Is Cetaphil Cruelty-Free And Vegan?

T​o many consumers, it’s important to support ethical companies. It can be challenging to get a straight answer on whether a company is genuinely cruelty-free and vegan since there’s no legal definition of these terms. One of the most popular skincare brands, Cetaphil, claims to have gentle, soothing products.

But is Cetaphil cruelty-free and vegan?

Cetaphil skincare products on a blue background.

N​o, Cetaphil is not cruelty-free and vegan. The products they sell in mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals, preventing them from being truly cruelty-free. In addition, there are several Cetaphil products containing animal-derived ingredients, meaning they aren’t 100% vegan as a brand.

I​n the rest of this post, we’ll discuss whether Cetaphil tests its products on animals and if they use animal-derived ingredients in their products. We’ll also list some vegan and cruelty-free alternatives for the most popular Cetaphil products. 

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Is Cetaphil Cruelty-Free?

U​nfortunately, Cetaphil is not truly cruelty-free. Even on its own website, Cetaphil states that their products are tested on animals in countries where it is required by law (such as mainland China).

Cetaphil doesn’t practice animal testing where it’s not required by law, but since they sell their products to mainland China, they can’t be considered cruelty-free.

I​n addition to selling their products to countries requiring animal testing, Cetaphil doesn’t regulate animal testing on the ingredients they purchase from suppliers. Cetaphil may buy ingredients from suppliers that have been tested on animals, or they may ask third parties to test their products on animals.

Companies committed to providing cruelty-free skincare products make sure no animal testing is performed at any stage of production.

Is Cetaphil Owned By A Parent Company?

Yes, Cetaphil is owned by a parent company called Galderma.

Does Cetaphil’s Parent Company Test On Animals?

Cetaphil’s parent company, Galderma, is a pharmaceutical company. The 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which is still in effect today, requires that all pharmaceutical products are tested on animals. Because of this, Galderma cannot be considered a cruelty-free company. They will not be able to halt animal testing without a change in federal requirements. 

C​osmetics don’t fall under the same regulations as pharmaceuticals. They are not legally required to be tested on animals, though many companies continue this practice.

Cetaphil Deep Hydration Serum, Clarifying Acne Cleanser and Hydrating Eye Gel-Cream on a blue background.

Is Cetaphil Certified Cruelty-Free?

No, Cetaphil is not certified cruelty-free. Because they pay for their products to be tested on animals when sold in countries like mainland China, they are not cruelty-free. They are not certified by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), and their products do not carry the Leaping Bunny Logo.

While there is no legal definition of cruelty-free skincare products, PETA and the Leaping Bunny logo help to clarify which products are and are not tested on animals.

To receive the support of the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), and thus the ability to use the Leaping Bunny Logo on product containers, a product must meet specific requirements:

  • Their products may not be tested on animals
  • They cannot purchase ingredients from suppliers who test on animals
  • They may not sell their products in countries where animal testing is required by law

I​t’s always a good idea to look for the Leaping Bunny Logo when buying skincare products. You’ll know you’re supporting a business committed to finding ethical, sustainable methods of testing its products.

Is Cetaphil Vegan?

No, Cetaphil is not vegan. While many of their products are free from animal-derived ingredients, they do sell a few products with ingredients derived from animals. 

T​he only way to find vegan or non-vegan Cetaphil products is to read the entire ingredient label on each product. Two products that contain animal-derived ingredients are the Deep Hydration Refreshing Eye Serum and the Gentle Cleansing Bar. Cetaphil Deep Hydration Refreshing Eye Serum contains beeswax, while Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar contains sodium tallowate. Sodium tallowate comes from animal fat. 

D​o Cetaphil Products Contain Animal-Derived Ingredients?

S​ome Cetaphil’s products contain animal-derived ingredients. The majority of them are free from animal-derived ingredients, but a few still use products from animals.

For example, Cetaphil’s Deep Hydration Refreshing Eye Serum contains beeswax, and their Gentle Cleansing Bar contains sodium tallowate. Cetaphil may sell other products with ingredients derived from animals. 

I​t’s important to carefully read the ingredient label on Cetaphil products if you decide to buy them. It’s the only definite way to determine if the product you’re interested in purchasing contains ingredients derived from animals. 

C​ruelty-Free Alternatives To Cetaphil From DERMA-E

I​f you’re interested in only supporting cruelty-free, vegan brands, you’ll have to find options other than Cetaphil. Thankfully, more ethical companies are launching each year. 

DERMA-E is an example of a truly cruelty-free, vegan skincare brand.

According to PETA, DERMA-E doesn’t test on animals and is PETA-certified. DERMA-E also doesn’t allow any animal-derived ingredients in their products, including ingredients purchased from suppliers. They don’t sell products to mainland China, meaning their products don’t have to undergo animal testing before selling them on store shelves. 

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser and Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream are two of the most commonly-purchased Cetaphil products. If you’re looking to replace these Cetaphil products with ethical, cruelty-free, and vegan products, DERMA-E has a few great options.

Instead of Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, consider ​DERMA-E Hydrating Gentle Cleanser.

T​his completely vegan and cruelty-free cleanser contains chamomile, lemongrass, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins A and E. These ingredients gently moisturize and tighten even the most sensitive skin.

I​nstead of Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, consider DERMA-E Hydrating Day Cream.

P​acked with vitamins C and E, panthenol, aloe vera, green tea, and hyaluronic acid, this cruelty-free and vegan cream offers many potent benefits for the skin, especially if you have dehydrated, dull, aging, or dry skin. The active ingredients help hydrate, soothe, and smooth your complexion.

H​ere are some other cruelty-free and vegan drugstore brands to consider when looking for ethical cruelty free skin care products:

  • e​.l.f. Cosmetics
  • The Ordinary
  • Pacifica
  • Mad Hippie
  • Acure Organics

O​f course, there are many more cruelty-free and vegan companies than are listed here. Looking for the Leaping Bunny Logo is a great way to know for sure that you’re supporting a high-quality, ethical company and cruelty free brand.

Final Thoughts: Is Cetaphil Cruelty Free and Vegan?

C​etaphil products are not cruelty-free, and not all of their products are vegan, as some of their products contain animal-derived ingredients. To find out if a specific Cetaphil product contains animal-derived ingredients, you’ll need to carefully read the ingredient label on that product.

Luckily, there are many other cruelty-free and vegan companies that don’t use any animal-derived ingredients in their products and provide similar skincare benefits as Cetaphil, so you have plenty of cruelty-free options from which to choose.

Read Next: Best Cruelty-Free Moisturizers

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