Is Bliss Cruelty-Free and Vegan? (Could They Do More?)

Bliss revolutionized skincare for self-care long before it was a trend. The brand says it’s affordable, effective clean, cruelty-free, and planet friendly (with vegan options) – but that hasn’t always been the case. Here’s what we found about their claims after some digging.

Is Bliss Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Bliss is cruelty-free. It doesn't conduct animal testing on its products, nor does it distribute its cosmetics where animal testing is required by law. While Bliss does offer a range of vegan cosmetics, it is not considered a vegan brand.

Before it was a famous beauty brand, Bliss started off in 1996 as a spa in Soho, NY. It was founded by Marcia Kilgore, who had no idea her spa’s product line would get such a cult following.

But queries grew with the brand’s lack of transparency more recently, and it chose to go through a complete relaunch in 2018. Bliss is now completely cruelty-free, made with cleaner ingredients, and has sustainable goals.

It aims to make at-home self-care a luxury experience with beautifully designed products – from cleansers, exfoliators, serums, hair care, and at-home wax kits.

But we can’t help but wonder that since it’s done such enormous rebranding – why isn’t it vegan yet? And is there anything that vegans can use in its current range? We found some interesting answers.  

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Is Bliss Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Bliss Skincare Collection Cruelty-Free

Bliss 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.

For the last four years, Bliss has been proudly cruelty-free. It claims that none of its products are tested on animals – from ingredients to the final product.

To top it off – they’re also PETA certified and owned by a private equity company that isn’t associated with animal testing.

This brings us to our next point:

Bliss is Not Vegan

Before you get sad, we must mention that Bliss is exceptionally close to being 100% vegan. The brand has an extensive range of vegan products from which to choose.

In fact, 90% of its products are vegan, including all its facial care products (as of 2021).

All vegan Bliss products are clearly marked. Once you’ve selected the product on the brand’s website, it will have a stamp on the bottom right of the product image indicating whether it’s vegan or not. It looks like this:

Bliss Vegan Product Finder

From what we could find, the most common animal-derived ingredients that Bliss uses are:

  • Honey & beeswax these ingredients pose many health benefits to your skin and wellbeing. They have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and are loaded with essential vitamins.

    Just because beeswax isn't vegan, it doesn't mean it can't be cruelty-free. Find out more here: Can Beeswax Be Cruelty-Free?

If you're interested in which products are vegan or finding vegan brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: Bliss vegan products.

Animal Testing Policy and History

Bliss was not always cruelty-free, but in February 2018, they did a complete rebranding and have not looked back since.

Cruelty-Free Status in 2022

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

Bliss Cruelty-Free Policy

Certification

Bliss is PETA certified, which is not a bad start. You might even find the little cruelty-free PETA bunny next to each one of its products.

However, it would be nice to see more certification since it’s so proudly cruelty-free.

While you might know PETA very well – it surprisingly doesn't hold the strictest cruelty-free regulations. It seems only to require a brand's written consent that abides by the PETA code of conduct.

Certification from Leaping Bunny is ideal because it holds rigorous standards and does regular audits to ensure they are upheld.

The Leaping Bunny association is very strict and reliable, which ensures that:

  • No animal testing is conducted on the ingredients, formulas, or final products they sell.
  • No animal testing is conducted by the brand suppliers or on their ingredients or formulas.
  • No animal testing is done by someone else that the company itself paid for.
  • Any other form of testing (beyond ingredient and consumer safety), such as worker safety and environmental health, is considered and evaluated.

If you see a bunny stamp on the back of your product bottle – that's an excellent sign. But don't let the image itself fool you. A lot of brands are using fake logos to deceive consumers.

Do your homework and see which products are genuinely cruelty-free first. This article will help you: Which Cruelty-Free Logos Can You Trust?

Is Bliss Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Bliss does not distribute any of its products in retail stores in mainland China or any country that requires animal testing on cosmetics by law.

The brand actually pulled out from China in 2018 to ensure there was no possibility of animal testing.

China has a shocking track record. It is the country with the most animal testing globally, with over 20 million animals used per year.

However, if you live in China or are concerned about its cruel beauty policies, there are a couple of loopholes. Here's how to find cruelty-free cosmetics in China: Are Cosmetics Made in China Cruelty-Free?

What Bliss Products Are Vegan?

Bliss has many vegan products available to choose from that are easily found on its website.

Its vegan range continues to grow as they reformulate their non-vegan products.

It has also stated in its most recent impact report that it is working on making all Bliss products 100% vegan as soon as possible.

So it’s not a question of if they will go vegan but when.

Unfortunately, they are not quite there yet. In the meantime, here are some of Bliss’ most popular and award-winning products to choose from:

  • Block Star Mineral Daily Sunscreen
  • Youth Got This Serum
  • Bright Idea Serum
  • That's Incredi-peel Glycolic Acid Pads
  • Fab Foaming Exfoliating Cleanser

You can visit Bliss’ website for a full list of its vegan products.

Vegan Alternatives to Bliss

Bliss has a lot going for it. The brand is cruelty-free with many vegan options, reasonably priced, ethically made, and consciously formulated.

While it’s working towards becoming 100% vegan, they just aren’t there yet.

