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Is Nivea cruelty-free?

A closer look on the German skin and body-care brand.

Is Nivea cruelty-free and vegan? Here is all you need to know about their animal testing policy. We also give you some better alternatives.

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts, and fact-checked by experts.
We look at both sides of the argument and strive to be objective, unbiased, and honest.
Is Nivea cruelty-free?
Last updated on January 20, 2023, and last reviewed by an expert on September 3, 2021.

Is Nivea cruelty-free? As a global brand, you’re bound to find many Nivea products on almost every supermarket aisle and cosmetic shop.

Is Nivea cruelty-free?

Nivea animal testing questions will always arise for anyone who uses cruelty-free products.

The short answer is no, Nivea is not cruelty-free.

But as always, when it comes to cruelty-free matters, the answer is not that simple. Keep reading to know the full answer.

In this article

Why is Nivea not cruelty-free?

Keep in mind that if a brand meets any of the below conditions, it is not cruelty-free:

Nivea and animal testing

Here is why Nivea is not a cruelty-free brand, as much as they would want one to believe.

On Nivea’s honesty and transparency page, one of the statements reads:

As one of the longest-standing skincare brands, we use our wealth of experience and expertise to promote sustainability in our industry. We do not carry out any animal tests on cosmetic products or their ingredients or instruct them - unless this is mandatory by law.

That “unless this is mandatory by law” part of the statement should be the first red flag that Nivea is not a cruelty-free brand.

Why? While it’s illegal in the EU for brands to test on animals, it’s not the case everywhere. Mainland China, for example, requires cosmetic products to undergo animal testing before they are certified and registered as safe for use.

And yes, Nivea sells in China.

Nivea goes further to state:

Some countries, including China, still require animal testing for certain cosmetic product categories. We aim to convince the Chinese authorities that these tests are unnecessary and can be replaced by alternatives without compromising consumer safety.

Then no, Nivea doesn’t test their products on animals. But by selling to China, they indirectly participate in animal testing.

Vegan guide to makeup and cruelty-free cosmetics
Suggested read: Vegan guide to makeup and cruelty-free cosmetics

And that makes Nivea an accomplice in animal cruelty.

Our point is here is that just because animal testing does not happen in the EU and isn’t conducted by the manufacturer itself doesn’t make these products or the brand cruelty-free.

A work in progress

Beiersdorf, Nivea’s parent company, is a big player in the cosmetic industry. They own Nivea, Eucerin, and Labello, among other brands you may use daily.

As we just explained with Nivea, they do sell their products to China, where animal testing is still mandatory for beauty products.

But, as stated in the title, they are working on improving the situation.

The company claims to have an alternative agreement with the authorities where some of the products manufactured in China do not undergo animal testing.

Is Nivea vegan?

So, Nivea is not cruelty-free, but can it at least be considered a vegan brand?

No, Nivea is not a vegan certified brand either.

However, when filtering Nivea’s offer on their website, we can notice that they do offer a few vegan products (mostly body cleansers and shower creams).

While this is some good news, it’s up to you to decide if that meets your vegan values. Just remember two things:

Is Nivea lip balm vegan?

Although Nivea is popular for its lip care products, there is no indication that the lip balms are vegan.

Suggested read: Are Pringles vegan?

As the wide collection of lip care products have no vegan logos or certifications, it is safe to assume that they are not vegan.

Is Nivea deodorant vegan?

Nivea’s deodorants offer a great range of aluminum or alcohol-free deodorants. Unfortunately, as for the lip balm, there is no indication that they are vegan and they don’t appear on the search results for “vegan” on Nivea’s website.

Vegan and cruelty-free alternatives

We get it, Nivea is an important brand and their products are easy to find. But as vegan consumers, we can’t endorse Nivea due to their lack of vegan offer and their indirect support to animal testing.

But no worries, there are other great brands out there that are both vegan and cruelty-free.

Here are some of our favorites.

ARK Skincare

ARK Skincare is an award-winning brand that makes vegan and cruelty-free range skincare products. The company offers age-specific skincare products; Defy for people over 50, Defend for the ones in their 30s & 40s, and Protect for teens & young adults in their 20s. Some of their products include cleansers, toners, moisturizers, eye, and lip creams, among others.

Evolve Organic Beauty

If you are looking to support small businesses, Evolve Organic Beauty makes amazing handmade beauty products that are cruelty-free, vegan, and eco-friendly. Their offer ranges from hair products to hand care, body care, and skincare products.

UpCircle Beauty

With cruelty-free, vegan, natural, palm oil-free, organic, and a bunch of other logos to their products, UpCircle Beauty makes an excellent alternative for vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics.

Their organic products are handmade and the company uses recyclable packaging.

Neal’s Yard Remedies

This is an award-winning organic and natural beauty products brand located in London. Plus, as the name suggests, Neal’s Yard Remedies is a family-owned business that uses only natural and cruelty-free ingredients. Their products range from bath and body to skincare and hand care products.

Suggested read: Are Converse vegan?

Summary and final thoughts

Is Nivea vegan and cruelty-free? No, and no.

The brand offers a few vegan products, but Nivea is not a certified vegan brand. Plus, the brand is available in mainland China where cosmetic products undergo animal testing.

Even though progress is made by Beiersdorf and other brands to put an end to animal testing in China, they still accept their products to be tested.

This means that as a vegan and cruelty-free consumer, you have much better options in the market when shopping for cruelty-free skincare products. Look for companies with acclaimed certifications from vegan societies, such as Leaping Bunny or Beauty Without Bunnies (PETA).

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