Is It Cosmetics Clean Or Sustainable? Let’s Take a Look

4 min reading time

Developed by Jamie Kern Lima, this brand’s selling point is its partnership with surgical and dermatological experts to create professional products. The company is touted as the top cosmetic seller sold on QVC and in 2016, was acquired by L’Oreal. The company offers over 300 products and operates across the globe.

It Cosmetics advertises itself as the problem-solving brand. So is this the case when it comes to the environment? In the following article, we assess the company based on ingredients, any information (or lack of) regarding sustainability, as well as the companies stance on animal rights.

In short, It Cosmetics does not provide information on its stance regarding ingredients, the sourcing of raw materials, or commitments to social or environmental causes. Although the website has an FAQ section, only one question relates to our three pillars. Ultimately, the lack of presence in these important areas makes a positive assessment difficult to reach.

Ingredients (Rating: Bad)

The company has a full list of ingredients for each product, and products are paraben- and gluten-free. We dug a bit deeper for you to cast an objective eye on the ingredients that they do use. Here is a run-down of the ingredients that we have highlighted as potentially harmful:

Retinyl Palmitate

This vitamin A derivative belongs to a subset of chemicals that have been banned by the EU, with a number of national agencies (such as in Norway and Germany), raising strong concerns over the safety of the product. The main concern with Retinyl Palmitate is the way in which it interferes with cellular processes. The product is an exfoliator and as such, works upon the skin which in turn carries a risk of skin irritation.


Mixed information exists online regarding this product, with some scientific studies finding bio-accumulative risks for both the body and the environment, and others deeming it to be safe. As with many ingredients in the cosmetics industry, uses are strictly aesthetic and tactile and as such, you may not feel that the benefits match the associated risks.

Red 40 Lake, Red 30 Lake, Red 27 Lake

These are synthetic chemicals made to color a wide range of foodstuffs and household products. Such dyes are created using other dubious composites that may act as carcinogens. Due to the pervasiveness across foodstuffs, such dyes may be the culprit behind allergies and irritations.

Sustainability (Rating: Bad)

No information exists on their website regarding sustainability commitments. The sourcing of raw materials, production, packaging, shipping, and recycling remain open questions marks. There is no evidence that the company is choosing more sustainable options, supporting environmental causes, or taking ownership of its supply chain.

One could argue that such a judgment should simply be deferred to their parent company, but this is clearly not the case with regard to other ethical considerations where the company consciously diverges from L’Oreal. As such, the lack of presence on sustainability results here in a poor rating.

Animal Welfare (Rating: Iffy)


It Cosmetics is certified as 100% cruelty-free – they do not test on animals, do not allow any third parties to, and do not sell their products in mainland China. Despite being acquired by a much larger multinational that does not share the same attitude toward animal rights, the company has been able to maintain its stance.


Although It Cosmetics does not use animal hair – something that most competitors cannot say – there are nevertheless a number of other products that are not vegan.

Brand Ratings

Our rating scale ranges from “Best” (for having the best practices) to “Bad” (for having unacceptable practices). We rated It Cosmetics as follows.

INGREDIENTSBad – It Cosmetics has a wide range of harmful or potentially harmful raw ingredients in their products.
SUSTAINABILITYBad – Sustainability and environment is not a consideration for this company, and any consumer wishing to make a responsible purchase will not be able to do this here.
ANIMAL WELFAREGood – A decent attitude toward animal rights, nonetheless, the company is yet to remove animal products entirely from their range of products.

Overall Rating: Bad

Supporting environmental initiatives such as recycling and using natural products are not selling points for this company. The ethical consumer will need to shop elsewhere if they require evidence as to the sustainability of their purchases.

In addition, there are a number of questionable ingredients used in their products that, although they may not unleash acute and immediate effects, serve to add weight to accumulated damage in combination with other such household products. The products attitude toward animal testing is nonetheless positive.

Download our free swap guide.
A cheatsheet of 50+ clean alternatives for your whole house. 
Thank you for subscribing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *