ELF cosmetics is known for their affordable but high-quality makeup products. I’m always recommending ELF as a cruelty-free drugstore brand but lately I’ve been hearing some compassionate shoppers question ELF’s cruelty-free status and asking whether ELF products are actually vegan?
Which is totally understandable as ELF has evolved and expanded their products in the last couple years so I thought I’d clarify everything up in this post!
4 Things to Know About ELF
In an effort to keep things as simple and straight forward as possible, here are the basic facts that you need to know about ELF’s cruelty-free and vegan status.
1. All ELF brushes are synthetic and vegan!
In 2016, ELF announced they were planning to discontinue their makeup brushes that were made out of horse hair and switching to animal-free makeup brushes instead.
“it is possible that some old brushes remain in the market. We believe these to be extremely limited in number. We are very proud that all of our high quality brushes are now made with 100% synthetic, cruelty-free fibers and are vegan-friendly.“ (ELF Cosmetics)
2. ELF is NOT sold in-stores in Mainland China!
There has been some confusion about ELF making and selling their products in China and whether those products are required by law to be tested on animals.
China’s animal testing laws for cosmetics can be confusing. But here’s the breakdown:
All imported cosmetics that are sold in-stores in mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals. This only applies to cosmetics that are sold in a physical store in mainland China. Cosmetics that are sold to Chinese customers online and then shipped to them directly are not required by law to be tested on animals.
So in the case of ELF Cosmetics, their products are only sold online and not actually in-stores in China, therefore they are not required to test on animals.
“e.l.f. is committed to being 100% cruelty-free and vegan. e.l.f. is only sold online, and not in stores, within China. All products that we sell within China are not tested on animals (and do not require animal testing under Chinese regulations).”
But aren’t ELF products made in China? ELF can make their products in China but just as long as they are not selling in-stores in mainland China, they can remain to be cruelty-free!
When it comes to China’s animal testing laws, the big difference between making or selling cosmetics in China will determine whether they require animal testing.
3. All ELF Makeup is Vegan!
It is indeed true that all of ELF makeup products are considered to be vegan and do not contain any animal-derived ingredients!
“You can find all e.l.f. ingredients indicated on the packaging of our products as well as on our website. All ingredients used in e.l.f. cosmetics are vegan friendly, safe and meet F.D.A requirements. Ingredients are listed on our website as well as on the packaging of our products.” (ELF Cosmetics)
4. But Is ELF Skincare Vegan?
*Update (2019): ELF Cosmetics has now confirmed that all of their products, including makeup and skincare, do not contain any animal ingredients and are considered vegan!
This is where it gets complicated. In 2016, ELF launched their new skincare collection but there was no official word on whether the entire skincare collection was considered vegan-friendly. When I reached out to ELF and specifically asked about their skincare products, I received a cookie-cutter email response saying again, like the above response, “All ingredients used in e.l.f. cosmetics are vegan friendly.” This is confusing because I don’t know if they’re using the word “cosmetics” as part of their brand name, which implies all of their products are vegan, or if they’re trying to say only their cosmetics are vegan friendly? So is it, All ingredients used in “e.l.f. cosmetics” are vegan friendly. or All ingredients used in e.l.f. “cosmetics” are vegan friendly. I’ve tried to ask for clarifications but was told, “Our products do not contain gluten or beeswax.” For the time being, it is unknown if all of ELF skincare products are vegan but you can rest assured ELF makeup are vegan.
- All ELF brushes are now synthetic and vegan!
- ELF products are NOT sold in-stores in Mainland China and do not require animal testing
- All of ELF makeup products are considered vegan!
- All of ELF skincare products are now considered vegan!