is correct.
    There have been changes in China in the past year….

    • Some changes were made, but not enough changes. Mary Kay is still not considered cruelty-free.

  • So sad you don’t understand the why- Mary Kay is working with Chinese officials to end animal testing all together and because we work with the Chinese government currently they have a voice of change. It is again why they are a forerunner. And when they do and animal testing in China I hope that all of the people that have discounted that issue huge apologies for the damage they have done to other clients like myself who support Mary Kay consultants and their families. Also Mary Kay is not an MLM it’s direct sales. The biggest difference is that in a company like Mary Kay you can pass your recruiter. In an MLM you cannot.

  • Thanks to Mary Kay’s is advocacy in China, they have lead (by teaching alternate ways of testing products) the way to China and eliminating animal testing! Praise God! ?

  • Some of you may have seen or heard news coverage regarding a decision by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the animal activist organization, to change the status of Mary Kay and other cosmetics companies on its website, moving us from its list of “Companies That Do Not Test on Animals” to its list of “Companies That Do Test on Animals.”

    We want to be extremely clear about the facts and ensure you have all the information: Mary Kay is deeply committed to the elimination of animal testing and our actions and our record speak to that. We have been a longstanding leader on this issue. Our policy has not changed. Let us say again – we do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to do so on our behalf, except when absolutely required by law. There is only one country where we operate where that is the case and where we are required to submit our products for testing – China. You can be assured that none of the products you purchase in the United States (or Canada, Latin America, Europe and most all other Asian countries, for that matter) are tested on animals.

    For more than 20 years, we have been a global leader in the commitment to end animal testing. We are working very closely with the Chinese government to demonstrate that alternative testing methods ensure safe and effective products. In fact, Mary Kay is the first founding member of the International Outreach Consortium of the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc. (IIVS), created to promote internationally the principles of non-animal safety testing. We are also creating the very first laboratory as part of the Key Laboratory for Research on Cosmetics Alternative Toxicology in China. This innovative lab will be instrumental in the evaluation, validation and, we hope the eventual acceptance and adoption of alternative testing methods.

    Along with being a leader in advocating for alternative testing methods and sponsoring an alternative testing laboratory in China, Mary Kay has also done the following:

    Mary Kay was one of the first companies to meet with Chinese safety authorities to discuss alternative testing methods.

    We sponsored an “Alternatives to Animal Experimentation for Cosmetics” conference in Beijing in April 2011 organized by the China Cosmetics Research Center in the Beijing Technology and Business University.

    We were also one of the first companies to work directly with the dermatology experts used by the Chinese government in their review process of alternative testing in lieu of animal testing for cosmetic products. In fact, we sponsored a symposium for dermatologists in China on the use of human clinical methods for product safety in 2007.

    We conducted an educational forum for the Chinese Society for Toxicology in 2009 to again share information on alternative testing methods.

    Mary Kay is one of only two cosmetic companies listed as scientific contributors to the first book in Chinese describing alternative principles and applications.

    We have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University.

    As you can see, finding alternatives to animal testing has, and will continue to be, a top priority for Mary Kay.

    You might be asking yourself, if this is such an important issue to Mary Kay, then why doesn’t the company simply leave China? There are several reasons. First, we have an impressive record encouraging the Chinese government to consider alternative testing methods. But, if we’re no longer doing business in China that means we’re no longer at the table and the Chinese government will not be interested in what we have to say. And, if we did leave that means this extremely important issue would be left to those who do not care as much or at all.

    We at Mary Kay are passionate about the elimination of animal testing and our actions and our record speak to that. That commitment has not changed or wavered and it never will

  • Mary Kay is NOT an MLM. They are a Direct Selling Company. There is a huge difference. It never has been nor never will be an MLM. Also… Mary Kay pays for invitro testing (in test tube) in China so that they can show the Chinese government the differences in both. They do this extra testing at their expense to help CHANGE the laws in China. They are at least attempting to make positive changes in the area of animal cruelty. You can call the corporate office and get these words directly from them if you wish. They are an incredible company! They were the FIRST Cosmetics company to sign the agreement in the 70’s to end animal cruelty. Your reporting was incomplete and inaccurate (MLM) and I would appreciate you correcting it.

  • MLM is not a pyramid scheme, by the way. Do proper research before you make those kind of comments.

