QV is a trusted range of gentle, specialized personal care products from Australia. Although they claim to make scientifically-backed products – have their cruelty-free and vegan ethics been compromised in the process?
QV is cruelty-free but not 100% vegan. Meaning that while some products contain animal-derived ingredients, none are tested on animals or sold where it's required by law.
In 1953, Australia’s Queen Victoria hospital requested a sensitive skin product for patients healing from burns wound and reconstructive surgery from chemist Gerald Oppenheim.
Oppenheim and his wife Rae, a nurse, went to work on creating what is now known as QV bath oil. The oil was released for retail three years later.
QV has 50 years of heritage as a trusted, gentle, family-owned brand. QV’s current net worth is not readily available, but an estimated revenue for its parent company is $158.64 million.
But with so much confusion around its vegan status – what can you really trust? We've done all the research so that you don't have to. Read on to decide if QV measures up to your cruelty-free and vegan expectations.
Is QV Cruelty-Free and Vegan?
QV is 100% Cruelty-Free
It does not:
QV is cruelty-free, but we wouldn’t call them loud and proud about it.
The QV website FAQ page doesn’t include an animal-testing answer. It was only from checking their parent company, Ego Pharmaceuticals’ website, that we could find a statement on testing policies.
Ego Pharmaceuticals is a personal care company that claims not to test any products on animals.
According to their website, all Ego Pharmaceuticals products undergo in vitro testing or are trialled human volunteers.
This brings us to our next point:
QV is Not Vegan
There’s a lot of confusing information about QV’s vegan status, and we’re here to clear it up.
We decided to go through every product page to clear up our confusion (and so you wouldn’t have to), and we’ve found almost the entire QV range is vegan-friendly with no animal-derived ingredients!
If you’re based in the UK – all five QV cosmetics distributed there are entirely vegan. That’s why you’ll see QV UK say that they’re proudly vegan.
However, QV Australia is NOT.
While QV Australia claims to only have three guaranteed vegan ranges, we found that all their current products, except for their Dermacare selection, are 100% vegan.
But product ingredients are subject to change, so you can always check if something is vegan by looking at its individual page under “benefits.”
Here's an example of where to find essential information:
However, it’s worth knowing that QV 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 which products are vegan or finding vegan brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: QV vegan products.
Animal Testing Policy and History
QV doesn’t have an animal testing policy readily available on its website. Their parent company, Ego Pharmaceuticals, backs them up.
It's difficult to know the company's animal testing policy in the 50s. But, at least we can rest assured that no animals are harmed in making the products now.
Cruelty-Free Status in 2022
Here is a screenshot of Ego Pharmaceutical’s official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products, taken from their website, which would apply to QV:
QV has no cruelty-free certification.
It is currently covered by the Australian legislature, which banned animal testing on all cosmetic ingredients as of July 2020.
These Australian laws align with the EU cosmetic animal testing ban. This is great; however, certain loopholes in the legislature make it far more reliable if a third party were to get involved.
And while you might know PETA very well – it surprisingly doesn't hold the strictest cruelty-free regulations out there. Certification from an association like Leaping Bunny is ideal.
Leaping Bunny certification proves that:
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 QV Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law?
QV does not distribute any of its products to China or any country that requires animal testing on any 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 QV Products Are Vegan?
Although QV is almost entirely vegan, a few products still don’t make the cut. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that they adopt a strictly vegan policy soon (they’re just so close!)
Nonetheless, their vegan range is extensive and seems to keep growing. To save you some time, here are some of its most popular skincare products:
For a complete list of QV’s vegan products, you can find everything on their website.
Vegan Alternatives to QV
QV has a lot of things going for it – it uses clean formulas that are mainly vegan to offer effective products at entry-level prices.
Unfortunately, it’s still not 100% vegan, nor does it have any clear sustainability initiatives.
It’s also not a brand that calls itself a proud cruelty-free entity.
So if you are vegan or a strong advocate of cruelty-free cosmetics, QV may not be the right brand.
Luckily, there are alternatives you can find that are certified cruelty-free and vegan.
Is QV Natural and Organic?
QV is not considered natural or organic. However, it claims to use safe and simple ingredients with as few irritants as possible in all its formulas.
Its whole ethos is to make gentle products for sensitive skin.
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.
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 QV 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.
A few ingredients QV uses to enhance its cosmetics include:
Does QV Use Safe Ingredients?
According to Skin Safe, QV has a 91-100% allergen-free ranking for each product.
For a brand whose whole ethos is centered around helping people with sensitive skin – these are the exact results we expected.
All QV products are free from SLS (sodium laurel sulfate), fragrance, color or dye, lanolin, and propylene glycol. Surprisingly – many of their formulas do contain petroleum-based ingredients, and certain ones still use parabens.
You’re in luck if you struggle with skin sensitivities because QV is one of the few easily accessible brands that are 100% hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.
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!
Unfortunately, much like the USA, Australia doesn’t have the strictest ingredient laws.
Even if QV follows strict ingredient guidelines and is highly transparent, here are some of the ingredients you really want to avoid for good measure:
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 really is no need.
If you’re interested, here’s more on the subject: Are Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Safe?
Is QV Sustainable and Ethical?
QV does not mention any sustainability or ethical initiatives on the website. It's disappointing to see this from a family-owned brand with company values of scientific innovation, quality, simplicity, and trust.
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.
QV’s parent company, Ego Pharmaceuticals, has partnered with various organizations to improve the recyclability of its products.
They also like to include the Australian Recycling Label (ARL) on as many products as possible to indicate what can be recycled and what can’t.
While we see a lot of talk about ethical initiatives such as committing to “no poverty” and “zero hunger,” – there’s little evidence to show what they’ve done to achieve these goals.
Ego’s ethical and sustainable initiatives seem to end there from what we can see.
Some of the ways QV could begin to take solid environmental accountability is by:
QV is a brand made for sensitive skin sufferers and may be just right for someone with allergies. They carefully research ingredients and formulas to help heal mild cases of eczema and chronic sensitivities.
The fact that they are cruelty-free is a step towards a more sustainable future in the personal care industry.
At this stage – we’d like to see more from QV. This includes:
So if you’re vegan and acutely aware of how cosmetic waste contributes to our enormous environmental issues, then QV might not be the best brand for you.
However, if you love this brand and want to see more from them – it doesn’t hurt to reach out and share your thoughts with them. The more people voice their opinions, the more likely we are to witness the change we want to see.