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Desert Essence is Cruelty-Free
Desert Essence has confirmed they do not test their products or ingredients on animals or ask others to test on their behalf. Their suppliers also do not test on animals, nor do they allow their products to be tested on animals when required by law. And finally, their products are not sold in stores in mainland China or any other country that may require animal testing.
By our standards, we would consider Desert Essence to be Cruelty-Free.
Below is a screenshot of Desert Essence’s official animal testing statement:
What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?
As of May 1, 2021, some imported ordinary cosmetics can be exempt from animal testing under certain conditions. However, for the most part, animal testing is still legally required for most imported cosmetics in 2021.
But Desert Essence has confirmed they do not sell their products in retail stores in mainland China; therefore, they are not required to test on animals.
Note that there is no legal definition for the label ‘Cruelty-Free.‘ It can mean different things to different people. But Cruelty-Free is generally used to imply no animal testing. More specifically, the ingredients, formulation, or finished product are not tested on animals at any stage of product development.
At ethical elephant, we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, and by any third parties.
Also, note that Cruelty-Free and Vegan don’t always mean the same thing.
Desert Essence is Not 100% Vegan
‘Vegan’ in cosmetics can refer to an entire brand that is 100% Vegan or a specific product is vegan.
In the case of Desert Essence, not all of their products are vegan. But they have some products that are suitable for vegans.
How to know which of Desert Essence products are vegan?
All of Desert Essence’s vegan products are clearly marked on their website.
The following is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Desert Essence’s official website about its vegan products:
Desert Essence Vegan Product List
The following Desert Essence products are suitable for vegans and do not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.
- Activated Charcoal Toothpaste
- Aloe and Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste
- Arnica and Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste
- Neem Toothpaste- Cinnamint
- Pink Himalayan Salt and Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste
- Tea Tree Oil & Neem Toothpaste
- Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste – Fennel
- Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste – Mint
- Ultra Care Toothpaste – Mega Mint
- Whitening Plus Toothpaste – Cool Mint
- Coconut Oil Dual Phase Pulling Rinse
- Coconut Oil Mouthwash
- Neem Mouthwash Cinnamint
- Tea Tree Oil Mouthwash
- Ultra Care Mouthwash – Mega Mint
- Whitening Plus Mouthwash – Cool Mint
- Coconut Shampoo
- Fragrance Free Shampoo
- Green Apple & Ginger Shampoo
- Island Mango Shampoo
- Italian Lemon Shampoo
- Italian Red Grape Shampoo
- Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo
- Red Raspberry Shampoo
- Smoothing Shampoo
- Tea Tree Replenishing Shampoo
- Coconut Conditioner
- Fragrance Free Conditioner
- Green Apple & Ginger
- Italian Lemon Conditioner
- Italian Red Grape Conditioner
- Island Mango Conditioner
- Lemon Tea Tree Conditioner
- Red Raspberry Conditioner
- Smoothing Conditioner
Vegan Hair Styling Products
- Coconut Hair Defrizzer and Heat Protector
- Coconut Shine & Refine Hair Lotion
- Coconut Soft Curls Hair Cream
- Smoothing Primer
Bath & Body
Vegan Bar Soaps
- Creamy Coconut Soap Bar
- Exfoliating Lemon Soap Bar
- Island Mango Soap Bar
- Lavender Soap Bar
- Lemongrass Soap Bar
- Peppermint Soap Bar
Vegan Body and Hand Wash
- Bulgarian Lavender Body Wash
- Castile Liquid Soap
- Coconut Body Wash
- Fragrance Free Body Wash
- Green Apple & Ginger Body Wash
- Spicy Vanilla Chai Body Wash
- Sweet Almond Body Wash
Vegan Body Care
- 100% Pure Jojoba Oil
- Bulgarian Lavender Hand & Body Lotion
- Coconut Hand & Body Lotion
- Coconut Lime Hand & Body Lotion
- Fragrance Free Hand and Body Lotion
- Island Mango Hand & Body Lotion
- Italian Lemon Hand & Body Lotion
- Jojoba & Sunflower Body Oil
- Jojoba, Coconut & Chamomile Body Oil
- Moringa, Jojoba, & Rose Hip Oil
- Organic Coconut & Jojoba Oil
- Organic Coconut, Jojoba, & Coffee Oil
- Organic Jojoba Oil
- Perfect Pistachio Foot Repair Cream
- Pumpkin Spice Hand Repair Cream
- Spicy Vanilla Chai Hand & Body Lotion
- Sweet Almond Hand & Body Lotion
- Tropical Coconut Hand & Body Lotion
- Dry by Nature Deodorant
- Lemon Tea Tree Deodorant
- Spring Fresh Deodorant
- Tea Tree Oil Deodorant with Lavender
- Tropical Breeze Deodorant
- Creamy Oil Cleanser
- Gentle Nourishing Organic Cleanser
- Gentle Stimulating Facial Scrub
- Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Pads
- Thoroughly Clean Face Wash – Original
- Thoroughly Clean Face Wash with Sea Kelp
Vegan Moisturizers & Oils
- 100% Australian Tea Tree Oil
- Balancing Face Oil
- Blemish Touch Stick
- Daily Essential Moisturizer
- Eco-Harvest® Tea Tree Oil
- Kinder To Skin Australian Tea Tree Oil
- Relief Spray
- Organic Tea Tree Oil
- Restorative Face Oil
- Revitalizing Oils Moisturizer
NOT VEGAN – DESERT ESSENCE
The following Desert Essence products are NOT vegan as they contain some animal-derived ingredients:
- Anti-Breakage Conditioner (contains keratin) – not vegan
- Anti-Breakage Hair Mask (contains keratin) – not vegan
- Anti-Breakage Shampoo (contains keratin) – not vegan
- Lip Rescue™ SPF 30 Lip Balm (contains beeswax) – not vegan
- Lip Rescue Moisturizing (contains beeswax) – not vegan
- Lip Rescue Therapeutic (contains beeswax) – not vegan
- Lip Rescue Ultra Hydrating (contains beeswax) – not vegan
- Tea Tree Oil Dental Floss (contains beeswax) – not vegan
- Tea Tree Oil Dental Tape (contains beeswax) – not vegan
- Tea Tree Oil Skin Ointment (contains beeswax) – not vegan
- Tea Tree Replenishing Conditioner (contains keratin) – not vegan
Similar to ‘Cruelty-Free,’ there is no standard or legal definition for the label ‘Vegan.’ But it’s usually used in the context to describe something that doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.
Some common animal products used in cosmetics include carmine, lanolin, snail mucus, beeswax, honey, pearl or silk-derived ingredients, animal-based glycerin, keratin, and squalene.
There are plant-based and synthetic alternatives to animal-derived ingredients. But it’s sometimes difficult to know with certainty whether a product is vegan just by reading the ingredient list.
So it’s best to ask the company and manufacturers to ensure the ingredients they’ve chosen to use were from non-animal sources.