Younique’s Animal Testing Statement; Not 100% Cruelty-Free

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Is Younique 100% Cruelty-Free?

EDITED: NOV 23, 2016

Younique products have made several appearances in my social media feed in the past 2 years with their popular 3D fiber lash mascara. What intrigued me the most was that Younique and all of Younique’s representatives have been promoting their products as cruelty-free but I have not seen Younique listed on any cruelty-free database or list.

Younique is not listed on

  • Leaping Bunny
  • PETA’s Companies That Don’t Test On Animals
  • Choose Cruelty Free
  • Logical Harmony
  • Cruelty Free Kitty

So what’s the deal? Is Younique actually cruelty-free as they claim?

Younique Animal Testing Policy

Here is a statement taken directly from their website:

Younique Animal Testing Policy

“Younique does not test our products on animals. We are in the process of exploring/procuring official certification as a cruelty-free company. However, Younique has not conducted an in-depth cruelty-free review tracing each ingredient back to such ingredient’s original source at this time.”

This is an excellent example of how anyone can virtually call their products “cruelty-free”. Although Younique may not test their products on animals, the raw ingredients may have been sourced from suppliers that do test on animals.

Younique Ingredient Suppliers

Now it’s not clear whether if their ingredient suppliers do or do not test on animals based on their statement, so I thought the best way to get a clear answer is to e-mail Younique directly and ask how far along they are in their process to being certified cruelty-free.

Related: What Makes A Product “Cruelty-Free”?

In order to be certified cruelty-free, companies must prove that:

  • none of their products are tested on animals
  • none of their ingredients are tested on animals
  • they do not commission animal testing to a third party
  • they must verify that none of their raw material suppliers test on animals
  • and finally they must not retail their products in countries that require animal testing by law (such as China)

My original email inquiry to Younique:

Hi there,

I was extremely happy to read on your website that Younique does not test their products on animals and is currently working on being certified cruelty-free. I just wanted to follow-up with this statement and was wondering how that process is going and which cruelty-free certification programs (like Leaping Bunny, PETA’s Caring Consumer, Choose Cruelty Free) are you exploring?

I’m also curious to know if any of Younique’s products retail in China or if you have plans to distribute there in the near future?

Younique’s response:

Hello Vicky,

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with further information at this time. Younique does not test our products on animals. However, Younique has not conducted an in-depth cruelty-free review tracing each ingredient back to such ingredient’s original source at this time.

Currently, we are shipping and selling in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Mexico, and Germany.

We are beginning to expand globally. While we don’t have a definite date as to when we will be opening in other countries, we hope it’s soon

Younique’s Lack Of Transparency

What concerns me about Younique’s response is the lack of transparency. As any cruelty-free consumer knows, the statement, “Younique does not test our products on animals” does not provide us with enough assurance that their products and ingredients were not tested on animals at all stages of production.

At this point and based on their response, I would not consider Younique to be a cruelty-free brand. 

It’s up to companies to decide if they choose to do business with certain suppliers and all cruelty-free companies must verify and make sure that their ingredient suppliers consent to a no animal testing policy. Unfortunately Younique has failed to do this.

What do you think?

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  • Alena
    November 6, 2015

    Supposedly, I’ve heard from Younique sellers that they cannot claim they are cruelty free because the company has not been up long enough to establish that. I’m not too sure that this is true but that is what I have heard from multiple sellers.

    • Vicky Ly
      December 1, 2015

      Hi Alena! Just saw your comment now, apologize for the delayed response. As far as I know, any company (new or old) can take the necessary steps to ensure that none of their products or ingredients are tested on animals.

      As far as being CERTIFIED cruelty-free, both Leaping Bunny and PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program will accept newly establish companies. I know the Australian cruelty-free certification from Choose Cruelty Free require companies to be at least a year old.

      Hope that helps answer your question =)

  • Tonia
    September 30, 2015

    Here is my latest email from April of this year….They are still singing the SAME song!!! My email to Younique in April 2015 – the above email was from 2014….
    I reached out via FB back in June (see below) and your staff was very helpful on the questions I had at the time. Now that it’s been nearly a year I thought I would check again as I have another dear friend who is currently selling your products and I would love to support her. However, I am a bit disappointed as in checking your website again as of last week it appears that you are still singing the same tune of not being able to answer consumers questions about the ingredients.

