Is Heliocare Cruelty-Free and Vegan in 2023?

December 31, 2022

Named for the Greek word meaning ‘sun’, Heliocare prevents sun damage from the inside out. Does this advancement in science come at the cost of being cruelty-free and vegan?

Heliocare 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.
Heliocare is a line of sun protection products made by Cantabria Labs, known for its innovation and research.

Heliocare products also contain Fernblock®, an active ingredient that protects against radiation and prevents burns, aging, dark spots, allergies, and even skin cancer.

While Heliocare may tout its commitment to research and innovation, have they honestly considered the impact its products have on the planet and the animals that call it home?
Heliocare sunscreen range

Heliocare Ethical Overview

Cruelty-free: No 

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

Clean ingredients: Yes

Sustainable & Ethical: Minimal efforts

Mica Mining Policy: Undetermined

RSPO Palm Oil Certified: Undetermined

Heliocare 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.


Heliocare understands that imported products in China are subject to animal testing by law. However, they have been actively working to remove these tests and find alternative methods.

To learn more about Heliocare and Cantabria Labs' stance on animal testing, continue reading.

Does Heliocare Test on Animals?

Heliocare has been clear that it conducts animal testing when required by law and does ship to countries like China. However, they still have a stance on cruelty-free sun protection.

What Is Heliocare’s Cruelty-Free Status in 2022?

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

Heliocare cruelty-free website-claim

Heliocare Has No Cruelty-Free Certification

As much as we’d love to see this change in the future, with the markets Heliocare has chosen to be part of, they won’t be able to gain certification from any creditable organisation.

Ideally, all brands that consider themselves cruelty-free should be Leaping Bunny certified.

While you might know PETA very well – it surprisingly doesn't hold the strictest cruelty-free regulations. Leaping Bunny certification is the gold standard to live up to.

Is Heliocare Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law?

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

However, if you live in China or are concerned about its cruel beauty policies, there are a couple of loopholes.

Here's how to find cruelty-free cosmetics in China: Are Cosmetics Made in China Cruelty-Free?

Heliocare is Not Vegan

Although Heliocare claims to be vegan, it’s hard to consider any of its products free of animal-derived ingredients as “vegan” because it’s not 100% cruelty-free.

Does it have products that are free of animal-derived ingredients? Yes.

Are these products considered holistically vegan? Not in our opinion.

Vegan Alternatives to Heliocare


price range

100% vegan


$10 - $50



$20 - $50


Leaping Bunny

$15 - $50


Leaping Bunny

$5 - $15



$15 - $30


Leaping Bunny

Heliocare Isn't Considered Natural or Organic

However, it does claim to use safe, simple ingredients.

Its whole ethos is to make clean formulas and products that anyone can use.

All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas. Heliocare is no exception – but it does choose to use better or clean synthetics.

If a synthetic ingredient is "clean," it means it is safe and non-toxic for us. Its purpose is to preserve the stability of a beauty formulation.

Heliocare Has An 91% Allergen-Free Ranking

According to Skin Safe, Heliocare has an 91% allergen-free ranking for each product.

Many of Heliocare’s products are free of allergens such as parabens, topical antibiotics, lanolin, coconut, MCI/MI, nickel, gluten, soy, oil, dyes and SLS. 

Reading the ingredient list is crucial because Heliocare is not 100% hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic, and they do not claim to be.

However, certain products are specifically for these concerns, so make sure you buy what your skin needs.

The EU/UK Have Stricter Ingredient Regulations

We don’t want to scare you, but you HAVE to read up on any product’s ingredient list before you make a purchase – especially if you live within the United States. The reason why will shock you.

The FDA has only banned or restricted 11 harmful chemicals from cosmetics within the country. Europe and the UK, on the other hand, have banned 1,328!

With hair care, you want to avoid these ingredients:

  • Octinoxate 
  • Homosalate
  • Octisalate
  • Octocrylene
  • Avobenzone

Heliocare Has Limited Sustainable & Ethical Initiatives

Unfortunately, Heliocare does not talk about its environmental policies online. So, we looked into its parent company, Cantabria Labs. 

Cantabria Labs supports the Emalaikat Foundation. This foundation works in Ethiopia, Malawi and Kenya to:

  • Support food and water security, 
  • Run a health program, and
  • Further education.

It's no secret that the world has a huge waste problem, and cosmetic brands only make it worse by using unsustainable packaging and harmful ingredients.

Again, Heliocare doesn’t mention any sustainability efforts, but Cantabria Labs takes environmental accountability by:

  • Working on sustainable packaging developments.
  • Ensuring that the plastic containers they use are recyclable.
  • Encouraging consumers to recycle their products.
  • Avoid extra packaging and only use recyclable or recycled paper when needed.
  • Reduced plastic in promotional packs and sales displays by 40%
  • Prohibiting synthetic microbeads that pollute our waters and harm marine life.
  • Recycling station in offices (and removable bins)
  • Hiring a team dedicated to sustainability and an external consultant
    Use of eco-friendly vehicles

Final Thoughts

Heliocare is one of the few brands to openly admit to selling in China, instead of trying to hide behind it. By choosing to be in that market, they can’t say their products are free from animal testing or vegan.

Even if they are lobbying to change laws, the brand does market itself as sustainable, so it’s no surprise that it’s not transparent about sustainability efforts and ethical initiatives. 

And what Heliocare’s parent company is doing for sustainability barely scratches the surface.

While we hope for improvement, this isn’t good enough for us at Cruelty-Free Soul. We can’t see it changing while Heliocare sells in a market that necessitates animal testing. 

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