If you don’t feel it’s the right fit for you, or the brand isn’t easily accessible – you don’t need to worry! There are many brand alternatives that you can try.

Some of our top picks include:

Is Bliss Natural and Organic? 

Bliss is not a natural or organic brand. However, it does describe its products as clean, dermatologist-tested, and thoughtfully formulated.

It doesn’t mean Bliss doesn’t use any naturally derived or organic ingredients (of course it does!) but rather that it hasn’t made it the brand’s image.

Clean vs. Natural Ingredients

The term "natural" is not regulated for cosmetics and skincare. In other words, it doesn't hold one specific meaning.

Usually, it means a product is free of certain more toxic synthetic ingredients, including parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and more. But people also interpret "natural" to mean ingredients of immediate plant origin.

Here's the thing: "natural" is not necessarily good. Just because an ingredient is natural (take egg whites, for example) doesn't mean you should rub it on your skin and risk a salmonella infection!

All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas. Bliss is no exception – but it does choose to use better or clean synthetics.

If a synthetic ingredient is "clean," it means it is safe and non-toxic for us. Its purpose is to preserve the stability of a beauty formulation.

A few naturally-derived Bliss uses to enhance its cosmetics include:

  • skin that helps maintain moisture, and boost tissue regeneration and wound healing.

    As we age, we produce less hyaluronic acid – making it an essential ingredient in our beauty products.
  • Chamomile Extract is known for its soothing, healing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. For centuries the extract has been used to treat redness, hyperpigmentation, acne, and signs of aging.
  • Marshmallow Root is a high-performance yet non-irritating ingredient with excellent skincare benefits, especially for sensitive skin.

    Traditionally it has been used to treat skin burns and insect bites. Still, it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects that help soothe irritation while hydrating the skin.

Bliss also has an ingredient glossary on its website to easily find its key products with specific benefits. They leave quite a few ingredients out, but it’s not a bad place to start.

Does Bliss Use Safe Ingredients?

According to Skin Safe, Bliss has a 73-100% allergen-free ranking for each product.

However, this includes all of Bliss' discontinued products. All of its current products receive a 91-100% allergen-free ranking. 

All its current products are free of parabens. It is also largely free of nickel, gluten, soy, dyes, common preservatives, and propylene glycol.

Reading the ingredient list is crucial because Bliss is not 100% hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic, and they do not claim to be.

Some of their products will state whether they are hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic in their description, so make sure you buy what your skin needs.

The EU/UK Have Stricter Ingredient Regulations

We don’t want to scare you, but you HAVE to read up on any product’s ingredient list before you make a purchase – especially if you live within the United States. The reason why will shock you.

The FDA has only banned or restricted 11 harmful chemicals from cosmetics within the country. Europe and the UK, on the other hand, have banned 1,328!

Bliss has good ingredient policies, so you shouldn’t have to worry about nasty hidden toxins in your products.

However, here are some harsh chemicals to watch out for when shopping for skin care and body care:

  • DEA, MEA, and TEA
  • DMDM
  • Hydantoin and urea (that often release formaldehyde)
  • PEG (Polyethylene glycol)
  • Phthalates
  • Propylene glycol (pg) & butylene glycol
  • Triclosan
  • Butylated compounds
  • Benzophenone compounds
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Formaldehyde
  • Lead or other heavy metals

Are Cruelty-Free Ingredients Safe?

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

There is no reason why cruelty-free products shouldn’t be as safe as anything tested on animals.

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 is no need.

If you’re interested, here’s more on the subject: Are Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Safe?

Is Bliss Sustainable and Ethical? 

Since rebranding, Bliss has taken on some solid sustainability and ethical initiatives that we love.

The brand has become a great example of making real change for the better.

Some of its ethical projects include being involved with The Trevor Project, The Antiracist Research & Policy Center, and Beauty United.

It's no secret that the world has a huge waste problem, and cosmetic brands only make it worse by using unsustainable packaging and harmful ingredients.

Some of the ways Bliss is taking strong environmental accountability is by:

  • Using natural ingredients and biodegradable formulas that are kinder to the environment.
  • Creating 100% recyclable packaging through TerraCycle® (a  program that customers can easily follow). Other brands that have joined TerraCycle include Josie Maran, Acure, and Glow Recipe.
  • Ensuring 50% of products are made in energy-efficient & solar-powered facilities.
  • Measuring and offsetting carbon emissions from its production facilities.
  • Reducing the amount of plastic packaging it uses altogether.
  • Having ethical and responsible MICA mining policies.
  • Using sustainably sourced paper (FSC certified) to create its packaging.

Final Thoughts

We could argue that Bliss played a massive role in inspiring today’s at-home spa product market. It was one of the founding brands that developed these signature self-care products that we all love using today.

As one of the OG’s of the industry – it’s no surprise it still has a large following of people today obsessed with its products.

And now that its lines are cruelty-free and more planet friendly – we feel happy to jump aboard too!

Although the brand has made many steps in the right direction, there’s still some work to be done – it still isn’t 100% vegan. It could use some more reputable cruelty-free accreditation.

Other than that, there’s very little holding Bliss back. So if you want to see this brand evolve – keep reaching out and making yourself heard.

The more we share our thoughts, the more likely we will see the changes we want!

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