Is Tata Harper Cruelty-Free and Vegan? (And Is It Worth the $$$)

June 26, 2022

Tata Harper is known for its luxurious, natural, and non-toxic skincare. It was developed for anyone who refuses to compromise their health in the name of beauty. But do they really help everyone and everything? We dug around to see if they live up to their cruelty-free and vegan claims.

Tata Harper is cruelty-free. It doesn't conduct animal testing on its products nor distribute its cosmetics where animal testing is required by law. While Tata Harper does offer a range of vegan cosmetics, it is not considered a vegan brand.

Tata Harper was founded by the couple Tata and Henry Harper in 2010 on their 1,200-acre organic farm in Vermont. While this may sound like a dream story – it has an emotive start.

Tata decided to launch a clean skincare brand after her stepfather was diagnosed with cancer. During this time, she realized how difficult it was to find high-quality personal care items that weren’t filled with toxins.

Here is what the brand states about its policies:

“No outsourcing.
No shortcuts.
We do it all ourselves. With our own people. On our own farm.
We are a real skincare company.”

It’s no surprise that Tata Harper has become a global success. But surely, with such a rigid process, they should be 100% cruelty-free and vegan? Where do they fall short?

Here’s what we found.

Is Tata Harper Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Tata Harper Cruelty-free Beauty

Tata Harper 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.

Tata Harper is proudly cruelty-free, and we love to see its passion behind the subject.

The brand is even certified by Leaping Bunny – the only internationally recognized certification that guarantees a brand is cruelty-free. 

The brand is also privately owned and funded, so there are no concerns about pesky parent companies with histories of animal testing.

This brings us to our next point:

Tata Harper is Not Vegan

Tata Harper is not vegan, but it does have an extensive range of vegan products from which to choose.

Unfortunately, you cannot find these products easily as they are not clearly labeled or categorized.

If you search for vegan products on the website, you’ll only find a few things labeled vegan in their product description and not all the vegan products available.

Some of the most common animal-derived ingredients that Tata Harper uses are:

  • 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?
  • Yogurt Powder – this ingredient, like honey and beeswax, is used in skincare and cosmetics because it is incredibly hydrating.

    The probiotics in yogurt also relieve redness, and the lactic acid improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

But if you’re a vegan, we’ve got you covered! Find all of Tata Harper’s vegan products or vegan brand alternatives here: Tata Harper vegan products.

Animal Testing Policy and History

Tata Harper has been committed to creating clean, effective, and non-toxic 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 Tata Harper’s official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products, taken from its website:

Tata Harper Cruelty-Free Website Claim


Tata Harper is Leaping Bunny certified through Cruelty-Free International and part of PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program.

While you might know PETA very well – it surprisingly doesn’t hold the strictest cruelty-free regulations. It only requires 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, is 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 Tata Harper Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Tata Harper does not distribute its products to China or any country requiring animal testing on cosmetics by law.

However, it may ship directly to eager shoppers in China via its website and Amazon.

Doing your shopping online in China is a great way to avoid animal testing because these items go directly to consumers’ homes. They are not opened or tested at customs.

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 Tata Harper Products Are Vegan?

Tata Harper uses beeswax, honey, carmine, and yogurt powder in some of its products but has an extensive range of vegan products.

Even its Green Beauty Brush, made to apply masks, uses animal-free synthetic fibers.

But we’ve decided to save you some painstaking time trying to work through each scientifically-labeled ingredient in each product.

Here is a list of some of Tata Harper’s most popular and award-winning products to choose from:

  • Resurfacing Mask
  • Restorative Eye Cream
  • Regenerating Cleanser
  • Rejuvenating Serum
  • Créme Riche

Unfortunately, Tata Harper does not have a dedicated vegan page. Searching ‘vegan’ does not bring all the vegan products up either. Once you click on the product, you’ll see the word vegan in the first line of the product description.

Vegan Alternatives to Tata Harper 

Overall, Tata Harper is an excellent option for vegans that want to indulge in clean luxury cosmetics.

