Lily is the Editor-in-Chief and one of the writers here on Those Graces. Growing up with sensitive and fair skin, she’s always been passionate about finding the gentlest yet most effective products. When she can’t find what she needs on the market, she makes her own! Lily is also passionate about animals, so everything she uses must be cruelty-free. Contact her at Lily@thosegraces.com
Even though they claim that they don’t test on animals, some of their practices (and their parent company’s) are enough to knock them right off my cruelty-free beauty list.
Read on to learn why.
Benefit Animal Testing Policies
I have to admit, I was a bit shocked by Benefit’s animal testing policies. Seriously, when I learned that they weren’t cruelty-free, my face did this sort of “wait, what???” jaw-drop.
Out of all the “is it cruelty-free” topics we’ve covered, I really expected more from this particular brand. I can’t explain why. I just did.
However, their animal testing policy reads like every other “we’re hoping you don’t notice the big fat ‘but’ in the middle” statement. Here it is, tell me what you see (bolding is mine, the typo in the bolded text is theirs):
Benefit does not test our products on animals.
Since 1989, the Perfumes & Cosmetics companies of LVMH group (including Benefit Cosmetics) have not performed any tests on animals for our products – this was implemented long before the 2013 official ban set by the European Union.
We are deeply committed to the elimination of animal testing. We’re playing a leading role in developing alternative methods through our support of the “Fund for Alternatives to Animal Testing” in the United States. We also actively participate in validation studies of new alternative tests in the framework of the European cosmetics association, Cosmetics Europe. We are one of only a few companies to have invested in creating our own internal department to test raw materials and ingredients to further ensure the quality of our products and the satisfaction of our customers, which is our top priority.
As a result, all Benefit products undergo very strict tolerance tests using non-animal methods during the development of each product to ensure quality and safety prior to market.
Some customers expressed concern regarding the situation in China. Our products are made in Europe and for imported cosmetics, the Chinese health authorities order some test on animals: they require companies to make their products available to be tested in state-certified laboratories for registration purposes only, as it is currently their only recognized method to demonstrate product safety.
We are hopeful that alternative testing methods will be adopted worldwide and we will see an end to animal testing.
Sure, that first part sounds really great! I mean, it’s all right there upfront in a single separated sentence so you don’t miss it: “Benefit does not test our products on animals.”
They go into a long explanation about everything they’re doing to stop animal cruelty. It’s wonderful, it makes me want to buy their blush and eyeshadow.
Then comes the kicker, towards the end, buried amidst all the “we’re kind to creatures” talk.
While they don’t come right out and use the word “except,” it’s right there in bold letters: they sell in China, where animal testing is still required by law.
That’s actually changing a bit for 2021 and beyond. China no longer requires cosmetics bought through 3rd party websites (like Amazon) to undergo animal testing.
However, anything sold in stores in their country still has to be tested for now. At the end of the year, they’re supposed to phase that out, if I’m reading the super complicated law right.
Even then, though, if someone has a reaction to, say, a blush, China can require animal testing on the product. It’s called post-marketing testing, and it still counts.
So, we know that Benefit’s China sales are enough to knock it off our cruelty-free list. There’s more, though.
Let’s take a look at their parent company- LVMH- to understand why animal testing isn’t the only problem with Benefit.
Who is LVMH and are they cruelty free?
LVHM is one of the world’s largest “luxury goods” companies. Along with Benefit, they own Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Tiffany & Co, Sephora, Fendi, Fresh, and other high-end brands.
If you read that statement above, you’ll note that LVHM is part of that deep commitment to ending animal testing.
When we discussed whether Burt’s Bees is cruelty-free, I cut the brand some slack even though their parent company- Clorox- issued a very similar statement (mainly due to their zero-tolerance for animal testing for Burt’s).
So, why doesn’t Benefit get the same, well, benefit of doubt? One word: fur. Also, two more words: crocodile skin.
Fur & Crocodile Leather: The Dark Side of LVMH
See, while LVHM may be going above and beyond to end animal testing, they own companies that make crocodile-skin purses and other highly unethical products.
