Is Rare Beauty Clean? A Deep Dive Analysis
Multi-hyphenate celebrity Selena Gomez founded the Rare Beauty cosmetics brand in 2019. Rare Beauty’s Instagram account amassed 5.6 million followers in the past three years. In a 2022 interview with PEOPLE, Gomez explained her inspiration for starting the brand was to challenge social norms around beauty and create makeup for everyone.
Rare Beauty’s website has a clean, simplistic look, in keeping with its branding as a cruelty-free, vegan company. The website’s lettering is in mauve, a blend of pink and purple, which is believed to mean inspiration and innovation. Gomez’s desire to innovate the notion of beauty to accept everyone’s version of it aligns with a spirit of innovation and inspiration.
The company’s mission is to celebrate the individuality of its customers and create an inclusive space. Rare Beauty explains its mission with the following statement:
Our vision is to create a safe, welcoming space in beauty—and beyond—that supports mental well-being across age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, cultural background, physical or mental ability, and perspective.
Are Rare Beauty’s products and manufacturing standards as cruelty-free and vegan as their marketing claims? We analyzed the brand and its products to find out.
At Better Goods, we rank brands on our three pillars: ingredients, sustainability, and animal welfare.
Brands are rated on the three pillars as follows:
This ranking is for the best of the best. Only exemplary brands will receive a ranking of best for any category.
This ranking is for brands that are typically quite good, but don’t go above and beyond like our best choices.
This ranking is for when we find something we find iffy. Not a good sign.
This ranking is reserved for the worst of the worst.
Many of Rare Beauty’s products have a decent list of ingredients with no concerning ingredients. However, many products contain ingredients we recommend avoiding.
- PEGs (Polyethylene Glycols): In cosmetics and personal care products, PEGs are used as emulsifiers, solvents, humectants, and viscosity modifiers. However, PEGs can sometimes be contaminated with carcinogenic substances, such as 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide.
- Synthetic fragrance: Some products contain undisclosed synthetic fragrances, which is something we recommend avoiding.
- Chemical sunscreen: Rare Beauty’s tinted moisturizers contain the chemical sunsceen ingredient homosalate. At Better Goods, we don’t recommend the use of chemical sunscreens as they have been found to absorb into the bloodstream, causing unknown potential health impacts.
- Synthetic dyes Can be found in some Rare Beauty products.
- Mica: This is a natural mineral dust found in some of Rare Beauty’s products. A 2018 report uncovered child labor and exploitation in mica mining in Madagascar and India. Rare Beauty has not yet made a statement about how its mica is sourced.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to analyze each Rare Beauty product on a case-by-case basis to ensure ingredient safety. For this reason, we give the brand a rating of iffy in terms of their ingredients.
Rare Beauty is transparent about its sustainability initiatives and acknowledges that it has room to grow. The company positions sustainability as an ongoing process.
It’s been gradually integrating PCR plastics into materials since 2021. Rare Beauty’s packaging is 100% recyclable and made with ethically sourced materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Packages are printed with water-based ink. The tape, tissue paper, welcome card, and outer packaging are all 100% recyclable.
Foam inside the packaging can dissolve in water or moist soil. The company urges customers to reuse the drawstring pouch that holds products inside the package. However, Rare Beauty notes that its exclusive editions are excluded from this sustainable packaging.
Rare Beauty works with suppliers that adhere to Cosmetic Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) to ensure quality-control at all steps of the supply chain.
Animal Welfare (Rating:)
Rare Beauty makes a statement on its website that all of their products are “made with love for animals.” The brand confirms it is cruelty-free and vegan.
Rare Beauty is a cruelty-free brand. Cruelty-Free Kitty confirms Rare Beauty and its suppliers do not test ingredients on animals at any stage of product development. Rare Beauty does not sell its products in places where animal testing is lawfully required.
Rare Beauty is 100% vegan. Its products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, Cruelty-Free Kitty reports.
Final Brand Ratings
Our rating scale ranges from “Best” (for having the best practices) to “Avoid” (for having unacceptable practices). We rated Rare Beauty as follows.
|Although many of Rare Beauty’s products have safe ingredients, a number of them don’t.
|Rare Beauty is transparent about its sustainability practices. Its packaging is 100% recyclable. The company is open to expanding its sustainability initiatives in the future. However, Rare Beauty notes that its exclusive editions are excluded from this sustainable packaging.
|Cruelty-Free Kitty reports Rare Beauty is cruelty-free and its products are 100% vegan.
Rare Beauty is a cruelty-free, vegan cosmetics company. Many of its products have low-hazard ingredients, although a good number of them don’t.
Rare Beauty is a company that makes environmental impact a priority. It is transparent about its sustainability initiatives and is open about its ongoing process for growth. Its packaging is 100% recyclable, along with eco-friendly foam that decomposes.
Rare Beauty is involved in a trademark lawsuit with Atlanta-based company, RareBeauty Cosmetics. Kesheena Heard, the owner of the similar-sounding brand, filed a trademark cancellation request to avoid brand confusion. Gomez’s company initiated a countersuit and legally continues to use the name Rare Beauty.
Besides making beauty products for everyone, the brand also supports mental health awareness. Gomez has been a vocal advocate for mental health awareness over the years, and her cosmetics brand supports her endeavors. The site has a section called “Rare Impact,” which offers resources for mental health support. The company also released a growth report in 2021, highlighting its philanthropic advancements.
Rare Beauty calls out unrealistic beauty expectations and encourages customers to be themselves. The brand highlights its support for all customers on its mission page.
For these reasons, Rare Beauty receives an overall rating of Good.