Is Elta MD Vegan And Cruelty-Free?

Elta MD is a sunscreen and skincare company owned by Colgate-Palmolive, a multinational company that is responsible for brands such as Colgate, Palmolive, and Sanex.

Unfortunately, brands like Colgate and Palmolive are associated with animal testing practices in countries like China where animal testing is required by law.

In fact, here is a statement I’ve taken from Colgate-Palmolive’s product safety policy:

“In 1999, we declared a voluntary moratorium on all animal testing of our adult Personal Care Products and the ingredients used in these products. This moratorium remains in effect worldwide. Animal testing is only conducted where specifically required by regulatory agencies or where alternative testing methods are unavailable to ensure the safety of our products. In such limited instances, the tests are conducted only at contract testing facilities that meet both government standards and the more rigorous requirements established by Colgate with input from animal welfare groups.”

A policy that also applies to Elta MD, given that it’s owned by Colgate-Palmolive.

This also means that none of these companies are certified cruelty-free by the Leaping Bunny, PETA, or Choose Cruelty-Free.

Does This Mean Elta MD Is Not Vegan?

While that’s not necessarily the case, you can generally expect a company that isn’t cruelty-free to also use animal ingredients in their products. In fact, Elta MD does not promote themselves as a vegan-friendly, even though some products may not have animal ingredients by accident.

When visiting their website, I’ve managed to find an ingredient finder, a tool that allowed me to find some of the non-vegan ingredients they use on their products:

  • Beeswax: This is basically wax created by worker bees to store honey.
  • Glycerine: It is generally derived from an animal source but you can also find vegetable glycerine which is suitable for vegans.
  • Stearic acid: It can be derived from the stomachs of cattle, but it can also be found in a vegan-friendly form.

On top of that, a lot of the ingredients used in Elta MD’s products are man-made, which means they have, at one point in time, been tested on animals. Also, through their ingredient finder tool, I’ve managed to find the artificial colors yellow 5 and 6.

While I don’t know whether or not it’s relevant in this case, but certain colors like Red #40 are periodically tested. I’ve found two tests between 2017 and 2018, where mice were used as subjects. The reason I’m mentioning this is that certain vegans are firmly against artificial colors.

Bottom Line
While Elta MD may have some products that don’t have animal ingredients, they cannot be considered a vegan brand. 

Vegan And Cruelty-Free Alternatives To Elta MD

Given that Elta MD is not vegan nor cruelty-free, allow me to suggest some alternatives of 100% vegan and cruelty-free companies that may provide you with a range of similar products.

If you’re looking for vegan sunscreens, Green People is an organic lifestyle brand with different vegan-friendly product lines, but their sun care line is particularly interesting because (1) is cruelty-free, and (2) is reef-safe. Plus, they actively work together with the Marine Conservation Society.

Now, if you’re in search of skincare products like moisturizers or lotions, then allow me to suggest these brands— courtesy of my wife:

These are 100% vegan and cruelty-free brands, and these companies generally use organic (and chemical-free) ingredients that are generally more interesting for long-term skin health.

At the same time, If you’re in a bind and don’t know which products or brands you should go with, we highly recommend trying out some vegan beauty products through subscription boxes.

It’s hands down to best way to run into future favorite products.

Summary: Elta MD Is Not Vegan Nor Cruelty-Free.

Unfortunately, some of Elta MD’s products contain ingredients like beeswax, glycerine, and stearic acid, which are generally not considered vegan. Though, both glycerine and stearic acid may also be vegan-friendly based on the source.

That being said, Elta MD is not certified cruelty-free.

Because even though they mention the fact they don’t conduct tests on animals… they still sell products in countries where animal testing is required by law. 

If you really wish to buy products from legitimate vegan-friendly and cruelty-free brands, refer to the section above where I share some of these brands.

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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