Now, not being a vegan company isn’t usually enough to make me accuse a brand of animal cruelty. I’m not vegan myself.
I don’t eat cow, so I don’t personally wear leather. However, I understand that a great many people do eat beef, so until that stops, it makes sense to use all of the animal’s parts (like in cow leather).
However, like many, I draw the line at killing an animal simply for its hide. LVMH owns several brands that sell fur and crocodile-skin purses.
No matter how much LVMH claims to use “ethical” sources for these products, the simple fact is they’re killing these creatures just to make purses and coats. That’s a non-starter for me.
THAT, my friends, is why Benefit doesn’t get the same pass that Burt’s did.
Now that we’ve covered why Benefit isn’t cruelty-free in 2021, let’s look at some alternatives that are.
FYI, the next part of this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
3 100% Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Benefit
Benefit makes a pretty wide range of makeup products. We’ve covered some good alternatives in our article, “Is Morphe Cruelty-Free?” Here are a few others that I love.
All of these products are available on Safe and Chic, my new obsession. Literally EVERY SINGLE product in their store is 100% cruelty-free, so it really takes the guess work out of shopping.
We’ll get to that in one moment, but I want to tell you why that 0.01% has NOTHING to do with them selling their products in China. Bear with me, it’s important.
Wait, if Burt’s sells in China, doesn’t that automatically make them NOT cruelty-free?
If you read ANY of our posts on this topic, you know that selling in China almost always knocks a brand out of running for CF beauty brands.
However, in Burt’s case, they’re only selling direct-to-consumer. China’s newest laws let consumers buy non-animal-tested products online, such as through a brand’s website.
As of right now, products sold in physical stores throughout China are still tested on animals by law. However, that’s supposed to change by the end of 2021.
Pre-market testing will no longer be required. Unfortunately, if someone complains about a product, China could require animal testing post-market. So it’s not a total win, but it’s progress!
In Burt’s Bees’ case, though, it’s moot. As of now, they only sell direct-to-consumer, so they retain their cruelty-free status even though they sell in China.
So why aren’t they 100% cruelty-free, then???
The main reason why Burt’s loses its CF status in my book has nothing to do with the brand itself and everything to do with the parent company.
Back in 2007, Clorox bought Burt’s Bees. Yes Clorox, as in the same company that cleaning products (and NOT the happy earth-friendly natural kind).
Clorox actually owns quite a few rather surprising brands, including a few vitamin and supplement lines, and- perhaps the most shocking- Hidden Valley (the people who make salad dressing).
I digress, though. Let’s look at Clorox’s animal testing policies to get a better understanding of how it cost Burt’s it’s former “100% cruelty-free status” in my book.
Clorox, Burt’s Bees Parent Company is NOT Cruelty-Free (but they are trying)
I have to give Clorox credit, they really are trying to put their animal-testing days behind them.
I remember when Burt’s first sold out to them, I was SO disappointed because Clorox was at the top of “not kind to animals” list.
That’s changed quite a bit over the years. Today, I’d go so far as to call them “industry giants who lead the mission to stop animal testing.”
However, according to their policy statement, they still test on animals “where required by law” when no other alternatives exist.
Here’s a snippet from their statement (I bolded an important point that we’ll discuss in a moment).
Clorox does not conduct — or cause a third party to conduct on its behalf — any animal testing on products or formula ingredients that Clorox develops internally, unless the testing is required by law and there is no viable alternative to such testing. When the law requires such tests, Clorox only selects highly qualified contract research facilities that comply with all applicable animal welfare standards. Additionally, for our Burt’s Bees cosmetics and personal care products, we have a zero tolerance for animal testing for both formulation and ingredients.
I know I’ve said before (and I’ll probably say it again)- there’s no “but” or “except” when it comes to animal testing. You either do or you don’t.
If we were talking about any other parent company, I’d cross Burt’s off my cruelty-free list and move on.
However, let’s discuss that bolded section, because it’s pretty important.
Clorox has ZERO tolerance policy for Burt’s Bees
While some Clorox products are tested on animals (when required by law), they do have a zero-tolerance policy for Burt’s Bees.
