Laura Mercier was known to sell products in China, but a recent change in their policy might suggest otherwise.
Laura Mercier has claimed not to test on animals since the company's beginnings. Currently, they don't test on animals at any point during production, neither by the company itself or by their suppliers. There's also no third party testing involved.
The only possible animal testing involved would be in China. As you're aware, any non-Chinese cosmetics company wishing to enter the Chinese market has to agree to animal testing on finished products.
Update: After looking into Laura Mercier since writing this post, I don't see them as cruelty-free. Even though they don't sell in China, they've claimed to "test on animals where required by law". They've also recently been acquired by Shiseido, a company that tests on animals. Unfortunately, they might have plans to sell to mainland China.
tl;dr Laura Mercier's policy is still unclear, meaning they can't be seen as cruelty-free.
First things first, their FAQ doesn't contain much information:
17. Does Laura Mercier Cosmetics test on animals?
We do not, nor have we ever, tested our products on animals. We also do not contract outside companies to test on animals for us.
The statement above is unfortunately a very generic and practically meaningless statement, and one that's used by some companies that test on animals to cover up their practices. [Read more about this issue in my post When 'Not Tested On Animals Is Complete BS'!]
What it translates to is this:
They don't test their finished products on animals. Most companies nowadays don't test finished products on animals, and this doesn't guarantee that other forms of animal testing weren't used.
The second part is ambiguous. They could mean that they don't ask anyone to test on animals on their behalf, which is another super common way for companies to evade the real question.
Moving on to correspondence!
Laura Mercier was able to assure us that neither their finished products nor their ingredients are tested on animals. They also confirmed that none of their suppliers test on animals.
From the correspondence:
We do not nor do we have 3rd parties or our manufacturer test finished products or ingredients on animals.
None of our suppliers test on animals.
Is Laura Mercier Sold In China?
Laura Mercier lost its cruelty-free status when their policy changed in 2013. They switched to an "unless required by law" policy, meaning that they started testing on animals where required by law.
There's been a big change in their policy recently, as Laura Mercier claims that they no longer test on animals where required by law and have never entered the Chinese market.
At one point we were considering selling in China and Brazil, countries that did require animal testing per government regulations, and our packaging department was trying to be proactive, so as to not defraud our consumers, and we did an update to our packaging listing that we did not test except where require by law.
Our most recent packaging actually no longer contains this claim, as we have ceased interest in these countries, or, their particular policies have changed, as such that animal testing is no longer necessary.
We do not sell our products in China.
These statement all see check out, and Laura Mercier is not available in mainland China. Even Chinese Sephora stores don't stock this brand.
All that being said, if certifications are important to you, please know that Laura Mercier is not certified and does not plan on getting certification any time soon.
When I asked why, I received the following statement:
Because PETA or the Leaping Bunny list aren’t dependable lists we do not plan on acquiring a cruelty-free certification form either company.
I asked them to elaborate but didn't receive any further explanation.
The Laura Mercier brand is owned by Gurwitch Products, who also own the skincare brand ReVive and no other companies. Gurwitch Products is a cruelty-free company, and although ReVive is sold in Hong Kong, they're not available in mainland China.
So basically, good news! Laura Mercier is owned by a cruelty-free parent company.
To recap, here's what we know:
- Laura Mercier doesn't test finished products or ingredients on animals.
- None of their suppliers test on animals, nor do any third parties.
- Their products are not sold in China, and they don't test on animals where required by law.
- Laura Mercier's parent company is cruelty-free.
- Nonetheless, the brand has no cruelty-free certifications.
Based on this, you can expect to find Laura Mercier on my list of cruelty-free companies very soon. Even though Laura Mercier appears to be a cruelty-free brand, I'd like to find out more about this change in policy before taking the next step!
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Very saddened to learn Laura Merciet is not free from animal cruelty by couce but on as it is the law in certain respectful countries and the ones where there are not these laws in place it will he persist. I will no longer look at products I have the same way and wont use any again.
Thanks for the details. it makes me wonder though why they won’t advertise themselves as cruelty-free. since this has become a huge factor in the customer’s shopping decisions.
So that means I can trust Laura Mercier the next time I’m at Sephora. Thanks a ton for doing such deep research to educate all of us cruelty-free beauty lovers. 🙂
The parent company is Shiseido ?
Just to clarify for certain as of 2019 is this brand not cruelty free? Is this because they sell In China?
Well, crud. I was all set to buy their Eye Colour in Cashmere as a Christmas present to me, from me.
No sweat – I’ll find a cruelty-free dupe!
Are you able to help us Suzi. It’s still unclear what the situation is and if they are OK to buy from. Thanks as always.
any updates on this?
Is there an update to the LM brand?
I know I’m a bit late to the discussion but thank you for persevering. I am so pleased for clarification.
Any updates on this? Still unsure if LM is cruelty free or not… thank you
their statement is more detailed now on their website
this is it:
“01. Does Laura Mercier Cosmetics test on animals?
Laura Mercier is committed to the elimination of animal testing. We are equally committed to consumer health and safety, and bringing to market products that comply with applicable regulations in every country in which our products are sold. We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf. We evaluate our finished products in clinical tests on volunteer panels.”
