If you love ELF Cosmetics and living a cruelty free life we have news for you…
Using and supporting ELF makeup and skin care is aligned with an ethical lifestyle!
We’ll show you why we consider ELF Cruelty Free, and also point out some small concerns in their animal testing policy you’ll need to monitor overtime if you want to only use cruelty free makeup brands.
… so let’s dive in.
is ELF cruelty free?
Does ELF test on animals?
No, ELF Cosmetics does not test on animals and is very clear about it in their testing policy.
…Will they continue to resist the urge to enter the huge China market… or avoid it to remain cruelty-free?
…this part gets interesting… but before we dive into this issue – let’s explore their actual testing policy.
ELF animal testing policy
More on this in a bit… first we need to talk about testing in China.
Does ELF sell in China?
No, ELF Cosmetics currently does not sell in Mainland China.
If ELF chose to sell in Mainland China they would be required to have their products tested on animals to meet China’s product safety laws.
Let’s hope they remain committed to their cruelty-free commitment and resist the urge to sell in China.
Does ELF Cosmetics Certify as Cruelty Free?
Yes! ELF Cosmetics is certified with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) as cruelty free.
PETA certification requires a brand to provide a Statement of Assurance attesting that it “does not and shall not conduct, commission, or pay for animal testing of any cosmetics and/or household products, nor will it conduct, commission, or pay for animal testing of ingredients used in, or formulations of, such products…. including, without limitation, formulations and ingredients of such products”
Does ELF Certify with Leaping Bunny?
No! ELF does not certify with Leaping Bunny as cruelty free. We are not certain why, other than it is a more difficult certification to obtain and maintain.
… it makes us wonder if they are leaving the door open to future China sales? Item#4 of the Leaping Bunny certification requirements closes the door to Mainland China sales…
Leaping Bunny certification requires a brand to provide a Statement of Assurance attesting that:
- “The Company does not and shall not conduct, Commission, or be a party to Animal Testing of any Cosmetic and/or Household Products including, without limitation, formulations and Ingredients of such products.
- The Company does not and shall not purchase any Ingredient, formulation, or product from any Third Party Manufacturer or Supplier that conducted, Commissioned, or had been party to Animal Testing on said Ingredient, formulation, or product after the Company’s Fixed Cut-off Date. If a formulation, Ingredient, or product is found not to comply with the Standard, the Company will replace it with an alternative that complies with the Standard’s criteria or remove it from the product range.
- The Company must implement a Supplier Monitoring System.
- The Company shall not allow Animal Testing to be performed by or for submission to regulatory agencies in foreign countries.”
Do ELF’s Ingredient Suppliers Test on Animals?
So… the next step in our investigation dives into ELF’s ingredient testing policies.
BTW… in case you didn’t know… most animal testing occurs at the ingredient level, and not the product level.
What we really want to know is if any animal testing happens on ELF ingredients…
Does the ELF animal testing policy prohibit the testing of ingredients and raw materials on animals?
Here is what we found on supplier testing
What we discovered is ELF is completely silent on this issue of supplier ingredient testing, or the testing policy of ingredient suppliers, and only comments on the testing they undertake:
“We do NOT test on animals or endorse such practices. Our products do not contain animal derived ingredients. Beeswax has been replaced by synthetic beeswax and lanolin has been replaced by Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladinpale-2. We currently support HSUS and are partners with PETA in the Caring Consumer Project.”
What disclosure is missing
We would like to see ELF clearly disclose if any 3rd parties or suppliers test on their ingredients or raw materials. It’s likely they don’t, but why not clearly communicate this fact? It is a small red flag.
They have certified with PETA as cruelty-free and this certification requires that no ingredients are tested on animals… so we are giving them the benefit of the doubt they are honoring their PETA certification statement.
Is ELF Vegan Friendly?
100% vegan baby!
ELF Cosmetics is vegan! They are certified as vegan with PETA and clearly communicate on their website the brand is 100% Vegan.
