Is Almay Cruelty-Free & Vegan? Or Are They Misleading Us?

Almay is a widely available cosmetic brand well-known for its hypoallergenic products. The company is one of the first (if not the pioneering) brands making makeup for sensitive skin. They heavily market their products as hypoallergenic and cruelty-free. But ultimately, we have to ask ourselves. Is Almay cruelty-free? Or is this branding just another greenwashing scheme intended to bring in more customers?

That’s what we’ll try to find out in this article. Before all the details, here’s a summary of the most frequently asked questions about the topic.

  • Is Almay cruelty-free? No. Almay is not cruelty-free.
  • Does Almay test on animals? No. Almay themselves does not. However, we could not determine enough information about whether they let other countries conduct independent testing on their products.
  • Is Almay vegan? No. Almay may use animal or animal by-products as ingredients. Since Almay is not cruelty-free, they are also not considered vegan.
  • Is Almay sold in China? There is currently not enough proof indicating that Almay sells in Mainland China.
  • Does Almay have a parent company? Yes. Revlon, a makeup industry giant, currently own Almay.
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Does Almay Conduct Animal Testing?

According to their website, Almay products are not tested on animals. But we all know cruelty-free conversations often run much deeper than what a brand directly indicates on their website.

Ideally, we would be living in a world where brand promises are easy to trust. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Greenwashing is a prevalent trend in the beauty industry that we constantly have to look out for.

To do that, we have to examine animal testing policies and try to uncover what we can.

Almay's Animal Testing Policy

Being an industry leader in hypoallergenic makeup for sensitive skin, Almay has an entire web section dedicated to explaining their safety practices. There you will find:

“Our products are cruelty-free, fragrance free, and doctor tested. “

From the very beginning, they claim their status. Here are more details of what they have to say about how they are cruelty-free:

“Almay loves its furry friends. We do not test our products on animals and, instead, we substantiate the safety of all of our products the humane and modern way–using state-of-the-art product-safety principles and methodologies.

As far as animal testing policies go, Almay is pretty straightforward about its approach. In this scenario, is Almay cruelty-free? Not quite.

From this statement, we can infer that Almay doesn’t test their products on animals. But the statement lacks several details important in determining a company’s status.

For instance, they mentioned nothing about testing ingredients on animals. They also did not specifically say that they don’t source from suppliers that test on animals—something that’s relevant in determining if a brand is cruelty-free or not.

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Is Almay Certified Cruelty-Free?

Almay claims they are cruelty-free. One of the most specific markers to confirm this information is through a relevant certification.

Some of the most prevalent cruelty-free certifications are the Leaping Bunny and PETA’s Beauty without Bunnies program. The accreditation from Cruelty-free International is also quite well-recognized.

Almay does not have any cruelty-free certification, nor are they affiliated with any recognized cruelty-free certifying organization.

However, their homepage displays a logo of a bunny with the world cruelty-free on the logo.

Is Almay Sold in China?

Why Is This Important?

In every single conversation talking about a brand’s cruelty-free status, Mainland China is almost always brought up. This is because regulatory authorities in China still require animal testing for any foreign brand wanting to introduce its products in the country.

Note that this regulation is only applicable to products sold physically in the Chinese market. It does not include any items sold in online markets or sold directly to the consumer on a website.

Moreover, China has recently lifted its requirements for animal testing on certain products. General cosmetics like skincare products, shampoo, lotion, makeup, etc., may now be sold in China without being tested on animals.

Because of the recent change, are brands selling in the country now cruelty-free? Not really. They still need to comply with all the documents necessary to bypass animal testing.

Additionally, the regulation has only been lifted for general cosmetics. Testing is still required for special-use cosmetics like sunscreen, anti-aging products, and more.

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Is Almay Vegan?

Almay may have products without any animal-derived ingredients. However, we must emphasize that they are not a vegan brand. Not all of their products are vegan, and if you intend on buying from them, please check the ingredients list beforehand.

Moreover, since we would not consider Almay cruelty-free, we cannot recommend their products to vegans in good conscience. Unless they go truly cruelty-free, Almay products will not be considered vegan.

But if you’re in the market for cruelty-free and vegan products, we’ve got you covered. We have plenty of guides on the best vegan makeup and skin care on the market, all from truly cruelty-free brands.

Is Almay Owned By A Parent Company?

Yes. Almay is owned by yet another prominent figure in the world of beauty brands, Revlon. As a household name, Revlon has several brands under its wing, including but not limited to Elizabeth Arden, Mitchum, and Cutex.

Knowing if a brand is a subsidiary of a parent may be necessary for determining if Almay makes it on your list of cruelty-free brands. Although Almay itself may be completely free of animal tests, their profits eventually end up in a parent that tests on animals which is quite a problematic concept.

We looked deeper into Revlon’s animal testing policy, and the brand states that:

“Revlon does not conduct animal testing and has not done so for decades. We comprehensively test all of our products using the most technologically advanced methods available to ensure they are both innovative and safe to use. We believe that all women should have the opportunity to express themselves through makeup, and we sell our products in many markets around the world. Regulatory authorities in some countries conduct independent testing in order to satisfy their own mandatory registration requirements and a limited number of these countries have not yet adopted alternative testing methods. While Revlon complies with the requirements for safety in all of these countries, we continue to collaborate with other companies to advocate for the adoption of alternative testing methods and the elimination of animal testing around the world.”

It is clear from their animal testing policy that Revlon is NOT a cruelty-free cosmetic brand. They still test on animals where required (e.g., in Mainland China), which is a cruel practice.

Since Revlon is not cruelty-free, Almay, as its subsidiary, is more doubtful. If you are more particular about these things, a parent’s products being tested on animals is a deal-breaker. But that’s entirely up to your discretion.

Final Thoughts

Is Almay cruelty-free? Sad to say, no, they’re not. Despite marketing themselves as a cruelty-free brand for sensitive skin, the truth is not as simple as a single statement in the Almay animal testing policy.

There are way too many questions left unanswered about their status, and we cannot safely assume their claims to be true. Still, we hope Almay will become more transparent about their practices soon.

As a consumer, you shouldn’t have to worry. The market has plenty of better cruelty-free and vegan options for you and your makeup needs.

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