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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Is L’Oreal an ethical brand?

A low ethical score is assigned to L’Oreal by The Good Shopping Guide; L’Oreal is a multinational corporation that owns several other well-known make-up and skincare brands, including its ‘own brand’, L’Oreal. Unfortunately, as indicated by its low Good Shopping Guide ethical score in our Ethical Skincare Ratings Table, this brand currently does not adhere to our fundamental ethical standards. For this brand to qualify for our Ethical Accreditation, it must make a number of changes.

L’Oreal’s vague statement on Animal Testing

Consumers may find L’Oreal’s position on animal testing to be a little unclear and ambiguous, which lowers its rating for our Animal Welfare criteria. Animal experimentation is not done on any L’Oréal components or products, according to the business. Nevertheless, L’Oréal is still included on the PETA list because its products are distributed in China. Health authorities in China still mandate and conduct animal testing on a few products.

Are L’Oreal cosmetics vegan? 

There are no vegan or vegetarian-approved cosmetics currently produced by L’Oreal.

The make up industry and colourism

As recently as 2020, giants in the cosmetics sector such as Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Beiersdorf have come under fire for marketing skin-lightening items that support colourism in the cosmetics sector. Any cosmetic product should never attempt to achieve lighter, whiter, or fairer skin; promoting such a product is Irresponsible Marketing.

Does L’Oreal make Political Donations?

In recent election cycles, L’Oreal gave US political parties thousands of U.S. dollars. For additional information on these contributions, which were given to both Republican and Democratic candidates, see the Open Secrets website.

Other Human Rights criticisms of L’Oreal

Consumers should be informed that the international behemoth Nestlé owns a sizable portion of shares in L’Oreal. (The Good Shopping Guide scores Nestlé very low since it engages in a number of unethical business activities across all of our research categories.)

The Associated Press brought attention to one of the major ethical problems L’Oreal is associated with. In certain palm oil fields in Malaysia and Indonesia, incidences of violence against women have not only been tolerated but are common. These occurrences included women being subjected to harmful substances and physical and sexual assault. Some of the women who were mistreated and assaulted were as young as 16 years old.

Please be aware, that the article from The Associated Press contains some very upsetting details.

In what areas does L’Oreal perform well ethically?

The Good Shopping Guide carefully researches a brand’s Environmental Report since a brand or company’s documents relating to environmental issues frequently provide a good indication of that brand or company’s awareness of its impact on our planet. Fortunately, the “L’Oreal for the Future” handbook has a long list of objectives for 2030 and 2025, including targets for biodiversity, water, and climate change. (For further information on them, see the report itself.) It is encouraging to hear from L’Oreal that they have established quantifiable goals for both their direct business operations and supply networks.

The Soil Association certified L’Oreal Garnier’s collection of organic skincare products.

How can L’Oreal improve its ethical rating?

The Good Shopping Guide uses 15 ethical criteria to establish L’Oreal’s score. L’Oreal needs to explain and address a number of ethical issues, such as its position on GMOs, Animal Welfare, and its complicity in the unethical production of palm oil.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Irresponsible Marketing


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating