Is bare Minerals Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

October 22, 2021

bare Minerals is a multi-million dollar cosmetics brand that aims to create simple, clean products which are "full of kindness and free of cruelty." Here's what we know about the truth behind these claims. 

bare Minerals is cruelty-free. It does not allow animal testing at any point in its supply chain, and it does not distribute its cosmetics where animal testing is required by law. While bare Minerals does offer a range of vegan cosmetics, it is not considered a vegan brand.

bare Minerals launched in 1995 with its classic Loose Mineral Foundation that is still popular today. In 2010, the company was sold to the Japanese conglomerate Shiseido, for about $1.7 billion. With such a giant parent company – how has the brand managed to stay ethical?  

Before deciding on what to buy, here's what you need to know about bare Mineral's current animal testing policies, vegan ranges, formulation, and sustainability.

Is bare Minerals Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Bare Minerals Foundation

bare Minerals is 100% Cruelty-Free

It does not:

  • Test any of its products or ingredients on animals;
  • Purchase any ingredients tested on animals within its supply chain; or
  • Distribute its products to any countries that require animal testing by law.

On the one hand, bare Minerals has a range of brushes that are made with ethically sourced goat and pony hair. The brand claims no harm is inflicted on the animals during hair retrieval.

On the flip side – bare Minerals was bought by Orveon, AI Beauty Holdings Ltd. in December 2021. 

This was a big step forward as the brand was owned by the Japanese conglomerate, Shiseido – a company that does conduct animal testing when it is required by law. 

This brings us to the next point:

bare Minerals is Not 100% Vegan 

At the end of 2021, bare Minerals publically claimed that it would be 100% vegan in 2022. Unfortunately, this didn't happen and we haven't seen much progress since.  

This is what was displayed on their website before 2022: 


Taken from in 2021

Luckily, a 71% vegan product line is still a good foot in the door and we're keeping our fingers crossed that it continues to grow.

There extensive range of vegan products include:

  • Their entire skincare collection – moisturizers, cleansers, and treatments.
  • Any new product developed since 2020; and 
  • A range of synthetic makeup brush alternatives. 

If you're looking for vegan products, you can find them quite easily on the bare Minerals website. Once you've selected a product, you'll be able to tell whether it's vegan by scrolling just below the product description.

See the image below for guidance. 


Two of the most common animal-derived ingredients that bare Minerals uses include:

  • Carmine – this ingredient is the red pigment made from the crushed female cochineal insect. A little gross, no? But it is completely harmless and is used in makeup to get those rouge tones.

    To find out why carmine is so cruel and the shocking amount of products that use it, you need to read this: Is Carmine Cruelty-Free and Vegan?  
  • Pony and goat hair – no, these ingredients aren't shoved into your products. They're used to make makeup brushes from natural fibers. The brand claims to source the hair in a humane way without hurting the animals involved. 

If you're interested in finding out the difference between cruelty-free and vegan products, read this for more information: Are Cruelty-Free Products Vegan?

Animal Testing Policy and History

From when it was founded in 1995, bare Minerals has been completely cruelty-free and aims to go 100% vegan.  

Cruelty-Free Status in 2022

Here is a screenshot of bare Mineral's official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products, taken from their website:

bare Minerals cruelty-free website claim


Although the brand is currently PETA-approved, it's unlikely you'll find the little PETA bunny on their product packaging, which is such a pity. You'll only find it on their website or if you ask someone in store directly.

It would be nice to see more certification from bare Minerals since it’s such a proudly cruelty-free brand and has been for so long.

bare Minerals does not have certification from other associations like Leaping Bunny or Choose Cruelty-Free, which are very strict and reliable organizations to be associated with. 

Is bare Minerals Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

bare Minerals does not distribute any of its products to China or any country that requires animal testing on any cosmetics by law. Its strict cruelty-free policies don't allow for any exceptions to be made.   

The brand prides itself in having a transparent supply chain that it shares with its customers. bare Minerals works continuously to source cruelty-free ingredients 

Not only does China require all cosmetics to be tested on animals when entering the country, but it (unsurprisingly) has the worst animal testing track record globally.

It is the country with the most animal testing per year, where over 20 million animals are used for unnecessary testing.

What bare Minerals Products Are Vegan?

bare Minerals has a massive inventory of vegan products that continues to expand. 

This doesn't even include their range of synthetic brushes.

Although some brushes are made with animal hair, you will know which ones are vegan by looking at the description.

  • Brushes that use animal hair are made from natural fibers, whereas
  • Vegan brushes are made from synthetic fibers.  

bare Minerals is in the process of discontinuing any cosmetics that still use animal-derived ingredients and swapping them out for vegan alternatives by the end of 2021. 

At this point, most of their products are vegan – including ALL their skincare. So you will be able to find them very easily on their website

However, some of their makeup still uses non-vegan ingredients. Particularly for creating color. 

