Is Cetaphil Cruelty Free?

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Last Updated on 01/06/2023

Cetaphil is not cruelty-free. It tests on animals and funds the testing in a way or another. It is present on PETA’s list of brands to avoid. Cetaphil sells in mainland China where testing is mandatory by law. Here is exactly why Cetaphil is not cruelty-free. 

Quick Summary

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

Cetaphil recently went through a formula change. It is supposedly ‘clean’ now. Sensitive skin should love it more now. But is Cetaphil sensitive to animals’ lives? Today let’s have a look at Cetaphil’s testing standard. Before that, a bit about the brand of honor!

Cetaphil is a ‘dermatologist suggested’ brand. It happens to be an absolute favorite of many silver screen divas & their famous makeup artists. But what makes Cetaphil products different from the others?

Ingredient-based skincare is the main USP of the brand. As you know, skincare is all about using the correct ingredients for your skin. Its Gentle Cleanser has cetyl alcohol. News Flash – it is not so “gentle” to our fur friends’ skin or soul for that matter.

Is Cetaphil Cruelty-Free?

Yep, you guessed it right. Cetaphil still tests its products on animals to gain market share. Not just the skincare brand itself, but Cetaphil’s parent company is also involved in such ruthless practices.

Don’t worry if you like this brand! In this article, you’ll find cruelty-free alternatives to the popular Cetaphil products. Curious about more inside information? Let’s get started.

Cetaphil – History

1947: Cetaphil emerged as a skincare brand in 1947. It was founded by a Texas-based pharmacist. Not much information is available regarding Cetaphil’s beginning days except for the product selection.

The first product was a Cleansing Lotion. It was a soap-free liquid cleanser that can be used with or without water. It became an instant hit in the pharmacies of the US.

In fact, it is still a worldwide bestseller. Yes, you got it right! I am talking about the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. Even after this many years, the brand didn’t change the formula until recently (more on that in a bit!).

2014: Nestle became the sole owner of Cetaphil by acquiring its parent company in 2014. Previously, it partially owned Cetaphil.

2019: Fast forward to 2019, the parent company was bought out. Since then, Nestle is not the parent company of Cetaphil anymore.

2023: Last year, Cetaphil celebrated its 75th anniversary. Cetaphil products are readily available in drugstores, and local grocery stores in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, China, South America, and South Africa among others.

Cetaphil Animal Testing 

Go to any country-specific website of Cetaphil and you’ll find the same copy regarding its animal testing policy. Nowhere on the website, you’ll find anything about Cetaphil’s allowance of mandatory animal testing.

Does Cetaphil test on animals?

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

Yes. Cetaphil allows its products to be tested by third parties. The imported products are tested in China. Imported cosmetics have to pass a step of ‘safety testing’. This step requires the use of animal testing to sell in the mainland Chinese market.

Cetaphil and its umbrella brand, Galderma abide by this animal testing requirement and provide funds for this testing.


Cruelty Free Timeline

There is not enough information regarding the history of Cetaphil’s stance in the cruelty and testing sector. However, its parent brand was never really cruelty-free in the past. Cetaphil is not cruelty-free either. It allows animal testing in certain cases.

Did Cetaphil undergo a formula change?

Yes, Cetaphil products are reformulated in 2022. This was done to make Cetaphil ‘clean’. Toxic ingredients such as parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, etc were removed from some of its products.

Is Cetaphil Cruelty-Free?

No, Cetaphil is not cruelty-free because of two main reasons.

Firstly, it allows animal testing whenever required by certain country authorities.

Secondly, Cetaphil’s owner brand is a registered medicine brand. Not just China, but many other countries mandate animal testing on brands making consumable medicines. Naturally, it is highly likely that Cetaphil is animal tested in multiple countries.

Is Cetaphil Vegan?

Check out why Cetaphil is not vegan and alongside its vegan alternative.

Does Cetaphil manufacture in China?

Most of Cetaphil’s US range gets manufactured in China. However, the company owns manufacturing units in other countries too.

For example, Cetaphil makes its Indian range at its Indian manufacturing units. But, they do sell a fraction of their international range to the Indian mass market as imported products. Not much information is there about Cetaphil’s Chinese product catalog.

Does Cetaphil sell in China?

Yes. Cetaphil products are widely available in many provinces of China. It is sold in mass markets, drugstores, and departmental stores. You can also find Cetaphil in China from its dedicated Chinese online shop.


Do I recommend Cetaphil?

No, I don’t recommend a skincare brand like Cetaphil just for the sake of popularity. Cetaphil is not cruelty-free. Additionally, PETA is aware of Cetaphil’s cruelty testing status. That’s why they have put Cetaphil on their list of brands to avoid.

On a side note, I really wish CeraVe and Cetaphil to go cruelty-free. It would be such a game changer in the cruelty-free skincare industry.

Skincare Brands to Avoid

These skincare brands still participate in animal testing and are not cruelty-free. Avoid them if possible. You can click on each for better insight.

Cruelty Free Alternatives to Cetaphil

  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Acure Sensitive Facial Cleanser can be a welcome change in your skincare regimen. This Argan oil-based cleanser has calming chamomile, superfruits & probiotic extracts. It gently removes makeup residues. I also like COSRX cleanser.

  • Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

If you are looking for a good moisturizer, Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream is a nice substitute. This cream is 100% vegan and made from GMO-certified ingredients.

  • Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar

Shea Moisture African Black Soap is a great facial bar for those who love clean ingredients in their vanity. A nourishing soap contains the goodness of Shea Butter.

  • Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15+

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 provides you with sun protection. This vegan sunscreen protects your skin from blue light damage from electronic gadgets as well! The Mandarin Vanilla variant of Andalou Naturals Body Lotion is a nice scented option, although without SPF.

Is Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser cruelty-free?

Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser is not cruelty-free because the brand tests on animals. It also sells in countries where testing is mandatory by law.

Is Cetaphil Hydrating Moisturizer cruelty-free?

The Hydrating Moisturizer is non-cruelty free. None of its products are free of animal testing.

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Aisha K. Ashi

Ashi K. is a beauty blogger 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. Protection Status