Sign up with your email address to be the first to know about new products, VIP offers, blog features & more.

Is ELF a vegan brand? (UPDATED 2019)

Posted on
This post may contain affiliate links.

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.


A post shared by e.l.f. Cosmetics (@elfcosmetics) on

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)



A post shared by e.l.f. Cosmetics (@elfcosmetics) on

2. ELF is NOT sold in Mainland China!

There have been some confusion about ELF making and selling their products in China and whether their products are required by law to be tested on animals.

In case you didn’t know, all imported cosmetics in Mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals.

However, ELF only manufactures their products in China, they don’t sell any of their products in China. There is a big difference when it comes to China’s animal testing laws that depends on whether you’re making or selling cosmetics in China.

Therefore ELF can manufacture their products in China but just as long as they are not selling in China, then they remain to be cruelty-free!

“our products are manufactured overseas, mainly in China. We have strict quality control procedures to ensure that our products are free from lead and hazardous materials. Please note that we do not sell our products in China, due to our cruelty free policy.” (ELF Cosmetics)



A post shared by e.l.f. Cosmetics (@elfcosmetics) on

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)



A post shared by e.l.f. Cosmetics (@elfcosmetics) on

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!

ELF Vegan Status (2019)

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.


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 Mainland China and they are cruelty-free!

All of ELF makeup products are considered vegan!

All of ELF skincare products are now considered vegan!

21 Responses
  • Sim
    January 13, 2019

    I recognize this is an old post, but I recently acquired a lipstick by e.l.f., to which the ingredient “beeswax” was listed on the makeup FYI. The lipstick did have the leaping bunny label.

    • Vicky Ly
      January 14, 2019

      Hi Sim,
      Would you be able to tell me which ELF lipstick you’re referring to? and what shade it was? I’ll have to look into this.
      And perhaps did it say “synthetic beeswax”? I know some of ELF’s lipsticks do contain synthetic beeswax which is considered vegan. But I’d be happy to look into this some more and update this post if some of ELF products use beeswax now.

      Also, please note that Leaping Bunny only implies the product and company does not test on animals. They do not look into whether products are vegan (do not contain any animal-derived ingredients) in order to become certified Leaping Bunny.

  • salma
    May 29, 2018

    Hi Vicky please tell me from where I can get elf original products

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *