Tower 28 is a vibrant, beach-bum-inspired cosmetics brand that is the love child of beauty industry vets, makeup junkies, and skincare fanatics. But what are their cruelty-free and vegan promises? Here's what we found when we looked at the fine print.

Tower 28 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. Tower 28 is also 100% vegan – it doesn't use any animal-derived ingredients.

Many natural skin care products are harsh on your skin because of all the botanicals and essential oils they contain. Chronic eczema sufferer Amy Lui wanted to correct this, which is why she founded Tower 28 in 2019.

Tower 28 strives to make beauty products beyond clean. "We're just here to make some high-performance beauty products with a side of Good Clean Fun!" says their website.

The makeup brand specializes in formulas for ultra-sensitive skin with no irritants, no fillers, and no fragrances on their ingredients list. But they still manage to create premium, clean, color cosmetics.

As a Californian native, Liu named Tower 28 after the famous lifeguard tower in Santa Monica. The tower is a meeting place for locals and symbolizes the sense of community and clean living Tower 28 beauty wants to achieve.

Before deciding on what to buy, here's what you need to know about Tower 28's current animal testing policies, vegan ranges, formulation, and sustainability.

Is Tower 28 Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Tower 28 Cruelty-Free and Vegan Beauty

Tower 28 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.

Tower 28 is genuinely cruelty-free. It's currently PETA accredited and privately owned, so there are no concerns about parent companies having a history of animal testing.

Tower 28 has received funds from investors, but no additional information is shared on this venture capital backing.

This brings us to our next exciting point:

Tower 28 is Vegan

Hallelujah! This well-priced, non-comedogenic, sensitive-skin friendly cosmetics brand is entirely vegan. It does not use any animal-derived ingredients in any of its products.

However, it's worth knowing that Tower 28 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 both these ingredients pose many health benefits to your skin and wellbeing. They have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and are loaded with essential vitamins.
  • 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.
  • 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 – this essential protein plays an integral role in strengthening your skin and potentially help slow down the effects of aging when taken as a supplement. It does this by minimizing wrinkles and dryness.

If you're interested in which products are vegan or finding vegan brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: Tower 28 vegan products

Animal Testing Policy and History

Tower 28 is committed to creating clean, effective, and affordable cosmetics that are genuinely cruelty-free. Since the brand was founded a few years ago, this has been their policy.

Cruelty-Free Status in 2021

Here is a screenshot of Tower 28 official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products, taken from their website:

Tower 28 Cruelty-Free and Vegan


Tower 28 is currently PETA certified. However, it would be nice to see more certification from Tower 28 since it's a proudly cruelty-free brand.

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 little PETA bunny stamp at 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 Tower 28 Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Tower 28 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 Tower 28 Products

Tower 28 has a great range of vegan products that keeps growing. It prides itself in developing products with your needs and the planet in mind.

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

  • Sunny Days SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation
  • SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray
  • Shine On Milky Lip Jelly- Allure Best Of Beauty 2021 Winner
  • Beach Please Luminous Tinted Balm
  • Bronzino Luminating Cream Bronzer

You can find everything on the website for a complete list of Tower 28 vegan products, you can find everything on the website.

Vegan Alternatives to Tower 28

Overall, Tower 28 is a fantastic vegan brand that we love. They have a clean track record and noteworthy transparency with their consumers.

They're also well priced and suitable for all kinds of skin.

The only downside is that Tower 28 isn't easily accessible if you live outside the United States.

So if you're struggling to get your hands on some of these lovely products – you should definitely take a look at these alternatives:

Is Tower 28 Natural and Organic? 

Tower 28 does claim to use safe, simple, and clean ingredients. However, it is not considered natural or organic.

The product philosophy at Tower 28 is to make color cosmetics for sensitive skin when natural ingredients are too harsh. So the brand will use synthetic substitutes in these cases that are gentler on the 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 a good thing. 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 Tower 28 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.

Does Tower 28 Use Safe Ingredients?

According to Skin Safe, Tower 28 has a 91% allergen-free ranking for all its product.

All of their products are free of irritants, allergens, and preservatives, including synthetic or natural fragrances, essential oils, talc, mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin, urea, hydroquinone, formaldehyde, phthalates, SLS, toluene, PEGs, parabens, or propylene glycol.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Tower 28 has an extensive list of ingredients that they will not put into their products.

"We're all about being inclusive, but these ingredients don't make the cut," says their website.  

If you've got delicate skin, then Tower 28 is for you. It's 100% hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, but we still recommend reading any beauty product's ingredient list before making a purchase, so you buy what your skin needs.

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 Tower 28 has chosen to comply with EU harmful ingredient regulations – you don't need to worry too much. But it's still worth mentioning that with skincare and cosmetics, you want to avoid these ingredients:
  • Butylated compounds,
  • Benzophenone compounds,
  • Triclosan,
  • Phenoxyethanol,
  • Formaldehyde, and
  • Lead or other heavy metals.

Tower 28 has an extensive No-No List of ingredients they will never use. They include some of the ingredients above, but click here for a full list.

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 Tower 28 Sustainable and Ethical? 

Tower 28 has some strong sustainability and ethical initiatives. One of the company values is 'kaizen,' a Japanese phrase meaning "continuous improvement" or "change for the better."

For Tower 28, 2021 was the year of sustainability with many improvements.

As it stands, the brand:

  • Helps create ethically developed products.
  • Focuses on lessening the impact it has on the planet.
  • Strives to do more to help people.

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 Tower 28 is taking strong environmental accountability is by:

  • Being 100% palm oil-free (which really helps protect our vulnerable forests).
  • Following responsible MICA mining policies that prove they source the mineral ethically.
  • Using recycled paper boxes and recyclable plastic padding in all mailing sleeves for shipping.
  • Incorporating post-consumer resin (recycled plastic) in all plastic packaging.
  • Using paperboard for secondary packaging made from 100% FSC certified post-consumer waste fibers. (If it's necessary.)
  • Having minimal packaging by omitting mirrors, false bottoms, pans, and paper inserts.
  • Using a carbon-neutral packaging printer with the goal of being 100% carbon neutral goal by 2022.
  • Printing with low-VOC plant-based inks.
  • Co-working in an energy-saving, water-efficient, CO2 emission-reducing building certified by LEED.
  • Making donations made to Heal The Bay, a marine conversation fund.

Final Thoughts

Tower 28 has a beautiful product range and well-thought-out ethical and sustainability policies for such a young brand. It's also founded by a female BICOP and is independently owned, which is very rare.

Tower 28 is 100% vegan, making it a good choice for activists.

The fact that they are also cruelty-free is a step toward a more sustainable future in cosmetics ­– but we'd love to see additional accreditation.

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

This young brand is a gem that listens to your needs, so keep following its movements.

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