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Is CeraVe Cruelty-Free?
☠️ CeraVe is NOT cruelty-free in 2023. CeraVe allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, including when selling in stores in mainland China.
CeraVe’s Animal Testing Policy
When asking, does CeraVe test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of CeraVe’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.
CeraVe claims on its website that its products are not tested on animals. However, this is not enough information for us to classify CeraVe or any other brand as being cruelty-free according to our standards.
See below for a screenshot of what’s currently stated on CeraVe’s website:
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, its suppliers, or any third parties.
So I reached out to CeraVe 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 mainland China).
And CeraVe responded by saying:
“Thank you for contacting CeraVe.
At L’Oréal, we care for animal welfare and do not test on animals. We are for a world without animal testing. The L’Oréal Group, which includes CeraVe, has always made our consumers’ health and safety an absolute priority. Since 1989, we have not tested the safety of our products on animals, 14 years before regulations required us to do so.
There are effective non-animal ways to ensure the safety of cosmetic products. For example, over 40 years ago we led the development of human reconstructed skin that is more accurate for analyzing how cosmetic ingredients and products will behave on human skin. We continue to pioneer new non-animal methods and technologies.
For more information, please visit: https://inside-our-products.loreal.com/question-animal-testing-and-alternative-methods”
Based on their response, it turns out that L’Oreal owns CeraVe. And CeraVe has the same animal testing policy as L’Oreal where both CeraVe and L’Oreal state they don’t test their products on animals but then state China’s animal testing regulations.
When I clicked on the link provided, it led me to L’Oreal’s corporate animal testing policy, which includes the following statement:
“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 is 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 certain make-up products are no longer tested on animals.”
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 CeraVe Sold in China?
In my research, I discovered that CeraVe products are indeed sold in stores in mainland China.
Below is a screenshot of CeraVe’s Chinese website:
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 CeraVe 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 CeraVe and L’Oreal) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2023.
Because CeraVe 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 CeraVe 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 CeraVe to be cruelty-free by our standards.
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Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China under conditions where animal tests may be required. Unfortunately, CeraVe 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 CeraVe already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.
Is CeraVe Certified Cruelty-Free?
CeraVe is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.
Since CeraVe is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is substantiating or auditing CeraVe’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.
Is CeraVe Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?
Yes. CeraVe is owned by L’Oreal, a parent corporation that still engages in animal testing in 2023.
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, CeraVe is NOT cruelty-free, and neither is its parent corporation, L’Oreal.
Does CeraVe Test on Animals?
To wrap up, CeraVe allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, like when selling in China. Therefore, we would NOT consider CeraVe to be a cruelty-free brand.
Currently, CeraVe is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.
Is CeraVe Vegan?
❌ CeraVe is NOT vegan. CeraVe does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since CeraVe engages in animal testing in some capacity, we wouldn’t consider any CeraVe products vegan at this time.
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 CeraVe
Looking to switch to cruelty-free products? Here are some cruelty-free brands to check out:
- Paula’s Choice *owned by Unilever
- The Ordinary *owned by Estee Lauder
- Derma E
And check out our Guide to Affordable Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands!