CeraVe is a popular skincare brand (owned by L’Oreal), especially for those with sensitive skin, but is it suitable for vegans? 

And if not, what alternative vegan and cruelty-free products are out there for you?

We’ve hunted down the answers for you, delving into the world of CeraVe and their parent company L’Oreal, to ensure you make the right skincare choice for you. 

Vegomm score: 50%

– Brand is certified vegan: NO
– Brand offers a selection of vegan products: YES
– Brand tests on animals: NO
– Brand is sold in mainland China: YES
– Parent company tests other brands on animals: NO
– Parent company sells other cosmetic brands in China: YES

Is CeraVe Vegan?

cerave moisturising cream

Although not labeled or certified vegan, CeraVe does not use animal-derived ingredients in the UK.  

However, CeraVe and L’Oreal are somewhat opaque when it comes to the origin of their ingredients. Though CeraVe’s UK customer services helpfully answered our questions about whether their products were vegan, they could not confirm if CeraVe products sold in other countries were also free of ingredients derived from animals. 

The reason for their lack of vegan certification in the UK may be because the products are made in factories where cross-contamination could occur with non-vegan products. 

Additionally, L’Oreal, who owns the CeraVe skincare brand, is not vegan, using ingredients such as beeswax, honey, and egg. They do, however, sell some vegan products, such as their Botanicals range. 

Is CeraVe Cruelty-free?

CeraVe does not have an animal testing policy on their website, however, within the FAQ section of the North American website, they answer the question ‘Are CeraVe products tested on animals?’ with the answer;

“No, CeraVe products are not tested on animals”.

This is (very) little information for such an important subject, particularly given that CeraVe, and their parent company, sell their products in Mainland China, where animal testing is required by law. 

When contacted, the CeraVe UK customer services stated they did not have information on the legal requirements for their products in China. Yet due to the types of products they produce, these must be tested on animals by a third party to be sold there.

With the new rules in place since May 21, they could apply for a permit to ensure that their products do not need to be tested, as the items they sell are part of the new list of exemptions. 

However, as there is nothing on their website on this topic, and the customer services were not able to provide additional information, it seems unlikely they have applied for such a permit.  

CeraVe’s parent company, L’Oreal, were also reasonably evasive when contacted to ask if they are still required by law to test some of their products on animals in China. 

They stated:

Since 2014, shampoos, bath gels and many makeup products made in China have not required animal testing. From the beginning of May 2021, imported non-functional products (with a safety certificate from their country of origin) will no longer require animal testing.

However, they made no reply to further enquiries related specifically to their products.

This is probably because many L’Oreal’s products, such as hair dyes and sunscreens,  would still require testing on animals in China, as they do not fall into exempt categories.

scrabble cruelty free

Therefore, while the answer to ‘does CeraVe test on animals’ may be ‘no’, it has to be concluded that currently, neither L’Oreal nor CeraVe are cruelty-free, as they indirectly support animal testing in China.   

Cruelty-free and Vegan Alternatives to CeraVe

While CeraVe’s ingredients are not derived from animals, the brand is not certified vegan and supports animal testing, and for that reason, we encourage you to look for 100% vegan and cruelty-free alternatives in the UK.

But first, you need to understand what is CeraVe and what to look for in the alternatives.

CeraVe’s products use a combination of essential ceramides, fatty acids, and other lipids to moisturise and repair the skin. Particularly used by people with sensitive skin or eczema, CeraVe aims to hydrate skin over 24 hours for long-term, lasting effects.   

Based on this, here are some of our favourites alternatives:

Alternative to CeraVe’s Moisturising Cream

pai skincare polly plum calendula and jojoba

Pai is based in London and creates a range of skincare products, from moisturisers to masks.

This cruelty-free skincare brand is committed to creating natural and ethical products. Their calendula and jojoba comforting body cream is great for sensitive or eczema-prone skin.


Alternative to CeraVe’s Foaming Cleanser

Green People Foaming Face Wash

Green people use organic and sustainable ingredients, ethically sourced.

Made with refreshing natural ingredients such as green tea, witch hazel and rose geranium, their foaming face wash helps soothe and cleanse the skin.

Alternative to CeraVe’s Eye Repair Cream

PHB Gentle Rosehip Face & Eye Serum

PHB Ethical Beauty is a British vegan brand that pride itself on being as sustainable as possible.

Their Gentle Rosehip Serum is a 1 in 2 for both face and eyes, saving you from buying two bottles where one will do.

Alternative to CeraVe’s Reparative Hand Cream

ARK Skincare Body Beautiful Intensive Hand and Nail Cream

ARK are an award-winning skincare brand.

They aim to celebrate skin at all ages and use natural ingredients high in antioxidants, lipids and vitamins. Their rich and nourishing hand and nail cream use raspberry and cocoa butter to hydrate and protect the skin.

Final thoughts

CeraVe is a skincare brand that aims to use science to moisturise and protect even the most sensitive skin.

The good news is that CeraVe’s UK products are made with vegan ingredients. 

However, both they and their parent company sell their products to Mainland China, meaning a third party must test them on animals. 

Therefore even though CeraVe offers vegan products, they are not cruelty-free. 

Their lack of transparency makes it difficult both to learn about the positives and the negatives of this brand, and without a fully informed opinion, it’s hard to know what the best course of action might be.

Luckily there are many UK vegan and cruelty-free brands that you can opt for instead, proving you can keep fresh-faced and guilt-free all in one go.  

Other skincare brands we’ve reviewed






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