Last Updated on April 9, 2021 by Eco Elsie
Essence is a drugstore makeup brand that produces budget-friendly and accessible makeup products.
Founded in Germany 20 years ago in 2001, the company became Germany’s number 1 makeup brand just 6 years later, in 2007. Essence has now expanded drastically as a business, selling its cosmetics in over 50 countries, including the United States and Canada.
Many makeup-lovers have been initially drawn to Essence’s makeup range due to the affordable prices and surprisingly high-quality formulas.
But there are plenty more reasons to find some new favorite products from Essence today, including the company’s policies regarding animal welfare, dermatological safety, and giving back to the community!
Is Essence Cruelty-Free?
Animal lovers will be delighted to hear that Essence is a 100% cruelty-free brand! This means that Essence’s products are never, under any circumstances, tested on animals.
This is refreshing to see in the makeup industry, especially for such a budget-friendly company. Often, makeup brands who want to sell their products for more affordable prices will take advantage of the largest possible markets.
China is currently one of the highest exporters of cosmetics in the world, with an export value worth $2.8 billion. China is also the second-largest market for cosmetic consumption worldwide. The country’s cosmetic consumption value in 2018 totaled $58.26 billion, beaten out only by the United States.
It’s clear to see why selling cosmetics products in mainland China would be a financially appealing prospect for U.S. and Europe-based cosmetic companies.
However, Essence has made the commendable choice to hold all of their contractors accountable according to European Union regulations under which animal testing is banned.
Therefore, every single product in Essence’s makeup range is cruelty-free.
Is Essence Vegan?
While not all of Essence’s products are completely plant-based, we’re pleased to confirm that Essence’s makeup range is 91% vegan.
Again, for a budget-friendly drugstore brand whose products also happen to be of impressive quality, this is a significant achievement!
With that being said, we are aware that some vegan customers will be unwilling to support Essence as a brand due to the fact that the company is not 100% vegan.
However, boycotting all companies that are not 100% vegan is an enormous commitment. Therefore, Essence remains an excellent choice for vegans and animal-lovers who want to purchase affordable makeup that’s free from animal-derived ingredients.
Additionally, Essence has stated that the company’s ultimate goal is to make its entire range of products 100% vegan, which is super exciting news!
Just some of Essence’s current vegan products include the popular This Is Nude lipstick collection and the Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara range.
All vegan products from Essence are clearly and helpfully labeled with the vegan logo, so buyers can always be 100% confident in the ethical status of their purchases!
Is Essence an Ethical Company?
Speaking of ethical statuses, we know that many of our readers will be curious about the ethics of Essence Cosmetics as a whole.
Happily, Essence shines in terms of general ethics as well as animal rights!
In addition to its strict no-animal-testing policy and 91% vegan makeup range, Essence has made product donations to multiple charitable causes.
These include Operation Prom, which is an organization committed to supporting students in need of financial aid. The organization helps less privileged students to attend important life events such as their Prom by donating dresses and tuxedos.
The charity also provides school supplies and scholarships.
Essence also donates to Feeding America, Dress for Success, and Family to Family.
Essence’s choice of charitable causes covers urgent world issues such as hunger and poverty in addition to helping young and women-identifying individuals to feel confident and beautiful despite their struggles.
Does Essence Test on Animals?
No, Essence does not test its products on animals under any circumstances.
To reiterate what we discussed earlier regarding Essence’s cruelty-free status, Essence does not sell its products in mainland China, nor does it take on contractors that do not adhere to anti-animal-testing European regulations.
In the European Union, animal testing has been banned since 2004. This law was extended in 2009 to prohibit the sale of any products containing individual ingredients that have been tested on animals. Therefore, Essence’s makeup is not tested on animals in either incomplete or complete form.
Essence is very clear on its company-wide policy against animal testing, describing animal testing methods as ‘torture’ in the FAQ section of its website.
Moreover, Essence stresses that there are plenty of safe dermatological testing alternatives currently available and being developed that don’t require any animal suffering.
Instead, Essence uses in-vitro laboratory testing to rule out the potential for harmful effects before products hit the shelves.
Are Essence Products Toxic?
So, we know that Essence is an ethical company that doesn’t test on animals or use animal-derived ingredients in the majority of its products. But what about the safety of these products?
Truly, it seems that there’s nothing Essence can’t do at this point! In addition to being highly ethical from a humanist, environmental, and animal-rights standpoint, Essence’s products are non-toxic and dermatologically safe!
All of Essence’s formulas are made with ingredients that fully comply with the European Union Cosmetics Directive and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the United States.
Moreover, linking back to Essence’s advocation for non-animal-related dermatological testing methods, the company specifies that chemical policy requirements within the European Union demand proof of safety for each ingredient used in cosmetic products.
Since Essence complies with these regulations and does not test on animals, it follows that it is completely possible to ascertain the safety of an ingredient or formula without harming any animals.
Essence uses alternative, in-vitro (test tube) testing methods to confirm chemical safety and lack of toxicity for each of their products.
The majority of Essence’s products are free from parabens, so the risk of skin irritation is significantly minimized, as is the risk of other harmful effects that have been linked to parabens, including cancer and reduced fertility.
Overall, Essence Cosmetics are not known to be toxic or to cause allergic reactions.