The idea of living a cruelty-free and vegan lifestyle has recently gained a lot of traction as more and more people become aware of animal suffering and the impact of animal products on the environment.
Consumers are increasingly looking for brands committed to animal welfare and the environment, creating a demand for cruelty-free and vegan products.
Many companies have responded to this demand by offering products that are free from animal testing and animal-derived ingredients. But how can you tell if a brand is truly cruelty-free and vegan? And in this case, specifically, is Philosophy cruelty-free? Let me help you find the answer.
The first step is to understand the difference between cruelty-free and vegan. Cruelty-free means that the products were not tested on animals, while vegan means that the products do not contain any animal ingredients or byproducts.
Some companies claim to be both cruelty-free and vegan, while others may focus on one or the other.
In this article, I will share if Philosophy is cruelty-free, vegan, and/or sustainable. But also if it’s clean, non-toxic, fragrance-free, and/or paraben-free. This way, you can easily decide whether to buy their products.
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, read the full disclosure here.
Is Philosophy Cruelty-Free?
2023 Update: Philosophy is now Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free by Cruelty-Free International!
Philosophy is cruelty-free (since 2023). philosophy is fully committed to using alternatives to animal testing to ensure the safety of their products. Please be assured that they do not perform, nor do they ever commission any third parties on their behalf to perform, animal testing on their products or ingredients.
I do want to say that the statement on the philosophy website still includes “except when required by law.” This normally means that the brand would test or let others test their products on animals if it’s required by law (for example, in China).
However, if a brand gets Leaping Bunny certified, they must meet certain standards, and “not allowing or selling their products under conditions where animal testing is required by law” is one of these. I’m assuming the current statement is their old one that still needs to be adjusted on the website.
According to this article, beginning in April in the U.S. and rolling out globally in the fall, the brand will introduce philosophy’s new principles and new visual codes—including the distinctive Leaping Bunny logo—across its website, digital campaigns, and in-store.
Is Philosophy Owned By A Cruelty-Free Parent Company?
Philosophy is owned by a parent company that tests on animals. The parent company is Coty, and this is not a cruelty-free company.
In the beauty industry, it’s pretty standard for brands to have a bigger company behind them, which we call parent companies. These parent companies are usually big global players like L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, or Procter & Gamble.
You might be wondering why this is important information. Now, here’s the thing: many of these parent companies aren’t cruelty-free themselves because they do some level of animal testing. And, to complicate matters, they might own a bunch of brands that also aren’t cruelty-free.
No immediate worries, though; some of the brands under these parent companies are proudly cruelty-free and have really strict policies against animal testing. So, you can still find ethically conscious options within these bigger brand families.
We do like to mention this because some consumers don’t buy from cruelty-free brands with an animal testing parent company. We respect everyone’s choice in this!
Is Philosophy Cruelty-Free Certified?
Philosophy is Leaping Bunny certified as of 2023.
Is Philosophy Sold In China?
Starting in 2023, Brands now have the possibility to enter China and avoid animal testing, so companies can now enter the Chinese market without funding animal cruelty.
However, not every brand can qualify. Certain ingredients, products, and claims may still trigger animal tests during the registration process, and post-market testing involving animals, while rare, is still a possibility.
It’s not stated anywhere that Philosophy has taken any steps to meet the preconditions in order to avoid animal testing while selling in China. Moreover, it’s not clear if Philosophy is part of Leaping Bunny programs that can now sell some products in China under its China Pilot Project or China Qualification Program.
On top of that, this doesn’t mean that China completely banned animal testing – they didn’t. If a brand wants to test on animals, it’s still possible to do so in China.
While it’s great that China is slowly relaxing its animal testing laws, I just want to warn you that it doesn’t mean that all brands sold in China are now cruelty-free.
We’re in a quite vague phase, which makes shopping cruelty-free a little harder. However, brands selling in China don’t have to be an immediate no-no anymore.
Is Philosophy Vegan?
Philosophy is not entirely vegan. They might offer some vegan products but are not 100% vegan, meaning some contain animal-derived ingredients.
Is Philosophy A Clean Beauty Brand?
No, Philosophy is not (yet) considered a clean beauty brand. However, they already exclude parabens, phenoxyethanol, BHT, and phthalates, among others, in all their product launches starting in 2022 and are working on reformulating their existing products to be in line with their clean standards. On top of that, they’re also working toward being more sustainable, which you can read more about below.
The term “clean beauty” is controversial because it isn’t regulated; this means that brands can slap ‘clean,’ ‘green,’ and ‘natural’ on their products whenever they want.
In broad terms, clean beauty products are those made without ingredients shown or suspected to harm human health (source: Goop) or the environment.
To me, clean beauty is defined by mindfully created products without any proven or suspected toxic ingredients. Clean beauty products include ingredients made with the health of our bodies, animals, and the environment in mind.
So to conclude: A clean beauty brand sells products that don’t contain harmful ingredients for humans, animals, and the environment.
What Are Harmful Ingredients?
Sadly, there are quite a few (actually… thousands) of harmful ingredients or ingredients that are suspected to be harmful to humans, animals, and/or the environment. Here are some of the most frequently used ingredients:
|Potential hormone disruption, allergenic potential
|Reproductive and developmental issues
|Skin irritation, potential carcinogenic effects
|Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
|Skin irritation, oil-stripping potential
|Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
|Skin irritation, oil-stripping potential
|Allergenic potential, often not fully disclosed
Is Philosophy Fragrance-Free?
