Vegan & Organic Skincare

Are Vegan Beauty Products Tested on Animals?

5 Mins read

The question of whether vegan beauty products are tested on animals may seem complicated, but with a little bit of research and some friendly conversations with companies, it is actually pretty easy to find out the answer.

Are Vegan Beauty Products Tested on Animals?

The short answer is no. Vegan beauty products are not tested on animals and though they may contain ingredients that come from animals, no animal testing is ever done on the final product.

That’s because vegan beauty products are made with plant-based ingredients and do not include any animal ingredients or animal by-products in their formulas.

The best way to ensure your makeup and skincare products are vegan is to search for a “100% vegan” label or icon on the packaging before you buy it.

The Leaping Bunny logo also indicates a product has been certified cruelty-free but does not guarantee that a product is vegan.

Do Vegan Companies Test on Animals but Claim to Be Cruelty-free?

No. A vegan beauty product cannot be tested on animals, and it is actually illegal for a vegan company to do so.

Cruelty-free companies must have a written policy stating that they do not test their products or ingredients on animals at any stage of product development and that they do not condone the testing of their finished products or ingredients by their suppliers.

Vegan companies must also require that all suppliers provide written confirmation that they don’t test their materials on animals at any stage of product development, including finished goods.

Vegan companies also don’t use animal-derived ingredients in the manufacturing process, nor can those ingredients be tested on animals prior to being used by the company.

Which Is the Best Vegan Beauty Certification?

If you buy a product that has been certified as vegan by Leaping Bunny, you can rest assured that it is entirely free of animal ingredients and animal by-products.

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No animals were used or harmed in the testing of the product whatsoever; it is 100 percent cruelty-free.

The certification process is rigorous, which ensures consumers that they are getting what they’re paying for: a purely vegan product.

How to Find Leaping Bunny-certified Beauty Products?

You can look into a company’s cruelty-free status by doing the following:

1. Look for the Leaping Bunny logo on each product’s packaging

This is the fastest way to determine if a brand is cruelty-free, but it won’t tell you anything about the ingredients themselves.

2. Go to leapingbunny.org

Go to leapingbunny.org and search for your product or brand there.

They keep an updated list of companies that have been certified by their program.

If you shop at Sephora, you can filter your searches there by “Cruelty-Free Beauty,” which uses Leaping Bunny as a reference point in determining who should be listed under this category.

3. Check if they have a statement

Check if they have a statement on their website that they don’t test on animals (many companies do).

However, since many large corporations own a variety of different brands and some of these brands may not be cruelty-free, it’s important to note that having one cruelty-free division doesn’t necessarily mean all divisions are cruelty-free—so always check websites for several different brands before assuming that everything from company x is vegan and/or cruelty-free!

4. Ask around

Ask other friends who shop vegan what their go-to products are and how they learned about them.

For example, if you know Amy loves her Honest Beauty products but is also very adamant about shopping for ethical makeup options, she might make it easy to find more companies like hers by recommending them to others!

What Are the Terms of Vegan Beauty Certification?

Vegan beauty products must meet several requirements:

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Do Certifications Guarantee a Beauty Product Is Vegan?

“The word vegan means that the product contains no animal by-products or ingredients derived from animals,” says Tupper. “It also means that the product was not tested on animals.”

But what it doesn’t mean is that a beauty product is healthy or even safe.

That’s because the term “vegan” essentially refers only to what an item isn’t—it isn’t made with animals—rather than what exactly is in it.

Case in point:

There may not be any animal ingredients, but there certainly could be toxic synthetic chemicals.

In addition, vegan products are not required by law to be certified by any agency, meaning a company can technically slap a vegan label onto its products without having them independently verified.

Recently, more brands and industry experts have been pushing for standards when it comes to what can and cannot be considered vegan.

The nonprofit Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has created a list of approved cruelty-free certifications for companies whose products meet certain criteria, including no animal testing and no animal-derived ingredients.

What Does It Mean if a Beauty Product Is Certified Vegan?

Certified vegan products are made without any animal ingredients, animal-derived ingredients, or animal byproducts. The Vegan Society’s trademark symbol (seen below) helps consumers identify beauty and personal care products that have been independently certified as vegan. In order to earn this certification, a beauty product must be free of:

  • Animal ingredients, including meat, eggs, and dairy
  • Animal-derived ingredients, such as honey and lanolin
  • Animal byproducts that aren’t considered to be cruelty-free
  • Animal testing at any point in the production process
  • Not only do these products not harm animals—but they also don’t contain additives like beeswax or emu oil.
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Does a Vegan Label Mean That The Product Is More Healthy Than Other Brands of Makeup or Skincare Products?

The vegan label is not regulated, so it doesn’t mean that the product has been tested on animals, nor that it’s free of chemicals.

Also, some cosmetic companies who use the vegan label will also sell products that are not vegan.

In other words, a company can have both products that don’t contain anything from an animal and other products that do.

Some vegans will feel comfortable using these brands because their vegan items are still cruelty-free and others won’t for the same reason—the company still tests on animals for other products.

So, does a vegan label mean that the product is more healthy than other brands of makeup or skincare products?

The answer is no. For example, a mineral foundation may be marketed as a natural and/or organic product but there’s no such thing as organic titanium dioxide and it’s definitely not good for you to put it on your skin.

Again, this comes down to educating yourself when making purchasing decisions.

Final Thoughts

Labels are important, but once you know the ethical sources for vegan beauty that we have identified, it becomes easier to choose which brand to support.

We also recommend doing your own research so that you can ensure that no companies listed are testing on animals.