Last Updated: March 1, 2024

How Ethical Is Caudalie?

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 Caudalie’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Caudalie cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Caudalie’s policies.
Caudalie is NOT Cruelty-Free. Caudalie engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.
Yes, Caudalie sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
Caudalie claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because Caudalie engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by Caudalie to be vegan.


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Is Caudalie Cruelty-Free?

☠️ Caudalie is NOT cruelty-free in 2023. Caudalie allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, including when selling in stores in mainland China.

Caudalie’s Animal Testing Policy

When asking, does Caudalie test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Caudalie’s ingredients or suppliers test on animals. And they don’t sell in any country or under conditions that may require animal testing by law.

To assess whether brands are cruelty-free, I always start with the company’s official animal testing policy on their website.

On Caudalie’s website, they claim none of their products or ingredients are tested on animals. However, in China, where their products are sold, may impose random animal testing.

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

Is Caudalie Cruelty-Free?

Policies stating China’s animal testing laws usually imply the company is selling its products in mainland China. That’s because cosmetics sold in stores in mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals.

Is Caudalie Sold in China?

In Caudalie’s animal testing statement, they confirmed their products are indeed distributed and sold in China where animal testing is mandatory and unavoidable.

But Doesn’t China No Longer Test on Animals?

With the recent changes to China’s animal testing laws, cosmetic companies can now export and sell some of their cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet ALL of the following preconditions first.

  • ONLY sell ‘general’ cosmetics (like makeup, skincare, haircare, nail polish, and perfumes)
  • must NOT sell any ‘special’ cosmetics like sunscreens, hair dye, hair perming, or other cosmetics claiming new efficacy
  • must NOT sell products designed for infants or children
  • must NOT sell products that contain a ‘New Cosmetic Ingredient’
  • AND if post-market testing is required, then the company must have a policy in place where it will RECALL its products rather than allow its products to be tested on animals

Also, products must meet ONE of the following in order to avoid animal testing in China:

  • manufactured in China, or the final assembly is in China
  • if manufactured outside of China and then exported to China, companies must obtain the proper product safety certificates and documents

However, it’s not stated anywhere that Caudalie has taken any steps to meet the above preconditions in order to avoid animal testing while selling in China.

Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see why most cosmetics sold in China (like Caudalie) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2023.

Because Caudalie has decided to sell in mainland China stores, they must consent and pay to have their products tested on animals. That’s why most cosmetics brands selling in mainland China cannot be considered cruelty-free in 2023.

Although Caudalie may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, they knowingly allow Chinese authorities to test their products on animals in order to sell in China.

For those reasons, we would not consider Caudalie to be cruelty-free by our standards.

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Cruelty-Free Policies

Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China under conditions where animal tests may be required. Unfortunately, Caudalie refuses to do the same and therefore cannot be considered cruelty-free.

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 Caudalie already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Caudalie Certified Cruelty-Free?

Caudalie is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.

Since Caudalie is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is substantiating or auditing Caudalie’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.

Does Caudalie Test on Animals?

To wrap up, Caudalie allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, like when selling in China. Therefore, we would NOT consider Caudalie to be a cruelty-free brand.

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

Is Caudalie Vegan?

Caudalie is NOT vegan. Caudalie claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but Caudalie engages in animal testing in some capacity, so we wouldn’t consider any Caudalie products vegan at this time.

See below for a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Caudalie’s website about its “vegan” claims:

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.

I also noticed Sephora listing some of Caudalie products in their “Vegan Skincare” category but note that Caudalie is NOT cruelty-free. Caudalie products are tested on animals.

I’m assuming Sephora is labeling products as “vegan” when they’re formulated without any animal ingredients or by-products. But “Vegan” Cosmetics should also consider whether the products or its ingredients were tested on animals, anywhere in the world.

Cruelty-free Alternatives to Caudalie:

There are plenty of cruelty-free and natural skincare alternatives to Caudalie, here are some of my personal cruelty-free recommendations:

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What do you think

6 thoughts on “Caudalie”

  1. By PETAs standards, the brand would not be considered cruelty free, however the brand itself is cruelty free. By legally being allowed to state on their boxes ‘DO NOT TEST ON ANIMALS’ this makes them cruelty free. There are many forms of what defines cruelty free and you are misleading in this post.

    1. Actually, the FDA warns the general public to be aware of products that claim to be “cruelty-free” and “not tested on animals” because the FDA does NOT regulate or have a LEGAL definition for products that claim to be “cruelty-free” and “not tested on animals”

      Here’s a snippet of what’s on the FDA’s website:

      “Consumers sometimes ask about use of claims such as “Cruelty-Free” or “Not Tested on Animals” on cosmetic labeling.

      Some cosmetic companies promote their products with claims of this kind in their labeling or advertising. The unrestricted use of these phrases by cosmetic companies is possible because there are no legal definitions for these terms.”


      So, Caudalie can legally label and call their products “CRUELTY-FREE” or “NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS” or “WE DON’T TEST OUR PRODUCTS ON ANIMALS” or any other “forms” you’re referring to that is suggesting a brand to be cruelty-free… but the FDA has no jurisdiction or legal obligation to say who can and cannot use “NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS” on their packaging.

      I’m stating the facts in this post. Caudalie has admitted their products ARE sold in mainland China and even Caudalie themselves, are stating the fact that, “no cosmetic brand selling its products in China can obtain a certificate from the Chinese authorities guaranteeing that tests have not been performed on animals in China by the Chinese government.“

      If, after reading my post and knowing these facts, you still wish to call Caudalie “cruelty-free” under your own definitions, then that’s totally fine. You can define “cruelty-free” however YOU like but to our standards, Caudalie cannot be considered cruelty-free.

      EDITED: Typo

  2. Brands should stop selling to China. They can survive without selling to a country that animal testing is mandatory by the low.

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