This means that there are NO exceptions, no ifs, ands or buts. To me, that’s enough to make them “cruelty-free enough” in my book.
Burt’s Bees Cruelty-Free FAQs
We covered some of these above, but I like to do a very quick summary, especially for all you skimmers out there.
Is Burt’s Bees vegan-friendly brand?
No, as the many of their products contain beeswax and other bee-centric ingredients.
What Parent Company Owns Burt’s Bees
Clorox, which is NOT cruelty-free
Is Burt’s Bees Certified by Leaping Bunny?
Yes, but with a note that their parent company is NOT cruelty-free
Final Words About Burt’s Bees Cruelty-Free Status
I usually close with a few cruelty-free alternatives, but given all that we’ve learned, I feel like Burt’s Bees deserves our hard-earned money.
Typically, I hold parent companies against brands. If said parent has even the loosest connection to animal testing, it’s usually enough to knock ALL of their “children” off my cruelty-free shopping list.
However, Clorox goes farther than some of the other parent companies that we’ve discussed.
For example, when we talked about whether or not Neutrogena is cruelty-free, we saw that their parent company is Johnson & Johnson, a company that does an excruciating amount of animal testing in their pharmaceutical brand.
So, between Clorox’s zero-tolerance policy Burt’s and the company’s overall dedication to putting an end to animal testing, I feel comfortable continuing to purchase Burt’s Bees products.
I feel like if we say, “Sorry, Burt’s, but since your parent company is only 99% cruelty-free, you’re off our shopping list,” we’re sending a message that their efforts don’t matter, and they may think “why bother?”
When I first heard of tingling lotions, I tried several of them, and I didn’t really feel the tingling effect.
And then, I tried the Ed Hardy Obnoxious Extreme Bronzer, and oh boy! I’m yet to use another lotion that can match the intensity I felt with the lotion.
So, fair warning, I ONLY recommend this tingling lotion for three groups of people.
People WITHOUT super sensitive skin.
Experienced tan addicts who want to take their tanning experience to the next level.
And daring newbies who want to start the experience from the top.
If you fit that description, then continue reading to know the features, pros, and cons of the Ed Hardy Obnoxious Extreme Bronzer.
If you’re just looking for something mild, I got you. Just check out my other product recommendations.
Here is more information on the Ed Hardy Obnoxious Extreme Bronzer.
As mentioned earlier, this is the hottest tingle tanning lotion on my list.
But the good news is, if the intensity freaks you out, you can mix the lotion with other products to dial down the tingling effect a bit.
You can mix the lotion with a bronzer or intensifier, and you’ll still get the golden tan.
Due to its intensity, you’re likely to end up with visible skin reddening, and many people really freak out.
Well, I’m here to tell you, you don’t need to worry; the reddening fades away eventually. I had read multiple reviews and researched a lot, so I was relaxed when I began experiencing side effects.
So, what ingredients in the Ed Hardy Obnoxious Extreme Bronzer cause this impact? It has bronzers that are made from natural and cosmetic tingling ingredients.
For instance, this lotion has Mangosteen, which amplifies the tingling.
Mangosteen has other benefits such as dehydrating the skin, which is critical during tanning, protects your skin from free radical compounds, and facilitates microcirculation that helps keep your skin radiant after tanning.
The lotion also has Vitamin E and C, which delays aging and protects your skin from oxidative damage. The vitamins also restore any damaged skin.
When it comes to the scent, it’s nice before you start tanning and I didn’t smell burnt after tanning.
Ultimate tingling sensation
Some people don’t like the extreme tingling effect
High moisturizing effect
It’s not suitable for sensitive skin
It has an anti-aging effect
May have an itching effect
Protects your skin from sun damage
It gives you a lasting golden tan
Who needs this lotion?
This lotion is for those who want a dark, long-lasting tan. And those looking to experience an ‘extreme’ tingling effect.
If you’re a newbie in tanning, I highly recommend starting with other products on this list.
Ready to join the tingle freaks? Buy the Ed Hardy Obnoxious Extreme Bronzer on Amazon.