    It’s a company that’s been around for over 50 years. If it were an illegal Ponzi scheme it would have been shut down already.

  • you should check your facts because they have a foundation in China against testing on animals and currently working with the government of China they’re helping China to change their policy that has been going on for several years

  • This article is flawed, do your research MK is dual level marketing not MLM. It’s not a pyramid scheme. Even Forbes got this wrong as well.

  • I will not buy for Mary Kay because it is not cruelty free…… Just to do business with China…. NO….. NEVER…. I WILL NOT BUY ANYTHING MARKED MADE IN CHINA……

  • I’m sitting at a MK party watching children of the guest…, and just heard the rep hosting the party state they don’t test on animals, and I found this article
    Very informative thanks

  • Thanks for the info, but please check your definition of pyramid scheme. Not all MLM’s are such although some are like Plexus and some of the other horrific supplement companies….so please check your vernacular and post accordingly. As far as your views on animal testing, practice what you preach. Half the adds that pop up on YOUR site (of which you get paid for) test on animals and support animal testing…so shame on you and your bashing of the truth.

  • Hi there! I just wanted to comment because there are a few things wrong in this post. Mary Kay currently has many activists in China to change their animal testing laws and make sure they can end animal cruelty. Also, Mary Kay actually is NOT a pyramid scheme—they are illegal and if that was the case mary kay would not be legally allowed to function. A pyramid scheme is actually a company in which the people in higher positions (or who you sign under) get portions of your pay check or commissions. Mary Kay does not work this way. When you get commission checks from Mary Kay, it is NOT coming out of your coworker’s pay check, it comes directly from the company! I just wanted to comment so you know in the future! l enjoyed the article though, and hope that animal testing in China can be ended soon 🙂

  • Just so you know there is a massive difference between a MLM company and a pyramid scheme. I was actually quite engaged by your comments until you said that, so please do your homework as this is blatantly untrue. To learn more about the difference between a pyramid scheme and a legitimate, MLM company please visit; many honest, hardworking, professional people work in network marketing and sales and comments like yours diminish the value of their profession!

  • You need to get a few facts straight sweetheart. MLM’s are not pyramid schemes, as pyramid schemes are illegal. And China has begun the process of eliminating animal testing as of 2019. If you want to have any credibility you should present accurate and truthful information ?

  • “China has announced that post-market cosmetic testing in the country will no longer include animal tests” read the article.

  • Mary Kay does not test on animals. The Chinese government tested MK products on animals as they did with any cosmetics sold in their country. However, the Chinese market recently agreed to no longer conduct animal testing for cosmetics. Now, any way one looks at it… MK is 100% cruelty-free ?

  • Pretty awesome that Mary Kay stayed in a China and taught them they don’t need to test on Animals and now as of March 2019 China no longer is requiring animal testing. Way to go Mary Kay!

  • People before animals. It’s not alright for China to require abortions right and left either. A much nobler cause to take on would be the abortion issues in this world. Animals were not created in the image of God. Study Genesis to understand the relationship God placed between humans and animals. Also, I pray that everyone who does not believe in animal testing is therefore volunteering themselves, their own bodies on a regular basis for drug, and other testing. If you don’t want to animals tested please be willing to put your own life on the line. I know that that has become very popular, and is a very admirable way to stand up for your cause!! But, as stated before, protecting people is far more important in my book, especially with more and more states legalizing full term abortions!! Sometimes I think this world has gone mad!!?? And we have our priorities all messed up!

  • Actually… it is the Chinese Government that performs the tests, not Mary Kay Corp. In order to be in China-MK had to build a plant there- where the government has control of everything, including to test as they wish. They are NOT Mary Kay staff/scientists, but the Government. All other products sold in North America, Australia. Europe & South America come directly from the USA/Texas plant where there is no animal testing- and as you pointed out, MK was one of the 1st to stop this. A good & hopeful note: now that Mary Kay has significant financial presence in China- they are the only company that the Government has agreed to work with to create Beta testing on humans, not animals. Mary Kay is spending millions of their own dollars for the Beta testing w/ China to show there are more effective ways of testing and have threatened to pull out of the country in order to remain its no animal testing policy- which I believe is the only reason China is agreeing to it.

  • FYI, you source link was taken down. I wonder how they’re hiding it now.

