Is Amika Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

The spectrum of vegan and cruelty-free brands available in the market is steadily growing, with old brands adopting more conscious formulas and launching vegan-friendly products, plus new brands emerging with the right frameworks in place to attract conscious customers.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that while some brands may be cruelty-free, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s vegan. In fact, most cruelty-free brands are probably not vegan.

Amika is a beauty brand that specializes in hair products, with collections of products dedicated to 10 different types of hairs, regardless of demographics. In addition, they also use clean ingredients free from sulfates, parabens, aluminum starch, phthalates, and more. 

How Vegan is Amika?

Unfortunately, Amika is not 100% vegan.

While the majority of their haircare line is certified vegan, there’s a small handful of products that contain animal-derived ingredients.

For instance, some products contain Keratin, Honey, Lanolin, and PEG-8 Distearate.


Keratin is a type of fibrous structural protein and is often added to products designed to nurture and repair damaged hair, and sometimes keep the hair straight.

However, keratin is often obtained from ground-up animal hair, horns, hooves, and feathers.

In most cases (and Amika is one of them), keratin is not vegan.


Honey, as you know, is produced by bees.

Unfortunately, the methods used by beekeepers to ramp up the production of honey is considered unethical by most vegans standards because it can actually lead to the harm and death of bees.

An example is how traditional beekeepers clip off the wings of queen bees to prevent the colony (or worker bees) from fleeing the honeycomb to create new honeycombs or colonies.

Feel free to read this post written by the Vegan Society exposing other unethical practices used in honey production.


Lanolin is the greasy emulsifying agent extracted from sheared wool that is about to be processed into yarn or felt. This ingredient is often used in hand creams, lip balms, and mascara.

Sheep are the biggest providers of wool on the entire planet, and the largest amount of wool is exported from Australia where “mulesing” is used. A method in which the wrinkled skin of sheep is slashed away without anesthetic to prevent flystrike.

If you want to avoid cruelty in your products, you ought to avoid both lanolin and wool.

At the same time, keep in mind that lanolin may also be labeled as—  laneth, lanogene, lanolin acids, lanolin alcohol, lanosterols, sterols, triterpene alcohols, wool fat, wool wax, isopropyl lanolate, or cholesterin.

PEG-8 Distearate

PEG-8 Distearate is produced from stearic acid, which is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is present in both animal fats and plant-based oils.

Amika states within their FAQ that PEG-8 Distearate is not a vegan ingredient, therefore they must be familiar with its animal origin.

However, keep in mind, that while you may find a lot of products that contain stearic acid (or other fatty acids), it doesn’t always mean that it’s derived from an animal source.

Other Animal Ingredients You Have To Consider

We’ve mentioned the animal ingredients used by Amika, however, these are just some of the ingredients you have to keep in mind when buying beauty products.

Here are other ingredients you have to take into account:

  • Shellac
  • Glycerine (Akin to stearic acid, it may or not be vegan)
  • Casein
  • Squalene (depends on the origin)
  • Guanine
  • Oleic Acid (depends on the origin)
  • Animal hair
  • Carmine
  • Collagen
  • Elastin
  • Beeswax

Some of these ingredients may also be labeled in different ways, so always keep an eye out on similar-sounding ingredients.

Is Amika Actually Cruelty-Free?

Yes, Amika is a cruelty-free brand.

They do not conduct animal testing and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. In addition, they do not sell products in China, where animal testing is required by law.

Vegan Alternatives to Amika

Even though Amika is a rather vegan-friendly brand (because only a handful of ingredients contain animal ingredients), you might not actually be keen on purchasing from them.

As such, we found it’s only appropriate to mention some 100% vegan brands that offer similar products to Amika. If you want brands that offer skincare, hair, among other beauty products, feel free to check these ones below:

If for some reason, you don’t feel like these brands fit your requirements (or you don’t find any products that make you go “Woah”), then the absolute best way to find products that will make you feel that way is through the always “surprising” vegan beauty boxes.

Summary: Amika is Not Vegan But Is Cruelty-Free.

Amika is not 100% vegan but they still have a great collection of vegan-certified skincare and hair products you should definitely check out!  In addition to that, they’re also 100% cruelty-free.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of time until the brand decides to go full-vegan… and for that to happen, they need to know that vegans are actually interested in their products.

This doesn’t only apply to Amika but to any brand that is creating vegan beauty products due to the ever-expanding audience of vegans that don’t want animals to be exploited.

Hopefully, this blog post was enough to answer your question! Thanks… 🙂

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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