This is my pick for the second-best tingle tanning lotion for tanning beds. It still has a hot tingling effect, but it’s a bit mild compared to Ed Hardy Obnoxious Extreme Bronzer.
As the name suggests, it really ignites noir (which means black in French).
And it’s worth a trial; the first time I used it, I was shocked at how fast I got a tan. It literally reduced the time I take in the tanning bed by half.
And since I mostly prefer suntanning, reduced time in a tanning bed is really a big bonus.
So, what are the ingredients and special features of Devoted Creations Ignite Noir? Here you go.
Obviously, the first feature is the super-advanced oxygenated tingle responsible for the dark tan you get and the burning sensation.
One Amazon user compared the sensation to being pepper-sprayed. In my experience, it was not that intense.
Devoted Creations Ignite Noir also has high levels of DHA as well as natural and cosmetic bronzers.
The DHA reacts with dead cells on the skin’s surface, which causes the skin to darken temporarily, giving you a dark tan.
Besides tanning, the lotion contains Kollaren and Freshtek that ensures you don’t smell gross after tanning. The lotion also reduces the appearance of cellulite and wrinkles, and leaves your skin toned.
And for tattoo lovers, this lotion has a tattoo and color fade protecting technology, so you don’t have to worry about your tattoos fading during tanning.
Lastly, the tingling tanning lotion has a starfruit and aloe vera fragrance, so the smell isn’t so awful.
Well, I really don’t like the aloe vera fragrance, but the smell wasn’t a turn-off. I simply wear perfume after tanning with the lotion.
Since this tingling lotion has zero sunscreens, I highly recommend only using it with tanning beds. If you want to use it for outdoor tanning, be sure to use sunscreen.
Here are the popular questions about tingle tanning lotions
Does tingling tanning lotion work?
Yes, tingling tanning lotion work. They increase your skin cell’s microcirculation and oxygenation to give a dark tan.
Does tingle lotion make you tan faster?
Yes, tingle lotion facilitates fast tanning. Some bronzers contain bronzers that work like sunless tan, which fastens the tanning process. Besides the bronzers, the tingle lotion also has other ingredients that increase the skin’s absorption power that makes you tan faster.
How do I stop my tingle tanning lotion from burning?
If you need to reduce the tingling effect, gently wash off the lotion using soap and cool water. Moisturize your skin to help it cool down.
Best Tingle Tanning Lotion for Perfect Tan (Final Verdict)
Tanning is fun, but tanning with tingle tanning lotion is exciting and effective.
I honestly love the burning sensation and the results that I get. But is the tingling tanning lotion for everyone? That depends with the tingling lotion in question.
Tingle tanning lotions have different intensities when it comes to the tingling effect. It’s advisable for those with pale or sensitive skin to go for the lotions with a low burning sensation.
I hope you enjoyed my best tingle tanning lotion review.
Have you used any of the lotions I discussed?
What is your pick for the best tingle tanning lotion? Share below!
Read on to learn more about Aveeno’s animal testing policies, their parent company, and other factors that play a role in that answer.
Then, check out my top three favorite cruelty-free beauty alternatives to Aveeno.
Aveeno Animal Testing Policies
Let’s start where we always do when discussing the cruelty-free status of a product: Does Aveeno test on animals?
While most brands just pop the answer into their FAQs, Aveeno actually has an entire page dedicated to it.
Of course, on that page you’ll find just one paragraph. It reads:
We want you to feel good about how we make AVEENO® products. You can only do that if you have the facts. The fact is, AVEENO® doesn’t conduct animal testing of our cosmetic products anywhere in the world, except in the rare situation where governments or laws require it. At AVEENO®, we won’t ever compromise on the quality or safety of our products or stop seeking alternatives to animal testing.
If you read my post last week-“Is Neutrogena Cruelty-free“- those words will look very familiar. There’s a reason for it, which we’ll discuss in a moment.
First, though, let’s break it down a bit, just in case you haven’t read our other posts on the topic.
What do they mean by “except in the rare situation”?