  • Do you have a current update on this topic? I’m curious to know if anything has changed as far as the animal testing in China with this company. Thank you!

  • This is one thing that I will not stand is animal cruelty. I live Amy dog and ones that are getting tested on animals. Is absolutely horrific. I hope one day that they will stop this all over the world. I was quite surprised to see that MARY KAY is going that route for what to gain profit.. I will no longer use any products that are using the innocent to test on.

  • I have very strong opinions on this situation. If a country is to stop testing on animals, is it not going to need pressure from within to do so? Int his way Mary Kay could be the key by putting regular pressure on the government to stop this practice. Why would they stop animal testing if no one is pressuring them internally to do so?

  • Thank you for the information. I used to love Mary Kay (10 yrs ago) but when I became cruelty free I had to stop using their products. I volunteer with a rescue and can’t stand the thought of some sweet animal being used so I can have a product. We have to stop hurting animals for the benefit of making a buck!! Thank you for educating people!

  • Mary Kay is in China to try and do whatever they can to stop them from testing on animals..The best way to do that is to be up close to see what is actually going on and see what they can do to prove to them it is unnecessary to test on animals.The country is very difficult to work with but they are trying their best and have made some headway. Not sure any other company has made headway in this.Instead of complaining
    do everything you can to stop
    China from testing on animals for any reason and stop them from doing things that are way worse then testing on animals!

  • Mary Kay is in China to try and do whatever they can to stop them from testing on animals..The best way to do that is to be up close to see what is actually going on and see what they can do to prove to them it is unnecessary to test on animals.The country is very difficult to work with but they are trying their best and have made some headway. Not sure any other company has made headway in this.Instead of complaining
    do everything you can to stop
    China from testing on animals for any reason and stop them from doing things even worse then testing on animals!Thanks

  • Hi Suzana. I just wanted to add something you may not know. MK doesn’t support the testing. But rather than walk away from providing a fantastic opportunity to over 200,000 women in a male dominated environment, Mary Kay chooses to stay and sits on panels who are pushing for change. They work to help them understand that this is unnecessary. It is easy to say they should just walk away, but that won’t affect change. Sitting at the table gives MK a platform to affect change. I started using MK 30 years ago because they were the only company I could find that didn’t test on animals. I was a proud PETA and MK member and am so proud that MK is working to change thoughts and practices around the world. Leaving China would eliminate this ability. I feel you stopped your great story short of the final facts and are leaving people with the wrong idea of a great company that is working to change lives for families AND animals.
    I am a 27 year Independent Beauty Consultant and love that we are trying to change their processes to be more humane. I abhor animal testing!!! It is barbaric, but if we walk away from the table, then all that is left is to HOPE they come to the realization on their own. If it weren’t for PETA doing this, we would probably still test here.
    I welcome your response.
    Caroline Spayde

  • You failed to look at all the activism and lobbying the company is doing to eliminate animal testing in China, this would not only be for Mary Kay for anything regarding animal testing. I think that critiques are and should be constructed but when you fail to show all the facts and form an opinion based on a partials truth, your credibility falls completely. It is unfortunate though that many people here believe without even doing more research.

  • I don’t think one company should be boycotted because it is abiding by cruel laws. Yes, maybe the choice to market products in China is questionable, but it’s the Chinese government that needs to be pressured to change its laws.

  • Just so to let everyone know, the chinesse law that oblige companies to test on animals only apply to retail store. Mary Kay is direct selling, we don’t own a single building to sell makeup other than the lab and the distribution centers. Just putting it out there

  • Mary Kay is committed to changing the laws in China with parallel tests at their own expense,just as they have in the US. By withdrawing, they change nothing. On the other hand, many of the top income earners among women in China are Mary Kay Beauty Consultants. Mary Kay has impacted thousands of families by their presence in China.

  • Mary Kay is 100% Cruently free…And before you post this kinda news….much better to know the whole story…as I observe a lot of people saying that Mary Kay does tested on animals…HELLO! Why did you enjoy using Mary Kay product at the time that you already know that is test on animals *wich is not*then you throw it away…Wtf…Well for your information! Even though the Mary Kay was sell in china it doesn’t mean that is tested on animals! Like hello ! I loved Mary kay and iv been using since I was a little girl…so Even though it’s sell on china it’s not test on animals …it just a place bruh! They just included the china to sell there product there…Duh just because is china…it does mean like oh They are The worst…Oh china is lots of fake stuff …Of it’s test on animal …We’ll its wrong…Mary Kay is 100% cruently free and there product are the best! ANd they just sell it on china which is just a place so don’t Be Freaking sensitive just because you heard that’s “MARY KAY SELL ON CHINA” so China is a Place !!! Okay they just Sell it there…! Don’t worry marykay will not break you! …I still Love Mary Kay ?…So this girl need to learn more info and story about Mary Kay …?oppsss You better know the hole story before posting this Fake NEWSSSS!?

