CeraVe (L’Oreal)

Last Updated: June 9, 2022

Is CeraVe (L’Oreal) 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 CeraVe’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

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

CeraVe is also owned by L’Oreal, a parent corporation that does engage in animal testing.
Yes, CeraVe sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
CeraVe does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since CeraVe engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by CeraVe to be vegan anyways.

CeraVe (L’Oreal)

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CeraVe is NOT Cruelty-Free!

CeraVe allows its products or ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law including when selling in stores in mainland China.

In addition, CeraVe is owned by L’Oreal, a parent corporation that is NOT cruelty-free.

CeraVe’s Animal Testing Policy

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 itself, 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 in 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 you click on the link they provided, it leads 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 Tests on Animals?

Companies can bypass China’s pre-market animal testing by choosing to manufacture their ordinary or general cosmetics in China, but CeraVe has not indicated that they have taken this route to avoid animal testing in China.

Additionally, the possibility of post-market animal testing is not completely ruled out and may be conducted on some cosmetics sold in physical stores in China.

As of May 1, 2021, cosmetic companies can also export and sell their ordinary or general cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet a set of preconditions first. However, meeting these conditions has proven difficult, and it’s still unclear what exactly is accepted according to the new regulations. So there’s no word yet of any company that has successfully done so.

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 2022.

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 2022.

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

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

Cruelty-Free Policies

Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China because of its animal testing laws. 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, and 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.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is CeraVe Certified Cruelty-Free?

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

Because CeraVe is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is looking into or substantiating 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 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, CeraVe is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its parent corporation, L’Oreal.

Is CeraVe Cruelty-Free?

To sum up, by choosing to sell in mainland China, CeraVe must have its products tested on animals. 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 does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since CeraVe engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by CeraVe to be vegan anyways.

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:

And check out our Guide to Affordable Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands!

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