As I’ve said before, the word “except” is very important. You can’t say that you don’t test on animals, then throw that word out there. You either do or you don’t.
Aveeno, like many other brands, sells in countries that require animal testing by law, including China and Brazil.
We’ve talked about why this is such a big deal before, so I’m not going to rehash the entire conversation. If you’re curious, take a look at our post about CeraVe’s animal testing policies.
Bottom line, if a brand sells their products in those countries, they CANNOT be called cruelty-free, period. No ifs, ands or buts.
What do they mean by “we don’t test our cosmetic products?”
When you’re researching cruelty-free beauty products, you really have to look more at what a brand doesn’t say than at what they do say.
For example, Aveeno writes that it doesn’t “conduct animal testing of our cosmetic products.”
What does this mean? Basically, the brand does not test its final product on animals. Wait, that’s a good thing, right?
Well, yes…but what about the ingredients that go into the product? Are they tested on animals?
Another watch-for is the way they worded it. Let’s look at it again.
The fact is, AVEENO® doesn’t conduct animal testing of our cosmetic products anywhere in the world…
What do you see? I see what translates to “Aveeno itself does not test our cosmetic products on animals.”
What I don’t see is some sort of verbiage indicating that they also don’t use animal-tested ingredients period. Nor do they say that they don’t allow others to test on their behalf.
When I look at my favorite cruelty-free beauty brands, on the other hand, their FAQs always include this extra information. They want to make it VERY clear that they’re kind to animals, after all.
Now, I’m not saying vague wording like that is always shady, but it definitely gives me pause and makes me take a MUCH closer look at a brand’s overall policies.
In this case, while I already knew the answer, I found more concerning news just by scrolling to the Aveeno website footer.
There, in small text, you’ll find the words “This site is published by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc…”
Why does that matter? Keep reading to find out.
Aveeno’s Parent Company DEFINITELY Tests on Animals
Johnson and Johnson is many things, but cruelty-free is NOT one of them.
Not only does Aveeno’s parent company use almost the same exact verbiage when asked about whether they test on animals, but the brand also makes pharmaceuticals.
In fact, if you’ve been keeping up with COVID vaccine news, you know that they created one of them. All of the COVID vaccines (and pretty much all vaccines in general) undergo animal testing.
While I won’t touch the vaccine debate with a 1,000-foot pole, I will say this: as much as I abhor the fact that animals are used for medical research, I recognize that we NEED vaccines and medicine.
However, we DO NOT NEED beauty products. Sure, they’re nice, but we can live without them.
For me personally, I can deal with (not like, barely tolerate, but deal with) taking a vaccine that was tested on animals. I cannot, however, justify using mascara that was jabbed into a bunny’s eyes.
So if Aveeno was more like Morphe– who is cruelty-free themselves but has connections to the medical industry through their parent company- I’d be on the fence about using their products.
However, since we’ve already established that Aveeno isn’t cruelty-free, it’s a moot point. I don’t even have to think about it beyond the word “except.”
Aveeno Cruelty-Free FAQs
Is Aveeno certified by any cruelty-free organizations?
Since Aveeno is decidedly NOT cruelty-free, no, they’re not certified by any of the major organizations (like PETA and Leaping Bunny).
Is Aveeno a Vegan-Friendly Brand?
No, nor do they claim to be vegan. They do offer a few products that are free of animal-based ingredients, but on the whole, they are not vegan-friendly.
Now that we know Aveeno is not cruelty-free, what can we use instead? Keep reading for my favorite alternatives.
FYI, this part of the post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
3 100% Cruelty free alternatives to Aveeno
Aveeno has a pretty wide range of beauty products, including cleansers, face creams, sunscreen, and more.
However, they’re best known for their gentle hypoallergenic lotions. So, for our cruelty-free alternatives, we’ll focus on those.
When it comes to minimalist nail designs, there are many great styles and colors to choose from.
The easiest way to prep and paint your nails to draw attention without being over the top. Minimal colors, simple designs, and unique looks that aren’t too wild and crazy will help you achieve that minimal look you’re going for.
