Is Nivea Cruelty Free and Vegan?

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Last Updated on 01/01/2023

Nivea is NOT cruelty free. It is not vegan either. The parent company, Beiersdorf  and Nivea still test on animals in 2023. Moreover, they sell in countries where animal testing is compulsory by law. They also don’t have any cruelty free certification whatsoever.

Did you hear about Nivea for the first time today? Today’s article brings back the nostalgia of Nivea-in-the-blue-tin! If you ask anyone to name a single product that has been constant in their skincare kitty, it is likely to be Nivea. I know, most of you would do that too! Not just the crème, consumers like every single launch by Nivea.

If you are reading this article, you might be one of the Nivea lovers I presume. The only fact that bothers is how they make Nivea. Is it ethical? Animal-tested? Is it equally safe for innocent apes and mice the same way as we humans? To keep up with sustainable beauty practices, we should know about these. Shouldn’t we?

Let’s start the fact-finding about Nivea and its cruelty status!

Is Nivea Cruelty-free & vegan?

Nivea Clean Up Face Wash


Nivea- Past & Present

1882 – Nivea, as a brand, was launched in 1911. However, the history of its owning brand Beiersdorf goes far beyond that. In 1882, a German pharmacist Paul Carl Beiersdorf founded Beiersdorf.

1890 – 8 years down the road, the brand was acquired by a pharmacist-turned-businessman Oscar Troplowitz. Troplowitz, along with renowned dermatologist of that time Dr. Paul Gerson Unna and chemist Isaac Lifschütz found the trick to mix water in oil to form a stable ingredient, Eucerit.

1911 – Nivea made its  offiical debut.

The 1900s – In a few years, the trio prepared a skin cream based on Eucerit. It is what you know as ‘Nivea cream in blue tin’. Apart from the cream, Nivea also launched a number of skin products; self-tanner, shaving cream, facial cleanser, etc. The newly found brand Nivea set its sail to conquer the world during World War I and II.

2023 – Right now, Nivea has reached every nook and cranny of our tiny planet and their yearly turnover never fails to awe even an expert business economist. Currently, Nivea is celebrating the campaign ‘100 years of skincare’!

Nivea Animal Testing

Beiersdorf does not conduct any animal testing for cosmetic products and their ingredients and does not have any animal testing done on its behalf – unless, in the very rare case, this is specifically required by law.

From the official statement of Beiersdorf and Nivea, you can clearly see how they are trying to cover up their passive way of conducting cruelty tests. Although European Union has now banned animal testing on cosmeceutical products, countries like China are still relying on these tests for ‘safety’. To get into the good sides of these markets, Nivea does allow animal testing on its products.

On their website, there’s a common FAQ asking why Nivea hasn’t joined cruelty-free programs like PETA Beauty without Bunnies. Instead of giving clear answers to it, Nivea says their products are equally cruelty-free as any other brand manufacturing and selling products in EU countries. According to Nivea, all EU products are mandatorily cruelty free so products made by them should also be named cruelty-free.

Nivea also brings up the points of past cruelty tests. Before the EU’s ban on cruelty-tested products, all cosmetic products, and their respective ingredients had to go through animal tests to ensure their safety on human skin. Nivea’s argument is that the ingredients by maximum brands have already been tested on animals in the past. They don’t see it logical to claim the new products based on the previously tested ingredients as cruelty-free.


Is Nivea vegan


Cruelty Free Timeline

1910 – No clear information about Nivea’s being cruelty-free in the past. In the 1910s, Nivea’s beginning days, nobody cared much about animal safety.

Naturally, products for household goods and personal care got approved for human use through the path of animal testing. As the world got wiser about animal rights, countries started banning cruelty-driven tests as much as possible.

It has many manufacturing sites throughout the globe. In the countries where animal testing is already banned, Nivea does not run animal tests over there. However, Nivea does pay for animal tests in countries where animal testing is still a mandate.

