AVEDA produces a vast range of cosmetics that are all developed with ancient Indian medicinal learnings. Trust us when we say that you’re not only going to love their cruelty-free and vegan policies – you’re going to love it all.
AVEDA 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. AVEDA is also 100% vegan – it doesn't use any animal-derived ingredients.
Horst Rechelbacher founded AVEDA in 1978 in Blaine, Minnesota. On a trip to India, the Ayurvedic concepts (a traditional South Asia system of holistic eating, medicine, and surgery) inspired him. So when Rechelbacher returned to the States, he used his newfound knowledge to build AVEDA.
“Our mission at AVEDA is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to how we give back to society,” said Rechelbacher.
AVEDA aims to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility. This extends to much more than the beauty industry – it’s about the world we live in.
People love what this brand stands for (and so do we), so it’s no surprise Rechelbacher was able to sell AVEDA to Estée Lauder in 1997 for $300 million.Before deciding if they live up to that high standard and deserve space in your beauty cabinet, here's what you need to know about AVEDA’s current animal testing policies, vegan ranges, formulation, and sustainability
Is AVEDA Cruelty-Free and Vegan?
AVEDA is 100% Cruelty-Free
It does not:
AVEDA clarifies that it has never conducted and will never perform any animal testing on its products; nor has it used a third party acting on its behalf either.
It’s also PETA-certified to back up its cruelty-free claims.
Today, AVEDA is owned by Estée Lauder, which is not a cruelty-free company. In saying this, the brand remains relatively independent from its parent company and the way it’s run.
This brings us to the next point.
AVEDA is Vegan
Can you believe it? This premium brand is 100% vegan, and we’re here to cheer them on.
AVEDA historically used beeswax in some of its products. But in 2019, it managed to develop an alternative.
As of January 1st 2021, all AVEDA products on shelves were 100% vegan.
AVEDA strives to fuse the benefits of naturally derived ingredients with science. It does not use any animal-derived ingredients in any of its products.
However, it's worth knowing that AVEDA 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:
If you're interested in AVEDA’s best vegan products or finding vegan brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: AVEDA’s vegan products.
Animal Testing Policy and History
AVEDA has been committed to creating clean and holistic hair and skincare products that are also cruelty-free since its inception in 1978.
They were the first company to sign the Ceres Principles in 1989, a set that stands for corporate responsibility “which call(s) for the safeguarding of the earth and ‘its inhabitants’.”
Many brands say they set the sustainable standard, but AVEDA actually means it.
Cruelty-Free Status in 2022
Here is a screenshot of AVEDA’s official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products, taken from its website:
Currently, AVEDA is PETA-approved which is not a bad start.
But we would love to see more certification from them since it’s a proudly cruelty-free brand.
While you might know PETA very well – it surprisingly doesn't hold the strictest cruelty-free regulations out there. It seems to only 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’s strict and reliable regulations stipulate that:
But some certification is better than nothing at all.
If you see a bunny stamp on the back of your product bottle – that's an excellent 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 AVEDA Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law?
AVEDA does not distribute any of its products to mainland China or any country that requires animal testing on cosmetics by law. It is sold in Hong Kong, which operates under different animal testing policies.
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.
While AVEDA manufactures most of its products in the USA, we cannot confirm if they do any third-party manufacturing in China.
If any third-party manufacturing happens in China, this does not mean that the brand conducts animal testing.
This law is purely enforced on international cosmetic products entering China and not on products made within the country itself.
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 AVEDA Vegan Products
AVEDA has a great range of vegan products that continues to expand. It prides itself in developing a product with you (the consumer) and the planet in mind.
AVEDA’s product formulations are vegan, and the brand goes above and beyond with its actions and investments, reflecting its holistic ethos.
To save you some time, here are some of AVEDA’s most popular and award-winning products to choose from.
For a complete list of AVEDA’S vegan products, you can find everything on their website.
Vegan Alternatives to AVEDA
Overall, AVEDA is an excellent option for vegans and provides vegan products that other brands haven't cared to try yet.
