Suzana Rose

Caudalie is NOT cruelty-free.

This means that this brand either tests on animals, pays for animal testing, or sells in mainland China. Some brands that fall under this category test on animals where required by law, which means they're not cruelty-free.


At a Glance

Finished products tested on animals Yes, where required by law
Ingredients tested on animals Uncertain
Suppliers test on animals Uncertain
Third party animal testing Yes, where required by law
Sold in mainland China Yes

Caudalie's Official Animal Testing Policy

“Since its creation, Caudalie has always been opposed to animal testing and does not test on animals in compliance with EU regulations. We use alternative methods to test our compounds and our finished products. Moreover, we do not use animal ingredients.

All the tests we perform are only carried out on volunteers in a clinic environment and are conducted by an independent laboratory, accredited by the French Ministry of Health, for total objectivity.

We are against animal testing and favour suppliers who use alternative methods for our raw materials.

Our first requirement is to ensure perfect safety for our products.

Also, please be aware that we continue to defend our Cosm’ethics and are always seeking to go one step further in our commitments. Hence, in 2012, Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas, the founders, decided to donate 1% of Caudalie’s turnover to ecological associations for the protection of the planet and the preservation of plant and animal species.”

On being sold in China, Caudalie claims:

“Caudalie’s position has not changed. We remain against animal testing and we don’t test our ingredients and formulas on animals. We are now selling our products in China and Chinese government reserves the right to conduct tests with cosmetic products but I have hope this situation will change soon by outside pressure.”

What This Means

Since Caudalie has started selling in China, they now allow third parties to test their products on animals in mainland China. In order to sell cosmetics in the Chinese market, brands like Caudalie must comply with mandatory animal testing. This means that they likely paid for their products to be tested on animals in China.

Caudalie also claims to be “against animal testing”, which is an empty claim. Brands can be “against” animal testing while still testing on animals.

As for their suppliers, Caudalie claims that “favour suppliers who use alternative methods”. This does not mean that they ensure their suppliers don’t test on animals.

Because of all these reasons, Caudalie is not a cruelty-free brands.


Caudalie is a French skincare brand. Their products use extracts from grapes and grapevines, and they also own “Vinotherapie” Spas. Their products are available in drugstores, retailers, and department stores worldwide.

Why We Classify Brands Like Caudalie As “Not Cruelty-Free”

The term “cruelty-free” is unregulated. This means any brand can claim to be cruelty-free without breaking the law, even if they test on animals.

Because of this, we communicate with brands directly to gather information about their full animal testing policy.

Brands who are classified as “not cruelty-free” break one or more of the Cruelty-Free 5:

  • Their company engages in animal testing
  • Their suppliers engage in animal testing
  • They allow third-parties to test on animals on their behalf
  • They test on animals where required by law
  • They knowingly sell cosmetics in stores in mainland China, where animal testing could be performed

A supplier is any company that sells the brand raw materials, ingredients, or finished products. A third-party is an outside company or entity, whether or not it’s hired by the brand.

What’s The Deal With China?

Many beauty brands choose to sell their products in China. It’s important to note that these companies can not be considered cruelty-free.

As of 2020, China still requires most cosmetics to be tested on animals in order to be sold in the country.

As for products which can bypass these mandatory tests, the Chinese authorities may still pull these products from the shelves and have them tested on animals. Although the chance is small, we believe that companies can not be considered “cruelty-free” while taking this risk.

View Comments (14)
  • If it’s chinese law then shouldn’t your problem be with the chinese government, not the brand? They are a business and probably can’t afford to cut their connections with china just because they have this law? I don’t know personally I don’t feel I can judge them too harshly for that. It’s bad but it’s kind of out of their hands if they want money and ties in that country.

    • That’s true. BUT there are brands that have decided NOT to sell in China so as not to have to do these tests. Surely those ones, that choose ethics over increased sales in China, are the ones we should patronise?

  • Well that stinks, I got their serum/face mousse pack from Sephora for the May birthday gift…it works great so had to check after the fact if they’re CF. Anyone have recommendations for a face cream that’s good for uber-sensitive combination skin? Tried a few and they just make my face look like an oil slick a couple hours later!

    • I have good luck with Paula’s Choice products, and I like their Skin Balancing Oil Reducing Cleanser. My t-zone is very oily and the rest of my face is pretty dry, and this cleanser makes a very noticeable difference on the dry parts without leading to breakouts on the oily parts. I like it a lot and you can order samples from PC for .50 (though I don’t know what the shipping situation would be in that case). Good luck finding something that works – it was a real headache for me to find something that wouldn’t dry out my face.

    • Hi Mel – try Liz Earle’s skin care range. I used to swear by Cauldalie however; after finding out they sell in mainland China (which requires 2 separate lots of animal testing if I’m not mistaken) I switched to the Liz Earle and I have been highly impressed by the results after just one month! I didn’t think my skin could look any better than when using Caudalie however Liz Earle’s products are far superior and cruelty free!!

    • As far as I know this policy has not changed. They are still selling their products in China (where animal testing is mandatory for foreign cosmetics) and they are on PETA’s list of companies that DO test on animals.

  • I just bought their product thinking that it was cruelty-free, as they’ve claimed.. Now I am disappointed.

  • Correction: the Chinese government buys the products from Caudalie in order to conduct the tests. Caudalie themselves do not conduct the tests. This is clear in their statement and this is common practice for many cruelty free brands that sell in China.

    • Val, the Chinese government does not “buy” the products, and it’s the company itself that has to finance the tests. It might be common practice, but it doesn’t change that it’s animal cruelty.

  • I’ve been trying ti find a cruelty free cleansing water for (what feels like) forever. Can you recommend one?


    • Update: Micellar water from Marcelle is incredible. I think it’s only available in Canada though (I’m unaware of your location). It’s expensive but it’s cruelty free and it takes off makeup incredibly well without drying out the skin

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