Skip to Content

Is CeraVe Cruelty Free and Vegan?

Is CeraVe cruelty free? If you check the brand’s website they claim to be cruelty free, but this claim may be misleading. This post looks at whether CeraVe products are tested on animals and if it’s truly a vegan brand.

CeraVe is a skincare brand which was developed with dermatologists to help repair and strengthen the skin. All of their products are non-irritating and fragrance-free, and most are also non-comedogenic. For this reason CeraVe is a popular brand for sensitive and dry skin types.

CeraVe is well known for their unique formula combining three scientifically-identified essential ceramides. This exclusive combination of ceramides helps to keep moisture in the skin, and keep irritants out.

Although CeraVe state on their website that their products are cruelty free, this may be misleading. Currently there is no regulation in the United States, United Kingdom or Canada for the term “cruelty free”.

Since the term is not regulated, brands could label themselves as “cruelty free” just because they don’t test their finished product on animals. This doesn’t mean however that they don’t test their ingredients on animals, or sell to countries where animal testing is required.

When looking at whether CeraVe is cruelty free I have answered at the following questions:

  • Does CeraVe test their finished products on animals?
  • Does CeraVe test their ingredients on animals?
  • Do CeraVe ask a third party to test its ingredients or finished products on animals?
  • Do CeraVe’s ingredient suppliers or manufacturers test on animals?
  • Does CeraVe sell products to China, where animal testing is required by law?
  • Is CeraVe’s parent company cruelty free?

Is CeraVe Cruelty Free?

Does CeraVe test their finished products on Animals?

In the FAQ section on their website, CeraVe claim that they do not test their finished products on animals. This however isn’t the full story.

While CeraVe may not themselves test their finished products on animals, they do sell products to mainland China, where animal testing is required by law.

CeraVe’s official animal testing policy, which comes from their parent company L’Oreal, admits that there is an exception to their rule against animal testing. Their 2021 policy states:

“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.”

L’Oreal Official Animal Testing Policy

According to CeraVe’s own website they state that their products are sold in mainland China (view here). We therefore know that their products are not entirely cruelty free.

Is CeraVe PETA certified?

No, CeraVe is not PETA certified. In order to be PETA certified a company must sign a statement to state that they do not conduct animal testing on their ingredients, formulations or finished products. They also cannot sell products to countries where animal testing is required by law.

Although CeraVe do not test their finished products on animals, it is unclear whether their suppliers test on animals. CeraVe sell their products to the Chinese market which tests on animals, as well as Russia which may require animal testing for certain cosmetics.

Is CeraVe Leaping Bunny certified?

No, CeraVe is not Leaping Bunny certified. In order to be Leaping Bunny approved a brand cannot allow animal testing on its ingredients or products. They also must not use suppliers which test on animals.

The brand also cannot sell products in mainland China because of the requirement for animal tests, or any other country where animal testing is law. CeraVe does not meet this criteria.

Who is CeraVe’s Parent Company and Are They Cruelty-Free?

CeraVe’s parent company is L’Oreal. L’Oréal is actually the most active company in the world working with the Chinese authorities to eliminate animal testing. They opened a laboratory in China in 2014, where reconstructed human skin models are used for product testing instead of animals. As a result of this, the vast majority of L’Oreal products sold in China are no longer tested on animals.

Despite all the work L’Oreal has done however, both to become a cruelty-free brand, and to eliminate animal testing in China, they are still not entirely cruelty free. This is because since they still sell in China, they do have some products that are still subject to animal testing.

L’Oreal continue to work with China to find alternative testing methods in the hope that one day China will completely eliminate animal testing.

Is CeraVe a Vegan Brand?

The answer to this question depends on which country you are in. In the United Kingdom all CeraVe products are vegan. In the United States and Canada however, some CeraVe products are not vegan. In an interview with Allure, the brand confirmed that it used a form of cholesterol derived from sheep’s wool in some of it’s American and Canadian products.

