OGX is friendly on the pocket and aims to bring a spa-like experience to users. This stylist-founded hair care brand looks earthy-friendly online, but is it cruelty-free and vegan?
OGX is not 100% cruelty-free or vegan as its products are sold where animal testing is required by law. It also cannot be considered vegan as it is not cruelty-free.
Before you get too excited about buying these cheap and cheerful products – you need to understand what you're buying (and it's not so pretty). Not only does the brand not have any certification, but they were involved with some questionable lawsuits.
We cover all this and more below.
OGX's Ethical Overview
OGX Is Not Cruelty-Free
Test any of its products or ingredients on animals
Purchase any ingredients tested on animals within its supply chain
Distribute its products to any countries that require animal testing by law.
It's uncertain whether OGX also purchases ingredients tested on animals within its supply chain, but it is possible.
OGX is also owned by Johnson & Johnson – which is not a cruelty-free company either.
This brings us to the next point:
Does OGX Test on Animals?
OGX does not explicitly state animal testing is conducted when required by law, but it ships to countries like China. By entering the Chinese market in 2015, OGX lost its cruelty-free status.
However, they still have a stance on cruelty-free cosmetics.
What Is OGX's Cruelty-Free Status in 2022?
Here is a screenshot of OGX’s official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products, taken from its website:
OGX directs potential customers to this page by Johnson & Johnson, which states, "continue to advanced non-animal-testing methods and…eliminate testing on animals globally”. But it avoids speaking about choosing to sell in China.
OGX Has No Cruelty-Free Certification.
As much as it would be nice to see cruelty-free certification – it cannot happen as long as the brand continues with its current animal-testing policies.
Besides PETA, a far more reputable organization you can trust is the Leaping Bunny association, which has rigid (but excellent) standards.
Leaping Bunny is the only internationally recognized certification that ensures a brand adheres to the following strict criteria:
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 OGX Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law?
Yes, OGX distributes its products in China, where animal testing on cosmetics is required as products arrive at the border.
OGX has admitted to being sold at Watsons, China’s largest beauty and personal care retailer.
China has 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.
OGX is Not Vegan
OGX does not claim to have vegetarian and vegan ranges. Even if they did, it would be hard to consider any of its products free of animal-derived ingredients as “vegan” because it’s not 100% cruelty-free.
Does it have products that are free of animal-derived ingredients? Yes.
Are these products considered holistically vegan? Not in our opinion.
It claims only to use: Honey & beeswax, collagen, keratin proteins, pearl proteins, silk protein, silk powder, hydrolyzed silk, and sericin and biotin.
If you are vegan or strongly advocate cruelty-free cosmetics – OGX is not the right brand.
Luckily, there are many alternatives you can choose from that are certified cruelty-free and vegan.
Here are some nature-inspired skincare brands within the same price range that are 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
Vegan Alternatives to OGX
OGX Isn't Considered Natural or Organic
However, it claims to use safe, simple, clean ingredients. Its whole ethos is to make clean formulas and products that anyone can use.
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, a product is free of more toxic synthetic ingredients, including parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and more. But people also interpret "natural" as 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. OGX 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 OGX uses to enhance its cosmetics include:
OGX Has a 73-91% Allergen-free Ranking
According to Skin Safe, OGX has a 73- 91% allergen-free ranking for each product.
Many of OGX’s products are free of allergens such as parabens, lanolin, topical antibiotics, MCI/MI, nickel, gluten, soy, and SLS.
Reading the ingredient list is crucial because OGX 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.
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!
OGX does sell in the UK and the EU, so it should be safe to use.
With hair care, you want to avoid these ingredients:
OGX's Questionable Ingredient Lawsuits
Filed in July 2021, the Class Action Lawsuit centered around one ingredient that the complainant claimed caused various health issues, from headaches to hair loss.
That ingredient was DMDM hydantoin- an antimicrobial preservative common in conditioners- especially keratin-rich ones. It’s often called a ‘formaldehyde donor’ because it releases a small amount of formaldehyde into haircare products over time. This keeps mold away from the steamy environment of a shower.
If you had just read up on what clean beauty is and which ingredients to avoid in haircare- you would have seen formaldehyde-releasing agents on the list!
What’s worse? The case argued that OGX announced it would remove DMDM hydantoin from its products in 2015…
After Johnson & Johnson acquired the brand in 2016, the ingredient stayed in formulations.
This lawsuit isn’t ordered yet. However, as a result, OGX has removed all DMDM hydantoin from their brand, effective September 2021.
This wasn’t OGX’s first brush with the law. In 2011 the brand was still called Organix, and the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) claimed that the name was misleading.
Why? It didn’t meet California’s standard for the name. As the brand is not organic, the court settled the matter with the CEH. Hence the name OGX.
If you’re worried about how safe it is to use cosmetics not tested on animals – please relax and 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?
OGX Has Some Sustainable & Ethical Initiatives
OGX has some sustainability and ethical initiatives it ties in with the company values.
As it stands, the brand:
It's no secret that the world has a huge waste problem, and cosmetic brands only make it worse by using unsustainable packaging and harmful ingredients.
Some of the ways OGX is taking strong environmental accountability are:
All in all, OGX is a well-developed hair care brand that considers a few environmental factors.
We appreciate that it is also open to the public about its policies and eco-efforts. We think those efforts could be increased, considering the resources of OGX’s parent company.
However, the fact that it is not cruelty-free means it takes a step in the wrong direction. As much as OGX claims to be actively against animal testing, they distribute to China, which is a direct conflict of interest.
For this reason, we cannot consider its products free of animal-derived ingredients as holistically vegan either.
We hope to see a change in this issue, but it is unlikely. As consumers, we must stand for what we will and won't accept from our cosmetics. This is something we cannot get.