Is Clinique Cruelty Free & Vegan?

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Last Updated on 02/19/2022

Clinique and its parent company, Estee Lauder are not cruelty-free. Clinique is a passive participant in animal testing. Its products contain animal-based ingredients such as squalene, beeswax, etc. So, Clinique is not vegan-friendly either.

Beauty brands can be classified into three categories. First of all, the brands that are not cruelty-free. And everyone is aware of that. Next comes the cruelty-free brands that stay away from all kinds of animal tests.

Then there is the third category, where the brands appear to be cruelty-free but are not. You can’t tell about their actual stance regarding cruelty. At the core, they support cruelty in some passive form.

So if you’re wondering whether Clinique is cruelty-free, here is some news for you. World-famous high-end skincare brand, Clinique falls in the third category.

People love their well-researched super effective lotions and potions. However, their products are not as pure as you may think. They do have a very unethical background that stays hidden from the user’s eyes. This Estee Lauder-owned brand sells its products in China. Let’s dig in deep about Clinique and its cruelty stats.

Is Clinique Vegan & Cruelty Free?

is Clinique vegan


Clinique – Past & Present

It is the brainchild of Evelyn Lauder. She is the daughter-in-law of the famous beauty entrepreneur Estee Lauder.

1967: On a fine day in 1967, Evelyn was reading a skincare article in Vogue magazine, USA edition. It was a conversation-style skincare discussion between Carol Phillips with Norman Orentreich. This one conversation broke the common belief of ‘god gifted’ good skin.

According to Carol and Norman, great skin is the result of proper nurturing and suitable skincare. Evelyn Lauder wanted to give skincare enthusiasts a science-backed products range with potent ingredients.

Currently: This is how the dermatologist-tested brand, Clinique was born. Clinique’s initial products were application based. Later, they expanded into a skin-friendly makeup line. Clinique now sells 100+ skin and makeup products. Their customer base is spread all over the world.

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What does the brand say about its cruelty-free outlook?

Let’s check out what Clinique has to say about its animal testing policy.

We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.

Unfortunately, the animal testing policy page of the brand’s official website is filled with the same clause of misdirection. You can find quite a similarity in any Estee Lauder owned brand’s policy statement.

Reusing those perfectly placed words, one may presume Clinique as cruelty-free. They even appear to be a supporter of banning animal testing and finding alternative solutions.

However, the mention of  ‘exception’ rings the bell here. To get the Chinese market share, Clinique not only agrees to send their products in animal testing labs but also provides ample funds to run those tests.

Cruelty Free Timeline

Initially – During the initial years, Clinique used to test individual ingredients and finished products on animals in their own labs.

The 1980s – In the second half of the 1980s its parent brand, Estee Lauder stopped doing in-house animal tests. Clinique followed Estee Lauder’s path to put a break on animal testing in their own labs.

However, both Clinique and Estee Lauder still sell products in China where animal tests are mandatory for all foreign-made cosmetics.

Clinique vegan or not

Is it cruelty free?

No. Both Clinique and its parent brand, Estee Lauder allow testing on animals to market their products in China. They do not run animal tests in their own premises or ask ingredient suppliers to do so. But, they have yielded to provide their product samples and fees to third party labs in China to do cruelty tests.

Does Clinique manufacture in China?

No. Clinique does not produce its cosmetic products in China. Clinique exports products to China. As a result, their products have to face mandatory animal tests as per the Chinese law on imported cosmetics.

Does Clinique sell in China?

Yes. You’ll easily find Clinique products in high end skincare and makeup sections of Chinese cosmetic shops. Clinique even has a shopping website dedicated for Chinese consumers.

Is it vegan?

Personal care products can be vegan considering the absence of animal-derived ingredients. Clinique can’t satisfy the above-mentioned criteria. You can find animal by-products such as squalene, beeswax, etc in their  products. It is not vegan. Also supports animal testing passively.

Do I recommend Clinique?

Its products are neither cruelty free nor vegan. Clinique tries to misguide users by saying they don’t test on animals. But, in reality, they agree to the cruelty-based tests done in Chinese laboratories. Clinique is also on PETA’s Brands to Avoid list.


Clinique animal testing

Alternatives to Clinique Products

1. Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Hydrator: IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream is a great alternative. It hydrates your skin deeply and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive. Also has anti-aging properties & won’t cause you any breakouts.

2. Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm: Switch to Drunk Elephant Makeup Cleanser for better skin and environment. This antioxidant-rich formula is cruelty free, sensitive skin safe. It is also fragrance-free and made up of clean ingredients.

3. Clinique All About Eyes: Vitamin C can be an amazing solution for all your under-eye worries. Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Treatment is an ultimate substitute.

4. Mineral Fluid Sunscreen: Ditch this cruelty supported sunscreen for Supergoop one. This one comes with SPF of 40. It is a skin-friendly formula that will make you fall in love with Supergoop.


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