The brand were hoping to update their formulas with a vegan alternative by 2021 however they have yet to confirm this has happened.

Which CeraVe products are not Vegan?

The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream for Normal to Dry Skin with Ceramides contains cholesterol derived from sheep’s wool (in the US and Canada).

CeraVe moisturizing cream

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to CeraVe

CeraVe is a popular brand for sensitive skin. There are however cruelty-free alternatives if you’d rather use vegan products that aren’t tested on animals.


Ceramedx is another brand which was developed in consultation with dermatologists. It’s similar to CeraVe in that the products contain natural ceramides, improve skin moisture, and prevent dryness. They are also free from skin irritants and clinically tested for sensitive skin types.

All of Ceramedx’s products are PETA certified cruelty free, and 100% vegan. One of their popular skincare products is the Ceramedx Ultra-Moisturizing Cream. It’s perfect for dry and sensitive and won’t cause skin irritation.

Ceramedx also make a body wash which is specifically designed for dry and sensitive skin. It is pH balanced, steroid free, paraben free and won’t cause acne, redness, irritation, or dryness. Ceramedx ingredient lists contain only simple and gentle ingredients. This is why they are one of the beauty brands most often used as a CeraVe cruelty-free alternative.

The Ordinary

The Ordinary is 100% vegan and cruelty free. If you are looking for a facial cleanser that’s vegan, not tested on animals and suited to sensitive skin, The Ordinary make a great one! Their Squalane cleanser is extremely soothing and gentle, and perfect for cleansing the skin without causing dryness or irritation.

Paula’s Choice

Paula’s Choice are part of the Leaping Bunny Program, which means neither their company nor their suppliers test on animals. Their products are also non-irritating, fragrance free and 100% vegan.

Paula’s Choice is one of the most popular skincare brands for cruelty-free products that are suited to sensitive skin types. They product products for a number of different skin conditions including acne-prone skin, dry and oily skin.

Their Calm Restoring moisturiser was designed for normal to oily skin. It soothes and moisturises extra sensitive skin, and helps to reduce redness or irritation. The key ingredients include hyaluronic acid, algae extract, licorice, willowherb, green tea and grape extract.

Krave Beauty

Krave Beauty is 100% vegan and cruelty free and is a great brand if you are looking for alternatives to CeraVe’s products. Krave Beauty make beauty products with simple ingredients for all skin types. All of their products have gentle formulas, but they make specific products for sensitive skin types.

Their First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser is a cream cleanser that’s designed for very sensitive skin that’s prone to redness or an allergic reaction.

The formula is free from alcohol, artificial colourants, artificial fragrance, lanolin, mineral oil, parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, propylene glycol, sulphates, talc, oxybenzone, coal tar, triclocarban, ethanol, ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, N-butyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, and SD alcohol.

It’s also allergy friendly and free from gluten, nuts, oil, and soy.

Related Articles


If you found this article helpful, you may enjoy the following posts from beauty bloggers that I follow and trust.





This post answered the question: Is CeraVe Cruelty Free?

Thank you for reading my post about whether CeraVe is cruelty free. I will keep this post updated and make changes if CeraVe ever become completely cruelty free and vegan. They are one of the most popular brands for sensitive and dry skin conditions, so hopefully they will change their animal testing policies in the future.


Saturday 23rd of October 2021

Hello Olivia. Can you please message me a sunscreen SPF. 30 or 50. Really finding it hard to know what's in the ingredients & against animal cruelty. Thank you.

Olivia Herlihy

Saturday 23rd of October 2021

Hi Deb, Paula's Choice make a number of different sunscreens or lip balms which all have a SPF of 30-50. The brand is completely vegan and cruelty free and is Leaping Bunny approved. None of their products, ingredients or suppliers test on animals, and they don't sell to countries where animal testing is required. I like their Daily Hydrating Fluid which has a SPF 50 - you can find it here: Olivia

Comments are closed.