The simple nail designs below prove that making a big statement doesn’t have to be with overbearing prints or colors.
If you’re ready to get some nail inspiration to try out on your own nails, use these simply stunning nail designs to get started! Each is minimalistic and perfect in its very own way!
23 Minimalist Nail Designs
#1 Power Clutch
This look is the perfect combination of subtle and fun. Great for a night in or a night out on the town.
#2 Black Tip French
Who says the french manicures can’t have a little pop of color? Check out the super cute black tip french manicure here.
#3 Summer to Fall
It’s simple to say goodbye to summer’s bright colors and transition into those cooler fall shades.
Colorful nails don’t have to be overly bright and bold. Fun pastels and a bit of glitter go a long way.
#5 Less is More
This nail design speaks volumes without being overly busy! Just a little bit of art can go a long way!
#6 Love Your Nails
Bright red can be a great way to make a simple statement about love. Perfect for Valentine’s Day or when you want to add a fun pop of color.
#7 Channel Your Inner Disney Fan
We are calling all Monster, Inc. fans! These nails are great for kids and adults to have a little fun with.
#8 Nail Art at Home
Check out this super fun look that was created using household items. Thinking outside the creative box is always a good idea.
#9 Gold Foil
Nude nails and gold foil create such an elegant look. One look at these, and you’re going to be hooked!
Neutrogena does not conduct animal testing on our cosmetic products anywhere in the world, except in the rare instance where governments require it. We actively partner with research and advocacy organizations to advance alternative testing methods to ensure a new global standard can be met.
Notice the exception? That’s pretty important. First, even using the word “except” is enough to immediately take a company off my cruelty-free list.
I mean, you either test on animals or you don’t. There’s no in-between, right?
Now let’s talk about the exception itself. The “rare instances where governments require it” refers to China and Brazil (there may be others, but those are the two big ones).
We’ve discussed the issues with beauty brands selling in China in “Is CeraVe cruelty-free,” but let’s very quickly recap.
Beauty products sold in China are rarely (if ever) cruelty-free
Skincare and makeup products sold in mainland China’s stores MUST- by law- be tested on animals first.
There’s some confusion about this because the laws changed a bit. As of 2021, goods bought online and shipped to China don’t need to meet this requirement.
In other words, if you live in Beijing and order makeup online through Amazon, the new law allows you to choose 100% cruelty-free items.
However, if you’re buying it at an actual store in Beijing, by law it MUST be an animal-tested product.
This video below explains it pretty well:
Long story short, though, if a brand gives a vague answer like “except where required by law” and you know they ship to China, there’s your answer.
Pretty cut-and-dry, right? You could just jump right ahead to the last section to find some good animal-friendly alternatives if you want.
However, I always like to dig deeper and look at a brand’s parent company.
After all, if Neutrogena suddenly decides to stop selling in China (and other countries that require animal testing), their status would instantly change.
So, it’s good to know where their parent company stands, too.
Neutrogena’s Parent Company (Johnson & Johnson) is FAR from Cruelty-free
Parent company Johnson & Johnson gives the same exact statement regarding animal testing as their “child,” almost word-for-word.
The Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. does not test cosmetic or personal care products or ingredients on animals anywhere in the world, except in the rare situation where required by law or where alternative options don’t yet exist.
Again, the word “except” nullifies the entire preceding statement.
Since Johnson & Johnson continues to sell products in countries that require animal testing, they cannot be called cruelty-free. Period.
Also, while J&J may not test their makeup and skincare products on bunnies, the company also manufacturers healthcare items. In fact, they created one of the COVID vaccines.
In that document mentioned above, they’re pretty open about the fact that they do use animals in medical research.
So, even if Neutrogena itself took the necessary measures to achieve cruelty-free status, their parent company will always be an issue.
Before we jump to animal-friendly alternatives to Neutrogena, I very quickly want to touch on one final question.
Is Neutrogena Vegan-Friendly?
Neutrogena is NOT a vegan brand, nor do they claim to be one.
That said, they do use synthetic versions of popular animal ingredients (like lanolin and beeswax) as often as possible.
