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Is EltaMD Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

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Is EltaMD Cruelty-Free?

EltaMD is NOT cruelty-free.

Is EltaMD Vegan?

EltaMD claims that some of their products are vegan. I wouldn’t consider any of their products vegan since they test on animals.

What is the difference between cruelty-free and vegan?

Cruelty-Free means that the ingredients and final product have not been tested on animals.

Vegan means that a product does not contain any ingredients that are derived from an animal.

A product can be cruelty-free but not vegan, and a product can be vegan but not cruelty-free.

Is EltaMD PETA Certified?

No, EltaMD is not PETA certified, and PETA lists EltaMD as a company that tests on animals.

Is EltaMD Leaping Bunny Certified?

No, EltaMD is not Leaping Bunny certified.

Is EltaMD Owned By A Parent Company That Tests On Animals?

Yes, EltaMD is owned by Colgate-Palmolive, a company that tests on animals.

From Their FAQ

EltaMD's animal testing policy

“Cruelty-free” has no legal definition. Any brand can claim “cruelty-free” even if they do test on animals.

Some brands like to say that they are “cruelty-free” because it is a marketing buzzword to sell more products.

The only way to find out is to ask the company. One important question to ask is if their products are sold in China.

EltaMD admits to testing on animals when the government requires it. This means that they sell their products in China.

Animal Testing in China

Animal Testing is required by law in China for all foreign cosmetics companies. All American and European cosmetic brands that are sold in China must undergo animal testing.

Any brand that chooses to sell its products in China cannot be considered cruelty-free.

Even products that can bypass mandatory tests may still be pulled from the shelves by Chinese authorities to be tested on animals.

Is EltaMD Sold in Mainland China?

Yes, EltaMD is sold in mainland China. This website discusses EltaMD’s success in the Chinese market.

Vegan and Cruelty-Free Alternatives to EltaMD

Ghost Democracy

Ghost Democracy is a cruelty-free and vegan skincare brand whose mission is to make exceptionally clean skincare accessible to everyone. It’s focused on a higher standard of clean and higher ingredient concentrations for results you can see, at a price that doesn’t break the bank.


Considered the go-to amongst those with sensitive skin, Pai Skincare only includes pure, organic ingredients and no synthetics or known irritants. The products are packaged in recycled materials, and they are a cruelty-free and vegan brand.


Skyn ICELAND is a vegan and cruelty-free brand that draws on the natural resources of Iceland- from its mineral-rich glacial water to its nourishing botanicals- plus the latest scientific advances to create nature-based skincare with utterly modern results. All products are made without parabens, petroleum, sulfates, or mineral oil.

Solara Suncare

Solara Suncare creates vegan and cruelty-free mineral sunscreen powered by clean ingredients. The formulas provide full-spectrum protection for the whole family.


Versed is a cruelty-free and vegan skincare brand committed to providing clean products, personalized regimens, and uncomplicated results. From cleansers to treatments to moisturizers, their collection of easy-to-use and highly effective products are all priced under $20.

Shop the full list of 100% vegan and cruelty-free brands.

Email to the Company

Before classifying any brand as cruelty-free and vegan, I send them an email with the following questions:

  1. Are your products vegan? If only some are vegan, which ones?
  2. Are any of your products or ingredients tested on animals?
  3. Do you have a Leaping Bunny or PETA certification?
  4. Do your suppliers or any third parties test animals on your behalf?
  5. Does your company sell products in mainland China (except Hong Kong)?
  6. Are you owned by a parent company that tests on animals?

Here is how EltaMD responded:

We understand and share your concern regarding the use of animals in the production of our products. All EltaMD sun and skincare products are PETA and Vegan-friendly. One sunscreen, UV Sport, does contain Bees Wax. I can assure you that we do not perform any testing on animals for any of our products, nor do we ask others to test on our behalf. No, we sell in Hong Kong. 

*This email was sent in 2020, so many of their answers have changed.

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