Is Function of Beauty Cruelty-Free & Vegan? (There’s Good News)

Imagine having beauty formulas designed for your needs – enter Function of Beauty. It’s the self-proclaimed world leader in customizable hair, skin and body products. But have they let us down with their cruelty-free and vegan policies? We did the research.

Is Function of Beauty Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Function of Beauty 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. Function of Beauty is also 100% vegan – it doesn't use any animal-derived ingredients.

Targeted formulas, one-of-a-kind manufacturing facilities and minimal waste were the founding components used to create Function of Beauty.

Oh yes – Function of Beauty is an online only business that works like this:

  1. Choose if you want a hair, skin or body product.
  2. Take a quiz where you specify details about your hair, skin or body’s needs and desired outcome.
  3. Pick your scent, bottle colour and add your name.
  4. Wait a few seconds while Function of Beauty’s algorithm ensures you get the right ingredients needed for your goals.
  5. Stare out your window until the UPS guy appears with your box of products.

Function of Beauty of was developed by a trio of leading experts in very particular fields:

  • Zahir Dossa – sustainability
  • Josh Maciejewski – data science and supply chains
  • Hien Nygen Kaplan – chemistry

The brand sounds like the future of the personal care industry to us. And maybe like the modern day, beauty equivalent of the Powerpuff girls. Who’ve dedicated their lives to fighting ineffective hair care products and wastefullness…

Function of Beauty was founded in 2015 and was valued at $110 million in 2017. While it might have started as a simple hair care brand – it expanded into customized body wash, lotions, and skincare too.

So where’s the catch? Can we trust this brand’s claims?

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Is Function of Beauty Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Function of Beauty cruelty-free beauty

Function of Beauty 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.

Function of Beauty doesn’t let us down with its cruelty-free claims. The brand is PETA accredited and is also privately owned by an organization that isn’t associated with animal testing (yay)!

The only thing we want to mention is that PETA isn’t the most reliable certification out there – but more on that later.

This brings us to our next point:

Function of Beauty is Vegan

Another huge win! 

This customisable hair and skincare brand is entirely vegan. It does not use any animal-derived ingredients in any of its products!

However, it's worth knowing that Function of Beauty is the exception and not the rule.

Most mainstream skincare brands are not 100% vegan. These are certain animal-derived ingredients to look out for in general:

  • 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?
  • Lanolin – this ingredient, like honey and beeswax, is used in skincare and cosmetics because it is incredibly hydrating. It is basically the waxy oil that comes from sheep wool. Lanolin can be cruelty-free – follow this link for more details.
  • 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?
  • Squalane – is a cosmetic ingredient predominantly harvested from sharks' livers but can also be derived from plant sources. (Find the best vegan squalane products here.)

    Squalane is an excellent ingredient because it mimics your skin's natural oils. It's anti-inflammatory, packed with antioxidants, and non-comedogenic.

If you're interested the best Function of Beauty vegan products or finding brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: Function of Beauty vegan products.

Animal Testing Policy and History

Function of Beauty has been committed to creating clean and effective personal cares that’s also cruelty-free. This has been its intention since it was founded in 2015.

Cruelty-Free Status in 2022

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

Function of Beauty Cruelty Website claim

Certification

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

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.

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, are 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 Function of Beauty Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Function of Beauty does not distribute any of its products to China or any country that requires animal testing on cosmetics by law. We emailed and received this response to confirm it.

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?

The Best Vegan Function of Beauty Products 

Function of Beauty is proud to be 100% vegan. Plus its range of personalized products designed for your needs just keeps growing.

We fully support this brands decision to develop tailored products with you (the consumer) and the planet in mind.

To save you some time, here are some of its most popular, non-customised, haircare products:

  • Custom Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Co-wash (Curly Girl Approved)
  • Hair Mask
  • Leave-In Conditioner
  • Function x Target Anti-Frizz Booster Shot

You can find a complete list of Function of Beauty’s vegan products its website.

Vegan Alternatives to Function of Beauty

Function of Beauty has amazing vegan product options. Plus it provides a disruptive and effective business model that has shaken the beauty industry.