Common animal-derived ingredients other cosmetic brands use
Ingredients that are often sourced from animals include:
- Hyaluronic Acid – often found in serums and moisturizers
- Retinol – found in some night creams
- Carmine – often found in blush and lipstick
- Stearic Acid – found in skin creams
- Glycerin – a humectant found in many moisturizers
- Lanolin – in some moisturizers
- Lactic Acid – found in some Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
- Beeswax – often found in lipstick and lip balms
- Animal hair – used in makeup brushes
- Guanine – can be used in nail polish and eye shadow
- Keratin – in hair and nail products
- Squalene – in moisturizers, eye creams and facial oils
The bottom line with vegan cosmetics is it’s really difficult to tell from the ingredient list if the source is animal or synthetic versions. As shoppers we can only rely on vegan labelling, certification and other disclosures offered by the brand.
We are very pleased that ELF has identified all ingredients as 100% vegan and have clearly stated no animal-derived ingredients are used in their formulations.
Our Vegan Cosmetics Shopping Advice
If a product is not advertised and labelled as 100% vegan you should assume it contains animal-derived ingredients.
For ethical reasons many people only use vegan products from a brand that is 100% vegan and free of animal ingredients.
Who owns ELF Cosmetics?
ELF is a public company listed on the New York Stock Change and is not affiliated with any cosmetic conglomerate . If you want to own a part of ELF Cosmetics you can buy shares on the NYSE. It is traded under the stock ticker symbol ELF.
More ELF Cosmetics Cruelty-Free FAQS
Is ELF cruelty free in the US?
Yes, but they do not verify if ingredient suppliers test on animals.
Is ELF on Peta’s Cruelty Free List?
Yes, ELF has certified with Peta as cruelty-free.
Is ELF on Leaping Bunny Approved cruelty-free list?
No, ELF has not certified with Leaping Bunny as either cruelty-free or vegan.
Is ELF Animal Friendly?
Yes, ELF Cosmetics is animal friendly and does not use animal-derived ingredients in its formulations.
Is ELF Cruelty-Free and Vegan?
Yes, ELF is cruelty-free and vegan and does not use animal-derived ingredients in its products.
ELF Cosmetics Cruelty-Free Summary
Here is a summary of ELF’s cruelty-free assessment. ELF is a cruelty-free brand at this time.
|Tests finished products on animals?||No|
|Tests ingredients on animals?||No|
|Suppliers test on animals?||Unclear|
|Leaping Bunny Certified?||No|
|Uses animal-derived ingredients?||No|
|Sold in Mainland China?||No|
|Are all parent company brands cruelty-free?||N/A|
Why we consider ELF a cruelty-free brand
To start with, there is no legal definition for the claims of “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals” that are used by cosmetic brands.
The most common definition for “cruelty-free” is that a product or its ingredients were not tested on animals.
Where this gets murky is when brands only talk about their direct testing activities, and omit facts about 3rd party animal testing that may take place on their products or ingredients.
Is ELF cruelty free? We consider ELF to be a cruelty-free brand because they do not allow their products or ingredients to be tested on animals.
Our Cruelty-Free Standard
At Beauty + Kind our standard for “cruelty-free” and “not tested on animals” is very simple. We require brand disclosure that no animal testing has occurred during any part of bringing their product to market by any party. This includes testing on raw materials, ingredients, finished products or selling in countries where animal testing is required by law.Beauty + Kind
ELF Cruelty-Free and vegan Alternatives
If your looking to try other ethical brands, here are some cruelty-free and vegan options to consider:
Certified Cruelty Free
Take the guess work out of it and browse the ultimate list of cruelty free makeup and skin care brands.
Easily find brands that certify they don’t use animal-derived ingredients on the list of vegan makeup and skin care brands.
Learn more about brands using natural formulations on the ultimate list of natural makeup and skin care brands.
Discover brands focused on botanicals and organics on the ultimate list of organic makeup and skin care brands.
DIY Clean Beauty
Have some fun creating clean beauty formulations from the ultimate list of DIY makeup and skin care recipes.
Should You switch to kinder beauty brands?
Our philosophy and Beauty + Kind is that TRUE CRUELTY-FREE BEAUTY means that no harm to animals has happened during the entire manufacturing and testing process. This includes the source and harvest of ingredients, ingredient testing, and testing of the final product.
Unfortunately ELF Cosmetics does not meet our Beauty + Kind highest standards as they do not clearly disclose whether or not suppliers test on animals.
How to make the Switch to Animal-Friendly Brands
Making the switch is easier than you think once you have the right information. If you want to switch to more ethical and animal-friendly beauty brands check out the ultimate list of vegan and cruelty-free brands.