October 7, 2020

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Is ELEMIS Cruelty-Free?

ELEMIS is NOT cruelty-free. ELEMIS sells its products in China where animal testing is required by law.

Is ELEMIS PETA Certified?

No, ELEMIS is not PETA Certified.

Is ELEMIS Leaping Bunny Certified?

No, ELEMIS is not Leaping Bunny Certified.

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 their 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.

This does NOT include products that are made in China, only if they are sold in China. 

The only way to know if a brand sells products in China is to ask them directly. Make sure to note that Hong Kong is not included in this policy, and neither are products only sold online to Chinese consumers.

Is ELEMIS Vegan?

ELEMIS claims that some of their products are vegan. However, since ELEMIS tests their products on animals when required by law, I do not consider any of their products to be vegan.

Cruelty-Free and Vegan Alternatives to ELEMIS Products

The Ordinary

The Ordinary is a vegan and cruelty-free brand. The Ordinary is part of the DECIEM group (also known as The Abnormal Beauty Company). Deciem was founded in Canada in 2013. The Ordinary is a budget brand that sells makeup and skincare. The Ordinary’s packaging may seem confusing and intimidating. This is because all of its products are designed to provide raw, concentred versions of common ingredients found in everyday beauty items. The Ordinary products have become very popular because of their effectiveness and affordability.


Skyn ICELAND is a vegan and cruelty-free brand. Skyn ICELAND 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.

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 ELEMIS responded:

ELEMIS create luxury products to deliver visible results. ELEMIS does not use any animal ingredients. However, some products do contain ingredients produced by animals such as Beeswax, Honey, Milk Protein and Milk Lipids. Please always consult the product ingredient list before purchase, or contact ELEMIS Customer Care for more information. 

ELEMIS have been against the use of animals to test beauty products since our inception over 30 years ago. We do not test our products, active ingredients or raw materials on animals at any point in the product development or manufacturing process, and we require all our suppliers to fully respect the same rigorous standards.

Our number one priority is the health and safety of our consumers. All our product formulations have therefore been tested extensively over time through alternative methods, including product safety tests and user/clinical trials.

In China, where ELEMIS is sold, all imported beauty products must be submitted for compulsory testing on a limited animal panel in government laboratories before they can be approved for sale in the country. Specifically, the Chinese authorities require a regulatory dossier including results from one-off tests (which vary based on product category) in order to issue a Hygiene Permit for each new imported cosmetic product. The authorities also stipulate that cosmetics may be subject to random, post-market sampling tests for auditing purposes. These regulatory requirements apply to all cosmetic products not manufactured locally.

We are deeply committed to ending animal testing for beauty products globally and we support collaborative industry-wide efforts to achieve this goal.

ELEMIS provide funding to support alternative methods of testing. We partner with the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), a non-profit research and testing laboratory dedicated to advancing in vitro (non-animal) testing methods worldwide. The IIVS has an active programme in China, which is dedicated to promoting the use and regulatory acceptance of non-animal testing methods for assessing the safety of cosmetics. Progress was noted in 2018 with IIVS’s appointment to China’s Alternatives Working Group for Cosmetics and, in April 2019, with the acceptance of certain non-animal (alternative) testing methods for the regulation of cosmetics. More detailed information can be found on the IIVS website.

The cosmetics industry, via Cosmetics Europe, that the Group to which Elemis belongs actively supports as a corporate member, is engaging with the relevant Chinese authorities and animal rights NGOs to introduce alternative testing techniques, such as those used in Europe, where animal testing – including tests on finished products, active ingredients or raw materials – has been banned in full since 2013.

This constructive dialogue has already led to a series of advances in Chinese regulations, including the decision in June 2014 to end animal testing on so-called ‘ordinary cosmetics’ (shampoo, perfume etc.) that are manufactured and packaged locally. Another major milestone was achieved in November 2016 when the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) approved the use of a non-animal test for the safety assessment of certain cosmetic ingredients. The National Institutes for Food and Drug Control (NIFDC) are currently evaluating other alternatives to animal testing.

We trust that this consultative approach with the Chinese regulators and industry bodies will help bring an end to animal testing once and for all.

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About the author 

The Vegan Abroad

Hi, I'm Haley! I hope this blog will inspire, encourage, and guide you on how to travel the world as a vegan.

    • I am not sure if they did in the past, but they don’t have it now. It doesn’t seem like they have ever been certified by Leaping Bunny.

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