Is By Terry Cruelty-Free and Vegan in 2022?

October 25, 2022

By Terry started with a squeaky-clean reputation in cruelty-free and vegan beauty. But it ended up taking a turn for the worse. Here’s what you need to know.

By Terry is not cruelty-free as it distributes its cosmetics where animal testing is required by law. While By Terry has products that are free of animal-derived ingredients, it is not considered a vegan brand.

By Terry’s cosmetic staples are designed to help women achieve luminous skin with barely-there foundation, thick clump-free lashes, and bold lips.

Sounds like a dream, Right?

But at what cost?

We’re here to help you understand who you are supporting by looking into By Terry’s animal testing policies and its cruelty-free and vegan status.

Our Cruelty-Free Beauty Standards: By Terry 

Cruelty-free: No (ships to China) 

Vegan: No (has plant-based options)

Ethical: Undetermined

Sustainable: Undetermined

Mica Mining Policy: Undetermined

RSPO Palm Oil Certified: No

Is By Terry Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

By Terry Product Range

By Terry is Not Cruelty-Free

Test any of its products or ingredients on animals


Purchase any ingredients tested on animals within its supply chain


Distribute its products to any countries that require animal testing by law.


What left us gobsmacked is that By Terry used to be 100% cruelty-free before they started shipping to China in 2017.

So they’ve gone backward to rack up their profits?

This brings us to the next point:

By Terry is Not Vegan

Although By Terry claims to have vegetarian and vegan ranges, it’s hard to consider any of its products that are free of animal-derived ingredients as “vegan” because it’s not 100% cruelty-free.

Nonetheless, you can easily spot something vegan on its website by checking out its product page. Like this: 

By Terry vegan product finder

While By Terry doesn’t state which animal-derived ingredients it uses, here are some common ones to look out for:

  • Beeswax – this ingredient poses many health benefits to your skin and well-being. With antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, beeswax is 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?
  • Collagen – is an essential protein that plays an integral role in strengthening skin, as well as in elasticity and hydration.

    Naturally, collagen can only be found in connective animal tissue. But today, it's possible to make vegan collagen by genetically modifying yeast and bacteria.
  • 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?

If you're interested in By Terry’s products that are free of animal-derived ingredients or if you want some brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: By Terry vegan products

Animal Testing Policy and History

By Terry claimed to be cruelty-free and against animal testing until it entered the Chinese market in 2014. More on that next.

Cruelty-Free Status in 2022

The By Terry website has no official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products. We emailed them and have not received any response at the time of publishing.


By Terry has no cruelty-free certification.

As much as it would be nice to see cruelty-free certification – it cannot happen as long as the brand continues with its current animal-testing policies.

Besides PETA, a far more reputable organization you can trust is the Leaping Bunny association, which has rigid (but excellent) standards.

Leaping Bunny is the only internationally recognized certification.

Is By Terry Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Yes, By Terry distributes its products in China, where animal testing on cosmetics is required as products arrive at the border.

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 By Terry Products Are Vegan?

By Terry proudly advertises its vegan ranges. But we don't consider anything holistically vegan because the brand is not 100% cruelty-free anymore.

It does have some products that are free of animal-derived ingredients.

To save you some time, here are some of By Terry's most popular and plant-based products to choose from:

  • Hyaluronic Pressed Hydra-Powder
  • Hyaluronic Hydra-Concealer
  • Hyaluronic Hydra-Foundation
  • Nude-Expert Foundation
  • Compact-Expert Pressed Powder

You can find a complete list of By Terry’s ‘vegan’ products on its website.

Vegan Alternatives to By Terry

If you are vegan or strongly advocate cruelty-free cosmetics – By Terry is not the right brand for you.

Here are some vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics brands that you can try instead:


price range

100% vegan


$50 - $250

No, vegan- friendly


$20 - $60

No, vegan- friendly


$15 - $200


PETA, Choose Cruelty-Free

$10 - $25


Leaping Bunny

$20 - $50


Leaping Bunny

$15 - $50

No, vegan-friendly


$50 - $250

No, vegan-friendly

Cruelty-Free International

Is By Terry Natural and Organic? 

By Terry isn’t considered natural or organic.

However, it does claim to use clean ingredients. Its whole ethos is to make clean formulas and products that anyone can use.

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. By Terry is no exception – but it chooses 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 ingredients By Terry uses to enhance its cosmetics include:

  • Ceramides are lipids (or fats) found in skin cells. Ceramides ‘hold together’ the topmost layer of skin and keep any environmental nasties out.

    Including them in your skincare protects and repairs the skin barrier, which boosts hydration, speeds up healing, and improves texture.
  • Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance in our 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.
  • Vitamin E has fantastic hydrating properties. It is naturally found in our skin but used in skincare and cosmetics to help with pigmentation, anti-aging, and treat scarring.

    Vitamin E is also one of the most potent antioxidants that can be effective at protecting your skin from sun damage.

Does By Terry Use Safe Ingredients?

According to Skin Safe, By Terry has an 82- 100% allergen-free ranking across its products.

Many By Terry products are free of allergens such as topical antibiotics, parabens, gluten, coconut, nickel, MCI/MI, and dyes.

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

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!

Given By Terry is a UK/EU-based brand with strict ingredient policies – you don't need to worry too much. The brand sets a great example of what true clean beauty is meant to be.

With skincare and cosmetics, you want to avoid these ingredients:

  • Ethoxylated ingredients (PPG, PEG, and polysorbate)
  • Ethanolamine compounds (DEA, MEA, and TEA)
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, aka teflon®)
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nitrosamines
  • Polyacrylamide
  • P-phenylenediamine
  • DMDM Hydantoin
  • Phthalates
  • Propylene glycol (pg) & butylene glycol
  • Triclosan
  • Butylated compounds
  • Formaldehyde

Are Cruelty-Free Ingredients Safe?

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 By Terry Sustainable and Ethical? 

By Terry does not mention any sustainability and ethical initiatives on their website. We also checked their Instagram but found a mix of beauty content with fashion collabs and travel tips.

The brand did not share any information about its environmental, social, and governance policies anywhere.


We reached out and asked for some feedback on this but haven’t gotten a response.

This isn't very reassuring.

Here are some ways they could be taking environmental and ethical accountability:

  • Developing formulas that are kinder to the environment.
  • Working on sustainable packaging developments.
  • Sourcing Responsibly Sourced Palm Oil (RSPO certified) to protect our forests.
  • Using responsibly sourced MICA to prevent any unethical child labor within its supply chain.
  • Having an active recycling program that customers can follow with ease.
  • Offering refillable cosmetics to cut down on consumer waste.
  • Having a net-zero greenhouse gas emission policy or at least start by using more renewable energy sources.
  • Use sustainably sourced paper (FSC certified).

Final Thoughts

By Terry is a well-developed cosmetics brand with a lot of fans.

However, it doesn’t talk about the ethical factors it takes into account (if there are any).

Without a transparent supply chain or openness to the public about its policies and eco-efforts, it’s hard to get behind this luxury brand.

The fact that it is not cruelty-free means it takes a step in the wrong direction. As much as By Terry claimed to be actively against animal testing in the past, they chose to distribute to China, which is a direct conflict of interest.

For this reason, we cannot consider its plant-based products as holistically vegan either.

We hope to see a change in this issue, but it is unlikely right now. As consumers, it is up to us to stand for what we will and won't accept from our cosmetics. This is something we cannot accept.

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