Let’s look into the Olay brand’s current animal testing policy and cruelty-free status in 2020.
Is Olay Cruelty-Free?
Is Olay a cruelty-free brand? NO! Olay is an American skin-care brand and over the years has grown to be the market leader in many countries including US, UK and China.
China is one country where it is required by law to test cosmetic and skin-care products on animals. And because Olay is associated with a country that still practices inhumane methods of product testing, Olay cannot be considered a cruelty-free brand.
Is Olay Sold in China?
Does Olay Sell in China? YES! Olay products are available in mainland China. And as per the Chinese law, all cosmetics that are imported and sold in physical stores in China have to undergo market tests which are performed on animals to ensure that the products are safe for humans.
Although over the years there have been relaxations to the stringent laws, owing to domestic and international pressures against animal abuse; China which has a $32 billion cosmetic industry is reported to use almost 300,000 animals each year for the required product testing.
Is Olay Vegan?
Are Olay products Vegan? NO!
For a brand to be considered Vegan, it has to pass the two main criteria which are;
1) The brand is not involved, directly or indirectly in any form of animal cruelty
2) The products have to be completely free of ingredients (active as well as inactive ingredients) that are derived from animals
And Olay as a brand does not adhere to either of the criterias as they are sold in China, where animals are tested on and the brand has to finance these testing to be able to sell the products in the Chinese market. Additionally, the products of Olay do contain ingredients that are derived from animals.
Retinol which is an active ingredient in most of their products is an animal-derived source of vitamin A and apart from that stearic acid and its derivatives which are found in most cosmetics as thickening agent is also derived from animals.
And hence Olay cannot be considered a Vegan brand.
What is Olay’s Animal Testing Policy?
Olay’s Animal testing policy is mentioned on their official website. They have projected themselves as wanting to be a cruelty-free brand and pushing for change in the cosmetic industry with the below facts:
Olay is calling for an end in animal testing
Olay tests its products on ‘lab skins’; invented in a laboratory using non-animal materials and mimicking the properties of natural skin
Olay’s parent company, P&G has devoted $410 million to develop cruelty-free alternatives and also partnered with other brands to share research and testing to move towards a cruelty-free future
Olay is a supporter of the Humane Society International’s #BeCrueltyfree campaign which aims to ban animal testing for all major cosmetic markets by 2023
As per the website, We do not test our products on animals. Olay is working closely with governments around the world to provide alternative research methods to eliminate testing on animals, enabling cruelty-free skin care in the beauty industry. 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. This is why we do not claim cruelty-free on our packaging. We do not believe these tests are necessary to evaluate safety or performance. But today, they won’t accept alternative non-animal testing methods. We remain steadfast and will continue to advocate for alternative methods to end animal tests in the industry
And despite all efforts to push towards change, being indirectly a part of animal-cruelty for a market share makes Olay a non cruelty-free brand.
Is Olay Owned By a Parent Company?
YES! Olay is owned by a parent company, Procter and Gamble (P&G) which is an American multinational corporation for consumer goods.
What Does Olay Sell?
Olay is a skin care brand for women selling anti-aging serums, moisturizers, face masks and mists.
What is Olay’s Current Cruelty-Free Position?
Olay’s position in 2020 is that it is NOT a cruelty-free brand.
I Use Olay Products. What Can I Do to Help?
The best thing you can do as a consumer is to voice your concerns to the brand. Let them know they have a bigger role to play and a chance to make a change. As a major brand, they can put pressures on countries that still adhere to animal cruelty; they can choose to completely move away from animal-derived ingredients and change their status to a cruelty-free and vegan brand and set an example to other major brands in the global cosmetic industry.