Is Drunk Elephant Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

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Is Drunk Elephant Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Drunk Elephant is an award-winning and natural skincare brand. All of Drunk Elephant skincare products are made without, what they call the Suspicious 6: essential oils, drying alcohols, silicons, chemical screens, fragrance/dyes and SLS, making their products appropriate for all skin types. But is Drunk Elephant cruelty-free and vegan?

Is Drunk Elephant Cruelty-Free?

Yes, Drunk Elephant is Cruelty-free! None of Drunk Elephant’s ingredients, formulations, or finished products are tested on animals, anywhere in the world.

Drunk Elephant is also certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.

However, it should be noted that Drunk Elephant is now owned by Shiseido, a parent corporation that tests on animals when required by law.

Drunk Elephant has confirmed they do not conduct or commission animal testing on their products or ingredients, their suppliers also do not test on animals, and their products are not sold in a physical retail store in mainland China and therefore they’re not required by law to test on animals.

Below is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Drunk Elephant’s website:

Drunk Elephant Animal Testing Policy

Shiseido Acquires Drunk Elephant

In October 2019, Shiseido acquired Drunk Elephant. Shiseido is not a cruelty-free corporation as they do currently test on animals when required by law. However, Drunk Elephant states they will remain committed to staying and being cruelty-free even after the acquisition.

Is Drunk Elephant Sold in China?

There were concerns about Drunk Elephant selling in China where animal testing is required by law. However, they cleared the air by stating that their products are only sold in Hong Kong where animal testing is not required and other than Hong Kong, their products are not sold in a physical store in mainland China and that they only sell their products online to their customers in mainland China.

Here is how Drunk Elephant explains it:

We are so thrilled to be in China! However, if you’re asking about animal testing, let’s be clear: That is something we would never do. Hong Kong SAR does not require animal testing. That is the only place where we are selling in retail (via @SephoraHK). In mainland China, we are using cross border e-commerce which does not require the same registration process as cosmetics sold via retail there. We are Leaping Bunny Program Certified, and have never, nor will we ever, animal test or allow our products to be tested on animals. ❤️

If you’re not familiar with China’s animal testing laws, there’s a lot to understand here.

Drunk Elephant Sold Only in Stores in Hong Kong – Hong Kong is not part of mainland China. So Hong Kong does not have the same animal testing requirements as mainland China. In fact, Hong Kong does not require imported cosmetics to be tested on animals. This is how Drunk Elephant is able to sell their products in stores only in Hong Kong while remaining to be cruelty-free.

Drunk Elephant Not Sold in Stores in Mainland China – Drunk Elephant has confirmed that none of their products are sold in a physical retail store in mainland China. So, just as long as Drunk Elephant does not sell their products in any mainland China stores, then they are not required to test on animals.

Drunk Elephant Available to Buy Online in China – Cosmetics that are bought online and then shipped directly to the customer in China are not required by law to be tested on animals. This is exactly what Drunk Elephant is doing, their products are available to buy in mainland China but online only and therefore they are able to remain cruelty-free.

In summary, Drunk Elephant products are sold in-stores in Hong Kong only, and not in mainland China, and they’re available to buy online, therefore Drunk Elephant is not required by law to test on animals in China.

Drunk Elephant is included on our List of Cruelty-Free Brands.

You can find products at Sephora, Cult Beauty, and Amazon.

Is Drunk Elephant Vegan?

Not all of Drunk Elephant’s products are vegan as some of their products contain beeswax, honey, and/or seashell derivatives. However, Drunk Elephant does have some vegan options.

Please reference below for a list of Drunk Elephant vegan products.

Which of Drunk Elephant Products is Vegan?

Below is a list of Drunk Elephant products that are suitable for vegans and do not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products, and instead, utilize only those of either plant or synthetic origin.

You can also find out which of their products are vegan as they’re labelled accordingly on their website under each product description.


Body Care

Hair Care

This vegan product list is updated as frequently as possible, please be aware that formulations may have changed since the publication of this post. If you have new information to suggest one of the above products isn’t vegan, please email me at to let me know.

Not Vegan – Drunk Elephant

The following products do contain ingredients of animal-derived origin and therefore are not suitable for vegans:

  • C-Firma Day Serum (contains acetyl glucosamine, derived from seashells) – not vegan
  • Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30 (contains acetyl glucosamine, derived from seashells) – not vegan
  • Umbra Tinte Physical Defense SPF 30 (contains acetyl glucosamine, derived from seashells) – not vegan
  • Lippe (contains beeswax) – not vegan
  • Pekee Bar (contains honey) – not vegan

Is Drunk Elephant Ethical?

Based in: US

Products made in: Drunk Elephant products are designed, tested and made in the United States.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any public information on Drunk Elephant’s sustainability, environmental, and social initiatives.

Eco-Friendly Packaging Initiatives: Packaging is not recyclable, Drunk Elephant stating, “unfortunately, at this time, in order to protect our formulations, the pumps available are not recyclable.”

Ingredients and Formulations Claims: All of Drunk Elephant are made without The “Suspicious 6” which includes silicones, essential oils, chemical screens, SLS, drying alcohols, and fragrance/dyes. Drunk Elephant products are also Paraben-Free.

And Drunk Elephant does not claim their products are Gluten-Free, explaining “as none of our products are produced in dedicated gluten-free facilities, we do not make this claim in association with our products.”

Have you tried anything from Drunk Elephant before?

What do you think?

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  • Maria Gabriela Andrade
    March 18, 2019

    I will always support companies that are straightforward with their information rather than sugarcoating it. Drunk Elephant has just scored high on my skincare product consideration.

  • Vicky Q
    November 6, 2017

    Why does the Sephora website say that C-Firma is vegan? I previously reached out to DE and they gave me the same list as you and C-Firma was not vegan because of the seashells. They should not market it as vegan on Sephora!

    • Vicky Ly
      November 8, 2017

      That’s so frustrating!!! Typically resellers will use the product description provided by the company so I’m not sure if there’s a first edition of the C-Firma that was considered vegan at one point.. but nonetheless, Sephora should definitely update their description to avoid confusing shoppers! Reasons like this is why there needs to be some regulation on what’s allowed to be labelled as VEGAN!

      • Sofi
        March 25, 2019

        Do you know if they are also Cruelty Free? It would be a great choice for skin care then!!!! Thanks!

“Make ethical choices in what we buy, do, and watch. In a consumer-driven society our individual choices, used collectively for the good of animals and nature, can change the world faster than laws.”― Marc Bekoff

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