In the 21st century, being a socially responsible brand is essential. Delivering outstanding vegan and always cruelty-free products is part of that commitment.

Nowadays, animal testing may seem like a cruel practice, but it started as protecting humans from the harsh chemicals used in cosmetics. 

The United States Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which went into effect in 1938, required cosmetic corporations to certify that their products were safe. 

Hence, companies began testing items on animals to establish that they were safe.

In this day and age, petitioners and many animal rights organizations such as PETA are calling for a complete ban on animal testing.

More than 100 million animals are murdered in laboratories across the United States each year for biology education, medical training, curiosity-driven experiments, and chemical, drug, food, and cosmetics testing.

Animal experiments do not improve human health in the vast majority of cases, and the relevance of animal experimentation in most medical achievements is debatable.

Cruelty-free is a term that is us/ed quite often but not adequately defined. Almost everyone presumes that if an item is labeled “cruelty-free,” it means it was created without the use of animals.

Depending on who is using the word, what defines a product as cruelty-free can differ. The term ‘cruelty-free’ refers to the absence of animal testing on the finished product. 

Nonetheless, this does not rule out the possibility of testing on a single ingredient. It also doesn’t rule out the possibility that the brand used an outside firm to do animal testing while claiming to be cruelty-free.

It is essential now to have makeup and skincare brands that do not test on animals in any way or form. And thankfully, our options for such products have grown considerably in the last decade.

Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at EltaMD, a collection of skin-loving products that make you forget they’re working.

A swiss secret healing ointment that made its way to the US in 1988 was then developed into a line of professional wound care products called Elta and used in numerous hospitals, burn wards, and rehabs globally. 

They became EltaMD in 2007, bringing their medical heritage and science-backed ingredients to everyday items such as skincare.

Now, EltaMD is the #1 dermatologically recommended expert sunscreen brand. In the past 30 years, they have worked with some of the top dermatologists in the USA to develop products that suit every skin type. 

Is EltaMD vegan?

While cruelty-free indicates that neither the ingredients nor the finished product was tested on animals, vegan refers to a product that does not contain any animal-derived substances.

A product can be vegan but not cruelty-free, just as it can be cruelty-free but not vegan.

EltaMD offers some vegan products for its consumers but cannot claim its entire product range as vegan-friendly. 

Many EltaMD products use animal byproducts such as beeswax, glycerine, and stearic acid. While both glycerine and stearic acid can be plant-derived as well as animal-derived, EltaMD does not clarify what kind they use. 

Furthermore, many of the chemicals in Elta MD’s medicines are manufactured, which means they have been tested on animals at some point.

EltaMD also uses artificial colors in their products, as listed in their ingredients. This also makes some of their products non-vegan friendly. 

Here are some EltaMD products they describe as being completely vegan:

UV Active Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+: This is a physical sunscreen explicitly designed for active people. It is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and won’t wash off or irritate your eyes if you get it in your eyes. It includes antioxidants and provides broad-spectrum UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) ray protection. It protects against high-energy visual (HEV) light.

You can shop it here: EltaMD UV Active Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+ 

Skin Recovery Essence Toner: This mild essence toner calms, moisturizes, and detoxifies skin while maintaining a good pH balance. It is made with their trademarked AAComplex amino acid blend and is alcohol-free, so it will not dry out your skin. It also contains malachite extract, a mineral-rich copper complex that eliminates impurities and protects against environmental aggressors. 

Shop it here: EltaMD Skin Recovery Toner

Foaming Facial Cleanser: Makeup, oil, and other pollutants on the skin and in the pores are loosened by this gentle enzyme and amino acid blend. The thick, creamy foam gently cleanses your skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and balanced.

You can find it here: EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser 

 For a complete list of all the vegan products offered by EltaMD, you can visit them at Vegan– EltaMD

Is it ethical?

EltaMD claims to have sustainable initiatives while championing diversity, equity, and inclusion on its website.

But that does not detract from the fact that EltaMD is owned by a parent company that complies with mainland China’s laws regarding animal testing. 

EltaMD is owned by Colgate-Palmolive, a company that sells in mainland China. On their respective websites, both EltaMD and Colgate-Palmolive state that they do not test on animals unless required by law. 

This means that either the companies themselves or their third-party suppliers in China are required to test products on animals before selling.

Hence, it can be said that EltaMD is, in fact, not a cruelty-free brand and does not appear to have any proper cruelty-free certifications from PETA.

Despite all of today’s progress, animal testing for cosmetic products and substances is still permissible in four out of every five countries.

There are other ways to contribute, but the most obvious is to donate money to the cause or to avoid purchasing animal-tested brands and products.

Consumers have the buying power and may choose which brands to support. The greater the demand for cruelty-free products, the more businesses will be required to fulfill that commitment.

As more consumers choose ethical, cruelty-free brands, larger corporations are forced to pay attention and improve their methods.

Supporting cruelty-free companies increases their chances of being included in more stores and making them more accessible to customers.

There is still a long way to go, but any effort to make a difference is via education and a dedication to offering cruelty-free products.

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