Is ELF Cruelty-Free

Is ELF Cruelty-Free And Vegan?

Is E.L.F. cruelty-free? This is a question many makeup lovers have thought about since the brand launched in 2004. 

While many makeup brands tout their ethical practices these days, we can’t just take their word for it. According to the FDA, there are no legal definitions for “Animal-Friendly,” or “Cruelty-Free.” As a result, consumers have to dig a bit deeper to figure out where a brand stands.

Let’s take a look at how E.L.F. cosmetics operates and what the brand has to offer.

About E.L.F. Cosmetics

If you’re even remotely interested in makeup and cosmetic products, you’ve likely encountered E.L.F. at some point! The brand’s abbreviated namesake stands for “Eyes, Lips, Face,” which tells you all you need to know about what it offers.

The E.L.F. brand officially launched in 2004 with a modest collection of products. Thanks to its low price points, the company quickly flourished. It started selling products in big department chains and drugstores, which improved accessibility to makeup fans everywhere.

Today, E.L.F. offers hundreds of products at very affordable prices.

The Push for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

Generally, the concept of cruelty-free cosmetics focuses on animal welfare. For decades, cosmetics companies have tested products on animals before they hit store shelves. While many would argue that this is beneficial for the consumer, there are better alternatives that don’t put animal lives at risk.

In recent years, the push for animal welfare went from niche markets to a mainstream idea.

In 2017, the vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics market were worth over 12.9 billion dollars! In the years since the demand for ethically made makeup products has only risen. 

As a result, it’s not hard to find companies advertising themselves as cruelty-free. But as we said earlier, there are no legal definitions regarding animal cruelty. Unfortunately, that means that brands can adopt their own definition.

A company can technically call itself “cruelty-free” while still benefiting from animal testing. They could contract third-party testers or pay for suppliers to test on animals. This all occurs before it gets into the hands of the company. But, the products still played a part in unethical practices.

Where Does E.L.F. Stand?

We’re happy to say that E.L.F. cosmetics has a pretty clear stance on the topic of animal cruelty. 

According to the brand itself, it does not test on animals. Not only that, but it doesn’t endorse the practice. As a whole, the E.L.F. brand is vegan and cruelty-free.

None of its ingredients, formulas, or finishes are involved in the practice, making E.L.F. an ethical brand for conscientious shoppers.

E.L.F. Cruelty-Free Certifications

Despite the lack of legal definitions, there are a few organizations that certify brands based on their practices. 

Currently, E.L.F. cosmetics are certified by PETA, the leading animal welfare group. The E.L.F. brand is part of PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program. To become part of the program, E.L.F. had to verify that none of its suppliers conduct, commission, or allow animal testing.

E.L.F. has also worked closely with PETA in the past. It’s viewed favorably among the organization.

E.L.F. Suppliers

There’s not a ton of information about the brand’s suppliers, which may be a red flag for some. However, the company’s involvement in PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies and Caring Consumer Project helps to eliminate some of the worries. PETA has verified the validity of the E.L.F. cruelty-free claim, so you can rest easy knowing that suppliers did not test on animals either.

E.L.F. And China

All of the E.L.F. products are manufactured overseas. The brand primarily works with manufacturers in China. However, the brand does not sell any of its products in China. 

This is an important bit of information.

China is one of only a handful of countries in the world that still require cosmetic products to undergo animal testing before they hit store shelves. This presents a problem for brands with cruelty-free policies stateside.

The Chinese market is huge, so many brands will participate in animal testing just to sell there. We’re happy to say that E.L.F. is not one of those brands. It may manufacture there, but laws regarding manufacturing and selling in China are very different.


All in all, E.L.F. cosmetics is one of the best companies to purchase from if you’re looking to invest in cruelty-free brands. E.L.F. does not test any of its products on animals. Neither do its suppliers or manufacturers. The brand has a strong stance on the practice and is clearly very dedicated to staying that way!

Still have questions about E.L.F. cosmetics or their products? Leave us a comment!

Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with this brand. E.L.F. cosmetics is truly cruelty-free and ethical.

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