A skincare line founded by two beauty influencers sounds like the ultimate millennial entrepreneurship dream. Enter Summer Fridays. This brand has a cute name and even cuter product packaging. Join us on a deep dive to see if it's cruelty-free and vegan.

Summer Fridays 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. Summer Fridays is also 100% vegan – it doesn't use any animal-derived ingredients.

US-based Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Ireland founded Summer Fridays in 2018.

After years of product testing, they still couldn't find skincare that had it all. They wanted products that were easy to use, clean, immediately satisfying, and pretty.

So the Instagram influencers decided to make them. To date, they've made an estimated $4.8 million of revenue, according to Yahoo Finance Australia.

Before deciding whether to buy, here's what you need to know about Summer Friday's current animal testing policies, vegan ranges, formulation, and sustainability.

Is Summer Fridays Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Summer Fridays 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.

Summer Fridays are Leaping Bunny certified – the only internationally recognized certification that guarantees a brand is cruelty-free.

Our research shows that the brand is also independently owned as it has never been associated with animal testing.

This brings us to our next point:

Summer Fridays is Vegan

Jump for joy – this well-priced skincare brand is 100% vegan! It does not use any animal-derived ingredients in any of its products.

However, it's worth knowing that Summer Fridays 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?
  • 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.
  • Collagen  an essential protein that plays an integral role in strengthening your hair as well as firming and strengthening the roots.

    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.

If you're interested in which products are vegan or finding vegan brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: Summer Fridays vegan products

Animal Testing Policy and History

Summer Fridays has always been committed to creating clean, effective, and beautiful cosmetics that are also cruelty-free. This has been Hewitt and Ireland’s intention since they founded the brand, and now they’ve got the accreditation to prove it.

Cruelty-Free Status in 2021

Here is a screenshot of Summer Friday's official certification from the Leaping Bunny website proving it's cruelty-free accredited. 

Summer Fridays Cruelty Free Statement Leaping Bunny


Summer Fridays is Leaping Bunny certified.

While you might know PETA very well – it surprisingly doesn't hold the strictest cruelty-free regulations out there. 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 Summer Fridays Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Summer Fridays 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 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? 

The Best Vegan Summer Friday Products

Summer Friday has a great range of vegan products that continues to expand. It prides itself in developing a product with you (the consumer) and the planet in mind.

To save you some time, here are some of its most popular skincare products:

  • Jet Lag Mask
  • Dream Oasis Deep Hydration Serum
  • Light Aura Vitamin C + Peptide Eye Cream
  • CC Me Serum with Vitamin C + Niacinamide
  • Cloud Dew Oil Free Gel Cream Moisturizer

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

Vegan Alternatives to Summer Fridays

Overall, Summer Fridays is an excellent option for vegans and provides vegan products that other brands haven't cared to try yet.

They have a clean track record and noteworthy transparency with their consumers. For a multi-million dollar brand – it's commendable.

It's 100% cruelty-free, vegan, and users claim it to be effective.

But if the brand is not easily accessible to you, or is out of your price range, here are some alternatives for you to try:

Is Summer Fridays Natural and Organic?

Summer Fridays does claim to use safe, simple, and clean ingredients. However, it does not market itself as natural or organic.

In saying that, it does have a pretty extensive list of "harmful" ingredients, it won't use. And it also produces all its products at a facility in Salt Lake City specializing in natural and organic beauty.

So what does Summer Friday use to make its products?

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.

For Summer Fridays, it means a bit of 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!

Most products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas, and Summer Fridays is no exception, but it chooses 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.

"For some products to be effective, you do have to have some [synthetic] ingredients in there, but they have to be the cleanest of options. There are definitely products that are amazing that have certain things [that are man-made], and people see a word and get afraid," says Lauren Gores in an exclusive interview with BeautyInc.

A few naturally-derived Summer Fridays uses to enhance its cosmetics include:

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

    As we get older, we produce less hyaluronic acid – making it an essential ingredient in our beauty products.

  • Plant-derived squalene is protective, anti-inflammatory, and has moisturizing properties. It acts as a strong barrier that is useful against air pollution in almost all environments.

  • Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 has line-relaxing and firming properties. It also boosts the skin’s natural collagen production to help combat aging.

Does Summer Fridays Use Safe Ingredients?

According to Skin Safe, Summer Fridays has an 82-91% allergen-free ranking for each product – this is excellent.

All Summer Fridays products are free of parabens, sulfates, nickel, MCI/MI, and topical antibiotics. They're also almost entirely free of lanolin, coconut, dye, soy, gluten, propylene glycol, and topical antibiotics.

Reading the ingredient list is crucial because Summer Fridays is not 100% hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic, and they do not claim to be.

However, many of their products cater to 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, on the other hand, has banned 1,328!

Although Summer Fridays uses clean ingredients – you always need to check your labels!

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 that are 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, if not safer, than 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 Summer Fridays Sustainable and Ethical? 

Summer Fridays does not claim to be a highly sustainable and ethical company, and they don't market themselves as such.

That said, the skincare house:

  • Uses eco-friendly packaging.
  • Ensures all its products are made with recyclable materials.
  • Has an active recycling program that you can access via their website.
  • Explains how to recycle packaging on the website product pages.
  • Doesn't use any synthetic microbeads in its current exfoliants that pollute our oceans.
  • Has a track record of making donations to Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Black Lives Matter, and Minnesota Freedom Fund.

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 Summer Fridays could take stronger environmental accountability is by:

  • Using more natural ingredients and biodegradable formulas that are kinder to the environment.
  • Either using Responsibly Sourced Palm Oil (RSPO certified) or not using palm oil at all.
  • Having responsible MICA mining policies and proving they source the mineral ethically.
  • Providing the option for refillable cosmetics (which is slightly difficult in their current packaging).
  • Having green initiatives like net-zero greenhouse gas emission policy, carbon-neutral shipping, or renewable energy use in manufacturing.
  • Using sustainably sourced paper (FSC certified) and PCR (post-consumer recycled paper).
  • Addressing the social welfare of their manufacturing workers and improving supply chain transparency.
  • Actively working towards bridging the pay gap.

Final Thoughts

Summer Fridays is pretty impressive for a brand that is only four years old. We love that the products have been cruelty-free and vegan from the start AND Leaping Bunny certified.

If Summer Fridays start implementing various ethical and environmental factors it could become the ultimate skincare brand.

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

A transparent supply chain and being open to the public about its sustainability policies would go a long way. Summer Fridays might not be the best choice for social and environmental activists who go the extra mile.

If you want a support an independently female-owned brand and maybe get some of their dreamy products to grace your bathroom cabinets – keep telling them what you want to see!

The best thing about millennial-run brands is that they’re more likely to listen to you if you reach out. They know how important it is to shape products around your needs (instead of telling you what you need).

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