Is Glossier Actually Vegan? Does It Test On Animals?

Glossier is a beauty and skincare brand with a wide selection of products ranging from cleansers and body washes to fragrance, serums, and makeup.

The brand was founded in 2010 by Emily Weiss when she created the Into the Gloss beauty website, the primordial engine that made Glossier so popular over the years before the decision to sell any products came about.

Glossier, according to their FAQ page, is a cruelty-free brand.

In fact, their entire product line is certified cruelty-free by the Leaping Bunny organization, which is the worldwide authority in the prevention of animal testing.

This essentially means that Glossier must follow strict criteria in order to remain cruelty-free.

Does this mean that Glossier is also a vegan brand? Not necessarily.

How Vegan is Glossier?

Glossier has vegan-friendly products but it’s not a vegan brand.

Some of their products contain some of the most common non-vegan ingredients like beeswax, carmine, lanolin, honey, and the less common ambretolide.

However, this is not surprising since the brand doesn’t claim to be vegan.

This said, let’s go over the non-vegan ingredients they use.

Beeswax & Honey

Both beeswax and honey are ingredients derived from bees.

On one hand, you have beeswax, a wax-like property that bees produce to create honeycombs, the structure that allows them to store honey.

Then there’s honey, which is the bees’ most crucial food source.

They’re both connected through the honey production process where, in most cases, unethical methods are used to maintain steady production. For instance, traditional beekeepers may clip off the wings of queen bees to prevent the worker bees from fleeing the colony.

This, naturally, leads to more honey (and beeswax), as well as more revenue.


Lanolin is an emulsifying agent extracted from wool that is about to be converted into yarn or felt.

Because it’s extracted from animals like sheep, we can’t deem it as being vegan. In some countries such as Australia (the largest exporter of wool worldwide), methods like “mulesing” are used to prevent flystrike.

Mulesing is basically cutting crescent-shaped flaps of skin from around a lamb’s buttocks and tail using sharp shears. PETA condemns this method because it’s extremely painful.


Carmine is a red pigment extracted from the crushed cochineal insects.

It’s the same ingredient Aztecs and Mayans have used in the past to create vivid clothes. Today, this red pigment is being used by the cosmetics industry to create lipsticks and blushes.

Keep in mind that carmine can also be labeled as natural red 4, cochineal extract, CI 75470, or crimson lake.


While not as common as the previous animal-based ingredients, Ambrettolide can pop up from time to time in beauty labels.

Ambretolide (the animal-based one) is derived from musk oil, an oily secretion obtained from the glands of musk deer, but it can also be obtained from beavers, muskrats, civet cats, and otters.

Fortunately, it’s also available in synthetic form, which is considered vegan-friendly.

Other Common Non-Vegan Ingredients

Aside from these ingredients we’ve just mentioned, there is also a number of other ingredients that are usually present in labels for non-vegan beauty products.

These ingredients are the following:

  • Guanine
  • Oleic Acid
  • Silk or Pearl Powder
  • Elastin
  • Keratin
  • Shellac
  • Stearic Acid
  • Glycerine
  • Casein
  • Squalene
  • Animal hair

Some of the ingredients on this list may be vegan or non-vegan based on their source. Ingredients like stearic acid, glycerine, and squalene are controversial for that reason.

If you’re in doubt, the best option is to always contact the company.

Vegan Alternatives to Glossier

Because Glossier is not a vegan brand, we know that some people might not be willing to purchase from them. As such, allow us to show you a few interesting suggestions.

Here are some vegan beauty brands we absolutely love:

These are 100% vegan and cruelty-free certified, which means you don’t have to audit each product and ingredient to figure out its source. 🙂

Summary: Glossier Is Not A Vegan Brand

Yes, even though Glossier has an array of vegan-friendly products, they’re not what we’d call an authentic vegan brand that completely avoids animal ingredients.

Unfortunately, they still rely on some ingredients like beeswax, carmine, honey, and more.

At the same time, they’re truly cruelty-free.

While some of their products may not be vegan, the vegan ones are certainly suitable for vegans because none are tested on animals. If for some reason, you’re not willing to invest in their products, you can always refer to the vegan brands we’ve suggested above.

Thank you for reading this blog post and we hope it has helped answer some of your questions. 🙂

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!

Is Frank Body Vegan and Cruelty-Free?
Previous Post Is Frank Body Vegan and Cruelty-Free?
Is Grande Cosmetics Vegan and Cruelty-Free?
Next Post Is Grande Cosmetics Vegan and Cruelty-Free?