Last Updated: July 7, 2022

How Ethical Is SkinMedica?

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 SkinMedica's ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is SkinMedica cruelty-free or vegan? Here’s what we know! Read below for more details on SkinMedica’s policies.
It is currently unclear whether SkinMedica is truly cruelty-free.
SkinMedica does not sell its products in stores in mainland China.
SkinMedica does not claim to offer any vegan products.


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SkinMedica’s Cruelty-Free Status is Unclear

SkinMedica claims they don’t conduct animal testing on their products but cannot guarantee their raw material suppliers have not tested their ingredients on animals.

As a result, we are unable to classify SkinMedica as being truly cruelty-free or animal-tested. Therefore, SkinMedica is listed as Grey AreaBrands with Unclear Policies.

SkinMedica’s Animal Testing Policy

Here’s a breakdown of what we know about SkinMedia’s animal testing policy.

SkinMedica claims on its FAQ page that they do not test their products on animals, however, this is not enough information for us to classify SkinMedica or any other brand as being cruelty-free to our standards.

That’s because animal testing for cosmetics can happen at various stages of product development, including at the ingredient level, and is often done by others and not the cosmetic company itself. This is why 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.

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

So I reached out to SkinMedica to ask for more information about their animal testing policy. More specifically, I wanted to know if they commission or allow others to test, not just their finished products but their ingredients, on animals, including when selling in countries that require animal testing (like in mainland China).

And SkinMedica responded by saying:

Standard cosmetic safety testing is conducted with SkinMedica products in healthy adult human volunteers.

We do not conduct any animal testing with SkinMedica products. However, we cannot guarantee that our raw material suppliers have not tested individual ingredients used in our products on animals.

Currently, SkinMedica products are not sold in China.”

Based on SkinMedica’s response, the company admits that it does not vet its raw material suppliers’ to ensure the ingredients the company uses are also not tested on animals.

Truly cruelty-free brands have taken the extra step to ensure all of the ingredient suppliers that they work with are cruelty-free as well. Unfortunately, SkinMedica has not done this. Therefore, we cannot consider SkinMedica to be cruelty-free at this time.

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, and by any third parties, including when required by law.

See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist. Since SkinMedica does not meet the fourth item on the checklist “brand’s ingredients suppliers & manufacturers also do not test on animals and they verify this with documents or certificates,” we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is SkinMedica Certified Cruelty-Free?

SkinMedica is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.

Because SkinMedica is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is looking into or substantiating SkinMedica’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.

Is SkinMedica Cruelty-Free?

To sum up, SkinMedica cannot guarantee its suppliers are cruelty-free. Therefore, we cannot classify SkinMedica as being truly cruelty-free or animal-tested.

Currently, Skinmedica is listed in our directory as a Grey Area brand.

Is SkinMedica Vegan?

SkinMedica does not claim to offer any vegan products. Below is a snippet of the email response I received from SkinMedica

“We do not specifically formulate our products to accommodate a Vegan lifestyle nor do we have a vegan certification for any SkinMedica products.

  • HA5 contains a milk peptide complex listed as “whey protein”
  • TNS products, excluding SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum, are manufactured with animal byproducts (TNS® is manufactured utilizing cell culture which involves the nurturing of fibroblast cells with bovine serum albumin)”

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to SkinMedica

Looking to switch to cruelty-free hair products? Here are some cruelty-free brands to check out:

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