Is CeraVe Cruelty-Free?

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Is CeraVe Cruelty-Free?

No, CeraVe is not cruelty-free. They may test on animals, either themselves, through their suppliers, or through a third party. Brands who fall under this category could also be selling products where animal testing is required by law.

Parent company:

L'Oréal

  • 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 where animal testing is required by law

    Yes

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.”

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The Truth About CeraVe's Animal Testing Policy

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 CeraVe 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.

About CeraVe

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.

Is CeraVe owned by a parent company that tests on animals?

CeraVe is owned by L'Oréal, a company that tests on animals. Not only is CeraVe not cruelty-free but neither is their parent company.

In the beauty industry, it’s common for brands to be owned by a larger company. These are called parent companies, and they’re often global corporations such as L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, or Procter & Gamble.

Most of these parent companies are not cruelty-free, since they test on animals to some degree. They might also own several brands that are not cruelty-free.

However, some of the brands owned by these parent companies are cruelty-free and have strict policies against animal testing.

There are pros and cons to supporting cruelty-free brands owned by parent companies that aren’t.

You can either:

  • Choose to boycott them since they’re a part of a larger conglomerate that engages in animal testing.
  • Choose to support some of them based on the individual ethics of each parent company, or only purchase from them if there are no independent alternatives.
  • Choose to support them since they are 100% cruelty-free even though their parent company is not, therefore showing their parent company that consumers are favoring their cruelty-free brands.

In the cruelty-free community, the majority of conscious consumers purchase from cruelty-free brands even if they’re owned by a parent company that tests on animals. This is our stance at Cruelty-Free Kitty as well. We believe that supporting all cruelty-free brands is the only path towards a cruelty-free and more ethical beauty industry.

It’s also worth noting that subsidiary brands of parent companies are unique corporations by themselves. They act as independent branches and operate independently from the parent company, and can also be sold to other companies including cruelty-free ones.

Another aspect to consider is that many parts of the world only have access to limited brands, so their only cruelty-free options are owned by large corporations. This is a concern we hear about constantly from our international readers. Given this complex landscape, we believe that supporting all cruelty-free brands is ethical as well as practical.

A minority of shoppers choose to boycott brands owned by a parent company that tests on animals.

At Cruelty-Free Kitty, we make it easy for all of our readers to know which brands are owned by a parent company that tests on animals. At the top of each brand page, you’ll see a “parent company” note if that’s the case.

You can also filter our list of cruelty-free brands to only show brands that are not owned by any company that tests on animals.

Finally, for a list of brands owned by a parent company that tests on animals, click here.

Is CeraVe sold where animal testing is required by law?

Yes, CeraVe is available for sale in countries with mandatory animal testing. This means that their products were likely tested on animals.

You can trust Cruelty-Free Kitty to be on top of the most recent changes in China’s animal testing laws. As of 2023, the vast majority of beauty brands available in China have had their products tested on animals.

Mainland China still requires these mandatory animal tests for most companies. Is it possible for brands to bypass them? Yes, however it’s currently extremely rare as brands need to “jump through several hoops”.

One way to bypass these animal tests is to only have their products available only online, and not in physical stores. Another way is to manufacture the products in China while making sure to adhere to strict regulations.

In all other cases, beauty brands need to pay for cruel animal tests to be performed using their products. It’s estimated that close to 100,000 rabbits are used in animal testing for cosmetics each year in China alone.

Even though the company itself isn’t executing these animal experiments, they bear full responsibility. Not only does the company sign off on the experiments, but they’re also funding them.

Is CeraVe certified cruelty-free by any organizations?

No, CeraVe is not certified by any organizations.

While companies can be fully cruelty-free without being certified, it’s still a good indicator of their ethical practices. Leaping Bunny and PETA are the two organizations giving out cruelty-free certification.

Is CeraVe vegan?

No, CeraVe is not vegan. This means that some of their products may contain animal-derived ingredients. CeraVe might offer some vegan products, however because this company is not cruelty-free, it's recommended to avoid any products they offer even if they are vegan.

Brands can be cruelty-free without being vegan, and claim to be vegan without being cruelty-free. This is because “cruelty-free” refers to the animal testing aspect, while “vegan” refers to the ingredients.

A “vegan” product contains no animal-derived ingredients, such as Beeswax (made by bees), Carmine (a red pigment made from crushed beetles), or Collagen (from mammal or fish skin).

A company is “cruelty-free” at company level, meaning they can’t have cruelty-free products unless the whole company is cruelty-free. However, a company can offer vegan products even if not all of their products are vegan. If all of their products are vegan, then we refer to the brand as “100% vegan”.

We have a list of 100% vegan brands, and you can also filter our official list of cruelty-free brands and choose to show vegan brands only.

Looking for vegan products from cruelty-free brands? Visit our Product Database and make sure you use the vegan filter.

Does CeraVe test on animals?

Yes, CeraVe tests on animals. This means that the brand pays for their ingredients or their finished products to be tested on animals, either by the brand itself, their suppliers, or any third parties. Most often, brands that test on animals do so by allowing third parties in mainland China to test their finished products on animals.

How do you determine that brands like CeraVe are not cruelty-free?

Most brands don't publicly display their full animal testing policies. We contact brands directly with our questions in order to get their complete policy. If any brand states that they, their suppliers, or any third party test on animals, the brand is listed as "not cruelty-free."

We ask all conscious consumers to be mindful of misleading statements from brands. Companies that test on animals try to minimize their involvement in animal testing, and understandably so—if a brand were to proudly claim to perform cruel tests on animals, their customers would surely reconsider being a loyal fan.

What they do instead is use clever language that shifts the blame away from themselves and makes the public believe that they’re not responsible for the animal testing, or that the animal testing performed on their products is “an exception”.

If a brand is listed as “not cruelty-free” in our database, you can rest assured that their products were tested on animals in recent years.

We monitor every change and constantly post updates. The changes in our database, list of cruelty-free, and brand pages are reflected in real time as soon as we become aware of new information.

Is Cruelty-Free Kitty reliable?

Founded in 2014 by Suzana Rose, Cruelty-Free Kitty is the largest and most trusted cruelty-free shopping platform.

We vet every single brand added to our database by contacting them directly and ensuring they adhere to our strict criteria we call "The Cruelty-Free 5".

For a brand to be listed as cruelty-free, it must satisfy the following:

  1. The brand itself does not test on animals, for either finished products or ingredients.
  2. Suppliers do not test on animals for products, raw materials, or ingredients.
  3. No third parties test on animals on the brand's behalf.
  4. The brand does not test on animals when required by law.
  5. The brand does not sell cosmetics in physical stores in mainland China.

At Cruelty-Free Kitty, we have an unwavering commitment to accuracy. The landscape of cosmetics animal testing is constantly evolving globally. Our team is diligent about staying current on changing laws, brand acquisitions, and policy updates that impact cruelty-free status.

To date, we’ve vetted over 1200+ brands and helped millions of conscious shoppers choose products that aren’t tested on animals. Please feel free to contact us with any questions by using our contact form.

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