    • You may wish to use a spell checker and a grammar checker for your next posting. It is very hard to understand. I found this site checking Mary Kays stsnce pn animal tedting. If they were truly against animal testing they would not have entered the Chinese Market. They could easily try to advocate for change and stay out of the market. I am very didappointed and will throw my MK brochure in the recycling bin

  • Hello, today one girl from Mary Key called me and wanted to show me their products and stuff… I said no because they test on animals. She was constantly repeating that they don’t, and they even don’t sell in China. That I can check their official page in our country language. .. but I do know they sell in China. But then I was thinking about Korean cosmetic cuz Etude House and others sell in China, but they use ingredients that don’t need to be tested anymore so they are still cruelty-free. So I wanted to ask,..isn’t than maybe that case also with MK? Thank you for reply. Girls from that brand are so persistent in this country. Always complaining about this issue.

  • Will you be updating this article with the latest reports about China and animal testing on cosmetics? As someone already mentioned laws have changed in 2014 and again now in 2017…

    PETA have been somewhat unkind to companies like Mary Kay, Avon and Estee Lauder as PETA is well aware of the rules and they have even FUNDED research organisation that these three companies and others are part of…

    On December 28, 2011, Mary Kay became the first founding member of the International Outreach Consortium of the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc. (IIVS). This consortium was created with the primary goal of promoting the principles of non-animal safety testing. IIVS is an international organization based in the U.S. dedicated to developing alternative testing methods for product safety around the world. Mary Kay has been active with IIVS since the 1990s and its Science Advisory Panel since 2009.

    IIVS is the organisation that is working hard to convince the Chinese Government that animal testing is not needed.
    We have to remember that many countries are not as advanced as we are in the western world. They may have computers and robots and be technologically advanced, but in many aspects of their day-to-day live, countries like China are still 30 years behind us in ethics, women’s rights, animal rights, etc. Organisations like IIVS are helping make the changes in the way the people in countries like China think… with help of companies like Mary Kay…

    Now guess who is also contributing to this organisation?
    Yes, PETA… and they do shout about this in their latest article…

    For more evidence of WHY companies like Mary Kay are operating in China, of course, money is at play, but that’s not the full story. You have to give companies like this some credit for wanting to help the Chinese government see sense.

  • I’m just recently started to go cruelty free so I’ve been looking for information on brands 100% cruelty free and I’ve been conflicted about Mary Kay I have terrible terrible acne marks left for a horrible adolescence and recently started using Mary Kay and it’s sooooo good but if they test on animals here in China or in mars they are out of my house (so disappointing) can anyone recommend a substitute for the Mary Kay Timewise 3-1 cleanser? I would really appreciate it!

  • If you have to do animal testing in China why don’t you pull out of that country?

  • You’ve missed the law being lifted in 2014 – Mary Kay manufactures in China for the China market, so only products sold in China may be tested, but no longer required by law since 2014. However, the government can take products off the production line to test. But not all are routinely tested before market, as used to be the case.

    I’m personally happy to support Mary Kay Cosmetics and any similar companies with my purchasing dollar because they: Do not test or request animal testing themselves, have made effort to get around the Chinese regulations by manufacturing within the country, provide a career opportunity for women where womens and workers rights have historically not been a priority and are putting pressure on and working within China to advance the use of non animal tests. This is seen through their involvement in Personally, I value human rights above animal welfare. While I would rather no animal testing on beauty items, I favour women in China being able, with the unique opportunity through Mary Kay as a direct sales company, to get out of poverty, grow in confidence as entrepreneurs and provide for their families above the ‘possibility’ of a small amount of non-routine animal testing.

  • Thank you for this very informative article.

