Essence is a cosmetics company founded in 2001 in Germany. It was founded by a small entrepreneur who decided to create a brand with high-quality but affordable cosmetics.
In 2007, Essence became the number one selling cosmetics brand in Germany and expanded to over 50 countries worldwide. Two years later, it began selling overseas in stores such as Ulta Beauty, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Pharmaprix. The brand won several Allure Best Beauty Awards and became loved by many consumers all across the world.
Is Essence Cruelty-Free?
|Not sold in China?||Yes|
|Leaping Bunny Certified||No(*)|
|Has vegan products||Yes|
|Not owned by a Parent Company that does Animal Testing?||Yes|
Yes, Essence is cruelty-free!
This means that none of its finished products, ingredients, or formulations are tested on animals. At the same time, the brand ensures that all of its suppliers are cruelty-free and doesn’t pay for third-party testing. They use several kinds of alternative testing methods, most notably testing on human volunteers.
Essence isn’t certified by PETA or the Leaping Bunny label, but this shouldn’t be a surprise. As brands from the EU are not allowed to test their ingredients or end-products on animals by law, most brands don’t want to apply for additional certification(*). And becoming a member of PETA or the Leaping Bunny is entirely voluntary. Essence is now certified by PETA.
Also, Essence is one of the most transparent brands when it comes to animal cruelty and animal testing. They have a detailed FAQ on their website with their official statements.
Best Selling Essence Products
Are Essence products sold in China?
No, Essence’s products are not sold in mainland China.
What is the Deal with China?
Even though animal testing is proven to be an unnecessary and unethical practice, some countries still require it by law. This is the case with the second-biggest market in the world, China.
China requires any beauty product to be tested on animals before allowing importation and being sold in Chinese stores. Any company or brand that makes the decision to sell in China has also decided to test on animals – either by themselves or, usually, by paying a third-party company to test on their behalf. This is the main reason why a lot of brands can’t achieve a true cruelty-free status. After growing public outrage, China did lift some regulations in 2014, which allowed certain beauty products, such as shampoos and other skincare items, to be imported without testing, but this is still a small percentage.
A lot of brands that claim to be cruelty-free are being misleading thanks to these laws. Even if a brand doesn’t conduct animal testing on its own, by deciding to take the opportunity and sell in countries such as China, it is allowing a third-party to test the final product on animals. This is why PETA and the Leaping Bunny Program have forbidden brands that they certify to expand their market in this direction – and rightfully so.
A lot of companies are working with the Chinese government on lifting these regulations, and legislation was proposed in 2019 that should stop mandatory animal testing. However until today, no substantial progress has been made in this regard, we continue to wait patiently.
Is Essence Vegan?
Essence isn’t a 100% vegan brand, but most of its products are vegan. All vegan products are clearly labeled so you can easily distinguish them from the rest. Non-vegan products do contain some animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products such as beeswax and carmine.
At the same time, Essence is entirely natural, and it has the Organic Essence line, which is 100% organic. Its organic products are certified by the USDA.
Who owns Essence and does the parent company test on animals?
The brand is owned by Cosnova, a German cosmetics brand that is cruelty-free and strictly against animal testing. Since its founding, Essence was cruelty-free, and its policies haven’t changed after a parent company acquired it. This makes it a genuinely cruelty-free brand.
What products does Essence sell?
Essence’s products tend to vary depending on the country they are sold in. It is known for its colorful make-up lines that can be found at most bigger drugstores and shops in over 50 countries worldwide.
Apart from make-up, the brand has a nail polish line. It also sells cosmetic brushes, setting spray, and other similar beauty products. Make-up lovers adore this brand and some of its products tend to sell out, both online and in stores quickly.