Is Pai Cruelty-Free and Vegan in 2022?

May 5, 2022

Pai is a cosmetics brand for the conscious consumer. It’s designed to help anyone with skin sensitivity or a sensible desire to use natural products. Over time, it has accumulated various certifications and awards – which means being cruelty-free and vegan is the bare minimum, no?

Pai Skincare 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. Pai is also 100% vegan – it doesn’t use any animal-derived ingredients.

All it takes is one disappointed consumer to disrupt any market – and that’s exactly what Sarah Brown did in the beauty industry.

In 2008, Brown launched her skincare brand named Pai in the UK. Her desire to do something so radical came after a urticaria diagnosis.

If you’re wondering what that is – so were we! Urticaria is a skin condition otherwise known as chronic hives. Yup, we’re talking about painful, red, itchy welts that frequently reoccur over months or years.

Yet Brown couldn’t find a single skincare product that wouldn’t cause a reaction.  

“I’d reached a dead-end with a cabinet full of products claiming to be “hypoallergenic” and “organic,” let down by their ingredient lists full of synthetics and irritants.”

Through this struggle, Brown decided to create Pai – a natural and organic skincare made for sensitive skincare. And she must have done something right since the brand’s annual revenue is estimated at just under $5 million.

But before deciding on what to buy, here’s what you need to know about Pai current animal testing policies, vegan ranges, formulation, and sustainability.

Is Pai Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Pai Cruelty-Free and Vegan Beauty

Pai 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.

Pai is thorough with its accreditations, and it doesn’t fail to meet our cruelty-free expectations. The brand is Leaping Bunny certified – which we love because it is the only internationally recognized certification that guarantees a brand is cruelty-free.

Pai also states that it had independent auditors monitoring its suppliers and internal processes to ensure it stays in the Leaping Bunny programme. Talk about going the extra mile!

The brand is also independently owned and it has no known funding ties with any brands associated with animal testing.  

This brings us to our next point:

Pai is Vegan

Not only is it vegan – it’s certified! Let’s give Pai a round of applause for being one of the few brands that’s Vegan Society approved.

Pai stresses that this accreditation is hard-earned, and that they go to the highest measures to ensure its kept.

However, it’s worth knowing that Pai 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?
  • 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.
  • 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 their best vegan products or finding vegan brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: Pai vegan products

Animal Testing Policy and History

Pai has always been committed to creating clean, effective, and organic skincare that is also cruelty-free. This has been its intention since it was founded.

Cruelty-Free Status in 2022

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

Pai Cruelty-Free Website Claim


Pai is Leaping Bunny certified.

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.

Leaping Bunny certification proves that:

  • No animal testing is conducted on the ingredients, formulas, or final products it sells.
  • 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 be fooled by the image itself. A lot of brands are using fake logos to mislead 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 Pai Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Pai 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 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 Pai Products

Pai has a pretty excellent selection of products, and all of them are vegan… certified!

Although the brand is known for its signature face oils, it has extensive skincare and body products that will leave you in awe.

They’ve also recently dropped a new line of glow drops that we welcome into our beauty regimes. This luminescent tincture could fall under makeup, but it definitely considers your skin’s health too.

To save you some time, here are some of its most popular products:
  • Rosehip Bioregenerate
  • Middlemist Seven
  • The Anthemis
  • Light Work
  • The Impossible Glow Bronze

For a complete list of Pai vegan products, you can find everything on their website.

Vegan Alternatives to Pai

Pai 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.

We love what Pai represents.

It’s 100% cruelty-free, vegan, and users say it’s effective.

But if the brand is not easily accessible to you, or if you find that its prices are out of your budget, here are some alternatives we recommend.

Is Pai Natural and Organic? 

At this stage, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that Pai is not only natural and organic – it’s also certified by The Soil Association.

Not only does The Soil Association require all certified brands to be cruelty-free, but it also ensures:

  • A minimum of 98% of ingredients are of a natural origin
  • Non-natural ingredients comply with green-chemistry principles
  • No genetically modified ingredients or endangered plants are used
  • No parabens, no phthalates, no synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrance, or synthetic colors are used
  • Any non-organic ingredients included have passed strict toxicity and biodegradability criteria and carry a non-GM certificate
  • At least 70% of (non-water based) ingredients are organically grown and harvested

The Soil Association also does third-party checks, annual inspections, detailed production records, and traceability paperwork.

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 Pai – it means both and more.

Here’s the thing: "natural” is not necessarily good. Just because an ingredient is natural (take chili peppers, for example) doesn’t mean you should rub it on your skin.

All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas, and Pai is no exception – but it chooses to use better or clean synthetics. Remember each of Pai’s formulations has no more than 2% synthetic ingredients.

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 Pai uses to enhance its cosmetics include:

  • Rosehip oil is a multiuse, natural ingredient that can moisturize, boost radiance, and speed up healing.

    Pai is particularly passionate about how their Rosehip Oil is extracted. The oil isn’t just taken from seed, but the whole fruit to get every last drop of goodness.
  • Triple purified water has all harsh minerals and impurities filtered out so it’s gentler on the most sensitive skin, leaving no heavy metals or residues behind.
  • Camellia flower oil has fantastic anti-aging properties thanks to the polyphenol antioxidants and omega 6. These leave skin soft and supple.

Does Pai Use Safe Ingredients?

According to Skin Safe, Pai has a 91% allergen-free ranking for each product.

Pai’s products are free of allergens such as common preservatives, gluten, parabens, topical antibiotic, soy, coconut, nickel, MI/ MCI, Propylene Glycol, and dyes.

All of Pai’s products are hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, but it’s worth checking to ensure the product you want works for your skin sensitivities before you buy it.

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!

Given Pai is a UK/EU-based brand with strict ingredient policies – you don’t need to worry too much.

For good measure, here are some of the ingredients you want to avoid with skincare:

  • DEA, MEA, and TEA
  • DMDM Hydantoin and urea (that often release formaldehyde)
  • PEG (Polyethylene glycol)
  • Phthalates
  • Propylene glycol (pg) & butylene glycol
  • Triclosan

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 really is no need.

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

Is Pai Sustainable and Ethical? 

Pai has some strong sustainability and ethical initiatives as it ties in with the company values.

As it stands, the brand:

  • Help create sustainable, ethically developed products.
  • Focus on lessening the impact it has on the planet.
  • Strive to do more to help people with skin sensitivities.

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 Pai is taking strong environmental accountability is by:

  • Using natural ingredients and biodegradable formulas that are kinder to the environment.
  • Prohibiting the use of synthetic microbeads that pollute our waters and harm marine life.
  • Avoiding extra packaging and only using sustainable or recycled materials (paper) when needed.
  • Making sustainable packaging out of bioplastic that is made from sugarcane.
  • Having an active recycling program that you can learn about on their website.
  • Using sustainably sourced PCR (post-consumer recycled paper) in over 80% of tubes.

Final Thoughts

Pai has made considerable efforts to be a natural and organic skincare brand that works for sensitive skin.

The brand considers various ethical factors, and being cruelty-free is a step towards a more sustainable future in skincare.

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

It is also 100% vegan, organic and cruelty-free, certified by the most reputable organizations in the world. We couldn’t ask for more.

It ticks almost every Cruelty Free Soul box – the only thing we’d love to learn more about is the brand’s employment protocols and how they deal with labor issues.

Otherwise, if this premium range is within your budget, it’s a fantastic product to chuck into your shopping cart for your next beauty shopping spree.

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