    I just attended a Mary Kay party a few weeks ago. When I asked the consultant about the animal testing process, I got a mostly honest answer. She told me that they only test on animals where required by law and when I asked if Mary Kay sold to mainland China, I was told that they do. I was also given their line stating “we are trying to change the animal testing laws in China” but that “China is an up and coming market”. So I took that to mean it’s a country where they want to get in on the potential profit share. She also told me that “the animals are treated like royalty and that we will put the product on their nail or another spot where it will not hurt them.” I told her up front that I would not be purchasing any products from Mary Kay.

    I would love to see Mary Kay stop animal testing in China. But I’m sorry, they still test in China and other countries where it might be a requirement and I cannot purchase from a company that does that. Even if Mary Kay gives the product to China to test on their animals, it’s still animal testing. If they stop selling to China or manage to stop them from animal testing, they may go on my “to buy” list.

  • Also, sorry there is more. I used to sell Mary Kay.When I say that my MK guy is above and beyond knowledgeable about ingredients and the info he is providing, I am coming from the angle that I sold it and I was not at all on his level of knowing what he knows. He is so dedicated to providing a skin care product to women but also toward helping women to improve how they feel about themselves that he has thoroughly educated himself. Yeah, I was into improving the way women felt about themselves but he will take a product that is not MK and read through the ingredients and he knows what is good for the skin and not. Like, I wouldn’t even take it upon myself to read the labels of other stuff so that is impressive and probs why I trust himself. Like I said before, I am going to do more research about exactly why MK needs to be in China and if they are lobbying. I do believe him but I would like more info on it. If it comes to it, I will call MK headquarters directly to see what they say. You can do that you know. If they don’t tell me what he told me than I will just know. Thanks for working toward cruelty free. We must do more and yes, I must do more to end my part in supporting anything that is cruel to animals ….even giving up chicken or eggs if eventually. I gave up beef for that reason and I really don’t care much if I never eat chicken again but in my cavewoman like mind, I am not totally there.

    We need more ppl like you and your followers to make this world a better place, so thank you so much for your part in the big picture!

  • I was working with my MK guy at my home and yes, he told my daughter and I that they don’t test on animals but…..after MK guy and I were looking at some other products that friends were recommending on FB for whether or not they test on animals, we found beautypedia or something like that which lists all the companies who do and don’t test on animals.

    Let me back track, while he was talking about MK and the business end of it, he said that Mary Kay is in China to lobby against animal testing and showing them alternatives. So when it was glaringly there on Beautypedia that Mary Kay does test, I was like dude Mary Kay IS on the list for testing. Without batting a beautiful Mary Kay eyelash this is how he explained why it is so.

    But, first, here in the US, if you are buying in the US, you will not be getting any product that was tested in any way shape or form on animals. He said not the ingredients separately and not the final product.

    So back to China- they will not allow lobbying by other countries unless you’re in their country selling and going by their laws which is sadly testing on animals. So, they can’t at all lobby to end or help change the laws in China if they aren’t in China. Is this bullshit? Is he bullshitting me so that I feel better about supporting his business? Well, I have to say that I am super impressed with his knowledge on the ingredients in even other products. He’s done his homework and he isn’t being a conartist. Yeah, even though I trust his knowledge and him, I did still investigate whether there was any literature out there supporting what he said; however, I have not done my research fully bc there is one piece that supports what he told me and I need to look at other pieces.

    I wouldn’t give up on a company like Mary Kay because they have gone above and beyond outside of just trying to turn a profit. Like he said they are working with the Chinese gvt and devoting hundreds of thousands of dollars if not more to make changes in China. The Mary Kay Ash Foundation has brought in millions/donated for cancer related research and other aspects r/t cancer plus their products are safe/good for the post cancer treatment person with that super sensitive skin. They have also brought in millions/donated to go toward women and children shelters for domestic abuse plus for to empower women with a history of being subjected to DA with much needed education.

    Do your research more thoroughly bc Mark Kay from what I am finding my research has been at the forefront of ending animal testing here in the US. For them to go into China to lobby is great, it is China’s law that they have to test on animals and that is not great. Do we blacklist and boycott MK bc they are working with a double edge sword situation so that they can eventually bring no animal testing laws to China or do we just blacklist them totally bc they are in China following China’s laws. I guess for each and everyone of us, we have to decide for ourselves. For me, if my further research finds that what he says is 100% true than I can still back him and MK. If not, idk. I mean I eat chicken and eggs and those animals are not treated well at all. I still think that I kind of feel as if the MK company does way more good for the animal kingdom than not for me to stop using their products.

