St. Ives (Unilever)

Last Updated: January 5, 2022

How Ethical Is St. Ives (Unilever)?

Supporting companies that share the same values and ethics to what matters most to us is how we can drive positive change in this world. Here’s a quick summary of St. Ives’ ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is St. Ives cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on St. Ives’ policies.
St. Ives is cruelty-free, but St. Ives is owned by Unilever, a parent company that’s NOT cruelty-free.
Not all of St. Ives’ products are vegan but they have some vegan options.
St. Ives does not claim or market itself as a sustainable company.
St. Ives products come in plastic packaging.

About St. Ives (Unilever)

St. Ives uses 100% natural moisturizers, exfoliants, and extracts to bring the joy of nature into their skin products and to give you soft, refreshed skin that glows.
PRODUCTS MADE IN: USA, unless otherwise stated
PRODUCTS: Bath & Body Care, Skincare

St. Ives (Unilever)

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

You can find St. Ives cruelty-free products on Amazon and in stores at Target, Walmart, and Shoppers Drug Mart.

St. Ives is *Cruelty-Free

St. Ives 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 St. Ives to be *Cruelty-Free.

*St. Ives 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 St. Ives.

Below is what is currently stated on St. Ives’ website:

St. Ives Cruelty-Free Claims & Animal Testing Policy

What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?

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

St. Ives is not and has never been sold directly in China. Consumers in China are only able to purchase St. Ives through cross-border e-commerce sites.

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.

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

How to know which of St. Ives’s products are vegan?

I was previously told by the company that almost all of St. Ives products are vegan with the exception of a couple of their products. But it’s come to my attention that many St. Ives products are actually not vegan.

Below is the original response I received from St. Ives,

None of our products contain animal derived ingredients with the exception of the St. Ives Collagen & Elastin Moisturizer and the St. Ives Collagen & Elastin Body Lotion, which contain collagen and elastin derived from a marine source.

But upon checking some of St. Ives’s other products, it turns out their Collagen Moisturizer and Body Lotion are not the only products that contain animal products.

Here’s what St. Ives had to say when I asked them about a few more of their items containing animal products:

“The St. Ives Gentle Smoothing Oatmeal Scrub and Mask does not contain acetylated lanolin alcohol or honey. The St. Ives Honey and Avocado Face scrub does contain Honey and acetylated lanolin alcohol that are animal derived. The St. Ives Radiant Skin Scrub- with Pink Lemon and Mandarin does not contain honey or acetylated lanolin alcohol.”

I would advise checking the ingredients of all St. Ives products before buying to ensure they don’t contain animal products.

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 St. Ives’s products made?

I asked St. Ives where their products are made and they told me,

“Unless otherwise stated specifically on the label, all of our products sold in the U.S. are manufactured in the United States. The statement found on some of our packaging “Product of (Country)” is not a statement of where the raw material is from, but rather a statement of where the product is processed. All of the ingredients used in our products are required to meet legal US standards for safety.”

I hope this article helped you to understand St. Ives’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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