Is Dermalogica Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

Dermalogica is an American personal care brand that sells a variety of skin products including cleansers, toners, exfoliants, masques, eye treatments, and moisturizers. They also got an acne treatment line aimed at teens.

It’s also owned by Unilever, a huge multinational company with a growing cruelty-free portfolio, as well as brands dipping their toes in the vegan market.

Dermalogica is one of those brands.

However, while Dermalogica may have products that are both vegan and cruelty-free, they still cannot be considered a vegan brand.

Why Dermalogica Is Not Vegan

The reason Dermalogica is not 100% vegan because it sells products formulated with animal ingredients like beeswax, honey, silk amino acid, as well as pearl derivatives.

Beeswax & honey


Also referred to as Cera Alba, beeswax is commonly used in cosmetics to keep emulsions from falling apart.

Beeswax is produced by bees to create honeycombs, the structure that allows them to store honey and also nurture young bees. As such… it’s a crucial element during honey production, an ingredient that is also used by Dermalogica in some of their formulations.

Most vegans are against beeswax for the same reasons they’re against honey.

Some traditional beekeepers rely on medieval-like methods like clipping off the wings of queen bees which prevents worker bees from swarming and fleeing the colony.

This, obviously, allows companies to ramp up their profits.

At the same time, not everyone uses the same methods, but for anyone that is vegan, the extraction of both honey and beeswax remains an act of exploitation nonetheless.

Silk amino acids

Silk Amino Acids are produced by breaking apart silk proteins into small peptide chains and are essentially water-soluble glycoproteins obtained from raw silk.

Unfortunately, silk is obtained from the fiber that is created by silkworms when they form the cocoons for their pupal stage prior to becoming moths.

To harvest silk, silkworms are, oftentimes, killed in the process.

However, the Vegetarian Resource Group contacted a Korean company that produces silk amino acids for both food and cosmetics to which they stated “we use only empty cocoons”.

It’s hard to determine whether or not silkworms are killed in the process. 

Pearl powder

Pearl Powder is obtained by boiling fresh or saltwater pearls, and then milling said pearls into a soft fine powder.  Because pearls grow in oysters, they’re technically not considered vegan.

However, you’re bound to find vegans that create an exception in a similar way you can find vegans that create an exception for honey or bee pollen.

Other animal-derived ingredients

These are not the only ingredients that you will find in the personal care/beauty industry.

If you want to avoid any animal ingredients in your skincare routine, keep an eye out on the following ingredients:

  • Carmine
  • Guanine
  • Oleic Acid
  • Collagen
  • Elastin
  • Keratin
  • Shellac
  • Stearin Acid
  • Glycerine
  • Casein
  • Squalene
  • Lanolin
  • And lastly, animal hair.

Note that some of the ingredients in this list may also be derived from plants.

For instance, ingredients like Glycerine or Stearic Acid may be derived from oils extracted from sources such as soybeans or palm fruit.

For this reason, it’s recommended that you first contact support before purchasing a product with any of these ingredients.

Is Dermalogica Cruelty-Free?

Dermalogica is cruelty-free. None of their products or ingredients are tested on animals, not by their suppliers, and nor by third-party laboratories.

In addition, Dermalogica also doesn’t sell products in countries such as China where animal testing is required by law.

However, in 2015, Dermalogica was acquired by Unilever, a multinational corporation that conducts testing on animals when required by law.

That being said, Dermalogica is a certified Leaping Bunny brand.

What does it mean to be Leaping Bunny certified?

is dermalogica vegan

Being Leaping Bunny certified means that Dermalogica must abide by certain rules and criteria, including the implementation of certain procedures to monitor supply chains down to the manufacturer level.

In other words, companies that are Leaping Bunny certified are typically considered more credible than companies that simply claim to be cruelty-free without a properly certified logo.

Therefore, yes, Dermalogica is a legitimate cruelty-free brand.

Alternatives to Dermalogica

We usually like to offer 100% vegan and cruelty-free alternatives or suggestions to brands that are typically lacking in the “vegan” department.

If you’d rather purchase from beauty brands that are 100% vegan, feel free to refer to the list below:

At the same time, if none of these brands resonate with you, allow us to point you towards a place where you can find the best product boxes (which also include vegan beauty products).

We truly believe it’s hands down the best way to find incredible new products!

Summary:  Dermalogica is cruelty-free but not vegan.

Although Dermalogica is a certified cruelty-free brand, it also sells a handful of products that contain animal ingredients such as the ones we’ve mentioned in the earlier sections of this post.

However, in comparison to other well-known cruelty-free brands, Dermalogica has a really wide selection of vegan products.

Therefore, if you wish to purchase from Dermalogica, you can feel at ease knowing that you’re purchasing from a brand that is truly cruelty-free.

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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