Aquaphor is well known for its best-selling skincare product, Aquaphor Healing Ointment, which works great on dry skin, chapped lips, and minor cuts and scrapes. Aquaphor also has a line of lip balms including Aquaphor Lip Repair and offers baby care and first aid products.
But what is the company’s stance on animal testing and using animal-derived ingredients? Is Aquaphor cruelty-free and vegan?
Unfortunately, Aquaphor is neither cruelty-free nor vegan. Animal testing is a part of its production process, making it not cruelty-free, and it contains an animal-derived ingredient, making it not vegan.
In this post, we are going to explore the question of is Aquaphor cruelty-free and vegan in more depth by looking at the animal testing practices of both it and its parent company and learn whether it holds any cruelty-free certifications.
We’ll also find out why Aquaphor is not vegan, what animal-derived ingredients it contains, learn whether or not it is sold in China, and look at some Aquaphor alternatives.
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Is Aquaphor Cruelty-Free?
Aquaphor does not make any reference to animal testing or being cruelty-free on their official website, so the full extent of their policy is not immediately evident, but because of their presence in the Chinese market, we can determine that they are not cruelty-free.
Since China mandates animal testing on most cosmetics before being sold on store shelves, this means that Aquaphor allows its products to be tested on animals. As a result, Aquaphor is not cruelty-free.
No sources dispute this assessment, and Aquaphor does not hold any certifications that indicate the opposite.
Is Aquaphor Owned By A Parent Company That Tests On Animals?
Aquaphor is owned by the German corporation Beiersdorf AG, which is not cruelty-free.
While they do state their commitment to ending animal testing on their website, they also clarify that they do not claim the cruelty-free label for multiple reasons.
The most relevant reason that they are not cruelty-free is that they sell in markets where animal testing is mandatory, giving China as an example.
Is Aquaphor Certified Cruelty-Free?
Aquaphor does not hold any certification for being cruelty-free, neither from PETA nor from the Leaping Bunny Program, which are two of the biggest on the global scale.
The Leaping Bunny Program would not offer Aquaphor certification due to its criteria for designating a company as cruelty-free. A brief summary can be found below:
- Neither the products nor the ingredients must use animal testing.
- Anything sourced from third-party suppliers should also not be tested on animals.
- The company must ensure that these third parties are meeting the standard.
- The company must not allow other countries to test their products on animals in order to sell there.
- Companies must be re-certified yearly.
Is Aquaphor Vegan?
Aquaphor is not vegan for two reasons:
The first reason that many do not consider Aquaphor to be vegan is because of their policy of testing on animals.
For many people, not being cruelty-free automatically disqualifies a product from being considered vegan because animals have to be harmed during the product’s development and production.
The second reason that Aquaphor is not vegan is a lot more clear-cut, and that is that it contains ingredients that have been derived from animals.
Although the animal-derived ingredient that Aquaphor uses, lanolin, does not necessitate the death of the sheep from which it is extracted, it nonetheless disqualifies the beauty product from being classified as vegan for the same reason that honey and milk would.
Do Aquaphor Products Contain Animal-Derived Ingredients?
Aquaphor notably contains an ingredient that is derived from sheep, lanolin alcohol (lanolin). Lanolin is a waxy substance that is secreted from the glands in the skin of sheep and other animals that produce wool.
The most common source of lanolin that humans use in skincare products is taken from sheep.
Lanolin is used in skincare products to keep moisture within the skin. This keeps your skin from becoming too dry or cracked, especially during colder and drier seasons.
Although it is produced in the animals’ skin, it does not need to be extracted directly from it.
When sheep are shorn for wool, anywhere up to a quarter of the weight of this newly shorn wool will be from the lanolin that is on it. This wool is put through a washing process that extracts the lanolin from it.
At this point, the wool is already removed from the sheep, so the extraction process is not harmful to them. Lanolin is nonetheless an ingredient that has been derived from an animal, so it is not considered vegan, nor would any product made with it be.
Is Aquaphor Sold In China?
The Aquaphor brand is sold in China, as are products from its parent company Beiersdorf. The Chinese government mandates that a very high proportion of cosmetic products sold in physical stores in the country be tested on animals prior to hitting store shelves.
Although the country has begun to loosen restrictions by allowing what they classify as “general cosmetics” to be sold without going through an animal testing process, this category would not cover the full gamut of products that Beiersdorf offer.
For this reason, the company’s presence on the Chinese market is an automatic indicator that it is not cruelty-free.
What Are Some Cruelty-Free Alternatives To Aquaphor?
If you are looking for an alternative to occlusives like Aquaphor, you could look into all of the many skincare products that contain petrolatum (petroleum jelly), since Aquaphor Healing Ointment contains 41% petrolatum.
Unfortunately, many of these petroleum jelly products from the biggest name brands tend to not be cruelty-free due to those companies’ presence in the Chinese market, and even some of the smaller brands that claim to be cruelty-free are in the grey area.
Although not as effective as a fully formed and developed cosmetic product, some of the most common ingredients in them can be used as substitutes for occlusives. One example is shea butter, ideal if you have a dry skin type, which is both cruelty-free and vegan due to it being extracted from African shea trees.
Many plant oils can fill the same niche while similarly not involving animal testing or even any animal-derived ingredients.
Oils extracted from plants and vegetables like olive, sunflower, avocado, or coconut oil have some of the characteristics of occlusives, although you should be careful with how you apply them onto your skin, especially if you have an oily skin type if you decide to go this route.
Alba Botanica Un-Petroleum Multi-Purpose Jelly is an oil-based alternative to Aquaphor that contains castor seed oil sunflower seed oil, beeswax, and vitamin E. Although it isn’t vegan due to the inclusion of beeswax, it is cruelty-free and doesn’t contain petroleum.
It protects from skin irritation and chafing and can even remove eye makeup or be used to calm diaper rash.
Final Thoughts: Is Aquaphor Cruelty-Free And Vegan?
When trying to determine if Aquaphor is cruelty-free and vegan, we have seen how it can be difficult due to the company not addressing the issue as publicly as some others.
We found that Aquaphor products are not considered to be cruelty-free as the company sells in China, where animal testing is required by law.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment also contains lanolin, an ingredient derived from sheep wool, so it is not vegan.
Thanks for reading!