Is Huda Beauty Cruelty-Free?

Huda Beauty had a humble beginning. In 2010 it was merely a blog about beauty.

Since then it has seen tremendous growth with 26 million followers on Instagram alone. 

The company, as we will see, is cruelty-free.

Regarding the overarching vision of the company, Huda Kattan writes:

“I’ve always been extremely passionate and the type of person who loves sharing information! When I first started my career in beauty I was working as a makeup artist which I absolutely loved but I still felt like something was missing.

I wanted to help others by sharing the tricks I had learned and acknowledge all of the incredible talented makeup artists, photographers and models in the industry. I knew that beauty sometimes felt a bit unattainable and cold and I really wanted to change that.

Ultimately, Hudabeauty.com became a place for people to feel beautiful and comfortable, and to share their own inspiration and thoughts around beauty.”

Additionally, Huda says that her motivation is more based on helping people feel better about themselves rather than materialistic needs:

“I’m not motivated by money, so the bottom line doesn’t matter to me. It is about giving people the power to them express who they want to be no matter who they are, or where they are from.

Beauty is not about how much you spend, but how confident you feel, so that will always be the ultimate goal for us.

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Huda states that it’s cruelty-free

When it comes to animal testing, Huda says that it doesn’t do so. Of course, many companies that are shown to not be cruelty-free make this claim.

On its site, Huda states:

“Whilst our products are not officially certified as ‘cruelty free’ we can confirm that we do not conduct or commission animal testing on ingredients, formulations or finished products”

The website, Ethical Elephant, also recognizes Huda as being kind to animals. Vy, Ethical Elephant’s founder, emailed Huda Beauty about being cruelty-free.

Regarding the reply back, Vy writes:

“Huda Beauty confirmed to me that they do not test their ingredients or products on animals; they do not ask or hire any third parties to test their products or ingredients on animals on their behalf; their ingredient suppliers do not test on animals and they have manufacturers certifications to confirm this; they do not sell their products in stores in mainland China or any other country that may require animal testing by law.”

What does it take to be certified as cruelty-free?

Though Ethical Elephant can’t certify a company as being cruelty-free, it does offer some guidelines for a company to be considered as such. For the company to be on the approval list of its site, Ethical Elephant has the following criteria:

  • The brand does not test its finished products on animals.
  • The brand does not test its ingredients on animals.
  • The brand does not allow or ask a third party to test its ingredients, formulations, or finished products on animals on its behalf.
  • All of the brand’s ingredient suppliers & manufacturers also do not test on animals, and they verify this with documents or certifications.
  • The brand does not allow its products or ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law.
  • The brand does not sell its cosmetics in China under current conditions that may require animal tests. This includes brands must not be willing to allow the Chinese government to test its products or ingredients on animals.

Leaping Bunny’s certification requirements are:

  1. The Company does not and shall not conduct, Commission, or be a party to Animal Testing of any Cosmetic and/or Household Products including, without limitation, formulations and Ingredients of such products.
  2. The Company does not and shall not purchase any Ingredient, formulation, or product from any Third Party Manufacturer or Supplier that conducted, Commissioned, or had been party to Animal Testing on said Ingredient, formulation, or product after the Company’s Fixed Cut-off Date. If a formulation, Ingredient, or product is found not to comply with the Standard, the Company will replace it with an alternative that complies with the Standard’s criteria or remove it from the product range.
    1. The Company must implement a Supplier Monitoring System: Option 1. A Company must obtain and provide to CCIC Declarations of Product Compliance and Declarations of Raw Material Compliance from each of its Third Party Manufacturers and Suppliers that said persons or entities comply with the provisions of the Standard with respect to the materials supplied to the Company. This information will be maintained on file at the Company’s principal place of business as part of the Company’s Supplier Monitoring System. Option 2. Insert the following language into the Company’s (and, if applicable, Third Party Manufacturer’s) Purchase Orders for Ingredients, formulations and finished products. A sample Purchase Order must be submitted to the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) as proof of compliance. The language must read as follows: “The supplier affirms by fulfilling this order that it does not conduct or commission animal testing of any cosmetics and/or household products, including without limitation, ingredients or formulations of such products, supplied to [relevant entity] after [Company’s Fixed Cut-off Date].” Note: Companies are not required to obtain Declarations of Raw Material Compliance from suppliers of Natural Agricultural Ingredients.
    2. If the Company only distributes finished Cosmetics and/or Household Products, the Company shall require: (1) the Third Party Manufacturer(s) of those products to sign, and submit a copy to the Company, the Declarations of Product Compliance confirming that they did not and shall not conduct or Commission Animal Testing on said Ingredient, formulation, or product, and further, that the Third Party Manufacturer did not and shall not purchase any Ingredient, formulation, or product from Suppliers that conducted or Commissioned Animal Testing on said Ingredient, formulation, or product after the Company’s Fixed Cut-off Date; and (2) the Third Party Manufacturer(s) of those products to obtain and maintain on file the signed Declarations of Raw Material Compliance, which certifies that their Supplier(s) and intermediary agent(s) comply with the Standard.
  4. The Company shall not allow Animal Testing to be performed by or for submission to regulatory agencies in foreign countries. The Company shall include language as an addendum to its contracts with any Distributor(s) selling the company’s products for entry into foreign markets (any country other than United States and Canada). A sample contract addendum must be submitted to the CCIC as proof of compliance. The language must read as follows: “The Distributor affirms that it will not conduct, commission, or be a party to animal testing nor allow animal testing to be performed by or for submission to regulatory agencies in order to distribute [Company’s] products in foreign markets.
  5. The Company shall submit the Application for Approval to the CCIC and retain a copy of this document at the Company’s principal place of business.
  6. The Company shall agree to the following: 
    • A. Recommit annually; and
    • B. CCIC may require a Company’s Supplier Monitoring System to be submitted to an Independent Audit. (1) A company demonstrating less than $10 million in gross annual sales must agree to an independent audit commissioned by the CCIC with an accredited auditing firm. (2) A company demonstrating $10 million or more in gross annual sales shall commission an independent audit with an accredited auditing firm provided by the CCIC.