    • humane society puts out list of beauty products made without testing on animals

  • Any Mary Kay products purchased in the United States of America ARE CRUELTY FREE!!!

    • So? Buying MK products in the US is still putting money into the pockets of a company profiting from cruelty. While I applaud MK’s efforts to end animal testing in China, I will only buy from companies that do not sell in China.

  • I believe that if they test products which are safe to use elsewhere, there would be less danger for the animals themselves. It’s like a customer buying water demanding they test the water first on another person to see if they don’t have an adverse reaction; as a seller, would you refuse to this ludicrous requirement, knowing that it wouldn’t hurt anyone and at the same time try to show the customer it wasn’t necesary in the first place?

  • What many fail to see is that most make-up companies here in America test on animals yet are still used by some of you hypocritical people saying “don’t use Mary Kay their not cruelty free they still test on animals”
    Yet y’all have read the testing is happing in China now while Mary Kay could drop China that doesn’t solve the problem lastly everyone needs to wake up and think do I live in China no I live in America and in America.
    Guess what everybody any Mary Kay products bought here in the USA come straight from the Mary Kay Home Base/Warehouse in Dallas TX so as you can see it’s not animal test.
    Maybe don’t be scared to actually dig to find out the whole truth before just haphazardly throwing a half truth on the internet to feel that hole in your life.

  • 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?
    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

  • 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.

    • Finally someone with knowledge about what’s going on in China! They will NEVER stop testing on animals. It’s what they enjoy doing. I’ve been living in Asia for The Last 5 Years and the meat trade has affected me greatly. It actually made me go vegan LOL I don’t know why China has such hatred for living things. You can buy key chains with small animals like turtles, fish and lizards stuffed in a plastic casing alive. They eventually suffocate and die. But this is something you can actually buy in China.

    • Sad to have to read that. It’s bad enough what America does (other countries, too) to animals in our slaughterhouses.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • How about this… Mary Kay shouldnt do business with China! China isn’t forcing Mary Kay to so business with them. Mary Kay chooses to and acts like they are being forced to animal test. Its ridiculous. No more Mary Kay for me.

    • 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 goal.

    • I’ve been with mary kay for 28 years. I looked at amway and a few others before I joined mary kay Mary kay herself designed her marketing method. Her lawyer told her it would never work. She did it anyway.

    • Mary Kay does not do animal testing. China does it when they receive the products. Mary Kay is trying to stop the testing in China by showing them alternatives. If that was your question.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

    • 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.

  • 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. Again, the research is there if you simply dig deep enough. Most people just stop at the top of the info without finding out the real truth. Here’s the story…again.

    • and sadly, in the meantime, MK will earn a profit from doing business in China. These profits will be delivered on the backs of innocent animals sacrificing their lives with no choice in the matter. Sorry MK, you’re done in my household.

    • Thank you Jodie! Still trying to set the record straight with customers who refuse to listen to the positive and important work that Mary Kay is doing in China.

    • I guess I will wait to use MK products until the Chinese government changes those laws. Thanks for sharing the link.

    • It isn’t as if MK is developing special products that need tested on animals and decided to do it China. They are the products we all happily use now that are not tested on animals in 34 other countries. My puppy would not suffer from any of the products I use if I were to share them with her. They only submit products for testing because China requires it. They are still doing wonderful things for women.

    • 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 be a perfect system because of China’s laws but k will continue to support this company because of its impact on her lives of humans and its work to protect animals now and in the future.

      • 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

          • 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. 🙂

          • “Mary Kay sells cosmetics through a multi-level marketing model. Mary Kay distributors (called beauty consultants) can potentially make income by directly selling to people in their community, and also receive a commission on wholesale purchases made by people they recruit into the distribution network. Mary Kay distributors must purchase a $100 starter kit in order to qualify.” (Wikipedia)

            “The name for this sort of business model is multilevel marketing and Mary Kay is one of many.” (Forbes)

            Looks like the only people denying that Mary Kay is an MLM are those affiliated with the company.