Pay close attention to bare Mineral's blushes and eyeshadows as most are not vegan yet.

Vegan Alternatives to Bare Minerals

Overall, bare Minerals has a good track record of being transparent and honest with its consumers.

Although it is owned by an enormous parent company – it has stuck through with its ethos and only made improvements over the years.

While we love that it is cruelty-free and offers vegan options – it would be great to see some more certification behind the claims.

If you're looking for 100% vegan brands, some great options include:

Is bare Minerals Natural and Organic? 

Yes! bare Minerals is natural and organic. It prides itself on using pure, clean ingredients that are easily recognized and traceable.

As the name gives away, the main focus ingredients are natural minerals.

However, it uses 'clean synthetics' when a better natural option isn't available and cannot deliver the same results or performance. 

Before you get concerned – this is normal and very much encouraged in today's world. Clean synthetics (meaning synthetics that are safe and non-toxic) actually preserve the stability of a beauty formulation. 

As a conscientious shopper, you must read up on any brand's ingredient list before you make a purchase – especially if you live within the United States.

This is because the FDA has only banned or restricted 11 harmful chemicals from cosmetics within the country. Europe, on the other hand, has banned 1,328!

bare Minerals has gone above and beyond this, restricting over 2500 ingredients from any of its products.  

In fact, one of the things they are most proud of is their original loose set Finishing Powder which is only made of five natural ingredients (and all of them are vegan). 

If you've got skin sensitivities, it's worth noting that all bare Minerals' products are free of: 

  • Parabens, 
  • Phthalates,
  • Formaldehyde,
  • Triclosan,
  • Triclocarban,
  • Microbeads,
  • Mineral oil,
  • Coal tar,
  • Propylene glycol, and
  • Chemical sunscreens.

Does It Use Safe Ingredients?

Yes, bare Minerals does use safe ingredients in both its makeup and skincare ranges. 

According to Skin Safe, bare Minerals usually has a 91% allergen-free ranking for each product, but some score as high as 100% (including its classic Mineral Setting Powder). 

Beyond being free from all the toxic ingredients listed above. bare Minerals is often free of other allergens such as common preservatives, irritants, gluten, soy, nickel, fragrance, oil, and lanolin.

All of its products are hypoallergenic, and most are also non-comedogenic because they are mineral-based. 

Its moisturizers and foundations are both great options if you have such sensitive skin. 

Luckily, bare Minerals is free of most irritants and allergens, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't check. You will find more allergens in their lipstick and eyeshadow ranges. 

Are Cruelty-Free Ingredients Safe?

If you're worried about how safe it is to use cosmetics that are not tested on animals – please relax and take a sigh of relief.

There is no reason why cruelty-free products shouldn't be just as safe, if not safer, than anything tested on an animal.

Not only is it easy to test ingredients without using animals altogether, but there are so many pre-approved ingredients you can use to make cosmetics that there really is no need.

Here's more on the subject if you're interested: Are Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Safe?

Is bare Minerals Sustainable and Ethical? 

bare Minerals wants to be as transparent as possible with its consumers. From publicly scrutinizing its supply chain to opening up about its current achievements in sustainability vs. what their foreseeable goals are.  

The brand has an entire page dedicated to this on its website. Here are some of its current achievements. bare Minerals: 

  • Has launched a program called The Power of Good Fund, which raises money to support woman empowerment. So far, they have raised $1.3 million in the U.S.  
  • Minimizes the amount of plastic and virgin materials used for packaging.
  • Prevented 52 000 lbs of plastic from going to landfills by integrating repurposed or recycled materials into their packaging. 
  • Has philanthropic partnerships with Room to Read and Girls Who Code.
  •  Aims to prevent deforestation by only using FSC-certified paper. 
It's no secret that the world has a huge waste problem, and cosmetic brands are only making it worse by using unsustainable packaging and harmful ingredients.

So the fact that bare Minerals is making a conscious effort to be sustainable, environmentally friendly, and help disadvantaged minorities at the same time – makes it a progressive brand that appeals to the modern consumer.

They've also chosen Hailey Bieber as their Clean Beauty Ambassador, so it's pretty evident they want to show the up and coming generations how it's doing more than just making cosmetics.

Final Thoughts

bare Minerals was developed with the intention of being a clean, simple, and natural cosmetics brand.

It's managing to keep up with the times and ensure their brand identity gets translated into all aspects of their production, including sustainability. 

The fact that they have current achievements and publicly recognized goals is a great way for consumers to see what they are working on and how they plan on improving. 

Although bare Minerals is not 100% vegan, which might deter activists who go the extra mile, this will change very soon; keep it on your radar.  

Finally, it would also be nice to see some further cruelty-free accreditation from other reputable organizations. 

Otherwise, we are pleased to see how bare Minerals is a leading example of how a slightly more established cosmetics brand is shifting to be sustainable, natural, cruelty-free, and vegan. 

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