Last Updated on April 9, 2021 by Eco Elsie
According to our research, it appears that it depends on who you ask!
For instance, PETA, who are often considered the authority on deciding what counts as animal cruelty, list Simple as one of the brands they consider to be entirely cruelty-free, adorning them with their leaping bunny logo.
Plus, many stores that stock Simple skincare refer to it as a cruelty-free brand, or categorize it as such.
However, many blogs across the web run by members of the animal rights movement and vegan community appear to have a different view.
Logical Harmony, a popular advice site for vegans, lists Simple as one of its Brands To Avoid.
They feel that because Simple has plans to expand their skincare line to sell in China one day, they are buying into a country that continues to enforce animal testing.
It is worth noting that the laws have very recently changed, and from May 1st 2021, China plans to remove their mandatory insistence that any imported cosmetics be tested on animals before accepting them for sale.
Therefore, those who previously believed that selling skincare in China is akin to supporting animal testing may well have a different opinion now that the laws have changed.
Is Simple Vegan?
Almost, but not quite one hundred percent. According to their Frequently Asked Questions section, a couple of their skincare products contain beeswax, which quite a lot of vegans recognize as an animal-derived product.
Although there is a debate about a need to save the bees, and the utilization of their by-products as an important factor in this – that’s an argument for another article.
What is relevant, however, is that Simple has promised that all future products they release will be designed “with vegan consumers in mind” and therefore “animal-derived ingredients will not be used.” If only all brands were this courteous!
So, whilst their current lineup of products isn’t vegan, they should eventually have a complete line of skincare that is, at which point they’ll be considered more animal-friendly than they are at present
However, until they discontinue any products with beeswax in the formula, many vegans won’t consider them a vegan brand. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles, unfortunately!
Is Simple An Ethical Company?
That’s very difficult to say, as it depends on your own personal ethical standpoints. We promise that isn’t a cop out answer, it’s just true.
Let’s consider the basics: Simple doesn’t test on animals, they haven’t since 2011, and also don’t currently sell in China. Just because a company has previously shown poor ethics in regards to animal testing, does that mean they can’t grow?
They have made a commitment to ensure every single skincare item they develop in the future will be entirely vegan, and only a few of their existing products are not, containing beeswax.
Again, the ins and outs of whether honey and beeswax can be considered vegan friendly is too long and arduous for this article, so we’ll leave that up to your personal opinion as well.
However, a pledge to never again test on animals, lending their voice to support a global ban on animal testing, and declaring a future of vegan-only skincare sounds like a pretty ethical company to us.
Plus, they’ve been backed by PETA – that doesn’t mean much outside of them being a company that PETA believes is cruelty-free, but many would consider such an honor to be reserved only for ethical companies.
Then again, under capitalism, is any company really ethical?
Does Simple Test On Animals?
Nope! As explained on their website, Simple is a Kind To Skin brand and ambassador; their company’s conception was in Europe, where animal testing has been banned for any beauty business entirely since 2011.
Miles ahead of the rest of the world!
It is also worth knowing that, because they have begun to stock Simple skincare outside of Europe, they are moving to support “a global ban on animal testing,” as well as reiterating that Unilever – the parent company Simple exists under – also support and “call for a global ban on animal testing.”
Not only this, but they also state that customers who reside in China are only able to purchase their Simple skincare “via cross-border channels/e-commerce, neither of which require testing by local authorities.”
Likewise, they also pledge that if they ever launch officially in China, they “will do so in a way that does not require animal testing,” reminding us that Unilever “actively collaborates with the Chinese government to develop and apply non-animal approaches.”
However, it should be pointed out that prior to being acquired by Unilever in 2011, Simple was known to test on animals, so some of their existing products may well have been at some point – do your research to find out which ones these are, if that makes you uncomfortable.
Are Simple Products Toxic?
Not in our opinion. The whole premise of the Simple brand is that they use the simplest blend of safe ingredients that are kind to your skin, avoiding any harsh chemicals and therefore targeting users with sensitive faces.
Free of colors, perfumes and more than 2,000 chemicals listed on their website, they offer a far cleaner skincare range than the majority of favored brands.
Given that their products are not just safe for, but recommended, to pregnant women, you can go ahead and assume you’ll be more than fine to put them on your face. The lack of artificial ingredients means they are safe for little ones too.
All Simple products come with a label indicating they are “Dermatologically Approved.” According to their FAQs, they’ve been “examined at an independent testing house” where a dermatologist independently verifies they are safe for use.
All of the above indicates that no, Simple products are not toxic.
However, it should be noted that one or two of their skincare items contains traces of parabens, and you can contact their customer service team to find out which ones these are if that is an issue.