Last Updated: August 25, 2022

How Ethical Is O’Keeffe’s?

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 O'Keeffe's ethics and initiatives.

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Ethical Analysis

Is O’Keeffe’s cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on O’Keeffe’s policies.
O’Keeffe’s is cruelty-free. None of O’Keeffe’s ingredients, formulations, or finished products are tested on animals anywhere in the world.
Not all of O’Keeffe’s products are vegan, but they have some vegan options.
O’Keeffe’s does not claim or market itself as a sustainable company.
O’Keeffe’s products come in plastic packaging. I couldn’t find anything stating they’re working on reducing their use of virgin plastic in their product packaging.

About O’Keeffe’s

O’Keeffe’s® provides concentrated, long-lasting moisturizers for extremely dry, cracked skin.
PRODUCTS: Hand & Feet Care, Lip Care


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

You can find O’Keeffe’s cruelty-free products at Target, Walmart, and on Amazon.

O’Keeffe’s is Cruelty-Free

O’Keeffe’s 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 O’Keeffe’s to be Cruelty-Free.

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

In addition, I reached out to O’Keefe’s to ask for more information about their animal testing policy and they told me:

“Thank you for contacting The O’Keeffe’s Company.

O’Keeffe’s does not perform any kind of animal testing nor do we commission others to test on our behalf. The O’Keeffe’s Company strives for excellence and integrity in everything we do, this includes providing safe and effective products to our consumers. We keep abreast of developments in alternatives to animal testing, as we believe that eliminating animal testing is the right thing to do.”

What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?

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

“O’Keeffe’s products are not sold in China or in any other countries that require animal testing by law.”

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.

O’Keeffe’s 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 O’Keeffe’s, not all of their products are vegan. But they may have some products that are suitable for vegans.

How to know which of O’Keeffe’s products are vegan?

O’Keefe does not specifically advertise its products as ‘Vegan’ or ‘Vegan-Friendly’ but the company states on its FAQ page “Working Hands and Healthy Feet products do not contain: Any animal by-products, soy, or lanolin.” (See below for a screenshot).

However, it should be noted that I spotted beeswax and other suspecting animal by-product ingredients in some of their Working Hands and Healthy Feet products. I would advise you to check the ingredients and ask O’Keeffe directly whether those ingredients are derived from animal sources or not.

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.

I hope this article helped you to understand O’Keeffe’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

2 thoughts on “O’Keeffe’s”

  1. Can you please share which products you found to contain beeswax and other potential animal by-products?

    1. Definitely! I spotted beeswax in the following O’Keeffe’s products:

      – Lip Repair Unscented
      – Lip Repair Night Treatment
      – Lip Repair Soothing AloeBoost
      – Lip Repair Cherry
      – Lip Repair Cooling Relief
      – Lip Repair SPF 35
      – Eczema Relief Hand Cream
      – Itchy Relief Body Cream
      – Lip Repair Seal & Heal
      – Working Hands Cuticle Repair
      – Working Hands Night Treatment
      – Healthy Feet Pain Relief
      – Healthy Feet Night Treatment
      – Healthy Feet Exfoliating

      I hope that helps!

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