Charlotte Tilbury (Puig)

Last Updated: March 18, 2023

How Ethical Is Charlotte Tilbury (Puig)?

Make a positive impact by supporting companies with the same values and ethics as what matters most to you. To navigate and find ethical brands, here's a summary of Charlotte Tilbury's ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Charlotte Tilbury cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Charlotte Tilbury’s policies.
Charlotte Tilbury is *cruelty-free, but Charlotte Tilbury is owned by Puig, a parent company that is NOT cruelty-free.
Charlotte Tilbury sells some of its general cosmetics in China. But these products are produced domestically and animal testing is not required.
Not all of Charlotte Tilbury’s products are vegan, but they have some vegan options.
Charlotte Tilbury claims its working on “using only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) ingredients from segregated supply chains; achieving mass balance.” See their responsible palm oil sourcing policy here.
Charlotte Tilbury claims their mica is ethically sourced without child labor. See their ethical mica mining policy here.
Some of Charlotte Tilbury’s product packaging is made of plastic materials. However, Charlotte Tilbury offers a recycling program in partnership with HANDLE. Charlotte Tilbury also offers several refillable makeup and skincare products.

About Charlotte Tilbury (Puig)

Charlotte Tilbury is an award-winning makeup & skincare brand created by one of the world’s top makeup artists.
PRODUCTS MADE IN: Italy, Japan, China, France
PRODUCTS: Skincare, Makeup, Makeup Brushes

Charlotte Tilbury (Puig)

This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

Is Charlotte Tilbury Cruelty-Free?

🐰 Charlotte Tilbury is a *cruelty-free brand. None of Charlotte Tilbury’s ingredients or products are tested on animals. Charlotte Tilbury has met all the criteria in our Cruelty-Free Checklist and is included in our Cruelty-Free Directory.

Does Charlotte Tilbury Test on Animals?

When asking, does Charlotte Tilbury test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Charlotte Tilbury’s ingredients or suppliers test on animals. And they don’t sell in any country or under conditions that may require animal testing by law.

In our research, we discovered the following:

  • ✓ Charlotte Tilbury confirmed they do not test their products or ingredients on animals or ask others to test on their behalf.
  • ✓ Charlotte Tilbury confirmed all their ingredient suppliers do not test on animals
  • ✓ Charlotte Tilbury confirmed they do not allow or sell their products under conditions where animal testing is required by law

By meeting all of our Cruelty-Free Criteria, Charlotte Tilbury is a *cruelty-free brand by our standards.

*Charlotte Tilbury is owned by Puig, a corporation that is NOT cruelty-free because they allow some of their other brands to test on animals.

The decision is yours whether you want to support or boycott cruelty-free brands owned by a parent company that is not cruelty-free. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer to this. Do what you’re comfortable with. I just thought it was important to disclose that Puig owns Charlotte Tilbury.

What is Charlotte Tilbury’s Animal Testing Policy?

Below is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Charlotte Tilbury’s website about its animal testing policy:

Is Charlotte Tilbury Cruelty-Free?
Charlotte Tilbury’s Cruelty-Free Statement

Animal Testing in China – 2023 Update!

With the recent changes to China’s animal testing laws, cosmetic companies can now export and sell some of their cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet ALL of the following preconditions first.

  • ONLY sell ‘general’ cosmetics (like makeup, skincare, haircare, nail polish, and perfumes)
  • must NOT sell any ‘special’ cosmetics like sunscreens, hair dye, hair perming, or other cosmetics claiming new efficacy
  • must NOT sell products designed for infants or children
  • must NOT sell products that contain a ‘New Cosmetic Ingredient’
  • AND if post-market testing is required, then the company must have a policy in place where it will RECALL its products rather than allow its products to be tested on animals

Also, products must meet ONE of the following in order to avoid animal testing in China:

  • manufactured in China, or the final assembly is in China
  • if manufactured outside of China and then exported to China, companies must obtain the proper product safety certificates and documents

To avoid animal tests, Charlotte Tilbury has confirmed it only sells domestically manufactured general cosmetics in China.

