Is Bath and Body Works Vegan and Cruelty Free? (2020)

Bath and Body works is not a cruelty free brand, even though it has some vegan products.

BrandCruelty FreeVegan
Bath and Body WorksNoSome products

 

Quick Product Check:
Bath and Body Works Soaps
Bath and Body Works Handsoaps
Bath and Body Works Body Wash
Bath and Body Works Lotions
Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizers
Bath and Body Works Shower Gels
Bath and Body Works Fragrances
Bath and Body Works Room Sprays
Bath and Body Works Wallflower Plugs

What Most Blogs Get Wrong About Bath & Body Works Products and Animal Testing

A lot of sites mistakenly say Bath and Body Works is animal friendly and vegan – even Bath and Body works own website claim that.

The truth is that Bath & Body Works put out carefully worded responses to make them seem cruelty free and they hide the information you’d need to check for yourself.

Too many well-intentioned cruelty free and vegan websites think they’re safe, but they’re being misled.

Here’s why…

Bath and Body Works Used To Be a Cruelty Free Brand

Bath and Body Works is playing us for fools.

They have “cruelty free” on all their products, their website says they don’t test on animals and they were even on PETA’s approved vegan brands list for a while.

But its all a carefully constructed illusion designed to deceive you.

Here’s what they’re not telling you…

Brands Can Claim Cruelty Free Even if They Test on Animals

The term “cruelty-free” is unregulated – that means they’re not breaking the law, even if they test on animals.

In any other industry, that would be considered false advertising.

Any product claiming to be something it isn’t to get you to buy it would have the Advertising Standards Agencies all over them, but when it comes to “cruelty free” it seems they’re not bothered.

Sadly, cruelty free is now just marketing rather than something that matters.

Bath and Body Works is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Presenting your brand as compassionate to win buyers favour when you allow animal abuse makes my blood boil.

Bath & Body Works Doesn’t Answer The “Are You Cruelty Free And Vegan?” Question Honestly

I don’t like the way Bath and Body Works avoid this question.

Here’s what their website says:

WHAT IS YOUR POLICY REGARDING ANIMAL TESTING?

“Bath & Body Works does not test any of our products, formulations or ingredients on animals. Period. All of our personal care products are produced in North America, Europe and South Korea.”

That makes it sound like Bath and Body Works is vegan.

But digging deeper reveals the truth, but it wasn’t easy to get it.

Vegan activists who asked Bath and Body Works publicly on Twitter and Facebook were ignored and even had their posts deleted! What are they hiding if they’re as cruelty free as they claim in their public statements?

After emailing the brand directly they got this response:

“L Brands policy prohibits the testing of our branded products, formulations and ingredients on animals except in rare cases when required by government regulations. Through our involvement in the Institute For In Vitro Sciences, we are supporting research to develop additional non-animal alternative methods which we believe will ultimately result in the elimination of animal testing worldwide.”

Let’s run those two statements back again…

Public Statement – “Bath & Body Works does not test any of our products, formulations or ingredients on animals. Period.”

Private Statement – “L Brands policy prohibits the testing of our branded products, formulations and ingredients on animals except in rare cases when required by government regulations.”

Wait what?!

You can’t claim to be compassionate but allow torture so you can make more money.

Bath & Body Works Products Contain Animal By-Products

Even though Bath and Body Works claims not to test on animals in their “products, formulations or ingredients” – their products still contain ingredients whose derivatives (something which is based on another source) are from animals.

Bath and Body Works are doing what a lot of brands do: They use a loophole to claim THEY don’t test on animals, but they’re only talking about their part of the production chain.

How Brands Use The Supplier Loophole To Lie About Being Cruelty Free

Brands buy their ingredients from suppliers and many of the raw ingredients are not cruelty free. Its more important to know if the raw ingredients used in the products were tested on animals.

PETA has a comprehensive list of animal by products and derivatives you can use to check against the label, but that’s hard work.

A true cruelty free brand verifies their suppliers don’t test on animals, but most of them are not doing that. Even those with the cruelty free stamp.

The whole production chain is what matters, and that’s been corrupted unfortunately.

Its not OK for brands to just worry about their part of the chain.

Brands That Sell in Mainland China = Mandatory Animal Testing

Any brand that sells in Mainland China tests on animals, no matter what they say.