They’re now owned by Shiseido.
Hi, any updates on whether Laura Mercier will be on your Cruelty Free list? I don’t see it listed yet. Thanks.
So just to clarrify, as of 2017 they are not cruelty free?
Hello there! Just wondered if there is an update on this? My friend swears by a lot of Laura Mercier products, but I can’t figure out whether or not to give them a go because of their cruelty-free (or lack of) status. Thanks, Sam.
Has there been any update on this? I noticed you didn’t include it in your list of 2017 cruelty free brands?
Hi! Do you have an update on the cruelty free status of Laura Mercier? Thanks in advance!:)
So Laura Mercier isn’t cruelty-free??
No, they got acquired by Shiseido right after I wrote this post and I wasn’t able to hear back from them.
Darn! I was hoping to give their new darker toned translucent powder a try! Thanks for the information!
China needs to realize that what they’re doing is not only unethical but unreliable animal’s skin, eyes, bodies are not the same. We can culture human cells in a lab why is this still happening…
They were just acquired by Shiseido.
Just read a bit about Shiseido Corp headquarters in Japan bragging about their environmentally progressive policy…. Where they ripped out some local rainforest area from which they’d been for resting palm oil for their cosmetics because they realized some oil was being stolen. They instituted a new policy to only use fake palm oil, removed all the natural habitat of the animals living there (like the orangutan they found) and constructed a huge building in its place. I guess the conservation part came in because they said they put the monkey on the roof? Doesn’t sound cruelty free or environmentally friendly over at Shiseido
Wow. That was the worst researched conclusion I’ve ever seen anyone reach in my life. Let me help.
Laura Mercier (LM)’s parent company, Gurwitch Products, also owns the luxery beauty skin care line I use, ReVive. ReVive was developed the first skin care line developed by a plastic surgeon—and he legit won a Nobel Prize for his products’ proven restorative formulas and the cell growth enhancement technology he patented. Surgeons/MDs don’t work in cruelty-free environments, so I’d be surprised if either ReVive, or its parent Gurwich (owned by Nieman Marcus), or LM were then cruelty free companies.
And NOW that Shiseido has purchased Gurwitch as of early June 2016… Who knows?
The founder of ReVive never won a Nobel Prize, but he did use Nobel Prize-winning science.
And frankly, this happened in the early 90s, which has little to do with whether or not Laura Mercier (or even Gurwitch products) tests on animals to this day.
Thrilled to hear this.
Thanks so much, just transitioned to cruelty free and desperately wanted the setting powder from LM so was upset to read 2013 blogs and lists saying it was not cruelty free but after your informative article I definitely trust they are not cruelty free xxx
Yay! I really wanted to get the translucent setting powder everyone raves about, so I just bought it after reading this.
Any update as to the cruelty free status of LM? Reluctant to purchase unless 100% sure. Thanks
Fabulous news! Thank you so much! Will add Laura Mercier as well! 😉
This is fantastic news!! The reps I’ve worked with all swore up and down the brand didn’t test, but due to the “except where required by law” I felt super guilty buying Secret Brightening Powder. Now I am buy it without stressing!
Hey Beth! Good! 😀
Thanks so much for this Suzi! ^^ I’m always looking forward to your new blog posts, and this one in particular put a smile on my face.
This is a really good in depth investigation 🙂
Although, even though they would never tell anyone, I wonder about the real reason they didn’t end up selling in China and Brazil if they went so far as to change their packaging…
Vivi // http://www.sammysanscruelty.com
Hey Vivi! Yep, I totally agree and I’m also curious. One theory would be that they did it to be able to sell in Brazil, and Brazil banned animal testing since.
Thanks for the research. Verry interesting post. xo
This is very interesting! It’s good to know that Laura Mercier can go back on my list of brands to shop from as I was just starting to dabble with LM products when I decided to go cruelty-free. I was under the impression that they were being sold in China so I just stopped buying their products. Glad to know I can continue to support them and keep my existing collection! Thanks for going in-depth about this. Since I started contacting brands for more info on their cruelty-free policy, I’ve noticed more and more vague or very generic responses. It must get frustrating to chase brands down for the truth sometimes! xx
Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’
Thanks Celina! So glad to hear you’re getting more and more into cruelty-free brands! 🙂
No problem Rebecca! 🙂
Great post, thanks for the clarity on this. It’s often hard to know whether or not a brand truly knows and embodies a cruelty-free ethos, but clearly Laura Mercier has gone back and forth and settled at a cruelty-free status (at least for now!)
Besma | Curiously Conscious
Thanks Besma, that’s how I’m seeing it too. 🙂
I’d be so chuffed if they are cruelty free now. Laura Mercier has some lovely products.
Very informative and helpful post Suzi 🙂
Thank you Jordana!
This is really, really useful as so many products I like seem to have little to no information on their stance on cruelty free/animal testing so posts like are brilliant! Glad to see Laura Mercier not testing. – Tasha
Thank you Tasha! 🙂
More than welcome!