Charlotte Tilbury also states that in the unlikely event that post-market testing is needed, they require that “the authorities are legally required to notify brands of any concerns and provide the brand with the option to undertake a quick recall in the rare instances where there may be suspected public health issues or concerns raised, and therefore avoid animal testing.”

Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see how Charlotte Tilbury avoids animal tests while selling some of its cosmetics in China.

For a detailed break down of Charlotte Tilbury’s statements and responses to selling in China while remaining cruelty-free, continue reading.

Is Charlotte Tilbury Certified Cruelty-Free?

Charlotte Tilbury is certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.

Is Charlotte Tilbury Sold in China?

On Charlotte Tilbury’s website, the brand confirmed its products are indeed sold in China.

Have you launched in mainland China?
Yes, we are expanding into new markets such as Korea, Australia and mainland China. This expansion is in keeping with our cruelty-free values, supported by our official Leaping Bunny approval. Leaping Bunny approval has long been a strategic priority for Charlotte Tilbury Beauty as it supports our brand purpose and values, with cruelty free makeup and skincare for everyone, everywhere!”

As of 2014, ‘general’ cosmetics manufactured & sold in China are no longer required to be tested on animals.

This only applies to ‘general cosmetics’ like body lotions, lipsticks, and nail polish. But all special cosmetics like sunscreens, whitening products, hair dyes, antiperspirants, and cosmetics claiming new efficacy are all still required to be tested on animals in China.

This is confirmed by Charlotte Tilbury on their website:

Can you explain your new domestic manufacture model?
Our domestic operation in mainland China is a significant, long-term investment for our business, which also adheres to the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny Programme steps to ensure we can remain cruelty free – an important factor for us. This is achieved in accordance with People’s Republic of China regulations by developing and producing the product formulations in our existing global suppliers before shipping them to our manufacturers in mainland China, where the crucial filling process is completed. This new supply chain model adheres to the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny criteria..

How has Leaping Bunny created a programme that allows for brands to be cruelty free in mainland China?
In 2020, Cruelty Free International – using learning and experience from its China Pilot Programme run with partners in mainland China – put in place carefully crafted criteria for Leaping Bunny brands using domestic manufacture in mainland China to sell their products and maintain their cruelty free status. Since a change in law in 2014, this process has not triggered mandatory animal testing for ordinary or “non-special-use” cosmetics, which includes the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty range available in mainland China. To ensure both product safety and cruelty free assurance, products are tested using internationally recognised non-animal testing methods. In addition, strong systems are put in place ensuring transparency with sales and distribution. This includes the ability for quick recall in the rare instances where there may be suspected public health issues or concerns raised.”

(Source: Charlotte Tilbury)

By moving its filling process to a manufacturer in China and only offering general cosmetics allows Charlotte Tilbury to sell in China without pre-market animal testing.

Post-Market Testing in China

In the event of a customer complaint, Chinese officials will administer product safety tests that may or may not involve animal test subjects.

Charlotte Tilbury explains how they’re handling the unlikely event that its products require post-market testing:

What is post market testing and how can you be sure no animal testing takes place?
Post-market testing takes place during the rare occurrence of a serious consumer safety concern and involves the process of local authorities testing cosmetics after products have been sold in market. In China, the authorities are legally required to notify brands of any concerns and provide the brand with the option to undertake a quick recall in the rare instances where there may be suspected public health issues or concerns raised, and therefore avoid animal testing.”

Charlotte Tilbury bypassed China’s mandatory animal tests on cosmetics by filling its ‘general cosmetics’ in China.

Cruelty-Free Policies 2023

Just because a brand claims it is ‘Cruelty-Free,’ doesn’t always mean that’s the case.

That’s because 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, or any third parties.

How We Assess Cruelty-Free Policies

Since 2015, the start of my blog, I’ve been emailing companies asking about their animal testing policies and cruelty-free commitments.