This is because Chinese law makes it mandatory for all cosmetic products to go through animal testing before they can be sold in China. So brands who want to access the lucrative China market have a moral decision to make, and many of them choose cash over compassion.

Again, Bath and Body Works are not honest about this.

In their statement they said:

“The brand is expecting to pilot selling products in China during the summer of 2019. Any personal care products sold in China will be produced in China, which eliminates the Chinese government’s requirement for animal testing as that only applies to imported personal care products.”

Here’s the problem with that…

Whilst they can bypass pre-market animal testing in China, but they cannot get around the post-market animal testing requirement.

That means all Bath & Body Works products sold in China are tested on animals, regardless of where they are manufactured.

Again the brand makes it seem like they’ve taken steps to ensure no animals are harmed, but its simply not true.

This feels like a carefully worded statement given by their attorney to answer the question without lying, but they end result is the same: we’re being misled.

When Did Bath and Body Works Start Testing on Animals?

Bath and Body Works started selling products in China during the summer of 2019.

Even if their products in other countries are not tested on animals, as a company, they allow animal testing. Its up to you to make a moral decision on that. For us, it doesn’t matter where the cruelty happens – we’re not OK with it.

Bath and Body Works is not Leaping Bunny approved and PETA has now removed them from their list of completely vegan beauty and body product brands.

That should be evidence enough for any vegan or compassionate person to avoid Bath and Body Works.

Are All Bath and Body Works Products Tested on Animals?

Bath and Body Works products sold outside of China are not tested on animals, but many of their other products contain animal by products which are tested on animals.

Whilst Bath and Body Works does sell completely vegan products, as a company they allow animal testing on their products sold in China – so make your own decision on how you feel about that.

For most of us that’s a deal breaker.

What Bath and Body Works Products Are Vegan?

Like all things Bath and Body Works, its unclear because they make it difficult for us to find the truth.

Here’s how difficult it is:

Their website shows nothing when you search “vegan”:

Searching the FAQs and Customer Support page brings up nothing either:

Even checking each product individually is made harder than it should be. You’ll find:

  • No ingredients list
  • Very limited product information

There’s only a description and an overview which is mostly marketing talk like “16 hours of continuous moisture — guaranteed!”

The “Home Fragrances” range are the only products that have an ingredient list:

That opens another page with a small ingredient list.

The best option is this product ingredient page. On this page you can enter the product name or a specific ingredient to find out what it contains:

Trying to search for any product other than a “Home Fragrance” comes up with nothing:

With “Home Fragrances” we finally get somewhere!

But now you have to search each ingredient manually against PETA’s animal ingredient list. Frustrating!

This level of transparency says everything.

We have a right to know what’s in the products we put on our bodies, yet Bath and Body Works makes this way too hard. Again and again, with every enquiry or question we come up against a wall if carefully worded misinformation and vague statements.

Something is rotten here and its starting to stink!

Vegan Bath and Body Works Product List

Its impossible to provide you with a list of vegan products from Bath and Body Works because:

  • Bath & Body Works make it hard to find the ingredients in most of their products
  • They don’t have any vegan specific products on their website currently

What you should know is that as a company they allow animal testing for their Chinese market products and many of their products contain animal derivatives or by products.

So we don’t consider any of their products to be vegan.

Are Bath and Body Works Soaps Vegan?

Bath and Body Works soaps are not vegan.

Bath and Body Works hide the ingredient list on their website which means we can’t confirm if their soaps are vegan. But the company allows animal testing in their products sold in China and many products contain animal by products.

For more information see above.

Is there a Vegan Bath and Body Works Hand Soap?

Bath and Body Works hand soaps are not vegan.

The ingredient lists are missing from their website and the company is known to allow animal testing on their Chinese products.

For more information see above.

Is Bath and Body Works Body Wash Vegan?

Bath and Body Works body wash is not vegan.

The brand allow animal testing on their products sold in China, plus many of their products contain animal derivatives.

For more information see above.

Are Bath and Body Works Lotions Vegan?

Bath and Body Works body wash is not vegan.

The brand allow animal testing on their products sold in China, plus many of their products contain animal derivatives.

For more information see above.

Are Bath and Body Works Candles Vegan?

Bath and Body Works candles are not vegan.

