Is Vaseline Vegan (and Cruelty-Free)?


Vaseline offers consumers a range of cosmetic products that care for the skin including lotions, lip balms, moisturisers, tanning creams and a range of baby care products. 

Did you know Vaseline has been around for 150 years and that petroleum jelly, Vaselines main ingredient, is a staple in the medical and beauty industry? 

But as a common household name, just how good is Vaseline really for our skin and the planet? 

Is the brand vegan and cruelty-free? Do they offer vegan products?

Turns out, a clear answer is not that straightforward!

Vegomm score: 50%

– Brand is certified vegan: NO
– Brand offers a selection of vegan products: YES
– Brand tests on animals: NO
– Brand is sold in mainland China: YES
– Parent company tests other brands on animals: NO
– Parent company sells other brands in China: YES

Is Vaseline Vegan? 

Is Vaseline Vegan? Quick answer: Yes. However, it is not certified vegan (and there is a catch).

Type “Vegan” into the Vaseline UK website search bar and it yields a ‘no results found’ result. This lack of transparency makes it difficult for us to understand the background of Vaseline’s production and company values. 

In fact, at the time of writing this article, Vaseline does not provide any public information on its website about a vegan range or non-vegan range of its available products. Generally, Vaseline products contain no animal ingredients as it is a mix of oils and wax, but the lack of certification means that you’ll have to double-check the ingredients for non-vegan additives. 

We may save you some time here by stating that Vaseline’s most popular product, the Original Protective Jelly is vegan and free from animal-derivatives. In fact, it contains only White Petrolatum USP 100%.

Did you almost spit your almond latte when reading Petrolatum?

Yes, the key ingredient for Vaseline products is made from fossil fuels and petroleum has significant negative effects on the environment.

So whilst Vaseline products can be individually considered vegan, they are far from sustainable or eco-friendly. 

Due to this, many vegans are boycotting the brand entirely for an ethical alternative. And it’s up to you and your standards to decide if a product must be eco-friendly to be vegan.

Is Vaseline Cruelty-Free?

Quick answer: Unfortunately not. 

Currently, as of 2020, Vaseline does not have an official Animal Testing Policy on their website. 

Unilever, Vaseline’s parent company, currently has the following brands noted as cruelty-free: Dove, Suave, St Ives, Simple, Love Beauty & Planet, and Love Home & Planet. 

As we can see, Vaseline is not listed as being certified cruelty-free. 

A little research will conclude that Vaseline is not tested on animals, but Vaseline and Unilever can’t be considered cruelty-free. Unilever claims to be in compliance with EU animal testing bans since 2004.

What is the problem? 

Whilst Unilever states it does not test on animals, they still import their cosmetic products (including Vaseline) to China. And in China, imported cosmetic products must be tested on animals by law. 

So whilst Vaseline does not directly test on animals independently, a certain number of their suppliers and distributors do, resulting in PETA being unable to certify the brand cruelty-free. 

The positive? Unilever has called for a ban on all animal-testing across its brands by 2023 and is working alongside PETA to ensure more products are cruelty-free in the near future. 

UK Vegan And Cruelty-Free Alternatives To Vaseline

The good news is, that whilst Vaseline is proving to be a confusing product for vegan shoppers, many alternative barrier creams and protective balms are naturally vegan!

Think coconut oil, shea butter, jojoba oil and hemp creams.

Word of advice: Check the ingredients for beeswax. Despite being organic, it is obviously not vegan. And it’s the most commonly used non-vegan ingredient to be mindful of in skincare and lip balms.

Here are some of our favourite cruelty-free vaseline alternatives:

Simple swaps for Vaseline Lip Balm, by Human + Kind

This lip balm is perfect for sensitive skin and will keep your lips soft and smooth all day long. The raspberry scent is subtle and can be worn alone or under lipstick. Human + Kind products are vegan, cruelty-free (no animal testing), and free from harmful chemicals meaning no parabens, no petrochemicals and SLS-free. 

Vegan Alternative for Vaseline Body Lotion, by Vegan Fox

The Vegan Fox Body Moisturiser is 100% guilt-free, certified by the UK Vegan Society. This lavender cream is enriched with Avocado oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and works to keep skin smooth. This means the plant-based ingredients hydrate without heaviness and they absorb quickly.

vegan hand cream by lavera

Simple swaps for Vaseline Hand Cream, by Lavera

This formula contains organic ingredients such as almond oil, shea butter, or jojoba oil and is designed especially for dry skin. 100% certified natural, this cream is vegan, organic, and 100% silicone-free, paraffin-free, mineral oil-free, and GMO-free. It can be used on the hands to soothe and soften the skin. 

Buyers Guide To Vegan Skin Care Products 

The key to finding ethical cosmetics is to look for certifications. 

Vegan certifications

In the UK, when shopping for cosmetic products that are Vegan certified, look for a green sunflower Vegan Society Trademark on the product packaging. 

The Vegan Society Trademark UK is one of the most regarded trademarks in the world for cosmetics and ensures the product is 100% plant-based. 

Cruelty-free certification

As for Cruelty-Free certified, look for a Peta Cruelty-Free Trademark Bunny on the packaging. This means the brand does not test the product on animals. 

Be careful, products that are against animal-testing can still contain animal derivatives in their ingredient list (like beeswax), so be sure to do some background research or go for a vegan product to be safe. 

A quick tip: in 2020, if the product is available in China, it is not cruelty-free. However, progress is being made to change the current cosmetic import testing laws in China. 

Final Thoughts

Is Vaseline vegan and cruelty-free? As you can see, it’s complicated! For vegan consumers, the fact that vaseline itself does not come from an animal, might not be enough given that the company still sends its products to China resulting in ongoing animal testing. 

Furthermore, many plant-based consumers disagree with using a by-product of the oil industry. 

So this may come down to personal choice. 

If you find yourself shopping for skincare products, be encouraged to try a vegan brand such as those suggested in this article so you can be sure your cosmetics are good for your health and mother nature.

Other skincare brands we’ve reviewed