Oribe (Kao)

Last Updated: January 4, 2022

Is Oribe (Kao) 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 Oribe’s ethics and initiatives.

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Ethical Analysis

Is Oribe cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Oribe’s policies.
Oribe is cruelty-free, but Oribe is owned by Kao, a parent company that is NOT cruelty-free.
Not all of Oribe’s products are vegan but they have some vegan options.
Oribe does not claim or market itself as a sustainable company.
Oribe claims some of their products contain mica. However, it’s not clear where their mica is mined or sourced from and how they trace or audit to ensure no child labor was involved.
Oribe products come in plastic packaging and the company states “the majority of Oribe packaging is recyclable if disposed of properly.”

In addition, Oribe’s new Foundation and Amplifier bottles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic and are recyclable.

About Oribe (Kao)

Oribe Hair Care began its journey in 2008, the brand blends craftsmanship, performance and decades of styling experience from the top of the editorial and salon worlds to create a new category in hair care.
PRODUCTS: Hair Care, Bath & Body Care, Fragrances

Oribe (Kao)

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

You can find Oribe cruelty-free products at oribe.com, Nordstrom, Net-a-Porter, Beautylish, and on Amazon.

Oribe is *Cruelty-Free

Oribe 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 Oribe to be *Cruelty-Free.

*Oribe is owned by Kao, 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 Kao owns Oribe.

Below is a screenshot of Oribe’s official animal testing statement:

Oribe Cruelty-Free Claims

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 2022.

But Oribe has confirmed they only sell online or in Hong Kong, and not in retail stores in mainland China; therefore, they are not required to test on animals.

Currently Oribe products are not directly sold in Mainland China. However we do sell to Joyce beauty which is shipped to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is not part of mainland China so, they do not have the same animal testing laws as mainland China. Therefore, Oribe is not required to test on animals.

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.

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

Oribe 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 Oribe, not all of their products are vegan. But they have some products that are suitable for vegans.

How to know which of Oribe products are vegan?

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

The following is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Oribe’s official website about its vegan products:

Oribe Vegan Claims

Vegan Policies

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.

Where are Oribe’s products made?

I asked Oribe where their products are manufactured and they told me:

“I do greatly apologize for the delay in response but all Oribe products except for our Incense and Mechanical Brushes are made in the USA.”

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

Thanks for reaching out! Yes, the following products contain Mica

  • Airbrush Root Touch Up Spray – Light Brown
  • Airbrush Root Touch Up Spray – Platinum
  • Balm d’Or Heat Styling Shield
  • Silverati Conditioner
  • Silverati Illuminating Treatment Masque
  • Silverati Shampoo
  • Supershine Light Moisturizing Cream
  • Supershine Moisturizing Cream”

Oribe’s response did not specifically address where their mica is sourced from and how they audit or trace to ensure no child labor was involved in mining their mica.

I hope this article helped you to understand Oribe’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

4 thoughts on “Oribe (Kao)”

  1. Oribe recently (December 2017) sold to Kao based in Japan. They haven’t started selling in mainland china but I would assume they will follow suit with EVERYONE else under Kao’s umbrella.

  2. I am disappointed that they sold their company to Kao. Their products have a hefty price tag that I’ve happily paid because I thought they were completely cruetly-free. While some still choose to support brands that are cruelty-free, while their parent company is not, it is hard for me to ignore the fact that I am ultimately lining the pockets of a parent company that tests on animals.

  3. Hi, so I was searching for the products on that list, and the Signature Shampoo and Conditioner had Keratin on the list of the ingredients. So I’am confused, isn’t it animal based? Or in this case is plant based? Much love from Brazil! ❤️????????

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