    1. Have you received Leaping Bunny Certification yet?
    a. If not is this something you hope to do?
    ANSWER: Younique does not test our products on animals. We are in the process of exploring/procuring official certification as a cruelty-free company. However, Younique has not conducted an in-depth cruelty-free review tracing each ingredient back to such ingredient’s original source at this time.

    2. Are you shipping out to China yet?
    a. If not is there a date in which you plan to?
    ANSWER: Currently, we are shipping and selling in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. We have also recently announced our upcoming market openings in Mexico, Germany, and a US Latina Presenter ship scheduled for this year. While we don’t have a definite date as to when we will be in China, we hope it’s soon.
    b. Are you aware of the requirements to export product to China? NO ANSWER

    3. Are you able to validate and confirm where the ingredients originate from and what testing is being done there? NO ANSWER
    a. If not why is this taking so long, as it leads to suspicion of just being a buffer or the general public and that you know they are not cruelty free NO ANSWER
    4. There are a lot of your brushes made of animal hair, can you confirm the origin of these animals?
    a. Are you able or have you confirmed the animal welfare that is taken place during this process.
    i. I believe I was told it’s a 1st cut only – can you confirm this?
    ANSWER: Younique cosmetic brushes are made from synthetic materials and from First Cut animal hair. First Cut animal hair is obtained from animals that can offer “Live” hair such as goats and pony. These animals are simply getting a haircut.
    ii. Also are the animals farm raised, caged or free range? NO ANSWER
    iii. If you are the 1st cut only what happens to the animal after that? NO ANSWER

    5. Are you able to validate your “cruelty free” claim? Meaning define what that means to Younique? NO ANSWER
    a. Is this based solely on the fact that Younique doesn’t test but your supplier does? NO ANSWER
    b. Is this based solely on your internal practice here in the US? NO ANSWER
    c. Is this based solely on just the finished product itself? NO ANSWER
    6. What measures have you done to decrease the use of animals for testing? NO ANSWER
    7. Are you supporting and/or providing profits to raise awareness for an end to animal testing for cosmetics? NO ANSWER

    My overall point is this:
    When you make a claim as strong as “cruelty free” you are giving the consumers an ambiguous statement which in turn makes the claim and label meaningless.

    Of course these consumers typically fail to do their homework, failing to understand that each company can define their own version of cruelty free claims, fail to understand that the government does not have regulations in place for this or worst yet and most commonly consumers that just turn a blind eye and pretend they are doing a good thing solely based on your label.

    This misconception that they are buying from a company that has taken pride in ensuring animals are not tested in my opinion makes me respect a company less as its being used as a selling tactic despite the company’s overall lack of research and/or due diligence.

    I hope you are able to put my mind at ease in order to support my friends who have embarked on this adventure.

    I look forward to your reply
    Best regards,
    Tonia Downard

    ANSWER: (If you want to call it that) Thank you for taking the time to write and express your concerns. Consumer safety is a top priority for Younique, and we are constantly working to improve our products and formulas using safe, high-quality ingredients while maximizing cosmetic performance. While we are not able to discuss specific details or sourcing of our product ingredients and formulas for proprietary reasons, our ingredient lists are provided on each respective product page on the website. If you are interested in researching additional information about selected ingredients and/or the safety of certain ingredients and cosmetics, you might find the website to be a helpful resource.
    Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to assist you.
    Have a great day!
    Thank you,
    Younique Support Team

    • Vicky Ly
      September 30, 2015

      Ohmygoodness, Tonia! I gotta give you some mad props for your patience while dealing with them! I would have given up! You’re totally right… the “cruelty-free” claim they are making is so ambiguous and none of their reps can provide a concrete answer to any of our specific questions! and I would have been fine if they said that they honestly don’t know the answers and will direct it to someone in their company that can properly address it which may take time to hear back.

      But with the information you’ve provided me, makes me question their brand’s integrity and leaves me wondering what they are trying to hide from their customers… arghs.

“Make ethical choices in what we buy, do, and watch. In a consumer-driven society our individual choices, used collectively for the good of animals and nature, can change the world faster than laws.”― Marc Bekoff

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Younique’s Animal Testing Statement; Not 100% Cruelty-Free