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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Is Maybelline an ethical brand?

The Good Shopping Guide gives Maybelline a low ethical rating; Maybelline is a brand owned the notorious global conglomerate, L’Oreal. Sadly, as evidenced by its poor Good Shopping Guide score in our Ethical Make Up Ratings Table, this brand presently does not uphold our key ethical standards. Maybelline needs to make a number of adjustments in order to be eligible for our Ethical Accreditation.

Maybelline’s vague statement on Animal Testing

Consumers may find Maybelline’s position on animal testing to be a little vague and paradoxical, which lowers its rating for our Animal Welfare criteria. Animal experimentation is not done on any L’Oreal components or products, according to the company itself. Nevertheless, L’Oreal 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 Maybelline cosmetics vegan? 

There are no vegan or vegetarian-approved cosmetics currently produced by Maybelline’s parent company, L’Oreal or any of its brands.

The make up industry and colourism

As recently as 2020, giants in the cosmetics sector such as Estée Lauder, L’Oreal, 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.

Other Human Rights criticisms of Maybelline

Consumers should be informed that the international behemoth Nestlé owns large 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 Maybelline and L’Oreal are 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 Maybelline 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 Maybelline improve its ethical rating?

The Good Shopping Guide uses 15 ethical criteria to establish Maybelline’s score. Maybelline needs to explain and address a number of ethical issues, such as its position on GMOs, Animal Welfare, and its parent brand, L’Oreal’s, 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