Is etch&ethos tested on animals?

Ego does not test its products, including etch&ethos products, on animals. During the research and development phases of our products, safety and efficacy testing is routinely carried out using in vitro (laboratory or test tube experiments) or using human volunteers. Since our products are made for humans, we at Ego think it makes sense to test them on human skin, rather than other animals, and we are scientifically and philosophically opposed to animal testing.

Some of the ingredients we use have been around for decades, dating back to times when animal testing was common or required, so some ingredients may have originally been tested on animals by others during their long history, but never by Ego.

What is included in the 6% “for safety and stability” and why is it important?

The etch&ethos range is carefully formulated to have a very high amount of naturally derived ingredients, but customer suitability and product quality are still our top priorities. If using a naturally derived ingredient means compromising the formulation in terms of safety or stability, then we won’t include it.

Some of the non-natural ingredients include the preservatives, thickeners and emulsifiers, for which there was no suitable naturally derived replacement. Without these essential ingredients, the etch&ethos products would not be suitable for use.

Are the fragrances naturally derived?

Fragrances are known to be one of the most common causes of allergic reactions to cosmetic products, so when formulating the etch&ethos products we chose to prioritise low-irritant fragrances over all-natural fragrances. As such, the fragrances used in etch&ethos are not 100% natural. However, the fragrances that we chose are gentle and comply with the Standards of the International Fragrance Association, so while they are not 100% naturally derived, they are backed by science.


Source: Zukiewicz-Sobczak WA, Adamczuk P, Wróblewska P, Zwoliński J, Chmielewska-Badora J, Krasowska E, et al. Allergy to selected cosmetic ingredients. Postepy Dermatol Alergol 2013;30(5):307–10. 

Can I use etch&ethos products on my face?

Yes. All of the etch&ethos products can be used anywhere on the body, including the face. Please be sure to avoid contact with your eyes.

What should I do if my skin has a reaction to etch&ethos?

The dermatological testing that we conducted shows that the etch&ethos products are very gentle on skin and suitable for all skin types, however, if your skin does have a reaction to one of our products, immediately wash the affected area and stop using the product. Please contact our friendly Customer Service Team at and they will be able to assist you.

Do etch&ethos products contain palm oil?

While the etch&ethos products do not directly contain any palm oil, some of the ingredients, including glycerin and some surfactants, may be derived from palm oil. There is a lot of controversy around palm oil, and historically palm oil plantations have been responsible for large scale deforestation and loss of habitat for many animals. To address this, a set of principles called the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was developed, which helps ensure responsible manufacturers minimise environmental damage. Compared to alternatives like sunflower oil or soybean oil, palm oil requires substantially less land to grow, so if it’s grown in a conscientious and sustainable way, palm oil can be one of the most environmentally friendly options available.

Ego requires all our suppliers to either be members of the RSPO or to buy their products from members of the RSPO. This ensures as much as possible that our ingredients are only derived from the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly sources.

Why are the washes vegan friendly* and not the skin lotion?

Based on our commitment to science and to producing the best possible dermatological products for our customers, we chose to include a non-vegan ingredient, beeswax, in our etch&ethos lotions, as it is an excellent naturally derived moisturiser that helps smooth and soften skin. The beeswax used in the etch&ethos lotions is sourced from old honeycombs after the bees have abandoned the hive, so the bees are not harmed or affected in any way.

The etch&ethos washes do not contain beeswax and are therefore vegan-friendly*.

*Do not contain animal derived ingredients.

Can I use etch&ethos when breastfeeding or pregnant? Is it ok to use it on my baby?

The etch&ethos products are suitable for all ages and can be used when pregnant or breastfeeding. When using a product for the first time, it’s always a good idea to patch test it on a small area of skin before incorporating it into your routine, especially if you have sensitive skin.

We do not test our products on pregnant women, so recommend a patch test. Please speak to your Pharmacist or Doctor if you have any concerns.

Is it ok to use the etch&ethos products after their expiry date?

We conduct stability trials on all our products, which is how we determine the shelf life under different storage conditions. You can find the expiry date printed on base of the bottle. We do not recommend using products after they have expired as the stability testing is done for the shelf life of the product and not beyond, so we do not have the evidence to say for sure that they will be fine to use indefinitely.

What does “pH balanced” mean?

pH balanced means that the pH of the product is adjusted to be compatible with that of the skin, which is slightly acidic. This also means that using the products will not disrupt the skin’s protective acid mantle.

What does “24 hour moisturisation” mean? And how do you test it?

24 hour moisturisation means that our efficacy testing shows that using the product will hydrate your skin for up to 24 hours after application. Skin hydration can be tested using an instrument called a corneometer, which measures the amount of water in the outer layer of skin. By measuring skin hydration before using the lotion, then at set timepoints up to 24h afterwards, we can determine how long the moisturising effect lasts after using the lotion a single time. These measurements are compared to a control area of skin, which didn’t receive any lotion, so if there is a significant difference between the two areas after 24 hours, we know the lotion is still having an effect. Both etch&ethos Nourishing Body Lotions were found to provide a significant increase in skin hydration 24h after being applied.

How do you choose and source your ingredients?

Our Research & Development and Quality teams carefully assess any new ingredients and consider a number of key criteria:

  • The ingredient must be listed on the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances and approved for use in cosmetics
  • The ingredient must have demonstrated efficacy and safety. We aren’t interested in novelty ingredients—if it doesn’t have a clear purpose in the formulation, or we don’t consider it to meet our standards, we won’t include it.
  • Ingredients that are derived from palm oil must be from RSPO member suppliers
  • New ingredients are tested in small-scale batches and carefully monitored for months to ensure they meet our stability standards

Why does etch&ethos include parabens?

Preservatives are an important part of many cosmetic products and are used to prolong shelf life and protect the product against potentially harmful microbes. Parabens are a family of preservatives that are widely used in foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. They’re effective against a broad range of microbes, chemically stable across a wide temperature and pH range, and among the best tolerated preservatives available. They’ve received a lot of bad publicity lately, which caused many people to avoid them, but a lot of that is based on weak or flawed science. Parabens are rapidly metabolised and excreted by the body and there is no evidence that parabens, when used at low levels in cosmetics, are in any way harmful to humans. In fact, in 2019, parabens were named the Non-allergen of the year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society.


1.     Atwater AR, Petty AJ, Liu B, Green CL, Silverberg JI, DeKoven JG, et al. Contact dermatitis associated with preservatives: Retrospective analysis of North American Contact Dermatitis Group data, 1994 through 2016. J Am Acad Dermatol 2021;84(4):965–76.

2.     Reeder M, Atwater A. Parabens: The 2019 Nonallergen of the Year. Cutis 2019;103(4):92–193.