They have a clean track record and noteworthy transparency with their consumers. For a multi-million dollar brand – it's commendable.
But whether you believe AVEDA is 100% vegan and cruelty-free depends on how you feel about its parent company, Estée Lauder (which is not a cruelty-free company).
If you are vegan or a strong advocate of cruelty-free cosmetics, AVEDA may not be the right brand.
Luckily, there are alternatives you can find that are certified cruelty-free and vegan.
If you're looking for 100% vegan cosmetics that are in the same price range, here are some similar alternatives within the same price range:
Is AVEDA Natural and Organic?
AVEDA is certified organic and claims to use natural formulas too.
It says that “in keeping with Ayurvedic principles – and because of our concern for the earth – AVEDA is committed to using organic ingredients.”
While the term "organic" is regulated by the USDA and means an ingredient is free of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or non-organic substances.
Unfortunately, the term “natural” is not regulated. AVEDA explains that 50% of each ingredient’s molecular weight needs to be naturally derived for the brand to consider it a natural ingredient.
On average, they even claim that each product is 90% naturally derived.
AVEDA has also taken its love for natural ingredients further by using what they called ‘green ingredients’ wherever possible. Green ingredients are:
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.
When it comes to AVEDA – it means both!
Here's the thing: "natural" is not always good. Just because an ingredient is natural doesn't mean you should rub it on your skin. Poison ivy is natural – but we wouldn't recommend rolling in a field of that stuff!
All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas, and AVEDA is no exception – but it can choose to use better or clean synthetics.
If a synthetic ingredient is "clean," it is safe and non-toxic for us. Its purpose is to preserve the stability of a beauty formulation.
Does AVEDA Use Safe Ingredients?
According to Skin Safe, AVEDA has an 82-91% allergen-free ranking for various products; however, some products score as high as 100%.
AVEDA has super strict ingredient policies that we love. As a brand, they never use:
parabens, mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin, formaldehyde, and its donors, SLS and SLES, oxybenzone, benzene, retinyl palmitate, microcrystalline wax, polyethylene beads, triclosan, triclocarban, lanolin, carmine, talc or synthetic fragrance
While there are no statements detailing whether AVEDA is hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic, their highly naturally-derived formulas are usually safe for sensitive or acne-prone skin.
Still, the best thing you can do is read the ingredients and ensure you’re buying a product designed to fit your skin’s needs.
It's also important to note that not all natural common allergens are harmful ingredients.
A typical example is lanolin — this waxy substance has many benefits to your skin. Find out more here: Can Lanolin Be Cruelty-Free?
Although AVEDA does not use many toxins at all – here are some of the ingredients you want to avoid:
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 AVEDA Sustainable and Ethical?
Is it ever!
If we could award a brand with the best sustainable and ethical initiatives – AVEDA would be at the top of our list.
They are so environmentally conscious that it would be impossible to list all their endeavors in this article alone, but we will give it our best shot and invite you to marvel.
As it stands, the brand:
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 AVEDA is taking strong environmental accountability is by:
When it comes to ingredients, AVEDA is:
Finally, AVEDA is taking ethical responsibility by:
What’s scary is that this isn’t even all of it. AVEDA funds so many initiatives in the spirit of helping people, communities, and the environment – you can tell it’s fully embraced the Ayurvedic way of living.
AVEDA doesn’t just talk the talk – it walks the walks when it says it’s an Ayurvedic brand. They have done their utmost to respect the principles of this ancient system of knowledge.
Acknowledging the source and the teachers behind the information that inspired the brand, never testing on animals, signing the Ceres Principles in the 1980s all stand in good stead.
AVEDA has also found room for improvement and developed what the need to make those improvements in terms of products, environments, social, aspects and sustainability – even finding beeswax alternatives where many competitor brands fail to do so.The only issues we may have are that:
At Cruelty-Free Soul, we would never want to pressure any reader, but it is up to us as consumers to stand for what we will and won't accept from our cosmetics.
We love AVEDA, and if you love it too – get in touch with them and tell them the changes you’d like to see from this progressive brand. They might just listen.