Sunday Riley

Last Updated: January 6, 2022

How Ethical Is Sunday Riley?

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 Sunday Riley’s ethics and initiatives.

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Ethical Analysis

Is Sunday Riley cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Sunday Riley’s policies.
Sunday Riley is cruelty-free. None of Sunday Riley’s ingredients, formulations, or finished products are tested on animals, anywhere in the world.
Not all of Sunday Riley’s products are vegan but they have some vegan options.
Sunday Riley is a certified B Corporation. Sunday Riley also claims their suppliers and manufactures are evaluated on sustainability and human rights metrics, and required to meet their Supplier Code of Conduct. Additionally, they offset the carbon emissions of all their freight shipments and manufacturing processes.
Sunday Riley claims their mica is ethically sourced.
Sunday Riley products come in glass and plastic packaging and Sunday Riley’s goal is to have completely recyclable packaging by 2021.

In addition, they use recycled pulp board, eco-friendly inks, and FSC-certified materials for boxes.

About Sunday Riley

Sunday Riley offers skincare that is Powered by Science and Balanced by Botanicals, for total skin improvement and wellness.
PRODUCTS: Skincare
CERTIFICATIONS: Leaping Bunny, Cruelty Free International, PETA-Certified

Sunday Riley

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

You can find Sunday Riley cruelty-free products at Sephora, Ulta, Beautylish, and Amazon.

Is Sunday Riley Cruelty-Free?

Sunday Riley is Cruelty-Free

Sunday Riley 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 Sunday Riley to be Cruelty-Free.

Below is what’s currently stated on Sunday Riley’s website:

Sunday Riley Cruelty-Free Claims

What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?

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

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, and by any third parties.

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

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

How to know which of Sunday Riley products are vegan?

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

Note that Sunday Riley states on their website’s ‘Sustainability’ page that most of their products are vegan, with the exception of those containing honey or beeswax. However, I’ve spotted pearl powder and lanolin in a couple of their other products. I would advise double-checking the ingredient list before buying.

Sunday Riley Vegan Product List

Below is a list of Sunday Riley products that are suitable for vegans and do not contain any animal by-products. This vegan product list was provided by Sunday Riley.

Note that Sunday Riley used to list their Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner as ‘Vegan’ but it contains Pearl Powder, making it NOT vegan.

Not Vegan – Sunday Riley

The following products from Sunday Riley contain some animal by-products and therefore are not suitable for vegans:

  • A+ – High-Dose Retinoid Serum (contains honey) – not vegan
  • Auto Correct – Eye Cream (contains beeswax) – not vegan
  • Blue Moon – Clean rinse Cleansing Balm (contains beeswax) – not vegan
  • CEO – 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum (contains beeswax) – not vegan
  • CEO – Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream (contains beeswax) – not vegan
  • Ice – Ceramide Moisturizing Cream (contains lanolin) – not vegan
  • Martian – Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner (contains pearl powder) – not vegan
  • Pink Drink – Firming Resurfacing Essence (contains honey) – not vegan

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 Sunday Riley’s products made?

When I asked Sunday Riley where their products are manufactured, they told me:

All of our products are manufactured in the US. 
We are based out of Houston, Tx.

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

“We focus on supplier and ingredient integrity. The mica used is sourced ethically. The majority of our ingredient suppliers are based in the U.S., Japan, Germany, U.K., France, and Italy. All of our ingredients are vetted for purity and our suppliers are vetted for good manufacturing practices. We never cut costs with cheaper suppliers. Our employees participate in trainings to help them identify and properly respond to possible infractions of our code, and help in mitigating the risk of supplier noncompliance. We hope this helps, please let us know if you have any questions or there’s any way we can assist you further!”

I hope this article helped you to understand Sunday Riley’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

0 thoughts on “Sunday Riley”

    1. Hey Marina,
      Thanks for letting me know! Ughs, what a shame. It’s most likely not vegan and derived from real pearls. I’ve removed it from this list and will email Sunday Riley to inquire about this.
      Thanks again for letting me know!

    1. Hi Maca,
      Thanks for catching that! I’m not sure if Sunday Riley reformulated their UFO face oil but I do see Pearl Powder in the ingredient list now which would no longer make it vegan. I’ve reached out to them to confirm but for the time being, I’ve removed the UFO Ultra-Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil from their vegan product list and have added it to their NOT vegan list.

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