Is Josie Maran Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

April 29, 2022

Josie Maran is not only famous for her catwalk appearances, but her highly successful cosmetics brand centered around argan oil. But is this brand all about looking good without doing good? Here are its cruelty-free and vegan policies.  

Josie Maran 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. Josie Maran does offer a range of vegan cosmetics; however, it is not considered a vegan brand.

When 2000s supermodel Josie Maran got a beauty tip about Argan Oil at a party in the south of France, it changed her life! So in 2007, Maran founded a skincare and cosmetics company in her name, using the purest Argan Oil she could find.

Who’s not going to listen to a model’s beauty advice, right?

That’s why Maran built an entire beauty line devoted to this oil and ensuring the brand is good for the earth and for people. Yup – Argan oil is featured in all Josie Maran products because of its versatile anti-aging qualities.

Today, the brand is independently owned, and reported revenue in 2019 & 2020 was $120 million. But that really doesn’t surprise us.

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

Is Josie Maran Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Josie Maran Argan Oil

Josie Maran 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.

Josie Maran claims that it has never conducted and will never perform animal testing on its products, nor has it used a third party acting on its behalf.

It’s also PETA-certified, and it’s independently owned. This means there are no concerns about parent companies involved with animal testing.

All this good news brings us to the next point:

Josie Maran is Not Vegan

Although the brand is not entirely vegan, Josie Maran has an extensive vegan product range from which you can choose.

Seriously – your options seem limitless! Mainly because there are far more vegan options than those with animal-derived ingredients.  

Unfortunately, searching the term “vegan’ on their website does not bring up their vegan range, but product pages do clearly mark if a product is vegan.

Here’s how you can tell if a product is vegan:

Josie Maran vegan products

Some of the most common animal-derived ingredients that Josie Maran uses are:

  • 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 which products are vegan or finding vegan brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: Josie Maran vegan products

Animal Testing Policy and History

Josie Maran is committed to creating clean, effective, and affordable cosmetics that are also cruelty-free. It’s not clear how long they have been accredited with PETA, but it seems that they have been cruelty-free since launching.

Cruelty-Free Status in 2022

Here is a screenshot of Josie Maran’s PETA's certification:

Josie Maran PETA accreditation


Currently, Josie Maran 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. 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:

  • 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.

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 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 Josie Maran Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Josie Maran does not distribute any of its products to China or any country that requires animal testing on 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 Josie Maran Products Are Vegan?

Josie Maran has an extensive range of vegan products that continues to grow.

And we love the fact that their core ingredient, Argan oil, is 100% vegan too.

To save you some time, here are some of Josie Maran's most popular and best-selling products to choose from:

  • Pure Argan Oil
  • Intensive Daily Repair Body Butter
  • Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment
  • Whipped Argan Pro-Retinol Body Butter
  • The Argan Stick

You can find a complete list of Josie Maran’s vegan products on their website.

Vegan Alternatives to Josie Maran

Josie Maran has some great vegan options and alternatives that other brands haven't cared to try yet. The brand does have strong cruelty-free and environmental advocacy principles – which act strongly in its favor.

So we need to commend this multi-million dollar brand – for its highly ethical approach to cosmetic developments.

However, Josie Maran is still not 100% vegan and can be costly. So it may not be your first product choice.

If you're looking for vegan argan oil inspired products that are in the same price range or more affordable – here are some alternatives to look at:

Is Josie Maran Natural and Organic? 

Josie Maran proudly markets itself as a natural brand as its products are formulated with a high percentage of natural ingredients.

Josie Maran chooses to use some organic ingredients, but it’s not certified organic, nor does it advertise itself as an organic brand.

While it does use some synthetic ingredients, it chooses to ensure they are all clean.

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 Josie Maran – 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!

Almost all products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas, and Josie Maran is no exception – but it chooses to use 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.

A few naturally-derived Josie Maran uses to enhance its cosmetics include:

  • Argon Oil is extracted from the nuts of Argan trees that only grow in Morocco. This oil is versatile for hair and skin, and it’s found to moisturize, nourish and reduce the appearance of fine lines on the skin’s surface.
  • Pro-retinol is derived from pink algae. This potent form of Vitamin A has the same benefits as synthetic retinol without causing any harsh irritation.
  • Hemp Oil is used in Josie Maran’s Dope Skin range. It has extraordinary soothing and calming properties to help inflamed skin.

Does Josie Maran Use Safe Ingredients?

According to Skin Safe, Josie Maran has an 82- 100% allergen-free ranking across its product range.

All of Josie Maran’s products are free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, and sulfates. They also avoid using gluten, soy, coconut oil, and other common irritants.

Reading the ingredient list is crucial because Josie Maran 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 harmful ingredients.

A typical example is lanolin, which has many benefits to your skin. Find out more here: Can Lanolin Be Cruelty-Free?

The EU/UK Have Stricter Ingredient Regulations

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 and the UK, on the other hand, have banned 1,328!

Josie Maran is a natural cosmetics brand, so you don’t have to be too concerned about finding toxic ingredients in its products. But for good measure, here are some ingredients you want to avoid with skincare and cosmetics:

  • Butylated compounds,
  • Benzophenone compounds,
  • Triclosan,
  • Phenoxyethanol,
  • Formaldehyde, and
  • Lead or other heavy metals.

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 just as safe as 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 is no need.

If you're interested, here's more on the subject: Are Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Safe?

Is Josie Maran Sustainable and Ethical? 

Heck yeah!

Josie Maran is a sustainable brand, and we love what they stand for.

As it stands, the brand:

  • Helps create ethically developed products
  • Focuses on lessening the impact it has on the planet
  • Strives to do more to help people

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.

Josie Maran has a few sustainability and ethical initiatives that align with the company values.

Some of the ways Josie Maran is taking strong environmental accountability are by:

  • Using more natural ingredients and biodegradable formulas that are kinder to the environment.
  • Ensuring that it uses UNESCO-protected Argan Oil harvesting that’s completely women-led.
  • Having responsible MICA mining policies and proving they source the mineral ethically.
  • Using solar power in Hemp Oil agriculture as a form of sustainable energy.
  • Using sustainably sourced paper (FSC certified) and PCR (post-consumer recycled paper).
  • Creating sustainable packaging. Josie Maran uses 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic.
  • Having an active recycling program called TerraCycle®where customers can send used products back to TerraCycle and earn points in return.

    These points can be redeemed as cash or donated to a charity of your choosing. Another vegan and cruelty-free brand that uses TerraCycle® is Acure Beauty.

Final Thoughts

Josie Maran is a reliable skincare and cosmetics brand that can make ethical products with one of the world’s most expensive oils.

The fact that they are cruelty-free is a step towards a more sustainable future in cosmetics.

Even better – their signature argan oil and key ingredient in all their products is also completely vegan and sustainably sourced.

The only thing we’d love to see is some better cruelty-free accreditation. While PETA is good – Leaping Bunny is the gold standard to aim for as it holds the highest standards and strictest policies

Given that Josie Maran isn’t entirely vegan, activists who go the extra mile might not be in favor of the brand.

So if you feel strongly about only supporting 100% vegan brands, Josie Maran is not for you. Not to worry, you're sure to find a brand that fits on Cruelty-Free Soul. Hop over to our search bar and start exploring.

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