The brand allow animal testing on their products sold in China, plus many of their products contain animal derivatives.

For more information see above.

Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizer Vegan?

Bath and Body Works hand sanitizers are not vegan.

The brand allow animal testing on their products sold in China, plus many of their products contain animal derivatives.

For more information see above.

Are Bath and Body Works Shower Gels Vegan?

Bath and Body Works shower gels are not vegan.

The brand allow animal testing on their products sold in China, plus many of their products contain animal derivatives.

For more information see above.

Are Bath and Body Works Fragrances & Perfumes Vegan?

Bath and Body Works fragrances, perfumes and colognes are not vegan.

The brand allow animal testing on their products sold in China, plus many of their products contain animal derivatives.

For more information see above.

Are Bath and Body Works Room Sprays Vegan?

Bath and Body Works room sprays are not vegan.

The brand allow animal testing on their products sold in China, plus many of their products contain animal derivatives.

For more information see above.

Are Bath and Body Works Wallflower Plugs Vegan?

Bath and Body Works wallflower plugs are not vegan.

The brand allow animal testing on their products sold in China, plus many of their products contain animal derivatives.

For more information see above.

Cruelty Free & Vegan Alternatives To Bath and Body Works

There are many vegan alternatives to Bath and Body Works to choose from, many available on Amazon.

Some of the best known cruelty free and vegan brands are:
  • Alchimie Forever – Cruelty-free and woman-owned and offers skin-care products
  • Dr. Botanicals – Skin care products from this PETA Business Friend
  • Spectrum Collections – Animal friendly makeup brushes
  • Arbonne – A wide range of health, beauty and nutrition products
  • Pacifica – Skin-care products, cosmetics, and perfume
  • 7th Heaven – PETA approved affordable vegan face masks
  • Nature’s Gate – Personal-care products made from fruit and plant extracts, essential oils, and herbs
  • Beauty Without Cruelty – Hair-care and -styling, skin-care, cosmetic and even nail products
  • Billy Jealousy – One for the men, offering beard oil, pomade shaving products and more
  • ColorProof Evolved Color Care – Offering a full line of hair-care products for color treated hair
  • Body Crystal of California – Antiperspirants, aftershave, body splash, cleansers, and washcloths.
  • MuLondon Organic – Sweet smelling moisturizers and cleansers
  • EcoTools – Make up and hair brushes, fake eyelashes and bath and spa products
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby – Natural bath products, lotions, teas and baby moisturizers
  • Nanshy – makeup brushes, sponges and accessories
  • The Fanciful Fox – Handmade soaps, shower and bath products, scrubs, facial cleansers, lip balms for men, women and babies
  • Hugo Naturals – Body and hair-care products including aromatherapy mists
  • Le Labo – Fragrances for you and your home in regular and travel sizes. Also offering body oils, shower gels and lotions
  • NCLA – Nail wraps, lacquers, and other nail treatments
  • Per-fékt Beauty – Body, face, eye, and lip products
  • Sibu Beauty – Skin care products using a fruit from the Tibetan Himalayas called sea buckthorn
  • skyn ICELAND – Skin care using glacial water to moisturize, clean, and heal tired skin
  • Sparitual – Nail treatments and skin care products to heal and restore your skin

In 2020, there’s no reason for us to spend our money with brands who aren’t vegan and cruelty free. The days of expensive, hard to get cosmetics are behind us, you can get affordable, high quality, high compassion products delivered to your door easier than ever.

Bath and Body Works Summary

Bath and Body Works may claim they’re cruelty free, but it’s all branding and marketing lies. They may have some vegan products at times, but they hide the ingredients and use animal derivatives in many of their products.

As a brand, they allow animal testing in some parts of their business and that’s a big red flag for anyone who cares about animals.

With so many cruelty free brands a few clicks away, you’re no longer forced to guess which brands are truly animal friendly.

Hey! We’re Miriam & Skye, two digital nomads travelling the world year round searching for the best vegan food, fashion and beauty products. We share the best of everything we find.  Miriam is from Mexico City (but lived in the U.S ) and Skye is from London, UK.  When we’re not blogging here, we’re busy discovering new cities, watching The Office (UK) reruns and finding quiet coffee shops and libraries around the world.  Read More About Us Here.

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