As a young brand that relies on healthy customer relationships and online trust, it’s no surprise they also have a clean track record and decent supply chain transparency.

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

But if the brand doesn’t ship to your region or you don’t feel it’s right for you, here are some other options to choose from:

Is Function of Beauty Natural and Organic? 

Function of Beauty does not consider itself natural or organic.

However, it uses natural ingredients where it’s best for the formula.

Like all clean beauty brands, it mixes natural with safe synthetic ingredients to ensure formulas are as effective and reliable as possible.

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. Love Beauty and Planet 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 ingredients Function of Beauty uses to enhance its cosmetics include:

  • Irish moss extract is extracted using simple methods and used to make a ‘film’ in haircare products. This film helps define curls. It also contains Vitamin A, knowns to balance sebum production of the scalp.
  • Argan Oil has high amounts of fatty acids with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and protective properties. In short, this ingredient can soothe irritants, boost moisture, restore hydration and fight against environmental damage.
  • Sweet almond extract adds shine and volume to hair. It also protects the hair from external aggressors and improves the structure of the hair shaft making it more manageable.

Does Function of Beauty Use Safe Ingredients?

According to Skin Safe, Function of Beauty has an 82- 100% allergen-free ranking across its listed product range.

All Function of Beauty products are free from gluten, parabens, sulfates, mineral oils and phthalates. However it also does its best to avoid ingredients like gluten, soy, propylene glycol.

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

With each product being specifically made for individual concerns, we recommend reaching out to them, or reading through their list of over 26 ingredients they never use before placing an order.

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!

While Function of Beauty is quite reliable – you should still know which ingredients need to be avoided at all costs. With skincare and hair care, you should stay clear from:

  • DEA, MEA, and TEA
  • DMDM
  • Hydantoin and urea (that often release formaldehyde)
  • PEG (Polyethylene glycol)
  • Phthalates
  • Propylene glycol (pg) & butylene glycol
  • Triclosan
  • Benzophenone
  • Butylated compounds: Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Coal tar
  • Ethoxylation
  • Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs)

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 Function of Beauty Sustainable and Ethical? 

We like that Function of Beauty is transparent with its customers.

It uses a lot of its resources improving its ethical and environmental impact. It also ensures its customers are aware of where their money is going once they’ve invested in its products.

Some of the ethical causes Function of Beauty supports include: 

  • Partnering with women and girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).

    They want to encourage women who are systematically dissuaded from these careers because they don’t believe they are capable of achieving just as much as their male counterparts.
  • Supporting BIPOC through representation in imagery, collaborations with creators and donations to The Equal Justice Initiative.

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.

Some of the ways Function of Beauty is taking strong environmental accountability is by:

  • Using natural ingredients and biodegradable formulas that are kinder to the environment.
  • Using 100% recyclable cartons and boxes made with 30% PCR (post-consumer recycled) materials.
  • Ensuring all its jars and bottles are 100%.
  • Making its shampoo and conditioner bottles from 100% recycled materials.
  • Ensuring bottle pumps are an optional add-on when ordering a product to reduce plastic waste.
  • Reducing carbon emissions by developing sustainable packaging.
  • Incorporating sustainably sourced paper into its product packaging (Sustainable Forrest Initiative certified).

Final Thoughts

Function of Beauty makes sustainable, ethical, and customizable products. (Which can’t be an easy task in our consumeristic world.)

Most of its ethical credentials come from the fact that it has supply chain transparency and that it is open to the public about its testing, purchasing, and distribution policies.

Plus, the brand works to be inclusive from both the product and the marketing front.

We also believe that its dedication to cruelty-free, and vegan cosmetics is a step towards a more sustainable future in beauty.

Function of Beauty does use palm tree extract (and we can’t confirm if it's sustainably sourced) so it might deter some activists away.

But at the same time, it does use very clean manufacturing and packaging processes to reduce their impact on the planet. Which we can’t say about most brands!

We look forward to seeing Function of Beauty continue to do more for the environment and listening to your needs – so keep following its movements.

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