Is CeraVe Cruelty Free & Vegan?

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CeraVe is not cruelty free. It is involved in animal testing of its products. Cerave sells in countries where testing is ‘required by law’. It is also not a vegan brand. Its products such as hydrating cleanser, moisturizer, etc are non-vegan.

Taking care of sensitive skin has never been an easy task. Ceramide-based skincare line, Cerave made it easy for many. Cerave provides luxe-effect skincare at a drugstore price. This fragrance-free ingredient-focused brand already has a huge audience. Now, Cerave is the go-to solution for many skincare junkies.

Every cruelty-free & vegan lover would want this to be as ethical as possible. However, this L’Oreal-owned brand is not much committed to animal safety.

Yes, Cerave does animal testing. Don’t get confused regardless of what the brand says. Cruelty in cosmetic manufacturing takes various forms. Some brands test their products and ingredients in the lab.

Mostly but not limited to rats & chimpanzees to ensure the ‘safety’ quotient of the products. Others choose the way of animal testing just for the sake of business market expansion in China.

Brand Overview

Testing of Finished Products?Yes, where required by the law
Ingredient testing?Possibly
Testing by the brand itself?Likely
Third-party testing?Likely
Supplier testing?Possible
Available where animal testing is mandatory by law?Yes
Made in China?No

Is CeraVe Cruelty Free, Clean & Vegan?

is Cerave Cruelty Free

Cerave falls under the latter category. As a consumer, you should know what happens in the manufacturing and marketing end of your favorite products. Here are my two cents on this brand & its progress in the cruelty domain!

About the Brand – Past & Present

2005: In 2005, CeraVe started its journey with just 3 dermatologists formulated skincare products: a cleanser, moisturizer & cream… These were all for CeraVe’s initial product catalog. Cerave wanted to stun people with filler-free skincare formulas with ceramide.

2006: CeraVe officially launched in 2006 and started its journey as a new beauty brand in the US market. Tom Allison, the co-founder of Cerave, worked with dermatologists and researchers.

Its products were instantly loved by people, especially the netizen society. Primarily because of their sheer simplicity and effectiveness. Initially, Reddit’s skincare forums brought this brand to light. People with sensitive skin started threads after threads to praise this brand.

Eventually, CeraVe started expanding its basic skincare line to include sunscreens, niacinamide range, salicylic acid range, etc.

Currently: CeraVe is one of the fastest-growing drugstore skincare lines in the US. Dermatologists all over the country adore and recommend this brand from drugstores. Right now, this brand is owned by cosmetic giant L’Oreal Corporation.

Cerave Cruelty Free or not


CeraVe’s Animal Testing Policy

A quick scan of their testing policy page on their website & you will come across this:

Today, L’Oréal no longer tests its ingredients on animals and no longer tolerates any exception to this rule. Certain health authorities may nevertheless decide to conduct animal tests themselves for certain cosmetic products, as it is still the case in China.

Cerave’s official statement is similar to many other L’Oreal-owned brands. It is full of misguiding words regarding cruelty. It will make you think of CeraVe as a big hater of animal-based cosmetic testing.

Once you dig deeper into their statement, you’ll find they are willing to allow animal tests if it comes as a mandatory procedure.

As you may know, China and some other countries follow this procedure. Cerave funds animal testing in some manner.

Cruelty Free Timeline

Initially: There is not enough information to comment on Cerave’s animal testing practices during the initial years.

2017: In 2017, the brand was acquired by L’Oreal, a non-cruelty-free cosmetic brand. L’Oreal took CeraVe to Chinese markets afterward. Cerave started funding for mandatory animal tests run by Chinese Governments.

It was never really a vegan brand. It still uses animal-derived ingredients in its products.

Now: They mentioned their products will be completely vegan by 2022. No such developments have occurred yet in 2023.

Cerave Cruelty Free Vegan Timeline
Cerave Cruelty Free and Vegan Timeline

Is Cerave Cruelty Free?

Cerave is not a cruelty-free brand. Though it claims its products are not tested on animals, that’s far from the truth.

Cerave and its owning brand L’Oreal sell their products in China as imported cosmetics. According to Chinese law, imported personal care cosmetics may go through safety tests performed on lab animals. Exceptions are there for general items according to the new Chinese law but post-testing is still a possibility.

Brands have to fund state-owned Chinese laboratories for such tests. Cerave products, like many other L’Oreal products, goes under animal testing in those third-party laboratories.

Is CeraVe vegan?

No, Cerave products are not vegan. Some of their products have animal by-products such as sheep’s wool. US and Canada product list includes these animal-derived products.

So, their products are not 100% vegan as of now. However, the brand said they are working towards veganism. It also mentioned of going vegan by 2022, No progress and it is already 2023.

What company owns CeraVe?

L’Oreal owns CeraVe. We already dug in deep about this acquisition and the origin of Cerave. You can read more about who owns CeraVe and the parent company’s animal testing policy here.

Where Is CeraVe made?

Cerave products are made in France. The research and development occur in the US as CeraVe is an American company. But its products are manufactured in France.

Is CeraVe sold where animal testing is required by law?

Yes, CeraVe sells in countries where testing is mandatory by law. You’ll find CeraVe products offline in countries such as China.

Is CeraVe certified cruelty-free by any organization?

Cerave is not cruelty-free. It does test on animals regardless of what the brand is saying. As it tests on animals, it is not certified Cruelty Free by any prestigious organization, be it PETA or Cruelty Free International. To summarize, Cerave is not approved by PETA or Leaping Bunny.

Is Cerave made in China?

No, CeraVe is not made in China. Its products are imported to China. That’s why they get tested using animals as test cases. China does not mandate animal testing on its homegrown products.

