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Is The Ordinary Cruelty-Free and Vegan? (2021)

The Ordinary is an affordable skincare brand launched by Deciem in 2013 that has been cruelty-free and vegan. But The Ordinary was recently acquired by Estee Lauder, so is The Ordinary still cruelty-free and vegan in October 2021?

The Ordinary Cruelty-Free Skincare Products

Is The Ordinary Cruelty Free?

Good news! Yes, The Ordinary is still cruelty-free in 2021. Deciem states on their website that they do not test on animals and that they do not ask others to test on animals. Deciem has the Leaping Bunny certification that their products are free of animal testing at all stages of development.

While The Ordinary does not sell its products in countries like mainland China, where animal testing is required by law, it is important to note that The Ordinary has been acquired by Estee Lauder Companies Inc., a company that is not cruelty-free.

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The Ordinary, Deciem, and Estee Lauder

The Ordinary Cruelty-Free Serums: Lactic Acid, Rosehip Oil and "Buffet"

Deciem is a Canadian beauty company that houses several affordable brands such as the wildly popular The Ordinary, NIOD, Hylamide, and The Chemistry Brand.

Estee Lauder Companies Inc. owns over 25 brands that are sold in 150 countries. Their holdings include popular beauty brands like Estee Lauder, MAC, Jo Malone, Bobbi Brown, and Aveda. In 2017, Estee Lauder Companies Inc. acquired a minority stake in Deciem, the parent company of The Ordinary.

Earlier this year, Estee Lauder Companies Inc. announced it would increase its investment in Deciem from a 29% share to a 76% share after three years.

Why Does the Estee Lauder Acquisition Matter?

Estee Lauder Companies Inc.’s brands don’t test on animals or ask others to test their products on animals. But because Estee Lauder Companies Inc. chooses to sell some of its brands in countries like mainland China, where animal testing is required by law, Estee Lauder Companies Inc. is not considered cruelty-free.

In addition to The Ordinary, Estee Lauder Companies Inc. owns other cruelty-free brands like Aveda, Smashbox, Too Faced, Becca, and Bumble and Bumble. But other Estee Lauder Companies Inc.-owned brands like MAC, Origins, Jo Malone, Bobbi Brown, Estee Lauder, La Mer, and Clinique are not cruelty-free.

Since Estee Lauder Companies Inc. will soon own a majority share of The Ordinary, it remains to be seen if this will affect its cruelty-free status or vegan products.

The fact that Estee Lauder Companies Inc. owns The Ordinary might be a deal-breaker for some people. If this is the case for you, be sure to check out some cruelty-free alternatives to The Ordinary below.

Is The Ordinary Vegan?

Yes, The Ordinary skincare products are 100% vegan. In addition, all The Ordinary products have been certified vegan by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

You won’t find animal-derived ingredients like honey, beeswax, lanolin, squalene, allantoin, ambergris, or gelatin in any of The Ordinary products.

Is The Ordinary A Clean Beauty Brand?

The Ordinary does not claim to be a clean beauty brand. But The Ordinary products are free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, and oxybenzone.

Some of The Ordinary products are organic and gluten-free, but not all. Luckily, there is a handy key on each product page that will let you know if the product is water-free, oil-free, silicone-free, nut-free, or gluten-free.

Alternatives to The Ordinary

If you are looking for other affordable cruelty-free skincare brands since The Ordinary’s parent company is not cruelty-free, check out the following cruelty-free skincare brands.

The Inkey List

The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser

The Inkey List is cruelty-free and has many products similar to The Ordinary. A few of their best sellers include Hyaluronic Acid (my favorite hyaluronic acid ever), Salicylic Acid Cleanser, Niacinamide Serum, and Retinol Serum.

For more on how these two brands compare, check out my post on The Inkey List vs The Ordinary.

Good Molecules

Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum

Good Molecules offers affordable hero ingredient products, just like The Ordinary and The Inkey List, and they’re cruelty-free! Don’t miss their Discoloration Correcting Serum, Niacinamide Brightening Toner (both of which are excellent for hyperpigmentation, dark spots, uneven skin tone, and acne scars), and Hyaluronic Acid Serum.

Where to Buy The Ordinary Products?

The Ordinary is available in the US at Sephora, Ulta, and The Ordinary’s website.

Final Thoughts on The Ordinary Being Cruelty-Free and Vegan

If you are considering introducing The Ordinary into your skincare routine, you can be confident that they are a vegan cruelty-free brand and their products contain no animal-derived ingredients (as of October 2021). But, it is important to note that their parent company, Estee Lauder Companies Inc. is not cruelty-free.

The Ordinary has so many wonderful skincare products that are dirt cheap and very effective. Whether you are looking for a product to address fine lines and wrinkles, oily and acne-prone skin, dry skin, or hyperpigmentation and dark spots, there is a The Ordinary product for you.

If you have no idea where to begin, check out some of my posts and guides on The Ordinary skincare products:

How To Build a Skincare Routine with The Ordinary

A Complete Guide to The Ordinary Retinol and Retinoids

The Best The Ordinary Products for Hyperpigmentation and Dark Spots

A Guide to The Ordinary Vitamin C Skincare Products

How to Use The Ordinary Lactic Acid

Thanks for reading!