Glossier is a makeup brand many of us know for its clean aesthetic and focus on “barely there” makeup looks. Popular for their balms, blushes, and eyebrow grooming products, Glossier has managed to stay relevant in the makeup industry for close to a decade now.
But more than just their minimalist products, we also have to consider the ethics behind Glossier’s production.
Here’s a quick rundown of the most common questions regarding the brand’s ethical considerations:
Is Glossier Vegan? No, Glossier is not a vegan company.
Are Glossier products vegan? Not all Glossier products are vegan but they do have some vegan-friendly cosmetics.
Is Glossier cruelty-free? Yes! Glossier is cruelty-free and has the appropriate certifications to back them.
Is Glossier PETA-approved? No. Glossier is certified under the Leaping Bunny.
Does Glossier test on animals? No, Glossier does not test on animals at any time during production.
Is Glossier sold in Mainland China? No, Glossier products are not sold physically in Mainland China.
Is Glossier owned by a parent company? Glossier is currently an independent company.
Is Glossier a sustainable brand? Glossier is not specifically marketed to be a sustainable or eco friendly cosmetics company.
Glossier: The Brand
Glossier started with Into the Gloss, a beauty website where everyone could explore and talk about their favorite beauty products. Into the Gloss remains one of Glossier’s primary sources of inspiration, staying true to their promise of designing products that you wish existed.
Founded in late 2014, Glossier opened the doors for a new era in makeup. Gone were the days of thick foundation or ultra-heavy bronzer—instead, Glossier offered makeup options that simply highlight what is already there.
Glossier quickly rose to popularity over the last decade, and years after its initial prominence, the brand has managed to retain its share of the makeup market.
But just like how clean makeup aesthetics have become more popular in the 2020s, it has also become more important to ask ourselves if the products we use are clean as well.
More than ever, consumers are becoming hyper-aware of the products they use. People are becoming more concerned about animal testing, cruelty-free conditions, socially responsible production, and the use of animal components in makeup—as we all should.
Is Glossier Cruelty-free?
We are happy to share that yes, Glossier is cruelty-free! Here’s the brand’s statement about the matter:
“We’re committed to being cruelty free: this means we do not test on animals at any stage of product development, and we will only work with vendors who uphold the same standards.
We are proud to share that our products are certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny, the only internationally recognized certification organization for cruelty-free companies. Being Leaping Bunny certified also means we’ll have regular independent audits to ensure we’re compliant.”
Here at Puratium, we’ve always advocated for extra vigilance when it comes to brand claims. Many brands will claim that they are cruelty-free but don’t actually have the information or certifications to back such claims.
In Glossier’s case, the LB certification is a good indication that they do not conduct animal testing at all levels of production. Moreover, regular compliance audits are also a good measure that helps guarantee the company is consistently applying cruelty-free conditions during production.
Does Glossier Sell in China?
As a cruelty-free brand, no, Glossier does not sell its products in China.
For years, selling in China has been one of the main points of contention in the cruelty-free community due to the fact that all imported cosmetics need to undergo animal testing before being commercially sold in the country.
However, there was a recent 2021 law that slightly changed things. General cosmetics (skincare, makeup, etc.) may now be sold in China without being tested on animals—subject to certain documentary limitations.
Provided that a company complies with all documentary requirements (e.g., proof of safety), then they may bypass the animal testing requirement on finished products.
Nevertheless, this only applies to general cosmetics like body wash, makeup, lotion, and the like. Specialty cosmetics like sunscreen or whitening products are not covered by this new regulation.
Due to this recent change, we must also adjust how we view cruelty-free considerations.
What Does It Mean To Be A Vegan Brand?
Discourse on vegan products and brands can be quite complex and challenging, especially if you’re new in the space.
In order to fully understand Glossier’s vegan status, let’s look into some of the more common points of confusion in defining vegan.
There is No Legal Definition
First up, it’s crucial to understand that there really isn’t a legal or universally-accepted definition of vegan. People may interpret it in different ways, especially when it comes to products and brands.
As consumers, we are left to rely on third-party accreditors to ensure that brands are actually staying true to their claims.
Are All Vegan Brands Cruelty-free?
Technically, they should be. The core ethos of veganism is rooted in compassion for animals, so of course, vegan brands should be cruelty-free, right?
Well, not really.
Vegan and cruelty-free are very different definitions and they focus on different aspects of production. A vegan designation has more to do with what materials or ingredients are used in a product while the cruelty-free claim is all about animal testing at any time in the production process.
This means that vegan brands aren’t guaranteed to be cruelty-free and cruelty-free brands aren’t always vegan.
In practice, however, nearly all vegan brands are cruelty-free. If there are any exceptions, the reason will most likely be because a brand is selling its products in a location where animal testing is required by law.
In that case, customers will very likely question the cruelty-free status of the brand since they sell in a location where testing is required by law.
Absolutely No Animal Products Used
To claim to be vegan, a brand must not use any animal ingredients in any of its products. This means no eggs, no honey, no lanolin, and all other animal-based ingredients.
Sometimes, animal ingredients can come in the form of pigments, so it can be really difficult to ensure that a product is vegan without proper claims and certifications.
Moreover, it isn’t enough that a brand has some a vegan list of products. To be considered a vegan brand, all of its products have to be vegan-friendly.
If a brand uses animal components in even a single product, then it cannot be considered a vegan brand.
Certifications Are A Beginner’s Best Friend
Learning about the ins and outs of cruelty-free and vegan brands is a lengthy process. If you’re a beginner, it might not be easy to internalize all the intricacies of brand greenwashing and marketing.
This is especially true considering that many animal-derived ingredients hide behind scientific terms or umbrella components.
Certifications are an excellent way to circumvent this challenge.
If you are new to shopping for vegan or cruelty-free products, certifications like PETA or The LP can help with determining a product’s vegan status.
Is Glossier Vegan?
Glossier is unfortunately not a vegan brand since some of Glossier’s ingredients are derived from animals. However, there are vegan glossier products, which we’ll discuss in detail in the next section.
Glossier uses beeswax and xanthan gum processed from an egg-derived enzyme, among other animal-based components. Therefore, they are not a strictly vegan brand.
However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of good vegan-friendly options on the Glossier vegan product list! Most of their products actually don’t contain any animal ingredients, and each product listing also shows if a product is vegan or not, making navigation exceedingly easy.
If you are particular about brands being completely vegan, then you might want to skip Glossier’s products. As more brands are welcoming a minimalist aesthetic, we are also likely to see a spike in vegan brands with a clean beauty aesthetic.
For more suggestions on cruelty-free and vegan makeup, head over to our guides on vegan makeup brushes and vegan concealer.
What Are Some Vegan Products From Glossier?
If you’re interested in buying from Glossier despite them not being exclusively vegan, here’s a starting list of vegan-friendly and cruelty-free Glossier products.
Generation G is a lovely lip product that gives the illusion of just blotted lipstick right from the tube. With dialed-down pigments and easy application, this lippie is perfect for everyday wear and reapplying throughout the day.
It comes in 6 shades, all vegan and cruelty-free for a little pop of color in your daily look.
Milky Jelly Cleanser
Of course, we can’t forget about Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser, a super nourishing, pH-balanced gel face wash that’ll leave your skin baby soft without the need for moisturizer.
This cleanser is also great for removing makeup without any stinging, especially in the eye area.
If you’re interested in learning more about vegan face washes, take a quick look at our guide here.
Glossier’s Invisible Shield is the best sun protection for those who don’t like the weight of sunscreen on their skin.
Super lightweight and transparent, this water-based gel formula will give you the benefit of SPF35 sun protection without the heaviness and the white cast.
We also have plenty of other suggestions for vegan sunscreen here.
Perfecting Skin Tint
We can’t forget about Glossier’s Perfecting skin tint! This minimal coverage tint is the perfect base product for everyday wear. It evens out your skin tone and enhances areas without the appearance and feeling of heavy foundation.
The tint also leaves your skin with a dewy finish for a glassy, youthful glow.
It comes in 12 shades and is completely vegan and cruelty-free.
Lip gloss is a staple in any cosmetics kit. It adds a luscious shine to your lips that enhances your already-glowing appearance, perfect for keeping your lips moisturized all year round.
Glossier’s Lip Gloss is a high-shine lip moisturizer without any stickiness. It’s glassy, long-wearing, and ultra-comfortable on your lips.
Best of all is that it’s 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
To end this list, we have Glossier You, which is the company’s fragrance line. The perfume comes in two formats: an Eau de Parfum and a perfume solid.
This perfume’s scent is meant to blend with who you are as an individual—very much in the spirit of what Glossier does as a cosmetics company.
Their perfume solid is also pretty interesting since it comes in a cute, refillable compact case that we think is the height of Glossier’s packaging. However, there have been mixed opinions about the solid so it might not be the best jumping-off point when buying Glossier perfume.
Is Glossier Sustainable?
Sustainability is a broad term that can cover many aspects of production, including development, sourcing, packaging, as well as distribution.
A brand being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s sustainable nor does sustainability equate with veganism.
First and foremost, it’s vital to understand that Glossier doesn’t market itself as an eco friendly or sustainable brand. Much of their brand identity comes from the aesthetics of clean beauty (not to be mistaken with clean beauty ingredients).
While the brand does attempt to reduce excess and wasteful packaging by removing unnecessary liners and updating their shipping boxes, Glossier products are still housed in plastic.
Although this in itself does not render the brand’s products unsustainable, we would generally not recommend buying from brands that use plastic packaging if you are going for eco friendly makeup.
There is limited information on the sustainability of the ingredients Glossier uses, so we also cannot make assumptions about how sustainable the final products are.
We also cannot guarantee that Glossier uses sustainably sourced mica. Mica is often a hot topic in cosmetics since mica mining is known to involve child labor, especially in overexploited areas.
If you’re buying makeup primarily for how sustainable or eco friendly they are, Glossier might not be the best option. They lack the hallmark transparency that is required to consider a product genuinely sustainable.
Glossier is a cruelty-free company but it is not completely vegan. Their use of non-vegan ingredients like beeswax means not all their products are vegan-friendly.
However, Glossier still has a solid list of vegan cosmetics that you might enjoy. Just make sure to check each product listing and refer to the appropriate labels. Any product without the vegan label on their website is NOT vegan.
That’s it, and happy makeup shopping!