Last Updated: January 17, 2022

How Ethical Is Nanogen?

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 Nanogen's ethics and initiatives.

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Ethical Analysis

Is Nanogen cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Nanogen’s policies.
Nanogen is cruelty-free. None of Nanogen’s ingredients, formulations, or finished products are tested on animals anywhere in the world.
Not all of Nanogen’s products are vegan, but they have some vegan options.
Nanogen’s offices and warehouses use electricity from 100% renewable energy sources, and they claim to be committed to reducing their energy usage.

Most of Nanogen’s environmental commitments and claims are about their packaging. They claim to be working towards using more recycled plastic and glass in their packaging, reducing non-recyclable packaging, and minimizing cartons while using FSC-certified paper.
Nanogen claims their mica is sourced from suppliers that have ethical working practices using environmentally friendly methods and have a traceable supply chain.
Nanogen’s products come in plastic packaging, but they started incorporating post-consumer recycled material into some packaging. For example, Nanogen’s Locking Spray bottle is made from PCR materials derived from plastic bottles. And their serum bottles and pipettes are made from 5-10% recycled glass.

In addition to minimizing carton packaging, all of Nanogen’s paper-based materials are made from recycled materials and are FSC-certified.

About Nanogen

Nanogen was invented in 2001 with the sole ambition to empower everyone to take back control of the way we think about thinner hair. Nanogen are hair fibre experts and leaders in the hair thickening products.


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Nanogen is Cruelty-Free

Nanogen has confirmed they do not test their products or ingredients on animals or ask others to test on their behalf. Their suppliers also do not test on animals, nor do they allow their products to be tested on animals when required by law. And finally, their products are not sold in stores in mainland China or any other country that may require animal testing.

By our standards, we would consider Nanogen to be Cruelty-Free.

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

Nanogen Cruelty-Free Claims

What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?

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

“The main reason we do NOT sell in physical stores in mainland China is their animal testing policies do not align with our own.”

As of May 1, 2021, some imported ordinary cosmetics can be exempt from animal testing under certain conditions. However, for the most part, animal testing is still legally required for most imported cosmetics in 2022.

Cruelty-Free Policies

Note that 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.

Also, note that Cruelty-Free and Vegan don’t always mean the same thing.

Nanogen is Not 100% Vegan

‘Vegan’ in cosmetics can refer to an entire brand that is 100% Vegan or a specific product is vegan.

In the case of Nanogen, not all of their products are vegan. But they have some products that are suitable for vegans.

How to know which of Nanogen products are vegan?

I asked Nanogen which of their products are vegan and they kindly provided me with a list of their vegan and non-vegan items (see below).

“Many of our products that contain keratin or Cera Alba (Beeswax) are not vegan. Please see our complete list below:”


  • Hair Fibre Locking Spray
  • Hair Growth Factor Treatment Serum
  • Thickening Conditioner for Women


  • Keratin Hair Fibres
  • Fibre Sprayer
  • 7-in-1 Shampoo for Women
  • 5-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner for Men
  • Hair Hydrator
  • Thickening Shampoo for Men
  • Thickening Shampoo for Women
  • Thickening Conditioner for Men
  • Thickening Heat Protector
  • Root Boost Thickening Spray

Disclaimer: This vegan list was provided by Nanogen, but I encourage you to check and read the ingredients before buying. We take these vegan lists provided by brands at face value, and this is not always a complete or the most up-to-date list. I’m only sharing what brands specifically told me to provide you all with some additional information. So, continue to do your research and always check the ingredients.

Vegan Policies

Similar to ‘Cruelty-Free,’ there is no standard or legal definition for the label ‘Vegan.’ But it usually means no animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.

Some common animal products used 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 it’s sometimes 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’ve chosen to use were from non-animal sources.

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 Nanogen if their mica is ethically sourced without the use of child labor and they responded by stating,

“The mica is sourced from suppliers who work to ethical working practices using environmentally friendly methods and have a traceable supply chain.

We ensure our ingredients are of high quality and sourced responsibly through regular stringent supplier audits as are the requirements to obtain and maintain our manufacturing and quality systems accreditations: ISO 22716 for Cosmetic Manufacturing, ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System.

I hope this article helped you to understand Nanogen’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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