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REN is *Cruelty-Free
REN 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 REN to be *Cruelty-Free.
*REN is owned by Unilever, a corporation that is NOT cruelty-free because they allow some of their other brands to test on animals.
It’s your choice 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. I encourage you to do what you’re comfortable with, but I think it’s important to disclose that Unilever owns REN.
Below is a screenshot of REN’s official animal testing statement:
What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?
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 2021.
But REN has confirmed they do not sell their products in retail stores in mainland China; therefore, they are not required to test on animals.
“I can confirm that our products are not sold in mainland China.“”
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, and by any third parties.
Also, note that Cruelty-Free and Vegan don’t always mean the same thing.
REN 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 REN, not all of their products are vegan. But they have some products that are suitable for vegans.
How to know which of REN products are vegan?
All of REN’s vegan products are clearly marked on their website.
REN Vegan Product List
The following REN products are suitable for vegans and do not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.
- & Now to Sleep Pillow Spray
- Atlantic Kelp & Microalgae Anti-Fatigue Bath Oil
- Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Cream
- Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash
- Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Energising Hand Lotion
- Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Energising Hand Wash
- Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Exfoliating Body Scrub
- Atlantic Kelp & Microalgae Anti-Fatigue Toning Body Oil
- Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil
- Citrus Limonum Prebiotic Hand Cream
- Clarimatte Clarifying Toner
- Clarimatte Invisible Pores Detox Mask
- Clarimatte T-Zone Balancing Gel Cream
- Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen
- Clearcalm 3 Clarity Restoring / Acne Treatment Mask
- Clearcalm 3 Replenishing Gel Cream
- Clearcalm Non-Drying Acne Treatment Gel
- Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream
- Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist
- Guerande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm
- Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift
- Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot
- Multi-Tasking After Shave Balm
- Moroccan Rose Gold Glow Perfect Dry Oil
- Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil
- Moroccan Rose Otto Body Lotion
- Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish
- Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil
- Neroli & Grapefruit Body Cream
- Pro-Vitamin Conditioner
- Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic
- Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water
- Rosa Centifolia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser
- Rosa Centifolia No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm
- Rose O12 Moisture Defence Oil
- Sirtuin Phytohormone Replenishing Cream
- Tamanu High Glide Shaving Oil
- Ultra Moisture Day Cream
- V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream
- Vita Mineral Active 7 Eye Gel
- Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream
- Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil
Similar to ‘Cruelty-Free,’ there is no standard or legal definition for the label ‘Vegan.’ But it’s usually used in the context to describe something that doesn’t contain any 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 a company publicly addresses its mica mining policy, we have no way of knowing whether its mica is ethically sourced without child or forced labor.
So I asked REN if their mica is ethically sourced without the use of child labor and they responded by stating,
“Our team has advised me that the Mica we use is ethically sourced from India and is adhered to the principles of their Human Rights Charter as well as the requirements of their Responsible Sourcing Principles.”