Some ingredients in Old Spice deodorant and antiperspirant are possibly derived from animals. However, the biggest issue that will remove Old Spice from the vegan list is the cruel treatment of animals during product testing, which appears to be a requirement in some countries where Old Spice products are being sold.
Old Spice is a popular brand of grooming products for men. Its commercials have been widely popular because of their humorous take on the alpha male image.
Its parent company, Procter and Gamble, is one of the biggest and most successful manufacturers in the United States and the entire globe. This has helped Old Spice become a leading brand of grooming essentials, with thousands of products sold yearly.
Sadly, for every Old Spice deodorant or body spray purchased at the store, an animal has likely suffered during its production. This article will discuss all the available information about Old Spice products and why vegans should steer clear of them.
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Old Spice Ingredients
Old Spice has a variety of men’s personal care products. Some of you probably know only of its deodorants, antiperspirants, and body sprays, but the brand has more items to offer than those. There are Old Spice’s body wash, lotion, soap, pomade, shampoo, cologne, and aftershave.
Each Old Spice product has its own set of ingredients. However, most of these products can share a few common ingredients. After all, Old Spice items are for grooming, so they are likely to use the same ingredients that are effective as personal hygiene essentials.
Of course, each of these ingredients came from somewhere. Vegans are very particular about the origin of the products that they buy. Products that contain animal derivatives and by-products are avoided by vegan consumers.
By reading the label and doing a little research online, one can easily know if the ingredients present in one product are plant-based. If they were, then the product qualifies on the vegan shopping list.
As for Old Spice, our own research determined that most of its products’ ingredients did not come from animal remains, which is good news. Although, some elements have questionable sources, so it is not safe to conclude that they are vegan-approved.
To better analyze the ingredients common in Old Spice products, we will check each ingredient and see if it originates from an animal source or not.
Propylene glycol is commonly used in food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products. It is an aliphatic diol with unique properties that make it an ideal humectant, a substance that retains moisture even after a long period.
Hence, products like Old Spice deodorants and body sprays require propylene glycol to prolong their shelf life. It is also a good anticaking agent and emulsifier.
Propylene glycol is made by chemical processes, starting with hydrolysis. The processing is usually performed in industrial factories. This compound is not extracted from animal remains, but it is not plant-based, either. Regardless, propylene glycol passes the vegan criteria.
Stearyl alcohol is a chemical compound commonly used in beauty and skincare products. It has properties that make it a good viscosity-controlling agent in liquids.
Stearyl alcohol is made in factories through stages of chemical processes, similar to propylene glycol. However, the base compound of stearyl alcohol is stearic acid, which can be extracted either from animal fat or plant remains.
Manufacturers would list stearyl alcohol or stearic acid as one of the ingredients of their products. However, they would rarely mention the source of these compounds.
If stearic acid used for a certain product was derived from animal fat, it is most likely that the substance was obtained from cows, pigs, and sheep. According to PETA, stearic acid can also be collected from stray cats and dogs euthanized in animal pounds.
It is best to call the manufacturer to verify if the source of stearyl alcohol in their products is vegan.
Talc is a naturally-occurring mineral that can be extracted from underground deposits. While it is not derived from plants, animals cannot be a source of talc as well. Therefore, it is safe to classify this ingredient of an Old Spice product as suitable for vegans.
Talc is responsible for maintaining the moisture content in cosmetic products. It also prevents particles from clumping together.
In spite of being a vegan-friendly substance, some doctors believe that too much exposure to talc might lead to health issues. The most common bad human body reaction to talc is skin irritation.
Like stearyl alcohol, sodium stearate is a byproduct of stearic acid. A salt usually forms as a precipitate when an acid reacts with a basic compound. That being said, the production of sodium stearate depends on stearic acid, so its vegan status depends on the latter.
We mentioned that stearic acid is a fatty acid that can be found in both plants and animals. Therefore, there is also uncertainty about whether the sodium stearate found in soaps and other beauty products today is plant-based.
Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly
An antiperspirant is effective if it can block the pores on the skin to reduce sweating. Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly is the active ingredient in most personal care products that do that job. This chemical compound forms a polymer complex on the skin to prevent sweat from entering the pores.
Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly is a compound produced via chemical treatment in factories. Its base elements, like aluminum and zirconium, can be mined from naturally-occurring minerals. Hence, it is suitable for vegans as it is not derived from animal remains.
Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly is a common active ingredient in personal care products as an antiperspirant agent. Its main mechanism of action is blocking the pores via the formation of a polymer complex and preventing sweat from leaving the body.
Are Animals Harmed In The Production Of Old Spice Products?
So far, we have established that most of the ingredients of Old Spice deodorants and antiperspirants are not animal derivatives. However, some chemical compounds are arguably plant-based since they can also be extracted from an animal source.
With such uncertainties lingering, we cannot confidently say that Old Spice products are vegan-friendly based on their ingredients. Nonetheless, the components of any product are not the only basis to say if it is vegan or not. By looking at the production stage that these commercially-available items go through, we can check if there are animals harmed or threatened in the process.
Why Do Companies Conduct Product Tests On Animals?
For years, vegans have decried heartless tests on animals by giant corporations that want to ensure that their products are safe for human consumption. Unfortunately, some manufacturers retained this cruel practice.
The worst part is that these companies claim that they no longer test their products on animals, but a little research will show you that these tests are still being conducted to this day.
In the case of Old Spice, the brand released a strong stance against using animals, such as mice, rats, and rabbits, to measure the efficiency and safety of their products. After all, many companies have already adopted modern product test procedures that no longer harm living organisms, humans, and animals.
Does Old Spice Still Perform Animal Tests?
It is claimed that more than 99% of all safety tests by Old Spice are conducted without animals. Procter and Gamble made a huge investment in finding alternatives to animal testing that would still yield reliable lab results. The company has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars that paved the way for more than 50 alternative test procedures without the need to exploit innocent animals.
The problem is that some countries strictly implement laws that require animal tests for any products that are being sold within their jurisdiction. China is one of the countries with a large number of consumers, and that’s why foreign brands would want to export their products to this country. Sadly, animal testing is required by law in China.
The key to determining if Old Spice products are still being tested on animals is to check if the company ships its products to mainland China. You will see that Old Spice products are sold in this country, which means that these products are not animal cruelty-free.
Even as Old Spice does not admit that they still conduct tests on animals, one could easily connect the dots given the existing laws in countries where they sell their products. A better guarantee that a company is against animal cruelty is if they stop exporting its products to countries that implement the animal test requirement.
What Are The Certified Vegan Brands For Men’s Grooming Essentials?
Old Spice personal care products have been tried and tested for decades. Because of its entertaining commercials, Old Spice has also become one of the most popular brands for men’s essentials. However, with all the details available to us, Old Spice may not be the best brand for vegans.
Fret not, because there are still many certified vegan products out in the market that you can choose from. They may not have the same humorous advertisements on TV, but these products are just as effective and, most importantly, support the call for animal rights.
Here are the vegan men’s grooming essentials that you can choose as an alternative to Old Spice products:
- Herban Cowboy
- Tom’s of Maine
- Jason Natural Products
- Kiss My Face
- Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant
- Sam’s Natural
- Silver Botanicals
- Each & Every Deodorant
- Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp & Haitian Vetiver
Like always, the best way to determine if a certain brand is indeed vegan-friendly is to ask them directly. Old Spice has been clear on its stand against the use of animals for safety tests. However, there is evidence that shows that a small fraction of Old Spice products may have undergone animal tests, after all, particularly those that were sold in China.
A product representative may tell you that only selected products in the global market have been required to be tested on animals. For example, the Old Spice products available in the United States and Europe with no animal test requirements are entirely cruelty-free. This is where some vegans will draw the line since the company still permits animal tests on some of their products.
If you don’t feel comfortable buying Old Spice products with all the issues surrounding them, you are free to try alternative products that are undoubtedly vegan. From their all-natural and plant-based ingredients to their strict animal cruelty-free adherence, vegan personal care and grooming items are worth buying.