However, a few of their products- especially those sold overseas- contain dairy by-products.
3 100% Cruelty-free alternatives to Neutrogena
Neutrogena’s product catalog is HUGE, and includes everything from moisturizers to cosmetics.
We already looked at animal-friendly makeup alternatives last week when we discussed “Is Morphe cruelty-free?”
So this time, let’s focus on good moisturizer alternatives. All are certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.
FYI, this section contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
1. ACURE Radically Rejuvenating Whipped Night Cream
ACURE isn’t just cruelty-free and vegan, they also use organic fair-trade ingredients.
The ACURE Amazon store sells everything from skin and haircare products to hand sanitizers, but I particularly love their whipped night cream.
Aside from no animal ingredients, it’s also free of sulfates, parabens, petroleum, formaldehyde and mineral oil. All that AND it’s super affordable to boot!
2. Badger – Damascus Rose Beauty Balm
I’ve been obsessed with Badger Balm’s products ever since my son was little and their Baby Balm was literally the ONLY thing that worked on his diaper rash.
Since then, I’ve used pretty much every single one of their balms at one point or another.
Their Damascus Rose beauty balm is one of their pricier products, but it works wonders (and it’s the rose that drives the price up, that stuff is CRAZY expensive).
However, this particular product is not vegan, as it contains beeswax.
So, if your definition of cruelty-free includes “no beeswax,” it’s not a good fit. Everyone has different feelings on that particular ingredient (and honey, too), though.
3. Beauty Without Cruelty Fragrance-Free Hand & Body Lotion
Back in my early days of cruelty-free shopping BWC was one of a very small handful of brands available (and I could only get it at one little health food store).
Years later, they’re still one of the best. Not only are their products Leaping Bunny certified, but they’re absolutely affordable. Being kind to animals shouldn’t cost a fortune, after all.
I really like their fragrance-free lotion for two reasons. First, it’s gentle enough for my sensitive skin.
Second, I like to make my own scented lotion with essential oils, but I’m too lazy to make the base, so this is perfect.
Final Words on Neutrogena’s Cruelty-Free Status
If you’re looking for beauty brands that don’t test on animals (or allow others to do so on their behalf) under any circumstances, Neutrogena is NOT a good fit for you.
Not only do they sell in countries that mandate it by law, but their parent company is one of the biggest offenders of all, since they do medical research.
Fortunately, while Neutrogena products are great and all, there are plenty of alternatives that treat animals far better.
What do you think? Is Neutrogena cruelty-free since they don’t test on animals in the US? Share below.
The answer really depends on whether you consider non-vegan products cruelty-free as well as how you feel about their parent company.
Let’s take a deep dive into the brand’s animal testing policies and find out what’s holding them back from a straight-up “yes.”
Morphe Animal Testing Policies
Let’s start with “Does Morphe test on animals?” The answer: no, they do not.
As of 2021, Morphe claims that their products are 100% cruelty-free. According to their website FAQs:
“Morphe does not condone animal testing in any way. We do not test any of our products on animals. We also do not test any of our ingredients on animals, nor do we allow our manufacturers to do so on our behalf. Instead, we choose to test drive our products on people (with their permission, of course).”
Also in their FAQs, you’ll learn that they don’t ship to China.
If you recall when we talked about “Is CeraVe cruelty-free?,” that’s a big deal, as China requires animal testing by law.
Anyway, sounds pretty cut-and-dry, right? It ticks off all of the boxes I look for when I’m verifying whether a brand meets my strict ethics regarding animal testing, including:
A very clear statement condemning animal testing;
Specific reference to ingredients vs. just overall products;
Reference to manufacturers (not passing the buck, so to speak).
Basically, I look for words that go deeper than “our products aren’t tested on animals,” which is super misleading.
Just because a brand doesn’t test, say, their latest eyeshadow palette on bunnies doesn’t mean the ingredients that make up said palette are cruelty-free.
Also, saying “we don’t test on animals” means nothing if a brand allows their manufactures to do so.
You really have to look at what a brand doesn’t say more than what they do.
