Is Glossier Cruelty-Free and Vegan

November 17, 2021

Glossier evolved from the beauty blog "Into The Gloss" to a billion-dollar cosmetics empire in a few short years. Luckily it kept its no-nonsense tone and is still transparent about its take on cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics.

Glossier is 100% 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 Glossier does offer a range of vegan cosmetics, it is not considered a vegan brand.

Glossier was founded by Emily Weiss, a former beauty blogger and millennial who saw a huge disconnect between consumers and big cosmetic brands. They wanted a transparent, personalized approach to beauty. 

She knew there was a huge gap in the market to fill. Over two years, Weiss raised just enough seed money to launch four products in 2014 – and the rest is history. Today, Glossier is valued at over $1.2 billion

Glossier is all about putting the customer first, making engaging content online, creating conversation, and building a community. According to Forbes, this is what makes the brand so successful. 

“As I interviewed hundreds of women, I became more and more aware of how flawed the traditional beauty paradigm is. It has historically been an industry based on experts telling you, the customer, what you should or shouldn’t be using on your face.” — Emily Weiss, CEO

But before you fall in love with this digital beauty brand, here's what you need to know about its current animal testing policies, vegan ranges, formulation, and sustainability.

Is Glossier Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Glossier 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.

Glossier is very straightforward about its cruelty-free claims, and it does not waver. 

Not only does it have cruelty-free accreditation, but all of its makeup brushes are made with synthetic fibers, and it is not owned by any parent company.

The only thing to consider is that it does use certain animal-derived ingredients in some of its products. 

This brings us to the next point:

Glossier is Not Vegan

Although the brand is not entirely vegan, Glossier does have extensive vegan products to choose from – especially in their skincare range (yay!).  

All its vegan products and ranges are marked on their website. You can see the stamp 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.

Glossier Good to Know Claims on Website Products

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

  • Honey and 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?
  • 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?  
  • 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.

If you're interested in vegan products or find vegan brand alternatives, keep reading or click on this link: Glossier vegan products

Animal Testing Policy and History

Glossier is committed to creating innovative cosmetics that are also cruelty-free. This has been their intention since their first products launched in 2014. It was a non-negotiable part of the brand's development. 

It definitely sounds like something a millennial would do, no? 

Cruelty-Free Status in 2022

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

Glossier Cruelty-Free Statement on Website


Once again, Glossier really takes it home here. Not only are they certified as cruelty-free, but they have accreditation from Leaping Bunny – the only internationally recognized certification that guarantees a brand is cruelty-free.

It proves 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.

While you might know PETA very well – it surprisingly doesn't hold the strictest cruelty-free regulations out there. So having certification from an association like Leaping Bunny or Choose Cruelty-Free, is ideal.

If you see a bunny stamp at the back of your product bottle – that's a really good sign. But don't be fooled by the image itself. A lot of brands are using fake logos to fool 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 Glossier Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Glossier 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 amount of 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 Glossier Products Are Vegan?

Glossier has a great range of vegan products that continues to expand. As of 2021, 27 out of its 36 products are vegan and available on the website. 

Just remember to select the exact shade you'd like to buy when it comes to makeup to confirm whether it's vegan or not. 

A product's vegan status can depend on its coloring. Anything with a red tone might use carmine and is, therefore, not vegan. 

To save you some time, here are some of Glossier's top-rated and best-selling vegan products to choose from:

  • The Complete Body Hero Collection (Cream, Wash, Mist, and Scrub) 
  • Futuredew Oil Serum Hybrid
  • Milk Jelly Cleanser
  • Perfect Skin Tint
  • Lip Gloss 

Unfortunately, Glossier doesn't have a designated page for all its vegan products on its website – although it really should! So your best bet is to visit their website and specifically look for vegan products under their search bar.

Vegan Alternatives to Glossier  

Overall, Glossier is a great brand for top-quality cruelty-free and vegan options. We love that no matter how much it continues to expand – these ethical values don't waver.

For a billion-dollar brand – it's commendable.  

But, if you're looking for a 100% cruelty-free and vegan brand – it might not be your first choice.

Some great options to look at (which are also millennial-inspired) include:

Is Glossier Natural and Organic? 

Glossier is not a natural or organic brand, but it claims to use safe and clean ingredients.

It also openly talks about the various natural extracts it uses to enhance its product formulations – many of them are beneficial and unique. 

