is redken cruelty-free

Is Redken Cruelty-Free?

Is Redken cruelty-free? Unfortunately, Redken and Redken products are not cruelty-free. This includes their vaunted vegan line, Nature + Science. As of 2023, Redken and their parent company, L’Oreal, still participate in legally required animal testing.

Unsurprisingly, that doesn’t make it okay. That’s right: even if it is required by law, companies don’t get a pass if they do something ethically sketchy. For your benefit, we’ll be reviewing everything consumers need to know about Redken in this article.

If you’ve ever wondered if Redken can be counted as a vegan brand, look no further. We’ll also be reviewing their potential third-party certifications from PETA and others. On that note, let’s get to it, folks!

Is Redken Animal Tested?

Yes, Redken is animal-tested. In countries, such as China and (potentially) Russia, where animal testing is required by law, Redken participates in animal testing.

Otherwise, Redken and their parent company L’Oréal do not normally test products on animals. Under their FAQs page for Redken Pro, the company answers the question “Does Redken test products on animals?”

They answered that L’Oréal, their parent company, did not test on animals, but would if “regulatory authorities demanded it for safety or regulatory purposes.” Thus, Redken and L’Oréal are both animal-tested brands, but only in countries with legally mandated testing.

Is Redken Vegan?

Not all Redken products are vegan. Select products may be advertised to be fully vegan, but Redken itself is not a vegan brand. However, according to sources like Ethical Elephant, no Redken product can be vegan because of its history of animal testing. 

Vegan cosmetic products do not contain animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products. That includes beauty-favorite beeswax, royal jelly, and honey.

In the beauty industry, “vegan” can label either a single product line or an entire brand. More often than not, there is no clarification on which is exactly vegan, leading to a lot of confusion. 

The Redken Nature + Science line states to be completely sourced from nature and wholly vegan. Details found on for the product include buzzwords like “power of nature,” “Phthalate free,” and “vegan.”

While the Nature + Science line is considered vegan in most senses of the word, it is still tested on animals. That is, in countries that mandate animal testing. Since even Redken’s vegan products are still tested on animals in the long run, they cannot be defined as cruelty-free.

Don’t get us wrong: Redken’s Nature + Science is theoretically vegan. It checks all the requirement boxes to be considered a vegan product. Nevertheless, Redken is not a vegan—or certainly not—cruelty-free brand.

Is Redken Leaping Bunny Certified?

No, Redken is not Leaping Bunny certified. To be Leaping Bunny certified, a product, brand, or corporation must be “certified by CCIC … making a pledge that … they do not conduct or commission animal tests, and do not use any ingredient or formulation tested on animals.”

The above still applies to cases where animal testing is required by law, such as in mainland China. Basically, every step of the pre- and post-production process from all parties involved must be completely void of animal testing. 

The Leaping Bunny Program has a page dedicated to just what the Leaping Bunny “standard” is. It is an entire form detailing expectations of US and Canada-based companies looking to become Leaping Bunny certified. Part of the expectations includes submitting proof of purchases to the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC).

Remember, folks, companies that are Leaping Bunny certified are proud of being so. The Leaping Bunny logo tends to be displayed on products and websites alike. They are likely only certified if you can locate the iconic Leaping Bunny logo on a cosmetic product.

Is Redken PETA-Approved?

No, Redken is not a PETA-approved brand. Redken and its parent company, L’Oréal, are not PETA-approved because they animal test in countries where testing is legally required.

As previously stated, the only countries in the world that require animal testing for cosmetic products are China and Russia. Notwithstanding, laws were recently changed so that manufacturers had to meet specific criteria to skip animal testing within China.

To forgo testing, imported cosmetics had to be considered “ordinary” products. Alternatively referred to as “non-special use” cosmetics, ordinary products that are imported could skip animal testing procedures.

Alternatively, “special use” cosmetics had to be domestically manufactured to not require animal testing. Ethical Elephant does a fantastic job breaking down China’s animal testing laws in their article “What’s Going On With China’s Animal Testing Laws In 2021.”

What Is PETA-Approved Shampoo?

For a shampoo to be PETA-approved, it has to meet specific requirements. According to PETA’s website, companies must “commit never to conduct, commission, pay for, or allow tests on animals at any phase of development, for both ingredients and final products.”

For many companies and brands, that would mean committing to overhauling their current business practices. Cruelty-free and vegan brands aren’t as hard to find as one would think.

One just has to look for familiar names like Aveda, Carol’s Daughter, Herbal Essences, and more. Those of us interested in keeping our cosmetic products clean and cruelty-free can rely on PETA-approved brands. Luckily, they keep a not-so-short list handy on their website, which can be located here.

Final Thoughts: Is Redken Cruelty-Free?

All in all, Redken is not a cruelty-free brand. If any animals were harmed at any step in production, a brand cannot be counted as cruelty-free. Since Redken and its parent company, L’Oréal, still test on animals in countries where it is required, they aren’t cruelty-free. 

That is to also say, the brand still does tests on animals. Sure, it is only when required by law, but … let’s be honest … that doesn’t make it any better. Thanks to its record of animal testing, Redken is not Leaping Bunny certified or PETA-approved.

PETA is clear about which companies have their seal of approval, and the Leaping Bunny logo is hard to miss. As a rule of thumb, if you can’t locate the Leaping Bunny logo on a product, it isn’t approved.

Furthermore, we should note that “Vegan,” “Vegan Friendly,” and “100% Vegan” labels don’t denote cruelty-free. Redken has a very popular vegan line, Nature + Science. Considering the public’s current awareness of Redken’s business practices, it is likely that Nature + Science has been tested on animals. 

Remember that it may take a while to completely change methods of production, especially for bigger businesses. This is no excuse, however. Although there may be outside regulations beyond a company’s control, they can still take action elsewhere.

For example, a company can work with individuals and governments to find alternative routes to animal testing. L’Oréal has taken steps to root out animal testing.

One of its commitments, “For Beauty With No Animal Testing,” notes its dedication to “scientific programs to develop new non-animal methods, international collaboration, and educational programs to further encourage their acceptance by authorities.”

Though they may still test on animals when they are legally obligated to, finding alternative methods is a huge step that deserves some recognition. Animal testing has long been an issue in the beauty and cosmetics industry, so it is a big step for companies to find alternative methods of testing.

This should be celebrated and encouraged, as it helps protect animals from unnecessary harm and suffering. If you enjoyed reading this article, check out the next article in the series: “Is Pantene Cruelty-Free?