Last Updated on April 9, 2021 by Eco Elsie
I adore Smashbox lip stains. I carry a natural color for daytime and berry shade for going out at night – Jennifer Morrison
During the quarter of a century that it’s taken to establish themselves as a mainstream, go-to brand of choice, Smashbox’s rollercoaster journey to becoming a cruelty-free company hasn’t been problem-free.
While they’re now happy to report that they are a cruelty-free brand and have the PETA certification to prove it, that wasn’t always the case and they’ve experienced their fair share of trials on the road to enlightenment.
PETA even lists Smashbox as one of the brands that you can trust in their Beauty Without Bunnies campaign.
They haven’t always been a cruelty-free brand though. Smashbox’s problems with their cruelty-free status seem to have started when they were bought by Estee Lauder, a company that famously isn’t cruelty-free, who then promptly introduced Smashbox to the Chinese market.
When they started selling their products in China, Smashbox lost its cruelty-free status and it would take them seven years to get it back.
That seven-year period when they were in PETA, and everyone else’s, bad books culminated in two thousand and seventeen when Smashbox changed its testing policy and completely withdrew from the Chinese market.
When they made the decision to change the territories in which they sold their products, Smashbox regained their cruelty-free status, and they remain proud of the fact that all of their products adhere to that philosophy.
Is Smashbox Vegan?
Despite the fact that they are a cruelty-free brand, Smashbox isn’t one hundred percent vegan. They’re slowly trying to get there, but like Rome, which wasn’t built in a day, it’s going to take them a while to actually get to the point where they want, and need, to be as a company.
The main problem seems to lie with their lips gloss, which still uses non-vegan by-products like beeswax, lanolin, and carmine, all of which they are looking to replace at some point in the near future. They do however have a completely vegan range of products that have created the roadmap that the company wants to follow in the future.
But their primers are a different story, as every single one that bears the Smashbox name is completely vegan. And that vegan dream that they’re aspiring to and reaching for, as company goals go, is one that we completely and totally stand behind yet. They might not be completely vegan yet, but they will be one day.
Is Smashbox An Ethical Company?
They’ve had their ups and downs, and they’ve made a number of ethically questionable and morally dubious decisions in the past, but Smashbox is looking to put those mistakes behind them as they move into the future.
The choice to become part of the Chinese market when they feel under the wing of Estee Lauder was one of the major factors that ended up threatening their ethical reputation.
However, as a brand, their position on animal testing forced them to withdraw from the Chinese market which was a financial goldmine for them and must have cost the company millions of dollars in the present and future sales.
That decision alone, and their willingness to put ideology and the health and wellbeing of animals before profit helped to cement their status as an ethical brand that was willing to do what was right regardless of what it cost them economically.
It was that decision and their ever-expanding range of vegan products that makes us believe them when they say that they want to become an entirely vegan-friendly brand in the near future.
And any brand that would sacrifice the amount of profit and money that Smashbox did when they stopped selling their products in mainland China has chosen to follow an ethical path instead of a profit-driven one.
Does Smashbox Test On Animals?
No Smashbox does not test any of its products or the ingredients for their products on animals.
PETA has attested to this, and has certified the brand as being one hundred percent cruelty-free, and has added them to the list of manufacturers that they support in their Beauty Without Bunnies campaign.
In fact, as they so eloquently say themselves, Smashbox loves lipstick and primers, but they also care about animals. That’s why the only testing that they do is on humans.
Relax, we’re just kidding, they do test their products on people, but all of their testers are volunteers and any testing that these volunteers undergo is, as you’ve almost certainly guessed, completely voluntary.
It’s true that this hasn’t always the case with Smashbox, and there was a period of time in which their products were tested on animals, but that was the fault of their parent company Estee Lauder, and not the brand themselves.
And since two thousand and seventeen, Smashbox hasn’t tested a single one of their products on any animals. That’s why PETA certified them as a one hundred percent cruelty-free brand.
Are Smashbox Products Toxic?
That depends entirely on how you view the use of parabens. A common microbial preservative that’s found in everything from beer to syrup and primer, parabens protect products from mold and are regarded as being safe for human usage and consumption in very low quantities.
That said, parabens can increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV (ultra-violet) rays which means that long-term exposure to them and their usage can also increase the chances of developing skin cancer.
While they have the potential to do so, it doesn’t mean that they will, and unless you have incredibly sensitive skin, parabens don’t pose any sort of significant threat.
Smashbox is a company that takes their customer’s worries incredibly seriously though, and as such, they’ve created an entire range of paraben-free products so that anyone who is worried about using them can feel safe with Smashbox.
Are their products toxic? As we said, that’s entirely dependent on how you view, and what you think about the use of parabens.
Is Smashbox Cruelty-Free? The Final Verdict
Is Smashbox cruelty-free? Yes, they are a one hundred percent cruelty-free brand.
And if you don’t believe them, just ask PETA. They’ll be more than happy to tell you they are too.