Is Olay Cruelty Free or Vegan?

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Olay is not cruelty-free or vegan. It’s also not vegetarian. Olay is sold in countries where testing is required by law for imported products, such as Mainland China. Its parent company, Procter and Gamble (P&G) also does animal testing.

Olay is a popular name in the skincare industry due to its anti-aging line. It is available all across the world at an affordable price. Wondering if this drugstore skincare brand is ethical? Let’s find out where Olay stands in terms of animal testing, veganism, and sustainability.

Brand Overview

Testing of Finished Products?Yes, where required by the law
Ingredient testing?Unknown
Testing by the brand itself?Unclear
Third-party testing?Yes, where required by the law
Supplier testing?Unknown
Available where animal testing is mandatory by law?Yes

About the Brand – Olay

Graham Wulff, a former Unilever employee, founded Olay in 1952. Its name was Oil of Olay at that time. Gradually, the company added more products and scaled steadily. In 1985, P&G acquired the company and Olay got its new name soon after.

Olay’s Animal Testing Policy

At a glance, Olay’s testing policy looks decent and makes the consumers believe that it’s indeed cruelty-free. But that’s far from the truth. It’s pretty misleading.

Olay Animal testing policy

The brand has a dedicated page that mentions:

We do not test our products on animals. • • • For example, in a few countries where Olay is sold, governments still mandate animal tests. In those cases, Olay can be required by law to submit our products to labs where we know animal tests are happening.

Initially, it appears that they don’t test but later comes the mandatory clause. They even address why Olay isn’t certified cruelty-free on the packaging because of this very reason.

What company owns Olay?

Procter & Gamble owns Olay since the acquisition in 1985. Other leading brands under the P&G umbrella are Pantene, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Always, etc.

Olay cruelty free or not

Does the parent company test on animals?

P&G, the owner company does animal testing still in 2022. However, P&G invests in research and the development of alternative testing methods. This initiative is commendable.

Olay’s parent company, P&G, has devoted a total of $420 Million to develop cruelty-free alternatives.

Is Olay cruelty free?

Olay is still not cruelty-free in 2022. The brand itself admits to submitting samples for third-party testing wherever required by law. Olay tests on animals actively/passively. It supports the funding of those cruel tests.

Is Olay vegan?

Olay is not vegan due to 2 main reasons. Its products contain animal-based ingredients such as retinol, lanolin, and collagen, among others. These are 100% animal ingredients. It is extracted by harming or killing them. The brand is not animal conscious.

Also, the brand tests on animals. As a vegan, it’s best to skip it altogether.

Is Olay made in China?

Olay is not made in China. The brand doesn’t manufacture its products in mainland China.

Where Is Olay Made?

Olay is an American brand and manufactures most of its products in the States. They do have plants in Asia for Asian countries. But as per our research, there is no manufacturing unit in China.

Olay products

Does Olay sell where animal testing is required by law?

Olay is available in countries where testing is mandatory by law. This disqualifies the company from being cruelty-free as there is a high probability its products undergo testing.

Is Olay Sold In China?

Olay is sold in China where testing is required by law. However, the brand doesn’t manufacture there. But it’s available in Mainland China where third-party testing is a common part of post-market animal testing.

Does Olay test on animals

Is Olay certified cruelty-free by any organization?

Olay is not certified cruelty free by any organization because it is not. It’s an active/passive participant in animal testing.

Is Olay approved by PETA?

Olay is not approved by PETA (People For Ethical Treatment of Animals). Instead, the brand is on PETA’S list of brands to avoid. You won’t find any cruelty free logo on the products.

Is Olay approved by Leaping Bunny?

Olay is not Leaping Bunny certified either. This is because they still do testing on animals in 2022 regardless of their claims.

Is Olay Vegetarian?

Olay is not a vegetarian brand. Although some of its products are vegetarian, Olay isn’t a vegetarian brand. Some of the products contain animal-derived ingredients such as retinol. Hence they aren’t vegetarian.

Is Olay vegan

Is Olay Organic?

Olay is not organic, and neither claims to be. None of the products are organic in nature. You can check the difference between vegan and organic here.

Is Olay Paraben-Free?

Olay is not paraben-free. Some of its products contain parabens and it’s confirmed by the brand itself.

Is Olay Gluten-Free?

Olay isn’t gluten-free, nor does it claim to be. None of its products are labeled as gluten-free.

Is Olay Non-Comedogenic?

Olay offers some non-comedogenic products that don’t clog pores. Not all the products are non-comedogenic.

Is Olay ethical?

Olay is not ethical because of its testing policy. It’s not vegan either. The company even tried to hide the testing by publishing ambiguous statements. No details of ingredients testing are provided either. 

Is Olay Clean Beauty?

A clean beauty brand has a broad description. I don’t consider Olay as clean.

Do I recommend Olay?

I don’t recommend Olay due to a few reasons. Mainly because the brand isn’t cruelty-free or vegan. But also due to the portrayal of misleading information about its animal testing policy. It is also not ethical.

Olay Moisturizer

Brands to Avoid

These brands are not cruelty-free. They do participate in animal testing.

Alternative to Olay

Olay is popular due to its anti-aging skincare game. It’s popular for night creamsunscreen, and nourishing moisturizers. But there are many other brands that offer cruelty free alternatives to Olay. Some of their products are also 100% vegan.

Cruelty-Free Options:

  • Andalou Naturals
  • Alba Botanica
  • Mario Badescu
  • Murad
  • Paula’s Choice
  • Tatcha
  • Yes To

Vegan + Cruelty Free Alternative

  • Acure
  • Derma E
  • ELF (Drugstore)
  • Fourth Ray Beauty
  • Pacifica (Drugstore)
  • Skyn Iceland
  • Sukin
  • The Ordinary
  • Versed
  • Youth to People


Does Olay use animal testing?

Olay uses animal testing. However, not much detail is provided on ingredient testing.

Is Olay Regenerist collagen peptide vegan?

Olay Regenerist Collagen Peptide 24 products contain collagen that mostly comes from animals. However, collagen can be plant-derived too. But Olay doesn’t tag these products as vegan. So it doesn’t look like they are plant-based collagen and hence non-vegan.

Is Olay retinol 24 cruelty-free?

None of the brand’s products are cruelty-free whatsoever. The brand offers some vegan products. But all of its products involve animal testing.

What is the difference between vegan and cruelty-free products?

Vegan products don’t contain animal by-products. It’s free of animal-based ingredients such as lanolin, milk, honey, collagen, retinol, beeswax, etc. Various types of cruelty are a part to obtain these ingredients.

Cruelty Free products do not undergo animal testing at any stage of manufacturing. No ingredients, suppliers, third-party, or testing by the brand itself occurs. These tests are quite brutal.

Here is a guide on the difference between vegan and cruelty-free.

What is the difference between vegan and vegetarian products?

Vegan products are free of animal-based ingredients in all forms. While vegetarian products are free of animal flesh. Vegetarian products can contain milk, honey, etc.

How does Cruelty Free Guide verify whether a brand like Olay is cruelty-free or not?

We check the brand’s testing policy, followed by cruelty-free certifications. When we come across any ambiguity, we reach out to the brand with clarifying questions. Once the brand ticks all the boxes, it’s confirmed to be cruelty-free.

You can also learn how to identify cruelty free products all by yourself.

Photo of author

Aisha K. Ashi

Ashi K. is an environmentalist, researcher, and certified makeup artist. She loves to rescue cats and currently has 2 rescue babies. Join her on the journey as she uses this beauty blog to spread awareness regarding ethical ways of living.

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