Is Bath and Body Works Cruelty-free?

Last Updated on April 9, 2021 by Eco Elsie

Bath and Body Works prides itself on being the go-to place for gifts, from 3 wick scented candles, to home fragrances, to skincare products.

However, for those that don’t know and are curious: Is Bath and Works cruelty-free?

In 2019, Bath and Body Works released a controversial statement that they would be pilot selling products in China during the summer of 2019, and its personal care products sold in China would be produced in China.

As a result, Bath and Body Works is not a cruelty-free brand.

Although brands can now bypass pre-market animal testing in China, they’re not exempt from potential post-market animal testing, and this is where the controversy arises.

A representative from Bath and Body Works stated that while they currently do not sell in markets that require animal testing by law, if a market they are in now, or in the future, required animal testing, they would allow this testing to occur.

For a beauty product to be considered cruelty-free, no part of the product can be tested on animals at any point during production.

Although Bath and Body Works claim that they do not test any of its branded products, formulations, or ingredients on animals, due to the risk of animal testing involved, I cannot confidently conclude that this brand is cruelty-free.

Is Bath and Body Works vegan?

No, Bath and Body Works is not vegan, and they don’t market themselves as such. In fact, if you type ‘vegan’ into their website, no results come up, making it safe to assume that Bath and Body Works are not vegan-friendly.

This theory is supported by the fact that Bath and Body Works make it incredibly difficult for consumers to determine the ingredients in the majority of their products.

Despite checking individual products, Bath and Body Works only provides limited product information and no ingredients list. Bizarrely, they provide an ingredients list for their home fragrances range, but that’s it.

Although they might offer certain vegan products, it’s impossible for customers to find a list of vegan products from Bath and Body Works because:

  • Bath and Body Works don’t have any vegan products on their website currently.
  • Bath & Body Works make it difficult for you to find out the ingredients in the majority of its products.

You should also consider the fact that as a company they allow animal testing for the products that they sell in mainland Chinese and many of their products contain animal derivatives or by-products. As a result, then, I don’t consider any of their products to be vegan, and neither should you.

Is Bath and Body Works an ethical company?

As Bath and Body Works do not market themselves as vegan and are not a brand that I can say with confidence are cruelty-free, then no – I do not consider Bath and Body Works to be an ethical company.

As a brand that claims that they would, should the situation arise, test on animals to adhere to Chinese law, you cannot claim to be cruelty-free.

The testing of animals is unnecessary and cruel, and their actions to expand their sales and the production of their products to mainland China, despite the risks that this could result in animal testing speaks for itself. As a result of this, Bath and Body Works appears to be one of the many companies that takes advantage of the fact the term ‘cruelty-free’ is unregulated, simply to appeal to a wider market.

In summary, then, there are many cruelty-free brands out there that are much more ethical than Bath and Body Works, and I suggest you do your research to find them if your ethics don’t align with Bath and Body Works.

Does Bath and Body Works test on animals?

If you are familiar with certified cruelty-free, then you will know that there are three organizations that currently certify whether a product is cruelty-free: PETA, Leaping Bunny, and Choose Cruelty-Free.

Each of these organizations takes pride in bestowing a bunny logo on a cruelty-free product to show that it has not been tested on animals.

This bunny logo is easily located on the side of their packaging as an assurance that the product is cruelty-free. Bath & Body Works is not certified by any organizations to back up the claim that they do not test on animals.

Although they claim they don’t currently test on animals, they also don’t deny that they would have to should any of the markets that they sell to in China request that they do so by law.

Are Bath and Body Works products toxic?

Although you might not necessarily think about it too much when you’re out shopping and smelling lovely fragrances, beauty products can often contain hundreds of chemicals and compounds that may or may not be toxic to your body.

There is quite a bit of controversy regarding whether Bath and Body Works products are toxic.

Over the years, Bath & Body Works has sold products with harmful ingredients including ‘triclosan’, but since 2014 the brand has phased out this ingredient as triclosan was banned by the FDA in 2016.

They have also been known to produce products with BHA and BHT which are synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. Alongside this, some of their products include Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) a binding agent added to cosmetics to improve stability but is potentially toxic to organs as well as parabens.

Bath and Body Works are known for their delicious smelling fragrances, including every season and holiday you can imagine that evokes nostalgic memories such as gingerbread and peppermint.

Although synthetic fragrances might make your products smell pleasant, they are unfortunately one of the top contenders to cause an allergic reaction to your skin.

This is because fragrances contain harsh chemicals, such as parabens, and can irritate your skin.

If you have any skin sensitivities, I highly recommend researching the ingredients in your beauty products to ensure that you’re being as safe as you can be.

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