          • You will only find fault. A kit is purchased, as you need something to get started. Your sales are your own, as well as commissions. You may team build and earn additional commissions or choose not to have a team. At no point does your team member’s commission in their own individual businesse suffer or become diminished by virtue of you, the team leader having collected their earnings. That never happens. In multilevel formats that is the foundation and you are ever striving to gain the type of commission schedule of your up line. MK Team members promote themselves in their business and many times grow to lead units of independent consultants and growing into a management roll that the original recruiter did not choose to take. No uplines, No down lines. Wiki isn’t your best resource if you want to remain Factual. And in terms of cruelty free that is evolving and the movement is important. That all starts with the agreement to get there.

          • really.. forbes and Wikipedia.. don’t you have any other more credible source?

          • Yeah…. cause Wikipedia a trusted source. I could go in and put anything I want…

          • You don’t qualify for anything just by purchasing a kit and no one gets anything from it one someone purchases a kit except the person that purchases the kit has everything they need in a basic kit to start working their business. Besides that no one gets anything. Not a dime.

          • Any company where you need to put in your own money to become an employee is sketchy and most likely scammy. If you get hired on at a sales company at the mall you wouldn’t need to buy anything from your own pocket. If you get hired at Sephora or Ulta you don’t need to spend money to sell stuff.

            I have family that even traveled around the country selling big brand energy drinks (a legit company NOT Amway) and she was given product to sell because that’s the proper way to do it.

            Any university or business will tell you that a business opportunity in which you have to pay for meetings, training, or product to resell is a scam. So no, YOU need to do your own research or just get educated in general and you wouldn’t need to shill shitty pyramid scheme products.

          • Mary Kay is a dual-marketing company. Each consultant purchases directly from the company and sells to the consumer.

          • Suzi…. you precious being… PLEASE start researching your thoughts. Mary Kay is a Direct Sales company. Please learn the difference. There are no “levels”… every single person buys from the company at.the.same.price. AND received the same discount no matter how long they have been with the company. There are no “up-lines” or “distributors”, only the Mary Kay distribution that is in Dallas TX

          • Mary Kay is a “multi-level marketing” company, also known as a pyramid scheme. I realize that this post is attracting a lot of Mary Kay distributors defending the company, but 1) Mary Kay IS a multi-level marketing company and 2) they test on animals in mainland China and are not cruelty-free.

        • In China it is required BY CHINESE LAW to test on animals.Also Please be fair that Since Mary Kay went to China (&yes it us controversial), Many Other Cosmetic AND Skincare Companies followed them. These other companies chose to NOT share publicly they were there. I believe it was a journalist who figured it out & subsequently published that information.

        • Everyone is all upset about animals getting some lipstick but on their paw but no one is posting about China FORCING women to have abortions and limiting their children to one. Seems our priorities are messed up

          • It’s way more than “lipstick put on their paw”. You should do some research about animal testing. However, I am bias towards animals verses humans.

          • What a selfish and uninformed opinion. You are obviously ignorant about how animals suffer and DIE in cosmetic testing, having chemicals dropped into their eyes and corrosive chemicals placed onto their skin eating down to their bones. It has NOTHING to do with abortion! Why do you sound like it’s wrong to care about fetuses AND non-human animals? People like you make me sick!

          • While this is true and awful (about limiting the children to 1), it was America that convinced them to do it.

      • 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.

        • Me too!!
          Why don’t they pull out of the chinese market??!!!
          Greed means more than suffering, feeling animals are that cannot speak or defend themselves. This makes me sick! I’m done with Mary Kay!

  • 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 ?


        • US products dont contain plastic microbeads either.
          China, by kaw requires animal testing, however, MK has been working with the government to hopefully get things changed

          • Because Mary Kay felt so strongly about this issue, they chose to stay and WORK with China to convince them there are other ways to test product safety. They successfully STOPPED animal testing in China in 2018, thanks to the Mary Kay companies commitment to ending the practice. I couldn’t be more proud.

    • Our microbeads are now vegetable based, so they don’t harm animals.

    • The microbe beads are clay and dissolve and see my other comments above re animal testing, we need to stop China! How many letters have you written to the Chinese government?? Mary Kay are there helping women have an income they would otherwise be unable to have, it’s the INTERNAL presence that will make the change happen.

    • They are encapsulated toner…. compared to micro beads because of size. It is not plastic. Please do some research before bad mouthing a company. Does “cruelty free” also translate to your mouth?

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