is cerave cruelty free

Is CeraVe Cruelty Free? Here’s What You Need to Know

Is Cerave Cruelty-Free?

CeraVe is a famous skincare brand known for its gentle, dermatologist-recommended formulas. However, in today’s world, consumers are increasingly concerned about the efficacy of their skincare products and the ethical and moral implications of their purchasing decisions. A critical consideration for many consumers is whether their products are cruelty-free, which means whether they were tested on animals or not.

In this article, we will explore whether CeraVe is cruelty-free or not. We will examine CeraVe’s animal testing policy and its parent company, L’Oréal, and how this impacts the brand’s cruelty-free status. We will also discuss the ethical considerations of animal testing in the skincare industry and the laws and regulations surrounding this practice. 

What Does “Cruelty-Free” Mean in the Context of Beauty Products?

“Cruelty-free” refers to beauty products that have not been tested on animals at any stage of the product’s development or manufacturing. It includes not only the finished product but also its ingredients. The term “cruelty-free” denotes ethical and responsible practices in the beauty industry.

CeraVe’s Animal Testing Policy: Does the Company Test on Animals?

CeraVe is a subsidiary of the French multinational corporation L’Oréal, one of the world’s largest beauty companies. L’Oréal has a complex history when it comes to animal testing. While the company has committed to ending animal testing, it still conducts animal testing when required by law, particularly in countries like China, where animal testing is mandatory for cosmetic products.

Because L’Oréal owns CeraVe, its cruelty-free status is influenced by the parent company’s policies and practices.

While it claims to be committed to not testing on animals, it is unclear whether L’Oréal’s overall animal testing policies affect its supply chain and ingredient sourcing.

Consumers who prioritize cruelty-free products may avoid brands owned by companies that conduct animal testing, including L’Oréal. However, others may still purchase CeraVe products despite its parent company’s animal testing policies.

CeraVe’s Commitment to Sustainability: Does this Impact Its Cruelty-Free Status?

CeraVe has tried to reduce its environmental impact and improve its sustainability practices in recent years. It includes reducing its carbon emissions, increasing its use of recycled materials, and implementing more sustainable packaging practices. However, these sustainability initiatives do not directly impact the brand’s cruelty-free status.

A brand can be both sustainable and cruelty-free, as these are separate issues. While companies need to reduce their environmental impact, this should not come at the expense of the ethical treatment of animals.

Some consumers may prioritize purchasing products from companies committed to sustainability and ethical practices. In this case, CeraVe’s sustainability initiatives may make it a more attractive option for environmentally-conscious consumers.

Does Cerave Sell in Countries That Require Animal Testing?

Yes, Cerave sells products in China. 

A critical consideration in determining whether Cerave is cruelty-free is whether the brand sells its products in countries that require animal testing for cosmetics. Animal testing for cosmetics is banned in the European Union and several other countries, but it is still required by law in some places, such as China.

It is widely known that to sell cosmetics in China, the products must undergo a mandatory animal testing process by the Chinese authorities.

CeraVe in China
CeraVe Website in China

Any cosmetics brand wishing to sell in China must agree to have its products tested on animals.

Third-party Certifications and Their Significance

Third-party certifications are important in determining whether a brand is truly cruelty-free. These certifications are awarded by independent organizations that have established criteria for what it means to be cruelty-free. They assure consumers that the brand has met those criteria.

Several third-party certifications are widely recognized in the cosmetics industry, including Leaping Bunny, PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies, and Choose Cruelty-Free. Each of these certifications has its own set of criteria for what it means to be cruelty-free. Still, they generally require brands to adhere to strict guidelines for animal testing and sourcing of ingredients.

Cerave does not appear to have any third-party cruelty-free certifications at this time. While the brand’s website states that it does not test on animals “unless required by law,” this statement does not provide much detail on its animal testing policy or practices.

The absence of a third-party certification can make it more difficult for consumers to determine whether Cerave is genuinely cruelty-free. 

Notably, the absence of a third-party certification does not necessarily mean a brand is not cruelty-free. Some brands may choose not to refrain from pursuing accreditation for various reasons, including cost or a desire to maintain control over their own al testing policies. However, with a certificate, consumers can rely on the brand’s statements and information, which may be less comprehensive or less reliable than information provided by an independent certifying organization.

Sources of Ingredients in Cerave Products

Understanding the ingredients commonly used in Cerave products and their sources can be important for those who prioritize ethical and cruelty-free options.

One of the most common ingredients in Cerave products is ceramides, lipid molecules that help strengthen the skin barrier. Ceramides are typically sourced from plant-based ingredients such as rice or wheat, although they can also be sourced from animal-derived ingredients such as cow brains.

Another commonly used ingredient is hyaluronic acid, a natural substance in the human body. Cerave sources its hyaluronic acid from rooster combs and bacterial fermentation, which may concern those who prioritize cruelty-free options.

Other ingredients commonly found include niacinamide, sourced from vitamin B3, and salicylic acid, typically derived from willow bark or wintergreen leaves.

Bottom Line

Although Cerave does not perform animal testing on its products, the lack of official cruelty-free certification may not meet the ethical standards of some consumers. Additionally, the fact that their parent company, L’Oreal, is not considered cruelty-free by many organizations may also be a concern. If you value cruelty-free options, many alternative skincare brands with official certifications use plant-based or synthetic ingredients. 

If you still choose to use Cerave products, educating yourself on the ingredients and their sources is crucial to make informed purchasing decisions. By doing so, you can feel confident that you are making a choice that aligns with your values and meets your skincare needs.


Does CeraVe still test on animals?

No, Cerave does not conduct animal testing on its products. However, they do not have an official cruelty-free certification from a third-party organization.

Is CeraVe vegan and cruelty-free? 

Cerave products are not entirely vegan as they contain some animal-derived ingredients such as cholesterol and ceramides. However, the brand does not test on animals.

Is Cetaphil or CeraVe cruelty-free? 

Cetaphil, like Cerave, is also owned by a parent company that many organizations do not consider cruelty-free. While Cerave does not test on animals, they do not have an official cruelty-free certification.

Is CeraVe tested on animals in the US?

No, Cerave is not tested on animals in the US, as the FDA bans animal testing for cosmetics. However, some ingredients used in Cerave products may have been tested on animals in other countries where such testing is still legal.

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