2023 – Still not cruelty-free and lacks certifications.

Does Nivea test on animals?

Yes, it does test on animals.

Testing by Suppliers, Third Parties, or the brand?

Third-party testing wherever compulsory by law. Funded by the brand, passive testing.

Testing when Mandatory by Law?

Yes, Nivea does the classic exception of testing. It tests wherever mandatory by law.

Is Nivea Cruelty free?

No. Neither Nivea nor its parent brand Beiersdorf is cruelty-free or vegan. The European Union has banned all forms of animal cruelty for cosmeceutical production. However, the third-party labs in China test Nivea’s products for the sake of ensuring ‘public safety’ as per the law of the Republic of China.

Who is the parent companyIs it cruelty-free & vegan?

Germany-based Beiersdorf is its parent brand. They’re neither cruelty-free nor vegan.

Is Nivea Made in China?

Yes and No! Why? Nivea sells both homegrown as well as imported products in China. The country-made products are cruelty-free. Because the Chinese cruelty tests rule doesn’t apply to products that are manufactured within the country. However, the imported products undergo the testing phase.

Where are Nivea products made?

Nivea has manufacturing units across the globe, including China.

Is Nivea sold in China?

A big Yes! Nivea does sell in Chinese territories. In fact, Nivea and its sister concerns from the parent brand Beiersdorf are among the bestsellers in China. You can easily buy Nivea anywhere in Mainland China as well as Shanghai. You can also get them at offline stores and also at online stores like Alibaba’s Tmall.

China is one of the major Nivea consumer countries in the entire Asia Pacific region. Naturally, Beiersdorf was interested in expanding to China. As per the sources, Nivea opened an 18 million worth manufacturing facility in Shanghai in 2009.

In the last decade, Nivea reached every corner of China. Nivea’s China range has some exclusive products. But, their famous blue tin formula and some other products still get imported.

Is Nivea vegan?

No! Not everything from Nivea is vegan in any sense. Many Nivea products contain animal-derived items like milk, honey, and beeswax. Nivea has officially declared that they haven’t found similar quality substitutes of these ingredients from vegan sources. However, they also mentioned that their research labs are trying hard to make their products vegan. Nivea does have some vegan products in its range.

When considering some products as vegan, I  also look at the testing policy of it as well. Even if a product involves zero non-vegan ingredients, animal cruelty or cruelty-driven safety tests diminish its vegan status.

As you have already seen, Nivea sells in China. That implies Nivea is supporting animal testing passively. Nivea’s official website has some indication regarding this as well. Considering all these points, Nivea is not vegan in our eyes.



Do I Recommend Nivea?

You know our motto of diminishing animal harming safety tests of cosmetic products. I don’t ever recommend some brand that involves animal cruelty in any way. Not all but a good number of Nivea products are available in China as imported consumer care goods.

Naturally, they have to pass animal-based safety tests by a third party. Plus, plenty of Nivea products come from animal-sourced ingredients. Nivea is neither cruelty-free nor vegan.

Although the brand stated its wish of going cruelty-free. But there is no mention of any timeframe for that. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and wait for some good news from Nivea. For now, I have no other way but to put Nivea on our ‘Not Recommended’ List!

Brands to Avoid

Nivea is not cruelty-free. These skincare brands are not cruelty-free either. They are still testing on animals.

Cruelty Free Alternatives to 5 Popular Nivea Products 

1. Nivea Crème: Ceramedx Cream and Derma E Day Cream

2. Body Wash: Yes To Cucumbers Body Wash

3. Nivea 48H Moisturizer: Maui Moisture Shea Butter

4. Sensitive Skin & Stubble Balm: AHAVA Dead Sea Line Balm

5. Nivea Face Wash: Pacifica Sea Foam Face Wash

Nivea is neither vegan nor cruelty free. It means that their products contain animal-derived ingredients and they do test on aimals on top of it. Nivea sells in the Mainland China where testing is mandatory by law.

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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