Is Urban Decay Cruelty Free and Vegan?

Is Urban Decay Cruelty Free and Vegan

When someone says beyond magical eyeshadow palettes and great highlighter, most makeup artists near Urban Decay! Urban Decay is one of the most popular brands that has made its mark in the field of color cosmetics.

However, besides being a makeup sensation and beauty icon, many people today care about sustainability and are truly conscience-driven. And those are the people that are concerned about the brand’s policy on animal testing and animal cruelty. And so the question of the hour continues to be, “Is Urban Decay cruelty-free?” “Is Urban Decay Vegan?” Read on to find out!

We have scrutinized several such cosmetics brands like Bare Minerals, Pixi, Stila Cosmetics and Clinique cosmetics for their vegan status in our Product Reviews Category.

Urban Decay – Brand Overview

Is Urban Decay Cruelty Free and Vegan

Urban Decay was started in 1996 by Pat Holmes, Sandy Lerner, Wende Zomnir, and David Soward. It initially had only 10 lip colors and 12 nail paints that were available in pinks, reds, and nudes.

Their USP was definitely their unique name, such as smog, rust, oil, and acid rain! This concept was something innovative and instantly a hit among the youth!

In no time, Urban Decay entered mainstream cosmetics via brands like Macy’s, Sephora, Ulta, and Nordstrom. One Urban Decay gained fame; it shifted from company to company. Top names such as Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Falic Group, and Castanea Partners are all previous owners that have been stepping stones in the brand’s success.

In 2012, the famous beauty company L’Oreal bought Urban Decay, and it has been the same ever since. The products have only grown into more magical, accessible, and cruelty-free versions of themselves from then onwards.

Is Urban Decay Cruelty-Free?

Yes, Urban Decay products are 100% cruelty-free because they do not test their ingredients or finished products on animals. The brand is strictly against funding testing agencies or laboratories as well.

In 2012, they considered selling their products in China but soon after backed out due to the public uproar that was caused. However, L’Oreal, Urban Decay’s patent brand, is still far from the cruelty-free business.

Not only is Urban Decay a sensational makeup brand, but it is also cruelty-free. Urban Decay is also part of PETA’s business friend initiative and follows its cruelty-free policies.

In fact, most of its best-seller products, such as the Naked Palette collection, contain beeswax. Nevertheless, the brand is transitioning towards a 100% vegan identity, and all of its new launches are completely vegan.

Controversial and Non-Vegan Ingredients

When it comes to vegan food products, it is usually easy to identify the non-vegan ingredients, but when it comes to makeup, it is usually difficult for one to identify which ingredients are vegan and which are not.

Below mentioned are some common non-vegan ingredients that are usually used in makeup products, especially Urban Decay.

1. Beeswax

Beeswax is secreted from the wax production glands present in the worker bee’s abdomen. Honey bees use these sheets to develop their hexagon-shaped honey cells for honeycombs.

It is used as a thickening agent in solid products such as lipstick because of the oil portion and allows them to remain solid. They also help make products such as mascara smudge-proof and waterproof. A lot of popular Urban Decay products contain beeswax.

Recommended: Is Beeswax Vegan and Cruelty-Free Product?

2. Carmine

Also known as cochineal or natural red, Carmine is produced by bugs and is called cochineal scale. Carmine is extremely pigmented and is used as a dye in various products such as blush, eye shadow, and lipstick. It lends a bright red color while being safe, non-irritating, and easy to use and obtain.

3. Lanolin

Lanolin is an ingredient obtained from sheep that is extremely common in makeup products. It is a wax obtained from sheep that is used in lip balms and lipstick. There are cage alternatives in the market that can be used, such as shea butter (check vegan status) and veganolin, but lanolin still easily dominates the market.

Also Read: Difference between Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter

4. Keratin

Keratin is a protein that naturally exists in human skin, hair, and nails. Most makeup companies use this ingredient to add gloss and shine to their products, and it is usually obtained from the hair, feathers, horns, and hooves of animals. This not only makes it non-vegan but is also obtained using an extremely cruel process!

5. Glycerine

Popularly derived from animal fats, glycerine is used in most makeup products, hair care products, and skincare products. Vegans usually opt for makeup products that use vegetable glycerine that can be obtained from soy, palm oil, and coconut oil.

6. Squalene

Squalene comes from shark liver oil and is famous for increasing the youthful glow in one’s skin and promoting anti-aging. Common in lip balm, lipstick, and moisturizer, Squalene is a non-vegan ingredient.

Does Urban Decay Test on Animals?

No, Urban Decay does not test on animals. It is a cruelty-free brand that is actively working towards ending animal testing. They do not test their products on animals and also do not allow testing on their behalf.

Moreover, they ensure that all their suppliers certify that the raw materials provided for the manufacture of their products have not been tested on animals. They are certified by and The Leaping Bunny Program (CCIC) as cruelty-free.

Conclusion | Is Urban Decay Cruelty Free and Vegan?

Urban Decay is a cruelty-free makeup brand that is taking constant and constructive steps to become 100% vegan friendly. They have verified that they do not test their ingredients and finished products on animals and do not allow others to test on their behalf.

This makes Urban Decay one of the best brands on the market for sustainable, environment-friendly, and animal-friendly makeup products that are also affordable, accessible, and great in quality and usage!


Each product of the brand Urban Decay is different, and not all its products are paraben-free. However, the brand clearly lists it in its ingredient, whether the product contains paraben or not.

Yes. Urban Decay is an American Cosmetics Brand with its headquarters in California, and it is a subsidiary of the French cosmetics brand L’Oréal. It was acquired by the L’Oréal brand in 2012 and has stayed under it ever since.

No, Urban Decay is not sold in China because China requires animal testing for all makeup products by law. Urban Decay follows a strict cruelty-free policy and so refrains from selling its products in China, where this policy might be violated.

There is not much clarity on whether Urban Decay is a sustainable company. It does not mention or market itself as one, which makes the probability of it being sustainable quite less.

No, some Urban Decay products contain palm oil and so they are not 100% palm oil-free.

No.  Urban Decay is a completely cruelty-free brand and is aims to end animal testing. It does not test on animals and also does not allow others to test on their behalf. Their cruelty-free status is certified by both PETA and The Leaping Bunny Program (CCIC).

So, to answer all your questions simultaneously, no!”

Yes, Urban Decay is hypoallergenic and has been one of the most popular hypoallergenic brands since the beginning. Urban Decay takes care to ensure that its products are safe for sensitive skin.

Non-comedogenic is a fancy way of saying the product shouldn’t block your pores. Yes, most of the products manufactured by Urban Decay are non-comedogenic- though it is still recommended to go through the properties list.  

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