You may be wondering who Bath and Body Works are. The company I am referring to is a company that specialises in bath and body products, such as shower gels, bubble bath mixes, body creams, candles, etc.
The company is a child company of the American retailer ‘L Brands’. But are they cruelty-free?
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Bath and Body Works Cruelty-Free 2021
The company has openly not been cruelty-free in the past. However, their responses have been very vague when asked by various individuals about their products being cruelty-free.
I got the following answer when I contacted them via their online chat service; “I cannot discuss this on webchat; you will have to contact our Enterprise Line to discuss further”.
I continued to ask the question. Wouldn’t it have been either a yes or a no to the question I asked? The last response was, “I do not believe that our products are vegan friendly, but I couldn’t say for sure”.
On their website, it says: “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.”
In other words, they may claim not to test their products on animals, but they are not vegan-friendly.
Why are Bath and Body Works Bad?
Even though the company claims they do not test any of their products on animals, they still sell them in mainland China. Cosmetic products need to undergo animal testing before being sold in China.
The Chinese government requires all brands that sell their products in China to first test the products on animals. Afterwards, the products can be sold on the mainland. If the brand advertises or sells its products in China, it cannot be considered cruelty-free.
A recent decision by the Chinese government ended the need for most cosmetic brands to test on animals. (Except for a few “specialised products” such as sunscreen, which still need animal testing).
In 2019, the company started selling its products in China for the first time. While they do sell their products in other countries and state that they have not tested their products on animals, they now sell their products in China, which means animal testing is allowed and does happen.
At first glance, there is no sign or logo on Bath and Body Works products that indicate they are vegan-friendly. A closer look reveals no ingredients list. It seems strange to me to put something on your skin without knowing what it is.
There is an option for you to search for the ingredients in the products, but this is only available if you are actively looking for them. As shown in the image below, located right at the bottom of the home page, below the heading “Discover”:
However, you can search for a particular product, but it doesn’t seem to bring up all of the products you might be looking for. After making several attempts to search for bath and shower gel and body creams and lotions, you discover that you can find only “Home Fragrance” products such as candles and room sprays.
Where can I find out what the ingredients in a particular product are? It seems even when I search their website for ‘ingredients’, it suggests ‘Home Fragrance Ingredients’ but nothing about beauty products…….I mean, seriously?
As soon as I saw the chatbox on their website, I used it again to ask what ingredients are in their ‘Winterberry Wonder’ Body Lotion.
The reply that I received was the description of the item. It states, “Our dermatologist-tested Super Smooth Winterberry Wonder Body Lotion provides 24 hours of nourishing moisture – guaranteed!”. Infused with shea butter, coconut oil and vitamin E, it absorbs quickly into the skin, so it feels noticeably softer after use.”
When I questioned the person saying this is a description of the product, not the ingredients. They advised there is a way to see the list of ingredients on the website, and I pointed out the only ingredients you can look up are the “Home Fragrance” ingredients.
So basically, if you want to find out the ingredients of any of the products that are not home fragrance-related, you would need to email them or jump on the “Chat To Us Now” link, which you then speak directly to a sales representative.
I am not sure about you, but this is not the effort I should have to go to in order to find out what I am putting on my skin! It should be easy to access and transparent.
What are they hiding if they are not displaying the ingredients in their beauty products?
When I asked why they were not displayed on their website, they replied:
“You will need to contact our Enterprise Team on 1-877-832-9272where one of our team members will be able to send you a ‘Materials Data Sheet’ for the product you are asking about.”
I wanted to know if other similar sites provided the ingredients used in their products, and funny enough, they do! No matter what similar site you go to, the ingredients are always right under the description or as close as possible to the product.
What is Bath and Body Works Cruelty-Free Alternative?
It would seem evident that vegan beauty products would also be cruelty-free, but it can be a grey area. Despite Bath and Body Works’ claim that it does not test its “products, formulations, or ingredients” on animals, some of its products contain animal derivatives which then rules out the vegan-friendly aspect.
So what alternatives are out there instead?
The number of companies that sell vegan-friendly and, most importantly, cruelty-free products will surprise you. Some of these companies include:
- Acure Organics
- Beauty Without Cruelty
- Function of Beauty
- Pacifica Beauty
- Buddy Scrub
- The Body Shop
- Colour Pop
- Up Circle Beauty
- Pai Skincare
- Vegan by Happy Skin
- Moo & Yoo
- Isle of Paradise
- Faith in Nature
- Wild Science Lab
- Studio Botanic
All of these companies are cruelty-free and vegan friendly. Thus, there is no need to continue purchasing products from a larger company that doesn’t share the same values as you do.
These products are both cruelty-free and vegan friendly, making them just as good, if not better, than other products.
Why not try them out for yourself? Are you ready to make the switch?
Are Bath and Body Works Cruelty-Free PETA Approved?
I am sure you have already realised that PETA does not support Bath and Body Works, and you cannot find them anywhere on PETA’s website. They do not bear the PETA logo or any other animal cruelty-free logo on any of their products or online. In this particular case, the fact that it is so hard to obtain the ingredients of their products shows that they have almost no products that align with PETA’s values.
Unless Bath and Body Works undergo a complete overhaul and reinvent their products to make them cruelty-free any time soon, I seriously doubt PETA will support Bath and Body Works at any point in the near future.
Which Bath and Body Works Products Are Vegan?
I hoped that I would be able to provide you all with a list of ‘Vegan-Friendly Products’ by Bath and Body Works after extensive research. But as you can see from the conversation above with one of their representatives, I would need to email them asking for a complete list of their products and the associated “Materials Data Sheets”.
Once this was done, then all of the material data sheets would have to be studied to determine if there are any vegan-friendly products, and I can assure you that this would not be an easy or quick task.
This is somewhat disappointing since you would expect companies to promote and lean towards cruelty-free products, if not 100% vegan, then certainly cruelty-free in today’s age.
Are Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Range Cruelty-Free?
There is also an Aromatherapy range by Bath and Body Works, and it would seem like something that would automatically be cruelty-free. Still, once again, each product has a product description followed by a “More Info” section, which takes the form of an ‘Aromatherapy Tip’ describing how you should use the product.
Aromatherapy can be used to alleviate stress and tension in the body. Since essential oils are highly concentrated versions of plant oils, they are usually cruelty-free and vegan-friendly by nature.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that all ‘Aromatherapy’ products are cruelty-free, as many of them are then mixed with other ingredients and products to produce the branded products we see on our high streets.
As far as I can tell, Bath and Body Works’ aromatherapy range does not adhere to ethical standards in any shape or form so would not be classed as cruelty-free.
They would display all of the ingredients used and shout about it loudly from the rooftops if they were cruelty-free, not hiding their ingredients from public view and making it rather challenging to obtain these details.
In conclusion to the question, Are Bath and Body Works Cruelty-Free? The simple answer to that question is no.
Additionally, the fact that they do not display the ingredients that are contained within their products does not help the situation. Nor does it help that they sell their products in China, especially as they were selling their products before the new animal testing laws came into effect.
Nevertheless, it leaves us with the question of, what are they trying to hide by not displaying the ingredients in plain sight? Is this because they want to appear to be a cruelty-free and vegan-friendly brand? In the hope that nobody will question it?
Who knows. The one thing I know for sure is that if you want a cruelty-free and vegan-friendly product, unfortunately Bath and Body Works will not be the company for you.
Perhaps in the future, they will move if not all, then a majority of their products in the direction of cruelty-free and vegan products.