Everyone knows Vaseline, and almost everyone uses Vaseline too. It’s a brand that’s been around for nearly 150 years but is it cruelty-free?
Well, it’s not as straightforward as you might think.
Is Vaseline Vegan?
In the strictest sense of the idea of “vegan”, yes.
Vaseline is made of petroleum jelly and while you might argue that petrol products are made of dead creatures, it’s commonly understood that petrol is not an “animal product”.
However, this only applies to “classic” Vaseline. The stuff that’s sort of an off-white as it’s made from White Petrolatum USP 100%.
However, there are now a ton of products bearing the Vaseline brand and for those products? You’d need to check each one to see if the particular product is using anything non-vegan.
Is Vaseline Cruelty-Free?
This is not so clear cut.
Unilever does not test regular Vaseline or any of the main Vaseline product line on animals… but, it imports these products into China.
Chinese law requires all cosmetic products to be tested on animals, so that means that while Unilever’s not testing Vaseline on animals, somewhere out there, a distributor is.
That means PETA will not supply the brand with a “cruelty-free” certification.
However, Unilever says that all their brands will be “cruelty-free” and PETA certified as such by 2023.
Is Vaseline Plant-Based?
Petroleum is a product made from oil. Oil is made from dead things, including plants, but not always plants.
However, because those things died of natural causes many millions of years ago, we tend to classify petroleum products as “inorganic”.
That means Vaseline is not plant-based but nor is it animal-based. It’s simply made of minerals.
Vegan And Cruelty-Free Alternatives To Vaseline
The good news is that there are plenty of vegan and cruelty-free alternatives to Vaseline while Unilever sorts its act out.
They are: coconut oil, jojoba oil, hemp cream and shea butter based products.
We do need to point out that you should look at any “natural” alternative to Vaseline very closely, not because they’re no good but because they may contain beeswax.
Beeswax may be natural and organic but it surely is not vegan as bees are exploited to make the wax.
Ideally, the product should be both certified vegan and cruelty-free on the label, which saves you from having to think too much (though only opt for reputable certifications – such as from the Vegan Society or PETA).
Final Thoughts On Vaseline
So, Vaseline is not, yet, cruelty-free though it is working hard to be so.
It is vegan, if you’re talking about classic Vaseline but you need to be careful with other products bearing the Vaseline brand.
But until 2023 and PETA certification, we’d avoid Vaseline completely and buy other vegan and cruelty-free products, instead.
If you’re looking for other cruelty-free products you should take a look at the best of the cruelty free makeup brands, or LoveGoodly’s cruelty-free subscription box or one of the many brands that are making awesome vegan handbags these days.