PETA sets these rules for company’s to be seen as cruelty-free:

“In order to be listed as animal test–free by PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program, a company or brand must submit a legally binding statement of assurance signed by its CEO verifying that it and its ingredient suppliers don’t conduct, commission, pay for, or allow any tests on animals for ingredients, formulations, or finished products anywhere in the world and won’t do so in the future.

Companies applying to the program must also submit detailed paperwork that describes how the companies test their products, where they are sold, what kinds of products they offer, and what kinds of ingredients they use. We also require all companies to have agreements in place with their suppliers that no animal testing is done at any stage on any of the ingredients or raw materials that they supply to the company for its products.”

Huda passes the bar with its animal testing policies. One is left wondering why Huda doesn’t apply for certification with Leaping Bunny and PETA.

It would help to cement the brand’s image as being cruelty-free.

Huda sells in China

Some may be surprised to hear that Huda does sell in China, however, they have found a loophole in the system. Here is what Huda told Ethical Elephant:

“…(we) do not sell their products in stores in mainland China or any other country that may require animal testing by law.”

How has Huda, along with other cruelty-free brands, managed to bypass China’s animal testing requirements? It’s all thanks to an innovative e-commerce site.

TMall provides a way around Chinese legislation

TMall was launched by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. It provides a way for businesses to sell directly to consumers in China.

That means there is no need for a company to use retail stores in China to reach the customer.

Being able to deal straight with the customer allows cruelty-free companies to avoid China’s animal testing legislation. 

Agency China touches upon the new future for cruelty-free companies provided by e-commerce sites. In its article “Cross-border e-commerce offer opportunities for cruelty-free skincare in China” we read:

“This year, mandatory animal testing will (hopefully) be replaced by a basket of alternative methods, which open the door for more cruelty-free brands to enter the market. Much legislative headway has been made, but there are still several technicalities that haven’t quite been ironed out.

Until these are resolved, the best pathway for cruelty-free cosmetics to enter China is via cross border e-commerce. Cross-border e-commerce’s model means brands can ship their products to Chinese shoppers, without being subject to China’s domestic regulatory requirements.”

Regarding Huda Beauty’s entry into the Chinese market, it went ballistic according to Alizila, Alibaba’s News site:

“Beauty mogul Huda Kattan’s entire stock of Mercury Retrograde eyeshadow palettes sold out in just one second last week as she launched her namesake brand on Tmall Global…”

The article then goes on to quote Huda regarding the opportunity in China:

“‘In partnering with Tmall Global, we’re hoping to connect with the beauty community in China on a deeper level to get a thorough understanding of what they need, what they are looking for and how we can best service them,’ Kattan said. ‘This is a really strong step for us in China, and we’re excited to learn as much as we can and service this community in the best and most inspiring way possible.’”

No problems with Huda

Huda Kattan started as a beauty blogger, looking to inform and inspire others. Now she has turned her passion into an incredibly successful cosmetics brand.

Yet, throughout the journey, she has stuck to her principles. 

Those standards encompass people before profit as well as animal rights. Regarding the first point, Huda states on her site:

I’m not motivated by money, so the bottom line doesn’t matter to me. It is about giving people the power to them express who they want to be…

With animal testing, the company is recognized by animal welfare sites as a cruelty-free brand. Something Huda also claims about itself, yet hasn’t been certified as such. 

Some may balk at the idea that Huda is selling in China. Yet, the company does so through a B2C e-commerce site.

This allows Huda to market its products in China without having to adhere to the countries animal testing regulations.

Huda is making a mark for itself. For those who love makeup and want to go with a brand that is animal friendly, then pop over to Huda and have a look at the amazing range of cosmetics it has. 

Oh…one last thing. Most of Huda’s products are vegan. That means more animals are free to enjoy their furry lives without fear. 

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