Last Updated: February 2, 2023

Is Essence Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

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 Essence’s ethics and initiatives.

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Ethical Analysis

Is Essence cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Essence’s policies.
Essence is cruelty-free. None of Essence’s ingredients, formulations, or finished products are tested on animals anywhere in the world.
Not all of Essence’s products are vegan, but they have some vegan options.
Essence claims they strive for general waste reduction through re- or upcycling. They also claim they’re committed to using environmentally friendly, sustainable, and recyclable materials to produce their cosmetics.
Essence claims their mica is ethically sourced without child labor. See their ethical mica mining policy here.
Essence’s products come in plastic packaging. But Essence states they’re researching sustainable materials and offering more recycling options in their development.

About Essence

Essence is Europe’s #1 cosmetic brand offering fun, high-quality makeup products at an affordable price.
PRODUCTS: Makeup, Nails, Makeup Brushes


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

Is Essence Cruelty-Free?

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

Does Essence Test on Animals?

When asking, does Essence test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Essence’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:

  • ✓ Essence confirmed they do not test their products or ingredients on animals or ask others to test on their behalf.
  • ✓ Essence confirmed all their ingredient suppliers do not test on animals
  • ✓ Essence 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, Essence is a truly cruelty-free brand by our standards.

What is Essence’s Animal Testing Policy?

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

essence animal testing policy

What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?

With the current changes to China’s animal testing laws, some cosmetics sold in China can be exempt from animal testing under certain conditions. However, without meeting those conditions, animal testing is still legally required for most cosmetics sold in China in 2023.

But Essence has confirmed they do not sell their products in retail stores in mainland China; therefore, they are not required to test on animals.

“We are not carried in any stores in mainland China”

Is Essence Certified Cruelty-Free?

essence is certified cruelty-free by PETA, but not Leaping Bunny certified.

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 starting my blog in 2015, 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 Essence Vegan?

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

How to know which of Essence’s products are vegan?

All of Essence’s vegan products are clearly marked on their website.

Essence also states on its website:

“From 2021 on, 100% of our new produced products are vegan* – even our most popular bestsellers. Our entire range will be made up exclusively of vegan products in the future. And we will only re-release cosmetics that have no ingredients of animal origin. Promise.”

Where to buy essence Cosmetics? Check out Ulta, Target, and Shoppers Drug Mart!

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 Essence’s products made?

“90% of essence products are made in Europe with some items made in other countries based on specialty parts.”

*Note: Cosmetics made in China are not required to be tested on animals. Only cosmetics that are imported and sold in physical stores in mainland China are required to be tested on animals according to China’s animal testing laws.

Ethical Mica Mining Policy

Mica is a mineral that’s 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 Essence if their mica is ethically sourced without the use of child labor and they responded by stating,

“Thanks so much for taking the time to reach out to us about such an important issue. At essence, we take the problem of child labor very seriously and feel it is our duty to ensure that no child labor is involved at any point in the supply chain of our products. 

In order to be able to guarantee this, we devote our attention closely to the origin of our natural mica and communicate frequently with our suppliers, both private label manufacturers and raw material suppliers. Raw material suppliers that do not offer us the required degree of transparency are no longer taken into account when new projects are awarded.

We have been supporting the sustainable mining of natural mica since 2016 in cooperation with an NGO with the goal of supporting local social projects and improving the living conditions of the population and in particular those of the children in India. We also joined the Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI) in July 2017.We are dedicated to the shared goal of eradicating child labor and unacceptable working conditions within the beauty industry. We hope this has answered your concerns but please feel free to reach out with any further questions! :)”

I hope this article helped you to understand essence’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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What do you think

0 thoughts on “Essence”

  1. I’m a tad confused, because for the volume hero mascara waterproof the ingredient list states it contains “cera alba (beeswax)” but it claims to be vegan. You also marked the lash princess sculpted volume mascara as being not vegan for containing beeswax, but in the ingredient list it says contains synthetic beeswax. Would you be able to clarify the discrepancies?

  2. I think some of these mascaras listed as vegan are wrong as the essence website says some of them contain beeswax?

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