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Is Cetaphil Cruelty Free and Vegan? (2021 Update)

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

Read my analysis below and find out why Cetaphil is not cruelty free and vegan.

Also, make sure to check out the last section of this post where I’ll share some of my favorite cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Cetaphil.

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

Unfortunately, Cetaphil is not cruelty free. Their products are tested on animals.

In the FAQs on their website, Cetaphil has addressed the question of animal testing:

Does Cetaphil test on animals?

No, Cetaphil does not test any of its products on animals.

Basically, they say that they themselves do not test on animals.

However, they don’t mention anything about:

  1. Their suppliers possibly testing their ingredients on animals
  2. Commissioning third parties to perform animal testing of Cetaphil products
  3. Agreeing to animal testing where required by law (e.g. in mainland China)

Brands that sell in mainland China and can’t provide evidence that their suppliers don’t test the ingredients on animals can’t be cruelty free.

So, in conclusion, Cetaphil is not cruelty free according to my ethical standards because their finished products are tested on animals. Also, their suppliers may test the ingredients on animals.

Let’s take a look at the details.

Is Cetaphil sold in China?

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

Brands that sell in physical stores in mainland China can’t avoid animal testing in any way as of 2021. Therefore, they can’t be cruelty free.

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

Cetaphil is owned by Galderma Laboratories, which is not a cruelty free company.

Is Cetaphil vegan?

Cetaphil is not 100% vegan.

Some of their products are vegan, but Cetaphil can’t be considered 100% vegan as they have some products containing animal-derived ingredients.

On the Canadian version of their website, in the FAQ they answer the following question:

Do your products contain any animal-derived ingredients?

All Cetaphil products are produced using ingredients from non-animal sources, with the exception of the Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar. The Bar contains a cleansing agent, sodium tallowate, derived from the fatty acids of tallow. All other Cetaphil products are free from ingredients of animal origin.

This question is not answered in the US version of the website, but during my research, I found several products that contain animal-derived ingredients such as lanolins and beeswax, so I wouldn’t consider Cetaphil as vegan.

Cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Cetaphil

Cetaphil is a skincare brand, focused on products specifically formulated for sensitive skin.

These are my favorite cruelty free and vegan alternatives:

Pacifica (100% vegan)

Acure (100% vegan)

Skyn Iceland (100% vegan)

100% Pure (100% vegan)


Now, I’d like to hear from you.

What do you think about Cetaphil’s cruelty free status?

What are your favorite cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Cetaphil products?

Tell us in the comments below!

8 thoughts on “Is Cetaphil Cruelty Free and Vegan? (2021 Update)”

  1. Do you know which Cetaphil products used animal -derived ingredients? I was trying to look through ingredients myself but they are so hard to read for me!

    1. Hi Silvia,

      thanks for the comment and sorry for the late reply!

      I can’t seem to find the list I compiled back when I was doing the research for this post, but I tried researching again now and found at least one Cetaphil product that contains beeswax (Deep Hydration Refreshing Eye Serum) and one product (Gentle Cleansing Bar) that contains sodium tallowate which is a fat derived from slaughtered animals, that they’ve even mentioned in the Canadian website FAQ quoted in my post. Supposedly, all of their products sold in Canada are vegan except for that one, so you could try cross-checking their US and Canadian product lists.

      Also, several of their products contain glycerin which could be derived from animals or plants, however, without an explicit “vegan” label we’ll never know.

      For me personally, the bottom line is that their products are tested on animals, so they can’t be cruelty free regardless of whether they have some vegan products, and therefore I have decided to not support them as a brand.

      Hope this helps!

      1. Dharlene alexis cunanan

        This product is my fav. And also comfortable in my skin but when i learn that this product is not cruelty free i am disappointed.

    2. Having read your information on Cetaphil I am so disappointed that a product that I have newly discovered and loved is no longer on my shopping list. I just cant ignore the fact that this product is sold into China and therefore tested on animals. I cant consciously support it. Thanks for providing the information.

    3. Pingback: Is Cetaphil Cruelty Free? - Public Health

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