Is Cerave sold in China?

Yes, CeraVe sells its products in Chinese markets.

In a Chinese market study, L’Oreal found out how much love CeraVe gets from there. As it was unavailable in stores, Chinese people were paying hefty amounts for overseas shipping. Everything was just to get a hands-on experience of their favorite CeraVe products.

L’Oreal promptly decided to sell this high-demand brand in the retail market of China. Cerave products are now widely available in mainland China and greater China. L’Oreal sells it there at a higher price than in the US.

Is Cerave going vegan?

In 2019, there were reports saying Cerave is going vegan by 2021/2022. Nothing much has happened yet. It is 2023 and Cerave is still non-vegan. The brand says its products are vegan in the UK. But that doesn’t sit right if you look at the animal testing policy of Cerave.

Is CeraVe vegetarian?

Cerave is not vegetarian as it contains non-vegan ingredients such as cholesterol derived from sheep wool.

Do I recommend Cerave?

No, the owning brand is one of the biggest non-cruelty-free makeup and skincare conglomerates, L’Oreal.

Cerave also allows third-party testing on its products to get into the market in China. Its product ingredients also have a high chance of being tested on animals.

Plus, Cerave products are not vegan or free from mineral oil. Is there a need to say more?

is Cerave vegan


Alternatives to 5 Highly Recommended Products

What should I use instead of CeraVe? Are you wondering this? Here are some of the cruelty-free dupe of Cerave you should try.

1. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

This ceramide-based moisturizer is the reason behind Cerave’s immense popularity. Sadly, this ‘cream in the tub’ is neither cruelty-free nor vegan. East or west, Ceramedx Ultra-Moisturizing Cream is so far the best alternative!

Yes, this is the best dupe I found for Cerave cream. Cerave uses petroleum jelly (reminds me of Vaseline for some reason. If you’re curious, Vaseline is also not cruelty-free). That jelly does nothing to your skin in the long run.

Ceramedx comes with natural apricot, almond & nut oils. It heals the skin barrier and protects it from harsh weather. Prevents clogging of pores and soothes skin.

2. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

A face cleanser that is suitable for dry & dehydrated skin. I find Derma E Sensitive Skin Cleanser to be equally effective & moisturizing. Derma E products are cruelty-free and free from common allergy-causing chemicals. Do check out this sensitive skin cleanser for the irritation-free nourished glow.

3. Skin Renewing Cream Serum

People believe anti-aging creams are bound to have animal by-products such as retinol just like this Cerave one. But let Andalou Naturals Cell Revitalize Serum prove everyone wrong!

This face serum contains Andalou’s innovative fruit stem cell actives. It corrects unevenness, sun damage, and the early appearance of wrinkles. Cheers for this bunny-friendly vegan repairing serum.

4. PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

Every Cerave lover seems to like this niacinamide and hyaluronic acid-based moisturizer for its hydrating properties. But this lotion can’t protect innocent animals as it protects your skin. Plus, this one is not vegan either. I recommend Pacifica Youth Day & Night Face Cream instead.

It is an amino acid and antioxidant-filled lotion. Light on the skin and good for your pocket. Great for the bunnies! You do get an additional SPF of 18 with this gentle hydrating cream. Are you in?

5. CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Face Lotion

Mineral sunscreen plays an important role if you are on chemical exfoliants and a powerful anti-aging skin regimen. If CeraVe’s Sunscreen allures you, the Alba Botanica’s Facial Sunscreen SPF 30 is going to be the best cure.

Unlike Cerave, this mineral-based facial sunscreen does not have cruelty in its backend. Alba Botanica sunscreen is both vegan and coral reef friendly. It will protect you from greasy cast and sunspots as well!


Why isn’t Cerave cruelty-free?

Cerave is not cruelty-free despite the brand saying it doesn’t test on animals. It sells in countries where testing is mandatory by law. So Cerave products undergo testing, mostly as imported products in those countries. As a result, Cerave can’t be cruelty-free. Moreover, it is not approved cruelty free by any organization and has no cruelty-free logo.

Is Cerave vegan in the UK?

Cerave UK’s product range is not vegan-friendly. But in the end, it’s always your personal call.

Are CeraVe products vegan?

Cerave products are not vegan. They contain animal-derived ingredients. Cerave products contain cholesterol derived from sheep’s wool, according to the Allure report.

Is Cerave cleanser vegan?

Cerave is not a vegan-friendly company. So its popular products such as Cerave hydrating moisturizer, cleanser,r, sunscreen, hand cream, ointment, etc are non-vegan.

In simple words, they contain animal byproducts. If you ask me which products are vegan, my one-word answer is none. If anything changes, if they actually mend their ways, I’ll be updating this space.

Is Cetaphil cruelty-free?

Cetaphil is not cruelty-free or vegan. If you’re looking for cruelty-free skincare brands at drugstore price, check the list I prepared.

That’s all for now. If you have a favorite alternative product or a better Cerave dupe, share in the comments below! To summarize, the bottom line is –

CeraVe is not cruelty-free in 2023. Owned by L’Oreal, CeraVe is still doing animal testing just like its parent company. CeraVe is not a vegan-friendly brand either. Its products contains animal derived ingredients.

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Aisha K. Ashi

Ashi K. is an environmentalist, researcher, and certified makeup artist. She loves to rescue cats and currently has 2 rescue babies. Join her on the journey as she uses this beauty blog to spread awareness regarding ethical ways of living.

1 thought on “Is CeraVe Cruelty Free & Vegan?”

  1. I was considering buying some CeraVe makeup-remover wipes, but did some research first.
    I’m so glad I did!
    Maybe I’ll try e.l.f.

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