I know it’s confusing at first, but shopping cruelty-free gets a lot easier when you understand these subtleties.
Okay, moving on. So, if Morphe ticks all the right boxes for a cruelty-free beauty brand, why am I hesitating to give them my own personal seal of approval?
Two words (or three, depending on how you count hyphenation): animal-derived ingredients. Let’s discuss.
Is Morphe a Vegan Beauty Brand?
No, Morphe is NOT a 100% vegan beauty brand.
Now, they do have some totally vegan products in their lineup, including popular items like: Fluidity Foundation, Fluidity Concealer, Morphe Highlighters, & Mega Matte Lipsticks.
However, they also have a pretty wide selection of products that include animal- derived ingredients to varying degrees.
For example, some products contain beeswax, others use sheep wool fat, and so on.
Also, if you’re wondering, “are Morphe brushes vegan,” again, yes and no.
Some use synthetic materials, others use real animal hair. You have to read the labels and ingredients very carefully.
Are they certified by any cruelty free organization
No, they’re not, but that shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Let me explain.
Morphe doesn’t carry any of the common certifications. No Leaping Bunny. No Beauty Without Bunnies (PETA’s certification). No Choose Cruelty Free certification.
They also aren’t vegan-certified, obviously, since they have products with animal ingredients.
Here’s the thing, though: while those certifications are a HUGE help to people like us looking for cruelty-free cosmetics, not having one doesn’t mean…to be blunt…jack squat.
First, each one costs money to get. We’re talking anywhere from a one-time small fee to upwards of $15,000.
So, some brands just plain don’t want to pay for certification. Maybe they’re a small new company and can’t afford the expense, for example.
Then there’s the fact that not everyone uses the same cruelty-free shopping guide.
I’m not a fan of PETA because of their horrific stance on stray animals (look it up, you’ll see what I mean). So, I prefer either Leaping Bunny or Choose Cruelty Free.
So, if a brand wants to really maximize their cruelty-free status, they’d have to pay not one, not two, but 3-4 different application fees.
While some are fine with that, others just skip certification entirely and hope that you’ll take their word for it.
So, I don’t judge makeup based on whether or not they have a logo with some sort of bunny in it. I judge based on their statements, history and ingredients, period.
I also look at the brand’s parent company. Which brings us to…
Who is General Atlantic (Morphe owner) and are they cruelty free?
In August of 2019, General Atlantic announced that they were buying a major stake in Morphe. How major? 60%.
So basically, enough of a controlling interest for me to accurately say, “General Atlantic bought Morphe.”
Usually, when a larger company acquires a smaller beauty brand, it’s pretty easy to find out whether or not said parent company is cruelty-free.
For example, when Clorox bought Burt’s Bees, I knew right away to take them off my “animal-friendly list.” While Burt’s is cruelty-free, Clorox is not.
When an investment company acquires a brand, though, it’s harder to figure out.
Let me save you some time: you won’t find the answer by searching “Is General Atlantic cruelty-free.” Trust me, I tried. So, I looked at other brands that they own or have major stakes in.
According to their website, General Atlantic owns properties in healthcare and life science sectors, among others.
Those two concern me because they almost always involve animal testing. I found at least one in their healthcare holdings that does, then I stopped looking. One is enough.
For me, if even one of a brand’s parent company’s other “children” test on animals, it’s the same as the brand doing it.
If I pay Morphe $100 for makeup and General Atlantic gets $60 of that, then turns around and gives it to a holding that tests on animals, I’m still technically paying for that cruelty.
You may have different thoughts and ethics, and that’s fine. I’m not here to judge. I just want to make sure you have all the info you need to decide.
If you DO decide that Morphe is cruelty-free based on just what the brand itself does, you can stop here.
However, if your ethics line up with mine, keep reading for a few 100% cruelty-free makeup alternatives that I absolutely love.
3 100% Cruelty free alternatives to Morphe (makeup brands)
All of these products below are Leaping Bunny certified. I know I said certification isn’t everything, but it’s still a good way to quickly find some good products to start with.
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