Philosophy is not entirely (synthetic) fragrance-free. However, their skincare formulas use less than 1% of fragrance.
Is Philosophy Paraben-Free?
The philosophy clean program responds to consumers’ and retailers’ desire for ingredient transparency and to choose products based on the absence of certain ingredients while maintaining safety and performance. Their clean list goes beyond authorities’ requirements and some of their main competitors. It is dynamic and updated regularly as consumer expectations evolve.
They exclude parabens, phenoxyethanol, BHT, and phthalates, among others*, in all their product launches starting in 2022 and are working on reformulating their existing products to be in line with their clean standards.
*Acetonitrile, Acetaldehyde , Acrylamide, Acrylates as follows: Ethyl methacrylate; Methyl methacrylate, Aluminum powder, aluminum salts and active aluminum complexes , 1,4-Dioxane (under 10ppm for rinse off; under 3 ppm for leave on), Benzophenone 1, 2, Benzophenone 3 (oxybenzone) , Butoxyethanol, BHA (ButylatedHydroxyAnisole), BHT (ButylatedHydroxyToluene), CarbonBlack, Cyclotetrasiloxane (D4), DEA complexes / derivatives / condensates , Ethanolamines: DEA (Diethanolamine); MEA (Monoethanolamine);
TEA (Triethanolamine), at and under NEL of 2.5% is ok, Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-releasing agents (formaldehyde donors), Hydroquinone, Lead and Lead Acetate, Mercury and Mercury compounds (Thimerisol), Methyl Cellosolve(Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether or 2, Methoxyethanol), Fragrance <1%, Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI), Methylisothiazolinone (MIT), Mineral oil (non USP grade), Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, Parabens: Butylparaben; Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben; Isopropylparaben; Methylparaben; Propylparaben, Paraffin (non USP grade), Petrolatum (non USP grade), Perfluorinated compounds (PFAS, PFOA, PFOS, PTFE),
Phenoxyethanol , Phenylenediamine, phenylenediamine salts & phenylenediamine derivatives, Phthalates: dibutylphthalate(DBP); dimethylphthalate(DMP); diethylphthalate(DEP) and diethylhexylphthalate(DEHP), Polyethylene microbeads, polypropylene microbeads & polystyrene microbeads (applies to rinse off products only), Resorcinol, Styrene & styrene oxide, Sulfate surfactants (SLS, SLES) , Talc, Toluene, Triclocarban, Triclosan
Is Philosophy Sustainable?
Philosophy is committed to sustainability. They are transitioning to FSC-certified, responsibly sourced, recycled paperboard for their folding cartons and to a minimum of 30% PCR plastic and 20% PCR glass in the majority of their packaging, saving up to 45 tonnes of virgin paper and 80 tonnes of virgin plastic each year.
The philosophy Sanford manufacturing site uses 100% renewable electricity, aiming to offset 100% of its carbon emissions by the end of 2023, representing approximately 8000 tons of CO2 equivalents per year.
I also like and see their community-based effort as a sustainable project. The hope & grace initiative represents their unending commitment to supporting mental health and well-being. Mental health issues are one of the greatest challenges women face.
Through the initiative, every product sold helps them support community-based mental health efforts with financial grants focused on empowering women through the prevention and treatment of related issues.
How To Find Out If A Brand Is Cruelty-Free And/Or Vegan Yourself?
The easiest way to tell if a brand is cruelty-free and vegan is to look for third-party certification.
Several organizations, such as Cruelty-Free International, PETA, and Leaping Bunny, offer cruelty-free certifications for companies that have agreed to adhere to their strict guidelines for animal testing.
Similarly, the Vegan Society provides a Vegan Trademark to companies that do not use any animal-derived ingredients in their products. Look for these certifications as a sign that a brand is truly cruelty-free and vegan.
It’s also important to look beyond the label. Many companies may claim to be cruelty-free and vegan but may not actually adhere to those standards.
Check the company’s website for information about their animal testing policies and ingredients.
|Does your brand test products or ingredients on animals?
|Do the companies you get your supplies from, test on animals? How do you ensure they don’t?
|Are there any other companies that test on animals for you?
|Do you test on animals when the law says you have to?
|In which countries can you find your products in physical stores (not counting online sales)?
Finally, look for reviews from other cruelty-free and vegan consumers. They may have had firsthand experience with the brand and can provide insight into the company’s actual practices.
Moreover, they may be able to recommend alternative cruelty-free and vegan brands that meet your needs.
By following these steps, you can determine if a brand is truly cruelty-free and vegan. If you would like more information and tips, check out this cruelty-free makeup and skincare guide.
With more and more companies offering animal-friendly products, it’s easier than ever to find cruelty-free and vegan products that fit your lifestyle.
We found the answer to the question, “Is philosophy cruelty-free?” and the answer is yes, philosophy has been cruelty-free since 2023, and it is now Leaping Bunny certified. However, philosophy is owned by Coty, which is not a cruelty-free parent company, and philosophy is not fully vegan. They do offer vegan options, though.
The brand is working hard towards being a clean beauty brand as well. It is not fully harmful ingredients-free, but all their new products launched, starting in 2022, are formulated by their clean standards.