Suzana Rose

CeraVe 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.

CeraVe isn't owned by a parent company that is not cruelty-free.


At a Glance

Finished products tested on animals Yes, where required by law
Ingredients tested on animals No, with possible exceptions
Suppliers test on animals Uncertain
Third party animal testing Yes, where required by law
Sold in mainland China Yes

CeraVe's Official Animal Testing Policy

“The L’Oréal Group, which includes CeraVe, has always made our consumers’ health and safety an absolute priority. As is the support of animal welfare.

The majority of all of our products are vegan. We will be 100% vegan in 2021.

L’Oréal has developed a very rigorous safety evaluation procedure of its products, backed by research. Well before the question of animal testing was raised by civil society or within a regulatory framework, L’Oréal has been committed to new methods of assessing safety that don’t involve animals. A true pioneer, L’Oréal has been reconstructing human skin models in laboratories to elaborate invitro safety tests since 1979, as an alternative to animals. In 1989, L’Oréal completely ceased testing its products on animals, 14 years before the regulation required so.

Today, L’Oréal no longer tests its ingredients on animals and no longer tolerates any exception to this rule. Certain health authorities may nevertheless decide to conduct animal tests themselves for certain cosmetic products, as it is still the case in China. L’Oréal has been the most active company working alongside the Chinese authorities and scientists for over 10 years to have alternative testing methods recognized, and permit the cosmetic regulation to evolve towards a total and definite elimination of animal testing. Thanks to this, since 2014, certain products manufactured and sold in China like shampoo, body wash or make-up are no longer tested on animals.”

What This Means

This animal testing policy may be confusing at first, but it’s clear that CeraVe tests on animals where required by law. L’Oréal is purposely using language that minimizes their involvement in animal testing, and trying to mislead their customers.

For example, they state that “L’Oréal no longer tests its ingredients on animals and no longer tolerates any exception to this rule”. However, the very next sentences mentions an exception to their rule: “Certain health authorities may nevertheless decide to conduct animal tests themselves for certain cosmetic products.”

Even though L’Oréal and CeraVe claim that it’s the “health authorities” and not their company that test their products on animals, it’s important to note that L’Oréal and CeraVa had to pay for these tests to be performed. Companies that are truly cruelty-free refuse to sell in stores in mainland China, and you can find hundreds of examples in our cruelty-free list.

From Their FAQ

Unfortunately, CeraVe do not give us the full story on their website. If you go to their FAQ, this is their answer when asked if they test on animals:

However, when contacted directly, the brand gave us their full animal testing policy (see above). CeraVe does test on animals where required by law, and they do have a presence in China. CeraVe states that they’re vailable in the following countries: The Americas, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Europe, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Asia and Middle East, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Russia and Taiwan.


CeraVe is a budget-friendly drugstore skincare brand. Their products contain ceramides, which helps the skin barrier stay hydrated and free or irritation. Their products specifically target eczema, psoriasis, and dry or itchy skin. In 2017, L’Oréal acquired the brand.

Why We Classify Brands Like CeraVe 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 (2)
  • I’m confused the first paragraph said CeraVe is not cruelty free. The 2nd paragraph says they are. What’s the truth?

    • Hi Kimberly, CeraVe is not cruelty-free! They’re phrasing it this way on purpose to confuse us.

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