Is Pleasing Cruelty-Free and Vegan? (Are We Worried, Darling?)

Musician, movie star, and beauty business owner Harry Styles is the ultimate modern man. So you’d think he’s made his progressive nail polish brand cruelty-free and vegan. Right?   

Is Pleasing Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Pleasing 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. Pleasing is also 100% vegan and doesn't use animal-derived ingredients.

In late 2021, Harry Style’s Pleasing launched with six items – and sold out almost immediately. I mean, did you expect anything less?

The star said he would see color in his surroundings and want it on his nails, which turned into a fun project during the pandemic.

Styles told Dazed, “When we eventually named it Pleasing, it felt like it was so much more than nail polish.”

What makes this different from other celeb-owned beauty brands? Pleasing releases “drops,” or micro-collections, of nail colors, skincare, apparel, and accessories.

Each drop has a different inspiration ­– and beneficiary that Pleasing donates or supports.

Beside the Don’t Worry Darling drama, we wonder if this is another celeb-founded brand that doesn’t make an ethical, sustainable, or kind product.

Find out if you can trust Pleasing’s cruelty-free and vegan policies or if there is more than one direction this could go in.

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Is Pleasing Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Pleasing Nail Polish cruelty-free and vegan

Pleasing 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.

So here are the interesting facts you need to know:

  • Pleasing is UK-based – so it is automatically considered cruelty-free since animal testing on cosmetics is prohibited under EU law.
  • The brand also uses a manufacturer that is PETA accreditation.
  • It is privately owned and outsources its production.They sell directly to consumers online instead of stocking in brick-and-mortar stores, which helps avoid animal testing in regions where required by law.

However, loopholes in the country's legislature and PETA accreditation make it easy for animal testing to sneak into production.

But we’ll get on to that under certification.

This brings us to our next point:

Pleasing is Vegan

Harry Style’s nail color and skincare brand is entirely vegan! It does not use any animal-derived ingredients in any of its products.

However, it's worth knowing that Pleasing is the exception, 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Squalane – is a cosmetic ingredient predominantly harvested from sharks' livers but can also be derived from plant sources. (Find the best vegan squalane products here.)

    Squalane is an excellent ingredient because it mimics your skin's natural oils. It's anti-inflammatory, packed with antioxidants, and non-comedogenic.

If you're interested in the best Pleasing vegan products or finding brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: Pleasing vegan products.

Animal Testing Policy and History

Pleasing has been committed to creating clean, effective, and affordable cosmetics that are also cruelty-free. This has been its intention since it was founded.

Cruelty-Free Status in 2022

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

Pleasing Cruelty-Free and vegan statement website

Certification

Pleasing has no cruelty-free certification.

They do refer to their manufacturer's PETA accreditation in their cruelty-free statement.

With a multi-millionaire owner and having sold out almost all of their product drops so far, we know money is no object.

The brand could easily be certified and claims to make “cruelty-free products” without any backing – we have to ask ourselves why?

Ideally, all brands that consider themselves cruelty-free should be Leaping Bunny certified.

While you might know PETA very well – it surprisingly doesn't hold the strictest cruelty-free regulations. Leaping Bunny certification is ideal because 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.

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 Pleasing Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Pleasing is a direct-to-consumer brand, meaning they ship straight to consumers and aren’t stocked in stores.

Pleasing does not ship to or 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?

What Pleasing Products Are Vegan?

After scouring online reviews for hours – we found the best products from Pleasing’s expanding vegan range.

Here's what we found:

  • The Pearlescent Illuminating Serum
  • The Shroom Bloom Set (especially for the stickers!)
  • The Pleasing Lip & Eye Pen
  • Acid Drops Lucid Over Night Nail Polish
  • Hand & Nail Balm

You can find everything on the website for a complete list of Pleasing vegan products.

Vegan Alternatives to Pleasing

Overall, Pleasing has some great vegan alternatives that other brands haven't cared to try yet. At this stage, they have a clean track record with consumers.

Total transparency from a very authentic public figure who’s not afraid to be himself.

For a multi-million dollar brand – it's commendable.

But if you will not support a brand that isn't cruelty-free certified– Pleasing might not be your first choice.

Here are some 100% vegan and cruelty-free brands in a similar price range for you to choose from:

Is Pleasing Natural and Organic? 

Pleasing 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, it means a product is free of more toxic synthetic ingredients, including parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and more. But people also interpret "natural" to mean 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. Pleasing 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 Pleasing uses to enhance its cosmetics include:

  • Hyaluronic acid is a substance found naturally in our skin that helps maintain moisture, and boost tissue regeneration and wound healing.

    As we age, we produce less hyaluronic acid – making it an essential ingredient in our beauty products.
  • AHA’s, or Alpha Hydroxy Acids, exfoliate dead skin cells to reveal the next layer of skin. This may decrease acne, minimize pore appearance, and boost radiance.

    Pleasing uses natural Malic Acid from apples and upcycled Hibiscus Acid.
  • Niacinamide, or Vitamin B3, has been shown to reduce the appearance of blemishes and skin congestions. It also repairs the skin barrier, increases smoothness, and boosts radiance.

Does Pleasing Use Safe Ingredients?

Although Pleasing does not feature on Skin Safe, they claim to have an extensive list of ingredients they do not use.

All their products are gluten-free, and all nail colors are 12-free. For an extensive list, check Pleasing’s “clean” standards definition.

Reading the ingredient list is crucial because Pleasing 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!

Luckily, Pleasing sets a great example of what true clean beauty is meant to be, and you shouldn’t have to worry about any hidden nasties in its products.

With skincare and nail color, you want to avoid these ingredients:

  • Ethoxylated ingredients (PPG, PEG, and polysorbate)
  • Ethanolamine compounds (DEA, MEA, and TEA)
  • The toxic 12:  formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates, animal ingredients, ethyl tosylamide and triphenyl phosphate.
  • Homosalate
  • Butylated compounds

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 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?

Is Pleasing Sustainable and Ethical? 

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

As it stands, the brand:

  • Works in a sustainable, ethically developed manner.
  • Focuses on reducing its environmental impact.
  • Respects human rights and positively affects people.

With each drop of a Pleasing micro-collection, the brand focuses on a different initiative. Some of the ethical causes Pleasing supports:

  • Nest“a non-profit for the responsible growth and creative engagement of the artisan and maker economy to build a world of greater gender equity and economic inclusion.”
  • Cool Earth – a project that protects rainforests and the indigenous communities they are home to.
  • Queercircle – an organization that supports LGBTQ+ arts, culture, and social change.

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 Pleasing is taking strong environmental accountability is by:

  • Formulating biodegradable nail polish that is kinder to the environment.
  • Working on sustainable packaging developments.
  • Ensuring that the plastic containers they use are recyclable and have some recycled components.
  • Encouraging consumers to recycle their products.
  • Reducing their use of virgin plastic in their product and shipping packaging.
  • Avoiding extra packaging and only using sustainable or recycled materials (paper) when needed.
  • Prohibiting synthetic microbeads that pollute our waters and harm marine life.
  • Using either synthetic or ethically mined MICA sourced without using child labor.
  • Using sustainably sourced paper (FSC certified) and soy-based inks to create its packaging.

Final Thoughts

Pleasing is a fast-growing brand at the intersection of beauty and lifestyle.

It considers various ethical factors, and the choice to be cruelty-free is a step towards a more sustainable future in cosmetics.

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

Of course, since Pleasing does not have cruelty-free accreditation – it might not be the best choice for activists who go the extra mile.

We would love to see this change and more greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint policies being shared.

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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