Is Dr Organic Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

November

2

Dr Organic products come with guaranteed claims to be clean, organic and ethically sourced. But does this mean that the brand is cruelty-free and vegan too? What we've learnt has surprised us. 

Is Dr Organic Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Dr Organic 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 Dr Organic does offer a range of vegan cosmetics, it is not considered a vegan brand.

Dr Organic is a new brand founded in 2007 by two entrepreneurs – Fred Whitcomb and Steve Quinn. Their goal was to make beauty products formulated with natural and organic ingredients from around the world. 

Today, this Welsh company is worth over 47,5 million dollars

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

Is Dr Organic Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Dr Organic 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.

Although Dr Organic claims to have rigorous cruelty-free standards – it does not have any accreditation from a third-party organization like Leaping Bunny. 

However, Dr Organic is a Welsh company that makes all of its products within the UK & EU, where it is illegal to test and sell cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients on animals.

Dr Organic's parent company, Nature's Bounty, and their sister company, Optima, also don't conduct any animal testing on their raw materials and do not ask any third-parties to test on their behalf. 

However, there are limits to the laws and regulations. 

An organization like Leaping Bunny differs because it ensures all forms of testing (beyond ingredient and consumer safety), such as worker safety and environmental health, are considered.

So although we can verify these products are cruelty-free, the company needs to take their own initiative to ensure it considers worker and environmental safety. 

This brings us to the next point:

Dr Organic is Not Vegan

Although the brand is not entirely vegan, Dr Organic has a large variety of vegan ranges and products that are easy to find on their website.

Today, all its vegan products and ranges are marked on their website once you've selected the product of your choice. 

If a product is vegan, you'll find the information to the right of its image.

Dr Organic Website Screenshot of Vegan stamp and claim

Some of the most common animal-derived ingredients that Dr Organic uses include:

  • Manuka honey While normal honey has vitamins as well as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties; Manuka honey has all of this but at a far more potent degree.

    It is particularly known for having great antibacterial properties, making it great for treating skin issues like acne. In 2007, it was even recognized by the FDA as an official form of wound treatment.

    But does harvesting honey affect the bees? Learn about sourcing ethical honey here: Can Honey Be Cruelty-Free? 
  • Royal jelly – Nurse bees produce this milky substance to feed larvae and the colony's queen.

    Although there is still much needed research on this product, there's a lot of evidence showing it also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and could stimulate collagen production. 
  • Snail gel – Like royal jelly, snail mucin (or slime) is still being studied as a cosmetic ingredient. There is evidence to suggest its highly moisturizing, boosts collagen production and aids skin regeneration.  

    The real question is – how do you feel about snail slime on your face? 

If you're interested vegan products or finding vegan brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: Dr Organic vegan products

Animal Testing Policy and History

Dr Organic pledged to be a cruelty-free brand from its launch in 2007 before the EU banned all cosmetic testing on animals in 2013 (and final Brexit negotiations happened in 2021).

However, the EU's legislature made it easy for Dr Organic to prove that neither its cosmetics nor ingredients are tested on animals and sold within the EU. 

If you want to know where your country stands on animal testing, this is a must-read: These Countries Have Banned Animal Testing

Cruelty-Free Status in 2021

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

Dr Organics Cruelty-Free Website Claim

Certification

It would be nice to see some certification from Dr Organic since it’s a proudly cruelty-free brand.

The brand is currently covered by the EU & UK legislature, which is a really great start. However, certain loopholes in the law make it far more reliable if a third-party were to get involved. 

Associations like Leaping Bunny or Choose Cruelty-Free are very strict and reliable organizations.

Is Dr Organic Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Dr Organic does not distribute any of its products to China or any country that requires animal testing on any cosmetics by law.

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 to be aware of. Here's how to find cruelty-free cosmetics in China: Are Cosmetics Made in China Cruelty-Free?

What Dr Organic Products Are Vegan?

Dr Organic Rose Otto Creams on Store Shelf

As a start, all of Dr Organic's products are vegetarian. It does not use any animal products in its formulas, only animal byproducts like honey.

However, it also has a great range of vegan products that continues to expand, especially as the popularity of vegan beauty continues to grow. 

To save you some time, here are some of their award-winning vegan products: 

  • Pro Collagen+ Anti-Aging Moisturiser with Dragon's Blood 
  • Pro Collagen+ Anti-Ageing Moisturiser with Bakuchiol
  • Rose Otto Facial Serum
  • Charcoal Toothpaste
  • Hemp Oil Body Wash
  • Guava Bodywash
  • Guava Facemask
  • Aloe Vera Micellar Cleansing Water
  • Coffee Stimulating Hair and Scalp Shampoo
  • Coffee Stimulating Hair and Scalp Conditioner

For a full list of Dr Organic's vegan products, you can find them listed here: Dr Organic's Vegan Product List 

Vegan Alternatives to Dr Organic  

Overall, Dr Organic is a great option for vegans and provide great vegan alternatives that other brands haven't cared to try yet. They have a clean track record and noteworthy transparency with its consumers. 

