Does CeraVe Test on Animals? Is it Cruelty-Free

CeraVe is a dermatologist-developed skincare brand that has become incredibly popular in recent years. CeraVe offers a range of products like cleansers, moisturizers, SPFs, and more that are formulated with three essential ceramides to help restore the skin’s protective barrier. Their products also contain hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and other beneficial ingredients.

With their simple but effective formulas and affordable prices, it’s no wonder CeraVe has developed such a loyal following. However, as a brand sold in stores globally, questions have arisen around whether CeraVe tests on animals. In this article, I’ll examine CeraVe’s stated animal testing policies, certification (or lack thereof) from cruelty-free organizations, controversy around their parent company, and explore some cruelty-free CeraVe dupes.

CeraVe’s Stated Animal Testing Policy

According to CeraVe’s website and product packaging, “CeraVe does not test on animals” nor do they “conduct animal testing on ingredients, formulations, or finished products.” They also state that they “do not delegate animal testing to outside parties.”

This seems like a clear-cut stance against animal testing. However, CeraVe has some ties to parent companies that complicate their cruelty-free claims.

CeraVe is owned by L’Oreal, the massive French beauty conglomerate, which acquired the brand in 2017. L’Oreal still conducts animal testing when required by law. CeraVe products are also sold in mainland China where animal testing is mandatory.

So while CeraVe may not conduct animal testing themselves, their global reach makes it difficult to claim they are 100% cruelty-free.

Is CeraVe cruelty-free

CeraVe’s Leaping Bunny Certification

To provide clarity on a brand’s animal testing status, many consumers look for Leaping Bunny certification.

Leaping Bunny is an internationally recognized certification that indicates a brand does not test on animals at any stage of product development and has implemented a fixed cut-off date after which no animal testing is conducted. This extends not just to the brand but also suppliers, manufacturers, and ingredient sources.

However, CeraVe is not Leaping Bunny certified. Again, since CeraVe’s parent company L’Oreal still conducts animal testing when required by law in certain countries, they do not qualify for this respected cruelty-free certification.

Controversy Around CeraVe’s Cruelty-Free Status

Given their murky ties to animal testing, there is considerable debate around whether CeraVe can claim to be 100% cruelty-free.

On one hand, CeraVe maintains that they as a brand do not conduct animal testing. Their products are developed and manufactured in the US where animal testing is not required by law for cosmetics.

However, others argue that CeraVe cannot be considered cruelty-free since their products eventually end up being sold in China where animal testing is mandatory. There are also questions around whether L’Oreal uses any ingredients, formulations, or technology that were developed using animal testing in CeraVe products.

CeraVe’s Products – Vegan?

Along with animal testing policies, CeraVe’s product formulas have come under scrutiny from vegans and vegetarians.

CeraVe does not make any claims about their products being vegan or vegetarian friendly. Upon closer inspection, it’s likely that some CeraVe products contain animal-derived ingredients like:

  • Cholesterol
  • Glycerin
  • Fatty acids and lipids

These ingredients are not always vegan-friendly depending on their source. However, CeraVe does not disclose the origin of these potential animal ingredients.

Alternatives to CeraVe

If you’re looking for skincare brands that are 100% cruelty-free and vegan, there are several alternatives to CeraVe:

  • Acure – Vegan and Leaping Bunny certified, Acure offers affordable skincare products featuring plant-based and organic ingredients. Their moisturizers, serums, cleansers and masks are free of animal ingredients and testing.
  • Pacifica – This popular vegan brand offers cruelty-free skincare featuring ingredients like kale, spinach, and coconut water. Pacifica is PETA-certified and Leaping Bunny approved.
  • Derma E – With a philosophy of “ethical beauty”, Derma E is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Their Leaping Bunny certified products are packed with antioxidants and suitable for sensitive skin.
  • MyChelle – Featuring clean, eco-friendly formulas, MyChelle is Leaping Bunny certified and uses no animal ingredients or testing. Their products cater to different skin types and concerns.
  • Acure, Pacifica, Derma E and MyChelle offer quality skincare without the animal testing and ingredients – so they are ideal alternatives for the cruelty-free conscious.


When it comes to CeraVe’s animal testing policies, there seems to be some ambiguity. While CeraVe maintains they don’t test on animals, their parent company L’Oreal still conducts animal testing when required by law. CeraVe is not Leaping Bunny certified and their products likely contain animal-derived ingredients, making them not vegan-friendly.

For those seeking skincare that is 100% cruelty-free and vegan, brands like Acure, Pacifica, Derma E, and MyChelle offer great options. As consumers become more ethically-minded, the demand for cosmetics that are not tested on animals will continue to grow. Hopefully more transparency from brands like CeraVe will arise to clear up any confusion around their animal testing policies and cruelty-free status.

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