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Is CeraVe Cruelty Free and Vegan? (2022 Update)

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CeraVe is not cruelty free. Some of CeraVe’s products are vegan, but CeraVe is not 100% vegan as a brand.

I’ve analyzed all the details about CeraVe so you can find out why CeraVe is not cruelty free and vegan below.

And if you’re looking for some new skincare products to update your routine, make sure to check out the last section of this post where I’ve listed some of my favorite cruelty free and vegan alternatives to CeraVe.

Let’s dive right in!

Is CeraVe cruelty free? Are CeraVe products tested on animals?

CeraVe is NOT cruelty free. Their products may be tested on animals.

On their website, CeraVe has an FAQ where one of the questions is related to animal testing.

Are CeraVe products tested on animals?

No, CeraVe products are not tested on animals and they are cruelty free. 

source: CeraVe’s website

However, this is very misleading to consumers because of the following reasons:

  1. They don’t mention anything about the ingredients used within their products. A brand can’t be cruelty free if the ingredients are tested on animals by suppliers or third parties.
  2. They sell in countries where animal testing is required by law. Specifically, they sell in mainland China. Therefore, their products may be tested as part of both pre-market and post-market animal testing in China.

I reached out to CeraVe, hoping to get clarification on the two points above, but I didn’t get an answer.

Please note that the term “cruelty free” doesn’t have a legal definition so any brand can claim this status even though their products are tested on animals in some circumstances. Whether you consider brands like this one as cruelty free depends on your own ethical standards.

So, in conclusion, CeraVe is not cruelty free according to my criteria – the ingredients and/or the finished products may be tested on animals.

Let’s take a look at the details.

Is CeraVe sold in China?

Yes, CeraVe is sold in mainland China, where animal testing is still required by law.

By selling in stores in mainland China, beauty brands agree to have their product tested on animals. Therefore, CeraVe can’t be cruelty free according to my ethical standards.

Why can’t cruelty free brands sell in mainland China?

Animal testing is still happening for products sold in physical stores in mainland China.

Pre-market animal testing is required for all special-use imported products, and non-routine post-market testing on animals may also be done in cases of customer complaints.

However, please keep in mind that this doesn’t apply to products sold in stores at the airports, or in Hong Kong.

Also, products can be sold online and shipped to mainland China without being tested on animals.

Is CeraVe owned by a parent brand? If yes, is it cruelty free?

CeraVe is owned by the French cosmetics company L’Oréal, which is not a cruelty free company.

Their status is a little controversial, so please check out my post explaining why L’Oréal isn’t cruelty free for more information.

Even though when it comes to animal testing L’Oréal can’t be trusted, they do own other brands which have remained cruelty free, such as NYXIT Cosmetics and Urban Decay.

Unfortunately, CeraVe follows L’Oréal’s example and continues to sell in mainland China.

Is CeraVe vegan?

CeraVe is not 100% vegan everywhere in the world.

Some of their products are vegan, but as a brand, CeraVe is not vegan.

Animal-based ingredients used in some of CeraVe’s products are: beeswax (in the CeraVe Mineral Sunscreen Stick), cholesterol and glycerin (in several CeraVe products) and similar animal by-products.

On CeraVe’s UK version of the website, in the FAQ they address this question:

Are CeraVe products Vegan?

Yes, the UK CeraVe range is Vegan. Our products contain no animal derived products.

Some CeraVe products available in the UK do contain cholesterol and glycerin (for example, the CeraVe Moisturising Cream), which might be confusing. CeraVe claims that these ingredients used in the UK versions of the products are from plant-based sources.

So basically, only CeraVe product sold in the UK are vegan.

CeraVe has stated that they aim to go 90% vegan by 2021.

Is CeraVe vegetarian?

No, CeraVe is not vegetarian.

Some of their products are vegetarian, but as a brand, CeraVe is not vegetarian. None of their products are certified as vegetarian.

Some CeraVe products contain cholesterol and glycerin, which are derived from animal fats, and are not vegetarian-friendly.

However, since the UK version of CeraVe ingredients and products is vegan, it is vegetarian as well.

Cruelty free and vegan alternatives to CeraVe

CeraVe is a skincare band, famous for their cleansers and moisturizers. They offer dermatologically developed products targeting different kinds of skin problems such as sensitivity, eczema, etc.

These are some of my favorite cruelty free alternatives:

Krave Beauty

The Ordinary


Youth to People

Paula’s Choice



Skyn Iceland

100% Pure

If you’d like to discover more cruelty free skincare brands, check out my post on the 7 Best Cruelty Free Skin Care Brands in 2021 That Are Also 100% Vegan and Sustainable.

Now, I’d like to hear from you.

What do you think about CeraVe’s cruelty free status? What are your favorite cruelty free and vegan alternatives to CeraVe products?

Tell us in the comments below!

5 thoughts on “Is CeraVe Cruelty Free and Vegan? (2022 Update)”

  1. Article is lacking the information viewers are looking for. Anyone who bothers to search if Cera Ve is vegan is looking for a comprehensive list of ingredients or products that are not vegan so we know what to avoid when shopping. You merely listed two obvious ingredients and then a vague “and other animal by products” as a cop out.

    One of the major reasons vegans are using the brand at all is for underlying dermatological conditions. It is a brand that doesn’t tend to flare up chronic conditions like eczema. While I appreciate offering other cruelty-free options and perhaps not ideal, not all those brands offer products the same effective, non-irritating use as Cera Ve.

    1. Hi CKJ and thank you for your suggestion. Since CeraVe products are tested on animals, according to my ethical standards this brand is definitely not a vegan-friendly brand. Therefore, I’m not comfortable with promoting any CeraVe products, vegan or not, which is why I haven’t researched which specific products are vegan and which aren’t. Personally, I don’t use CeraVe products because I don’t want to support animal cruelty. My blog is called Cruelty Free Only for a reason 🙂 even if 100% of their products were “vegan” in that they contain no animal-derived ingredients or by-products, they still wouldn’t be suitable for people who are vegan because of ethical reasons – animals suffer and die during animal testing, which is totally unnecessary. And this applies to all “cruel” brands. Anyways, you have a point regarding adding more information. 🙂 I’ll definitely expand this article to ensure it’s as useful as possible for you and other readers, and that definitely includes adding more cruelty free alternatives that are more similar to CeraVe.

  2. Hello. How to know that ”glycerin” of this product its an animal based ingredient? Because im pretty sure that glycerin made from petroleum its more cheappear to produce than from an animal.
    Another point, now China banned the obligation of animals tests to sell foreign products there.

    1. Cruelty Free Only

      Hello Leonardo!

      You can’t really tell whether ingredients such as glycerin are animal-based or plant-based without getting more information from the brand/manufacturer. When ingredients/products are vegan, brands usually (without hesitation) use the opportunity to add that “vegan” label 🙂 So I’d say, unless specified, it’s probably animal-based. In any case I wouldn’t recommend this brand as their products are tested on animals, and therefore not cruelty free or vegan-friendly.

      Regarding the second point, animal testing is still happening for products sold in mainland China. Pre-market animal testing is still required for imported foreign products that are considered “special-use”, and post-market animal testing can still happen for any type of products sold in physical stores there. You can learn more about this in my post China (almost) Ends Pre-Market Animal Testing for Cosmetics.

  3. I for one am thankful that you have taken the time to make the horrendous topic of animal testing products to even come to the light!! I’m no expert..but I am an animal lover and feel so strongly that all animal testing should be banned!! The pain.. the suffering’s nothing I want on my thanks for the enlightenment. Sincerely xoxojp

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