Is Palmer’s Cruelty Free? A Thorough Investigation!

Palmer’s is a personal care brand well known for its cocoa butter and coconut body lotions. It’s so pervasive in the industry that it is highly likely you’ve tried some Palmer’s products or at least have been recommended some.

However, with the rising interest in cruelty free brands and cruelty free alternatives, we must look into whether Palmer’s still tests products on animals.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what we’ll answer in this discussion:

  • Is Palmer’s cruelty free? No. Provided that Palmer’s does not sell special use cosmetics in China, then yes, they are a cruelty free brand. However, we maintain that Palmer’s is not CF until they verify they have officially bypassed animal testing in China.
  • Are Palmer’s products tested on animals? Uncertain. As of 2021, noting new policy changes, it isn’t confirmed if Palmer’s products are still tested on animals where required by law.
  • Is Palmer’s vegan? No. Palmer’s is not a vegan beauty brand. However, they do have products without any animal-derived ingredients.
  • Does Palmer’s have the relevant certifications? No. The brand currently does not have any certifications verifying its status.
  • Does Palmer’s sell in China? Yes. Palmer’s is sold in-store in Mainland China (where testing used to be required by law). However, they have since lifted their testing requirement for general cosmetics, the answer to this question might not be as relevant as before.
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What Does It Mean To Be Cruelty Free?

If you’re new to the world of cruelty free products, then you know that the term is not very well regulated. It can mean different things to different people, especially when talking about specifics.

However, to answer the question “Is Palmer’s cruelty free,” we will be using its general definition.

For a product to be cruelty free, it must be completely free of animal testing, which means no testing during production and no testing on the ingredients before production. Final products must NOT be tested on animals.

For a brand to be cruelty free, it must not conduct animal testing on all levels and must not allow others to do the testing for them. There are instances when brands can claim they don’t conduct animal testing and instead hire third parties to do the testing for them.

On a more personal level, some people would consider a product cruelty free only when it has no ingredients derived from animals. But again, this is not part of the official definition and is mainly an individual choice.

It’s essential to define what the term means because there can be a lot of loopholes and misinformation surrounding the topic. Having a firm grasp on what it means allows you, the consumer, to make more informed and conscious decisions.

Here are some of our other guides to help you navigate the world of cruelty free and vegan brands and facts more generally.

Does Palmer's Test On Animals?

The brand states that they do not conduct tests on animals. Some of their products even indicate “No animal ingredients or testing.”

However, without further explanation, it’s a tad optimistic to take their word for. There is so much greenwashing in the clean beauty industry, and we must always exercise some skepticism.

As we will see more clearly in a bit, when beauty brands say they don’t test on animals, that doesn’t mean they’re cruelty free. Even brands claiming they are cruelty free might not actually be! Check out our guide on Morphe’s cruelty free status to get a better picture of how this is possible.

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What is Palmer's Animal Testing Policy

Unfortunately, although Palmer’s claims it is cruelty free and does not test its products on animals, they do not have an official animal testing policy.

On their US website, they do not have anything that answers their cruelty free status. We’ve checked their FAQ section as well as their company information. And sadly, nothing.

However, their UK website does have some information. As far as animal testing policies go, it’s not much, but it’s all we have as a basis. In the FAQ section, it is indicated that

“Palmer’s is a “cruelty free” company and does NOT conduct product tests on animals.”

If we base our conclusion on that alone, then yes, Palmers’ finished products are not tested on animals. However, the statement doesn’t clarify if Palmer’s sources are from suppliers that do not conduct animal testing.

And if we’ve learned one thing in our journey towards more mindful consumption, it’s that company claims need to be verified and never assumed.

Is Palmer's Owned By A Parent Company?

Yes. Palmer’s is owned by E.T. Browne Drug Company, another long-standing personal care brand. E.T Browne has been around for 160 years and remains one of the oldest consumer staple brands in the US.

Determining a brand’s parent company is vital for the cause because we need to make sure our money doesn’t eventually end up in the pockets of a company that still does animal testing.

Unfortunately, we could not determine if the parent brand is cruelty free. The parent doesn’t have a separate website, and it seems their operations are focused on Palmer’s products.

Is Palmer's Sold In Mainland China?

Why Is Selling In China Relevant?

One of the primary markers in determining whether or not Palmer’s is a cruelty free brand is identifying if they sell in Mainland China. For a long time, selling in Mainland China requires that a brand conduct product tests on animals (pre-market testing).

Until this year (2021), cruelty free brands cannot physically sell their products in China since the law requires animal testing. However, recent changes in policies surrounding routine post-market testing in the country have made these laws a bit laxer.

Now, foreign companies wishing to sell in Mainland China can do so without animal testing, provided they comply with all the required documentation.

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Does Palmer's Physically Sell In Mainland China?

Upon initial research, we could not find any information about whether or not the company sells in Mainland China. However, when we asked them, they confirmed they sold in China. Here’s what they said:

“Palmer’s sells products worldwide and to a distributor that sells throughout Asia, including China. As of Jan 1st 2021 China no longer requires animal testing for safety assessment on general cosmetic products such as Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lotion.”

So it is confirmed they sell physically in-store. But does this mean they aren’t cruelty free? Not exactly. As previously established, foreign companies may now sell without being tested on animals.

Although they specifically cited the recent regulation changes, they did not indicate nor imply they had already complied with the necessary requirements.

Does Palmer's Have Cruelty Free Certifications?

This is an interesting one. First off, Palmer’s does not have any relevant certifications. They are not partnered with PETA or Leaping Bunny. They do not have any certificate verifying that they do not test on animals.

Now, a cruelty free certification is not necessary for a brand to be conceptually and genuinely cruelty free. But, we are wary of large brands who claim they are cruelty free and yet, still do not have any certifications to verify their claims.

Moreover, Palmer’s US website has a very misleading logo. They placed a symbol of a green bunny with the words “no animal testing.”

Typically, doing this is completely fine if the brand has certifications. But in this case, there are none. The effect is more than a little misleading. Customers might think they have a relevant certification when that isn’t the case.

Is Palmer's Cruelty Free And Vegan?

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No. Palmer’s is not vegan, nor do they advertise themselves as vegan. The brand does have vegan products, and they clearly indicate which ones are. Read the label or product listing carefully to make sure.

Their ingredients list includes animal by-products such as milk, honey, beeswax, and lanolin, making their products not vegan friendly.

The fact that we cannot assure they are cruelty free may also deter some vegans from purchasing their products. If you are looking for quality, cruelty free and vegan alternatives to their products, we have numerous guides on vegan body care and cosmetics.

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

So, is Palmers cruelty free? It’s still a bit confusing.

Online, there are also conflicting conclusions. Some say the brand is, while others disagree. Based on the most recent information and their response to us via email, the logical conclusion is that Palmer’s is cruelty free.

After all, they maintain they don’t test on animals, and China has already lifted the animal testing requirement for general cosmetics.

However, we still cannot confirm if they source from suppliers that still conduct animal testing. They also did not elaborate on whether they’d already fulfilled the requirements for bypassing animal testing in China.

Because of this ambiguity, we maintain that Palmer’s still is not cruelty free and vegan. Until they can confirm they no longer do tests at all production levels and in all countries, Palmer’s is not cruelty free.

Looking for an alternative to Palmer’s cocoa butter? Check out our guide of the most luscious vegan lotions you need to try out for yourself.

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