And based on the responses I receive from companies, I’ll research to find any supporting facts needed before concluding whether the brand should be classified as “Cruelty-Free,” “Animal-Tested,” or “Grey Area – Unclear Policies.”

☕️ Every week, I continue to reach out to new brands while trying my best to keep current brands updated. If you found any of my posts or guides helpful, consider Buying Me A Coffee! I would greatly appreciate it! ❤️

What about Vegan?

Just because something is called Cruelty-Free, doesn’t always mean it’s Vegan. And vice versa.

Cruelty-Free only refers to no animal testing, while Vegan means formulated without animal products.

Some brands are Cruelty-Free, but not Vegan.

And some are Vegan, but not Cruelty-Free.

Another important distinction to know is, Vegan in cosmetics can refer to an entire brand is 100% Vegan or a specific product is Vegan.

Is Charlotte Tilbury Vegan?

⭐️ Charlotte Tilbury is NOT an entirely vegan brand. But Charlotte Tilbury offers some vegan options that are free of animal products.

How to know which of Charlotte Tilbury’s products are vegan?

All of Charlotte Tilbury’s vegan products are clearly marked on their website. You can also shop from their list of vegan products on this page:

The following is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Charlotte Tilbury’s website about its vegan claims:

Is Charlotte Tilbury Vegan?

Where to buy Charlotte Tilbury? Check out, Sephora, and Nordstrom!

Vegan Policies

Similar to ‘Cruelty-Free,’ there is no standard or legal definition for the label ‘Vegan.’ But Vegan is generally used to mean formulated without animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.

Some common animal products 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 unless a brand explicitly labels its ingredients or product as Vegan, it’s often 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 chose were from non-animal sources.

Where are Charlotte Tilbury’s products made?

I asked Charlotte Tilbury where their products are manufactured and they told me:

“We manufacture items in various locations such as Italy, Japan, China and France and different components of the products are produced in different places. If you would like to now about where a specific product was made please let me know and I can investigate this product for you.”

Ethical Mica Mining Policy

Mica is a mineral used in cosmetics to add a shimmery effect. But the mining of natural mica has been linked to child labor and human rights violations.

Unless the company discloses its mica mining policy, we have no way of knowing whether its mica is ethically sourced without child or forced labor.

So I asked Charlotte Tilbury if their mica is ethically sourced without the use of child labor and they responded by stating,

“I can confirm that all of our mica is ethically sourced, and our manufacturing partners regularly audit their suppliers to ensure compliance

Mica from India is an extremely small percentage of the mica used in our products, with the majority of it coming from North and South America.

Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing Policy

I asked Charlotte Tilbury if any of their products contain palm oil or palm-derived ingredients and if so, are they from certified sustainable sources. And Charlotte Tilbury responded saying,

“As a brand, we currently use ingredients that are derived from Palm Oil. However, the issue is complex and to avoid all ingredients that contain Palm Oil-derived substances is very difficult! A number of our products contain ingredients of mixed origin, for example, Cetearyl Alcohol, where the fatty acid chain may be obtained from either Coconut or Palm sources; but complexities in the supply chain mean that it is often difficult for our suppliers to confirm the precise origin. Ingredients pass through many hands before they reach us and the number of processing steps between harvest and the final raw material means we are unable to take direct control of this process.

We are actively working towards using only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) ingredients from segregated supply chains; achieving mass balance is our first step. Currently, the availability of certified sustainable cosmetic ingredients is limited; however, I’m pleased to say this is changing due to greater demand and improved verification processes. We are actively investigating CSPO ingredients as they become available.

Our pursuit of more sustainable options is ongoing and is an important part of our larger corporate commitment to act as responsibly and transparently as we can.”

I hope this article helped you to understand Charlotte Tilbury’s cruelty-free and vegan status and by choosing cruelty-free together, we can help end animal testing for cosmetics once and for all!

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