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Is Elf Cruelty-Free?

Does elf test on animals or sell in China?

is elf cosmetics cruelty-free

You can’t go to a store nowadays and not see ELF cosmetics. They are known for their high-quality yet affordable makeup line.  But is elf cruelty-free or do they test on animals?

For a company to be considered cruelty-free they have to meet all of the following criteria:

  • Do not test any of their products or ingredients on animals
  • Don’t allow others to test on their behalf 
  • Do not sell in a country where animal testing is required. 

After doing a bit of research, I found that elf does meet the above cruelty-free requirements and is considered to be a cruelty-free makeup brand. 

Let’s look into what all of that really means and what you can do about it.

Is elf Certified Cruelty-Free?

When researching a brand’s cruelty-free status my first stop is the certified cruelty-free list. There are three organizations that give official certifications to brands around the world: Leaping Bunny, Peta, and Choose Cruelty-Free.

elf is certified cruelty-free by Peta. That’s wonderful news but, Peta does not do a thorough vetting process like Leaping Bunny. So I don’t fully trust their certifications and will continue to research elf.

elf cosmetics peta

Does elf Test on Animals?

The next step in my research is going directly to the company’s animal testing policy to see where they stand. elf’s policy can be found in the ‘FAQ section of their website. Here is what it states:

“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 Beeswax has been replaced by synthetic beeswax and lanolin has been replaced by Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladinpale-2.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.”

elf cosmetics animal policy

This response was vague and so I emailed the company for clarification on their animal testing policy. I asked the following questions:

  • Do you test on animals at any point during the production of your products?
  • Are your ingredients tested on animals by your suppliers?
  • Does any third-party test on animals on your behalf?
  • Do you test on animals when required by law?

Elf emailed me with the following response:

“Thank you for your support and interest in e.l.f. cosmetics. At e.l.f. Cosmetics, we believe that beauty comes from within all of us. Our line of luxurious cosmetics captures great looking skin with gorgeous colors and quality ingredients. Our products are designed to let your inner beauty shine through. You can find all e.l.f. ingredients indicated on the packaging of our products as well as on our website. All ingredients used in e.l.f. cosmetics are vegan-friendly, safe, and meet FDA requirements. Ingredients are listed on our website as well as on the packaging of our products. We are proud to say that we do not test on animals or endorse such practices. We currently support PETA and collaborate with PETA in the Caring Consumer Project. All of our high-quality brushes are now made with 100% synthetic, cruelty-free fibers and are vegan-friendly. As you may expect, it is possible that some old brushes remain in the market. We believe these to be extremely limited in number. We are very proud that all of our high-quality brushes are now made with 100% synthetic, cruelty-free fibers and are vegan-friendly.”

To me, this felt like a canned response and it still did not address my questions. So I reached out again and asked for simple ‘yes or no’ answers to my previous questions.

ELF answered no to all of my questions. So, I’m happy to confirm that elf is a cruelty-free beauty brand. 

Is elf Sold in China?

No, elf is not sold in China, a country that requires imported cosmetics to be tested on animals. But they are made in that country. During my research, I found out that Elf Cosmetics are made in China. Here’s an excerpt from their latest annual report.

“Our manufacturing process centers on a close collaboration with a network of third-party manufactures in China and more recently the United States.”

I’m sure you’re wondering how Elf can be a cruelty-free brand but made in a country known for its animal testing policy. Well in China cosmetics are divided into two categories: special use and non-special use.

Non-special use cosmetics include hair care, nail care, skincare, perfumes, and makeup.

The Chinese government does not require animal testing for non-special use products that are manufactured in China.

However, they do require testing on non-special use products that are made outside of China before they can be put on the Chinese market. This is why many brands lose their cruelty-free status when expanding into China.

I hope all that makes sense!

Is elf Owned By a Parent Company?

No, elf is not owned by a parent company. 

Is elf Vegan?

Yes, elf cosmetics is a 100% vegan makeup brand. Below is a list of a few of their popular products. You can check out the full vegan catalog on their website.

Where Can You Buy elf Cosmetics?

You can buy elf products at the following retailers:

Wrap Up: Is elf Cruelty-Free?

Yes, elf cosmetics is a cruelty-free makeup brand. They have verified that they do not test their products or ingredients on animals, do not allow others to test on their behalf, and do not sell in a country that requires testing.

Therefore, elf will be added to my list of cruelty-free brands

Now I’d like to hear from you…What are your thoughts about elf? Please leave your comments below!

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