Some naturally-derived ingredients this brand uses to enhance its cosmetics include: 

  • Red Algae Complex – this is a popular ingredient that many brands, like Charlotte Tilbury, use. Although there's no hardcore data, studies do show that it can improve skin elasticity. 
  • Murumuru Butter – this plant-based butter has got a couple of benefits that shea butter lacks. It's a natural anti-inflammatory that is packed with antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamin A. Better yet? It's not greasy.
  • Licorice root – this ingredient is a lot more common than you might have thought. Besides effectively helping skin discoloration and marks, it brightens skin and helps create an even complexion. 
  • Meadowfoam Seed Oil – skincare experts love this ingredient because it is a high-performing emollient (i.e., moisturizer) that helps lock in any moisture and protect your skin from external damage. 

Does Glossier Use Safe Ingredients?

Glossier has a relatively clean range of ingredients. They also avoid using anything that could be harmful where possible

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!

With skincare and makeup, here are some ingredients you really want to avoid:

  • Butylated compounds,
  • Benzophenone compounds, 
  • Carbon black,
  • Formaldehyde, and 
  •  Lead or other heavy metals. 

According to Skin Safe, Glossier has an 82% - 100% allergen-free ranking for each product.

Quite a few products score 100%, which is surprisingly unusual (and good) for any brand. Weiss really doesn't let us down in this department. 

All of Glossier's products are free of allergens such as common preservatives, irritants, gluten, nickel, and parabens. They also avoid allergens like soy, coconut, propylene glycol, dye, and MCI. 

To top it off, all of Glossier's products are hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, meaning that if you have super sensitive skin that's prone to allergies – this is a great brand for you. 

As a brand - it's all about skin first. So even their makeup formulas are built to promote healthy natural skin. 

However, Glossier is still an American brand, and it has not disclosed its production locations. This means you should always check any product before you buy because all ingredients are subject to change.

Any brand based in the UK or EU needs to follow strict ingredient regulations that help ensure a product is relatively clean when it gets to you. 

If you're based in the US and are unsure what to look out for – doing a quick search on SkinSafe will help you out. 

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 Glossier Sustainable and Ethical? 

Glossier took a while to catch onto the sustainability bandwagon, but it's slowly getting there.

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.

One of the main reasons this brand is growing successfully is because it listens to its customers. In 2019, people started to get concerned about how much packaging Glossier was wasting during shipping and other wasteful habits – the brand took action

Here's what's happened so far:

  • Glossier has enabled a "less packaging" option at their online checkout where customers can opt-out of getting the classic pink pouch all products used to be delivered in. 
  • Customers now can recycle the pink pouches they receive – with recycling stations available at all retail locations. Nobody needs a million makeup bags! 
  • "Less packaging" also means all products are shipped in simple, thick, recyclable paper.  
  • It's also discontinued its sticker sheets as a booster effort to eliminate waste.  
  • Finally, Glossier also discontinued its product "Glitter Gelée" since it's made with glitter, a plastic substance known to wreak havoc in our oceans. 

After a year of taking this initiative – nearly half a million Glossier orders were shipped with reduced packaging!

Glossier also has an entire page dedicated to their code of conduct and supply chain transparency act on their website.

The brand stipulates that it does not condone any acts of forced labor, underage labor, and more of these commonly seen unethical practices throughout its supply chain. 

Final Thoughts

There's little to fault Glossier with. The brand is well-developed, and it actively listens to its consumers' requests. Social and environmental issues are a top priority for consumers, and Glossier heard these concerns and ensured it proactively works on them.

The fact that they are certified cruelty-free and offer such a range of vegan cosmetics is a step towards a more sustainable future in this industry. 

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

However, we would like to see three things: 

  • More information about the brand's skincare philosophy and what they pride themselves in. 
  • More sustainability initiatives, especially when it comes to creating refillable products and eliminating waste at retailer displays. 
  • A clear Mica mining policy that details the brand sources this mineral ethically. Although they have a supplier's code of conduct, it's very easy for the horrors behind Mica mining to go unnoticed and pushed to the side. 

Of course, since Glossier is not 100% vegan – it might not be the best choice for activists who go the extra mile. Especially since the brand also uses palm oil as an ingredient.

But we wouldn't shut it down so quickly if we were you. This young brand is developing and listening to your needs, so keep following its movements.

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