Suzana Rose

Nivea 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.

Nivea is owned by Beiersdorf, a company that is 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

Nivea's Official Animal Testing Policy

“Beiersdorf, the organisation behind the NIVEA brand, does not test on animals. As a global company, all our affiliates including Australia and New Zealand, are aligned on this stance. We believe animal testing is not required to prove the safety and effectiveness of our products.

In China, however, animal testing is mandated by law for the official registration and certification of the safety of certain product categories. In this case, the tests are conducted by local institutions authorised by the state not by the companies selling the product. Our goal is to convince these authorities that animal testing for cosmetic products is unnecessary and to advocate for the international acceptance of alternative testing methods.”

What This Means

Although Nivea does not test finished products on animals themselves, they’re not a cruelty-free company. They did allow their products to be tested on animals in mainland China.

Don’t let brands like Nivea trick you: even though it’s the Chinese authorities that performed the animal testing, it’s the brand that pays for these tests. Since Nivea allowed their products to be tested on animals by third parties in China, they can’t be considered cruelty-free.

Nivea also didn’t provide any information about their ingredients or suppliers.

From Nivea’s Website

Nivea’s animal testing policy can be found directly on their website. In Their FAQ, they have a section for “animal welfare, sustainability, and the environment”. Here’s a screenshot of their answer:

The brand also dedicates a page to “Honesty and Transparency”, with a section about animal testing. Here’s the section (click the image to enlarge):

Don’t Be Fooled: Nivea Tests On Animals in China

Don’t be fooled by the wording on Nivea’s website, as it isn’t very honest nor transparent. Nivea is putting their best face forward, while minimizing their role in animal testing.

Nivea is also listed as a brand that tests on animals by PETA. Here’s a screenshot:



Nivea is a German person care brand which is sold worldwide. They mainly offer skin and body care, and their products can be found in most drugstores. They’re owned by Beiersdorf, who also owns Eucerin, Labello, and Aquaphor.

Why We Classify Brands Like Nivea 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.

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