Alterna (Henkel)

Last Updated: October 11, 2022

Is Alterna (Henkel) Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Make a positive impact by supporting companies with the same values and ethics as what matters most to you. To navigate and find ethical brands, here’s a summary of Alterna’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Alterna cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Alterna’s policies.
Alterna is NOT Cruelty-Free. Alterna engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.

Alterna is also owned by Henkel, a parent corporation that does engage in animal testing.
Alterna claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because Alterna engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by Alterna to be vegan.

Alterna (Henkel)

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Alterna is NOT Cruelty-Free!

Alterna allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law.

In addition, Alterna is owned by Henkel, a parent company that is NOT cruelty-free.

Alterna’s Animal Testing Policy

Alterna claims on its website its products are not animal-tested, however, this is not enough information for us to classify Alterna or any other brand as being cruelty-free to our standards.

Also, Alterna states its My Hair. My Canvas. product line is PETA-Certified cruelty-free. But note that Alterna, the brand itself, is not actually PETA-Certified. Just one of their product lines is certified.

See below for a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Alterna’s website:

Alterna’s statement that their products are not animal-tested is not enough information for us to determine Alterna as being truly cruelty-free.

Animal testing for cosmetics can happen at various stages of product development, including at the ingredient level, and is often done by others and not the cosmetic company itself. This is why we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, or any third parties.

So I reached out to Alterna to ask for more information about their animal testing policy. More specifically, I wanted to know if they commission or allow others to test, not just their finished products but their ingredients, on animals, including when selling in countries that require animal testing (like in mainland China).

Hello thank you for reaching out, and great questions!

Wherever legally possible, we demonstrate the safety of our products and the ingredients we use through existing data or through accepted alternative test methods, thus avoiding animal testing.

Henkel only ever uses such tests if required by legal regulations or if no accepted alternative test methods are available for obtaining the necessary safety data.


Naturally, at the same time, we comply with legal regulations that do not allow animal testing, e.g. testing in order to meet the requirements of the EU legislation on cosmetics.


We would very much like to be able to answer all questions about the safety of our products and the ingredients we use without any animal testing at all. Unfortunately, however, it is not yet possible to avoid animal testing completely: This is because legally acceptable alternative test methods are not yet available for all safety aspects, and alternative test methods are not able to answer all questions relating to safety.


We have been working intensively for more than three decades on the development of alternative methods to obtain the necessary safety data without animal testing. Significant examples include tests on cell systems – known as in-vitro methods ‏(Latin: “in glass”).

Based on their statement, we now know that Henkel owns Alterna. And Alterna has the same animal testing policy as Henkel where both state they make an exception to allow their products to be tested on animals if specifically required by law or no accepted alternative test methods are available.

Truly cruelty-free brands will never allow their products or ingredients to be tested on animals. Cruelty-free companies have a policy where if the law requires them to test on animals then they will refuse to sell their products under those conditions.

For example, imported cosmetics sold in stores in mainland China are required by Chinese laws to be tested on animals upon registration. Therefore, truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell in China in order to remain committed to their no-animal testing policy.

Unfortunately, Henkel and Alterna state they will allow their products and ingredients to be tested on animals if the law requires it. For those reasons, Alterna is NOT cruelty-free.

Cruelty-Free Policies

At ethical elephant, we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, or by any third parties, including when required by law.

See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist. Since Alterna follows the same animal testing policy as its parent company, Henkel, and allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Alterna Certified Cruelty-Free?

Alterna, the brand, is NOT certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.

However, a product line, My Hair. My Canvas. produced by Alterna happens to be PETA-Certified cruelty-free. But Alterna, the brand itself, is NOT certified cruelty-free by PETA or Leaping Bunny.

Is Alterna Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?

Yes. Alterna is owned by Henkel, a parent corporation that still engages in animal testing in 2022.

Some cruelty-free consumers may choose to purchase and support cruelty-free brands owned by animal-tested parent corporations as they hope it will convince the parent company to become cruelty-free.

But in this case, Alterna is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its parent corporation, Henkel.

Is Alterna Cruelty-Free?

To sum up, Alterna has the same animal testing policy as Henkel where both allow their products or ingredients to be tested on animals if the law requires it or no alternative test methods are available. Therefore, we would NOT consider Alterna to be a cruelty-free brand.

Currently, Alterna is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.

Is Alterna Vegan?

Alterna claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because Alterna engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by Alterna to be vegan.

In order for products to be considered vegan by ethical elephant’s standards, the products and their ingredients must not be tested on animals anywhere in the world. Also, they must not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Alterna

Looking to switch to cruelty-free products? Here are some cruelty-free brands to check out:

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