For a multi-million dollar brand – it's commendable.

But, as much as 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 do not support brands that aren't entirely vegan – Dr Organic might not be your first choice.

If you're looking for 100% vegan brands that are sustainable, here are some great options.

  • Skincare: Biossance 
  • Nails: Nailberry 
  • Makeup: Milk make up
  • Body care: Herbivore 
  •  Haircare: Love Beauty and Planet
  • Tanning: Skinny Tan
  • Fragrance: Le Labo (specifically Santal 33 Eau de Parfum is very popular)

Is Dr Organic Natural and Organic? 

Dr Organic is Organic 

As the name might suggest, Dr Organic does use organic ingredients. It claims on its website that approximately 70% of any product's ingredients are organic.

The term "organic" is regulated by the USDA and means an ingredient is free of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or non-organic substances. 

Dr Organic is Natural 

The term "clean" or "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 that are of immediate plant origin. 

Here's the thing – "natural" is not always a good thing. Just because an ingredient is natural (take chilli peppers, for example) doesn't mean it's healthy for your skin. 

All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas, and Dr Organic is no exception – but they choose to use clean synthetics. 

Clean synthetic ingredients are safe and non-toxic, which actually preserve the stability of a beauty formulation. 

Does Dr Organic Use Safe Ingredients?

According to Skin Safe, Dr Organic has an 82% - 91% allergen-free ranking for each product.

Many of Dr Organic's products are free of allergens such as common preservatives, MCI, irritants, gluten, nickel, dye, soy, propylene glycol, and lanolin.

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

However, certain products are specifically for these concerns, so make sure you buy what your skin needs. 

It's also important to note that not all common allergens are bad ingredients overall. A common example is lanolin, which has many benefits to your skin too. Find out more here: Can Lanolin Be Cruelty-Free?

The UK & EU Have Stricter Ingredient Regulations

Since Dr Organic is based and made in the UK and EU – ingredient regulations are much stricter than in the US. 

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

Some common skin care ingredients that are banned in the EU and UK but not in the USA include:

  • Butylated compounds,
  • Plastic microbeads,
  • Coal tar,
  • Formaldehyde,
  • Triclosan / Triclocarbon, and 
  • Lead or other heavy metals, 

Beyond the 1,328 banned ingredients, Dr Organic also does not use the following synthetic ingredients: 

  • Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS),
  • Silicones,
  • Petroleum,
  • Synthetic colours,
  • Parabens,
  • Diethanolamine (DEA),
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), and
  • Isothiazolinones.

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 Dr Organic Sustainable and Ethical? 

Dr Organic Virgin Olive Oil Range

Dr Organic has some strong sustainability and ethical initiatives as it ties in with the company values.  

As it stands, the brand:

  • Has banned the use of palm oil. It does use palm oil derivatives where necessary if they are certified by the RSPO sustainable palm oil system. 
  • Avoids the use of petrochemicals such as mineral oils and petrolatum wherever possible.  
  • Uses highly biodegradable products given they use naturally-derived ingredients predominantly.
  • Uses a variety of recyclable and recycled plastic, glass and cardboard materials in its packaging and are trying to eliminate plastic where it can.  
  • Is eliminated secondary cardboard packaging for its bigger products where it's unnecessary.
  • Is shifting from recycled plastic to sugarcane tube materials for packaging.
  • Follows a strict modern slavery policy to protect the human rights of workers throughout their supply chain

We love to see where Dr Organic is right now and their sustainability plans for the near future – let's see how quickly they can make these eco-friendly changes. 

Final Thoughts

Dr Organic is a well-developed skin and body care brand that strives to be clean, sustainable, and healthy for you.

The fact that they are a UK brand that solely makes its products within the UK and EU is a great sign that they are completely cruelty-free and use safe ingredients for your skin. 

We appreciate the fact the it has a transparent supply chain and is open to the public about its testing, purchasing and distribution policies.

We also love the fact that it's open about using eco-friendly ingredients and limited palm oil. 

Since Dr Organic is not 100% vegan – it might not be the best choice for activists who go the extra mile. However, we would keep an eye out for its vegan ranges because they are well-formulated and safe. 

But, of course, even if it is a UK-based brand, we would still like to see some further cruelty-free accreditation from a reputable organization like Leaping Bunny.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}