We love the brand's clean track record and transparency with its consumers.

But if you will not support a brand that isn't entirely vegan – Tata Harper might not be your first choice.

Here are some similar alternatives that you may enjoy. The brand is also on the expensive side, so we’ve listed some more affordable options too:

Is Tata Harper Natural and Organic? 

Tata Harper does use organic and natural ingredients. They also have Eco-Cert certification that evaluates the natural and organic content of formulas, and the environmental impact of manufacture and packaging.

The term "organic" is regulated by the USDA. It means an ingredient is free of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or non-organic substances.

However, the term “natural” is much less regulated for cosmetics and skincare. In other words, it doesn't hold one specific meaning.

So what does it mean when a brand labels itself as “natural”?

Clean vs. Natural Ingredients

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" doesn't mean it's good for you. Take gluten, for example. It's a natural protein in wheat that certain people are highly allergic to. Even topical application can lead to terrible health issues.

Tata Harper does not use synthetic chemicals. If you’d like to find out more about the alternatives they use instead, follow this link.

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 Tata Harper uses to enhance its cosmetics include:

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

    As we age, we produce less hyaluronic acid – making it an essential ingredient in our beauty products.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids provide gentle chemical exfoliation to remove dead skin cells from the skin's surface. Plant-based sources include fermented rice powder, hibiscus flower, fruit acids, and sugar acids.
  • Seaweed extract has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties. It also protects and supports your skin's repair process while feeding it many valuable vitamins and minerals.

Does Tata Harper Use Safe Ingredients?

According to Skin Safe, Tata Harper has an 82- 95% allergen-free ranking across 45 products.

All Tata Harper products are free from GMOs, toxins, fillers, synthetic chemicals, article fragrances, and colors.

And many products are also free of allergens such as top common preservatives, MCI/MI, gluten, nickel, soy, and dyes.

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

The EU/UK Have Stricter Ingredient Regulations

As a conscientious shopper, you must read up on any brand's ingredient list before making a purchase – especially if you live in 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!

You can understand why Tata Harper was driven to develop a clean beauty brand!

Although you’re unlikely to ever come across nasty toxins in Tata Harper’s products, here are some of the ingredients you really want to avoid with skincare (just for good measure):

  • DEA, MEA, and TEA
  • DMDM Hydantoin and urea (that often release formaldehyde)
  • PEG (Polyethylene glycol)
  • PhthalatesPropylene 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 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 Tata Harper Sustainable and Ethical? 

Sustainability and ethics are at the heart of Tata Harpers principles. The more we found out – the more we loved what they stood for.

Their concept of “farm-to-face” beauty means they grow many of the ingredients they use on their own organic farm. This helps reduce the transport of raw materials and reduce the ethical issues faced in many complex supply chains.

What Tata Harper can’t grow is sourced as ethically as possible and backed up with Eco-Cert certification.  

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 Tata Harper is taking strong environmental accountability is by:

  • Using glass for most of their packaging, with plastic used only when necessary. All their cosmetic tubes are sugarcane-derived.
  • 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.
  • Using Responsibly Sourced Palm Oil (RSPO certified).
  • Having highly responsible and ethical mica mining policies to prevent any associations with child labor.
  • Ensuring that they keep their carbon emissions as low as possible.
  • Limiting manufacturing to avoid excess products in landfills.Having one refillable product with the goal to expand to the full range.
  • Developing sustainable packaging made with FSC-certified paper and PCR resin.
  • Using soy-based ink on any paper, they print.

Final Thoughts

Tata Harper is a conscientious skincare brand that strives to meet high standards of ethics and sustainability.

The fact that they are cruelty-free is a step towards a more sustainable future in the beauty industry, especially the luxury market.

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 Tata Harper is not 100% vegan – it might not be the best choice for activists who go the extra mile. We hope that, in time, they find natural alternatives to bee products, carmine, and yogurt.

But we wouldn't shut it down so quickly if we were you. This brand is constantly developing and listening to your needs, so keep following its movements.

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