Last Updated on April 9, 2021 by Eco Elsie
Sadly, Cetaphil is not cruelty free. They do not have the backing of any of the main cruelty free associations such as PETA and The Leaping Bunny logo.
What we mean by this is that they cannot be classed as cruelty free as they may test on animals, buy ingredients from third parties that test on animals, or sell in countries where animal testing is required by law.
Mainland China has recently made a law that says that animal testing does not need to happen as a legal requirement.
However, if it is requested within the country, or if something needs more testing, then this can be done on animals. The facts around this are murky and many cruelty free consumers are still avoiding products from brands that sell in China as it can be hard to determine if they are truly cruelty free.
As well as this, they are also owned by a parent company that is not cruelty free. These are Galderma Laboratories.
Of course, some consumers may still buy from a cruelty free brand that is owned by a non cruelty free parent company, but in this case, neither are cruelty free and so we recommend avoiding them.
Is Cetaphil vegan?
One of the most frequently asked questions about brands these days is ‘are they vegan?’. A brand marketing themselves as vegan would likely be assumed to be cruelty free. However, this is not always the case.
The vast majority of products from Cetaphil are vegan in the sense that they do not use animal derived ingredients in their products. The exception to this is their Gentle Cleansing Bar which uses something sodium tallowate.
This is an ingredient made from the fatty acids of a substance called ‘tallow’. Tallow is a rendered form of fat derived from animals. Form of fat, usually from beef or mutton, and so is neither vegan nor vegetarian.
This means that their company is not 100% vegan, or even 100% vegetarian. That being said, depending on your own view of it and your personal ethics, you could, in theory, buy vegan products from them safely in the knowledge that they contain no animal derived ingredients.
That being said, because they are not cruelty free, most vegans would choose to avoid them on this basis. That is also our recommendation because a truly vegan company or brand would not support animal testing in any form.
Beware of companies that market themselves as vegan whilst still supporting animal testing. It can be very misleading.
Is Cetaphil an ethical company?
As we are well aware, Cetaphil is a company that supports animal testing.
Whilst they may not actively do it themselves, they still allow it where it is needed by law, this does not set them in good stead in terms of ethics, because, let’s face it, there are plenty of other amazing brands out there that refuse to compromise their ethics just to make more money in countries where animal testing is required.
In terms of the environmental impact of Cetaphil, it has been difficult to find any reliable sources. However, suffice to say, they do not seem to have any environmental policies that are made public, and so this also does not look good from an ethical standpoint.
As well as this, the use of parabens is thought to cause harm to aquatic life, and so the inclusion of them in Cetaphil’s products is not ethical.
In terms of their treatment of employees, we know that Cetaphil is a relatively small organization with around 350 staff. However, not much else is known about the way they work and how staff are treated there, and so it is difficult to pass an unbiased judgment.
Does Cetaphil test on animals?
Whilst it is unclear whether Cetaphil directly tests on animals themselves (they claim not to), there is even more unclarity regarding their animal testing policies in terms of finished products, where it may be required by law, and in the ingredients they buy.
On their website, they state that they do not agree with animal testing, but also explain that, where required by law, they will allow their products to be tested on animals.
They sell their products in China, and so, at least until recently, it is very likely that their products would have been tested on animals there.
As well as this, there is not much information available about where they get their ingredients, meaning that they could, in theory, also be tested on animals. They also allow third parties to test on animals where it is required by law.
As well as this, their parent company Galderma Laboratories also supports animal testing.
Are Cetaphil products toxic?
For full transparency, we want to make it totally clear that there are ingredients used in many of Cetaphil’s products that some people may want to avoid. The most common ingredient that is a cause for concern is that of parabens.
Now, the use of parabens is a hotly debated topic, and many consumers will do anything they can to avoid them based on scientific research that indicates they may be harmful.
However, there have also been many studies done that indicate that, in small amounts such as those used in cosmetics, parabens are not likely to cause harm. This means that other consumers will happily use them.
Whatever you choose to do – avoid them or not – you need to keep in mind that Ceraphil uses parabens often, and in quite high amounts.
In fact, they use three of them, all of which have been found by some studies to have negative effects on the body, and even have links to endocrine diseases and breast cancer!
They also use propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate – both of which can cause significant irritation to sensitive skin.
As a brand, they are certainly not all natural, and some of the ingredients they use can certainly be seen as harmful or toxic.