May 4, 2023

Is Cetaphil Cruelty-Free and Vegan in 2023?

by Becky in Cruelty-Free & Vegan Beauty0 Comments

Cetaphil has been a godsend for those with sensitive skin begging for moisture. For over 75 years, they have been a pioneer in the skincare world, but when it comes to their cruelty-free and vegan policies, they are still stuck in the past. 

Cetaphil is not 100% cruelty-free or vegan, as its products are sold where animal testing is required by law. It also cannot be considered vegan as it is not cruelty-free.
Cetaphil is one of the most well-known skincare brands out there with their dermatologist-recommended formulas that claim to be one of the best options for those with sensitive skin.

This brand was made by a pharmacist in Texas back in 1947 to help patients with very sensitive skin specifically. Since then, the focus has always been on gentle and effective skincare products.

But Cetaphil hasn’t kept up with the times when it comes to the growing demand for products that are free from animal testing and animal-derived ingredients.

However, if you are looking for alternatives to Cetaphil in the same price range with the same quality, click here. 
Cetaphil Product shot

Cetaphil Ethical Overview

Cruelty-free: No

Vegan: No (Cetaphil cannot be considered vegan if it is not cruelty-free)

Clean ingredients: Yes

Sustainable & Ethical: Moderate efforts

Mica Mining Policy: No

RSPO Palm Oil Certified: No

Cetaphil is Not Cruelty-Free

Test any of its products or ingredients on animals


Purchase any ingredients tested on animals within its supply chain


Distribute its products to any countries that require animal testing by law.


Cetaphil has a lot to say about how much of a priority no animal testing is for the company but makes it sound like selling in China is completely out of their control as a company.

Further, the brand is owned by Galderma, a Swiss pharmaceutical company that is also not cruelty-free.

Does Cetaphil Test on Animals?

Cetaphil has never been considered cruelty-free, as animal testing has always been involved in some way.

Today Cetaphil has very careful wording to claim that they are wholly against animal testing as a brand, but this only applies to its own laboratories and factories.

Cetaphil still allows products to get tested on animals before approval for sale when the law requires it in mainland China.

The brand argues that they are involved in programs in China to change animal testing regulations. Still, it hasn’t stopped them from actually selling and benefitting from the Chinese market, regardless of the animal testing they claim to be against.

What Is Cetaphil’s Cruelty-Free Status in 2023?

Here is a screenshot of Cetaphil’s official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products, taken from its website:

Cetaphil Cruelty-free status

Cetaphil Has No Cruelty-Free Certification

It will be impossible for Cetaphil to get a reputable company to certify them as cruelty-free when they still willingly allow products to be tested on animals by selling in mainland China.

Without certification from a reputable company like Leaping Bunny or PETA, there is no real way to guarantee that standards and claims are being met and upheld. 

Leaping Bunny certification proves that:

  • No animal testing is conducted on the ingredients, formulas, or final products they sell.
  • No animal testing is conducted by the brand suppliers or on their ingredients or formulas.
  • No animal testing is done by someone else that the company itself paid for.
  • Any other form of testing (beyond ingredient and consumer safety), such as worker safety and environmental health, is considered and evaluated.

Cetaphil Is Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law?

Yes, Cetaphil distributes its products in China, where animal testing on cosmetics is required as products arrive at the border.

China has a shocking track record. It is the country with the