Is Nivea Cruelty Free? The Answers May Surprise You

Nivea is a famous skincare brand for its cleaners and moisturizers, but is Nivea cruelty free? Read on for what you need to know. 

Recently, the concept of leading a cruelty free and vegan lifestyle has become increasingly popular as individuals have become more informed about the mistreatment of animals and the consequences of animal-based products on the planet. 

Consumers are now on the hunt for companies devoted to animal welfare and the environment, creating a requirement for cruelty free and vegan items. 

Numerous businesses have responded by providing items that are not tested on animals and are free of animal-derived elements. But what about the renowned skincare brand Nivea? 

This guide will help you answer the question: Is Nivea cruelty free and vegan? Read on to learn more.

A Look Into Nivea


Nivea is a renowned skincare brand that is globally recognized. Established in Germany in 1911, it started with the launch of Nivea creme, the first ever stable water-in-oil emulsion. Subsequently, the company broadened its range and spread its wings to the international market. 

Their products mainly include skin and body care and can primarily be located in pharmacies. Beiersdorf is Nivea’s parent company and owns other popular brands such as Eucerin, Labello, and Aquaphor. Read on to find out the answers to Is Nivea cruelty free?

Is Nivea cruelty free?

Before using Nivea, you might wonder: Is Nivea cruelty free?

Nivea is not a cruelty free brand. They have a history of testing their products on animals, either by themselves, through their suppliers, or a third party. 

It is essential to know that in some countries, brands may be obligated by law to carry out animal testing for their products.

Unfortunately, Nivea’s website isn’t open and honest about the issue, and they try to make it appear as if they are against animal testing. According to PETA, this brand is among those that perform tests on animals. 


The truth behind Nivea’s policy on animal testing 

After learning is Nivea cruelty free, you should learn the truth behind its animal testing policy.

Even though Nivea does not directly test on animals, it cannot be considered a cruelty free company. By permitting their products to be tested on animals in mainland China, Nivea is ultimately responsible for this distressing practice. It is the brand that finances these trials and not the Chinese authorities. 

Furthermore, Nivea has not revealed any details regarding the ingredients or suppliers. On their website, in the FAQ section, there is a section that covers “animal welfare, sustainability, and the environment.” Here’s a screenshot of their answer:

Additionally, a page is devoted to “Honesty and Transparency,” but the language is not very candid. Here’s a screenshot of that section:

However, don’t be fooled by the words on Nivea’s website, as they are neither honest nor transparent. They are trying to put on a good face while playing down their part in animal testing.

Is Nivea sold in China?

Is Nivea cruelty free and is it sold in China?


It’s undeniable that Nivea sells its products in mainland China, and so they are, in a way, involved in the testing of non-essential items on animals. 

The company is likely paying for the tests, despite a statement on their site claiming they don’t do animal testing unless required by law. 

On the Nivea website, you can find more information about their ‘Commitment Against Animal Testing,’ in which they explain China’s animal testing regulations. In most cases, these laws mean the brand is selling its products in mainland China, where animal testing of cosmetics is necessary. 

Nivea is indeed present in the mainland China market, with a dedicated website, especially for the Chinese audience.

But doesn’t China no longer conduct animal testing? 

Is Nivea cruelty free as China no longer requires animal testing?

Recently, China has modified its guidelines so that certain cosmetics from other countries can sell in China without animal testing. However, they must meet all the conditions following the alterations in China’s animal testing regulations:

  • Only offer the regular variety of cosmetics – think makeup, skincare, haircare, nail polish, and perfumes. 
  • Must not sell any unique cosmetics, like sunscreens, hair dye, hair perming, or anything that guarantees new effects.
  • Must not sell products for infants or children and any product containing a ‘New Cosmetic Ingredient.’ 
  • If post-market testing is required, the company must have a policy to recall its products instead of using animal testing.

Additionally, to avoid animal testing in China, products must fulfill one of these requirements: 

  • Manufactured within the country, or the final assembly is in China.
  • Businesses must acquire the applicable product safety certificates and paperwork if manufactured elsewhere and then exported to China.

We can’t find evidence that Nivea has taken the necessary steps to avoid animal testing while selling in China. By choosing to trade in mainland China, they have to agree to and finance the testing of their products on animals. 

Although Nivea may not be responsible for the testing, they knowingly give the Chinese authorities permission to do it so they can sell in China. Considering all this, we cannot classify Nivea as a cruelty free company according to our criteria.

Is Nivea vegan?

After learning the answer to your question: Is Nivea cruelty free, you might wonder if Nivea is also vegan.

Nivea does not meet the criteria for vegan. Although they market some items as “vegan-friendly,” Nivea still utilizes animal testing in some way, so none of their products could be considered vegan. 

For a product to be labeled vegan, it must not have been tested on any animals anywhere, and it must not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products. 

Double-check that the product is vegan if you want to be sure you are not supporting companies that use animal-derived products. 

When determining is Nivea cruelty free, be mindful of companies that do not state clearly that their items are cruelty free, vegan, or eco-friendly – they could be cleverly disguising this information by using appealing words. 

So, if a product does not explicitly say that it is vegan, plant-based, or environmentally friendly, it is best to assume it is not.

Vegan Policies 

It’s important to note that there is no hard and fast definition of ‘vegan’ products. Generally, these goods don’t contain any ingredients or by-products sourced from animals, such as carmine, lanolin, snail mucus, honey, beeswax, silk-based elements, animal-based glycerin, keratin, or animal-sourced squalene. 

Thankfully, plant-based and artificial alternatives make it possible to produce vegan items. However, it can be challenging to determine whether an item is genuinely vegan based on the ingredients list. 

The best way to guarantee that a product is vegan is to contact the company or manufacturer to ensure that no animal-sourced ingredients are present.

Does Nivea have any cruelty free certifications?

While learning is Nivea cruelty free, you should know if Nivea has any noteworthy certification.

If you need help deciding which certifications to look out for, there are two that you can always trust: PETA and Leaping Bunny

Unfortunately, Nivea does not have the validation of any external certifications, like Leaping Bunny or PETA, that demonstrate their cruelty free status. Therefore, no outside entity is verifying their assertions of being cruelty free.

PETA has a reliable process for determining if an item is allowed to display its cruelty free seal. When a company meets its criteria, it can show they are cruelty free with the logo. 

The Leaping Bunny certification is even more rigorous – if the company can satisfy all of its requirements, it can confidently show that its products are animal-friendly.

Does the parent company of Nivea conduct animal testing?

While determining is Nivea cruelty free, you might want to know if Nivea’s parent company conducts animal testing.

Nivea is part of Beiersdorf, a business that participates in animal testing. Therefore, Nivea and Beiersdorf are not certified as cruelty free. 

Some people who are passionate about animal rights might decide to buy from companies owned by animal-tested organizations in the hope that it will convince them to switch to cruelty free practices. 

However, in this case, Nivea and their parent company, Beiersdorf, partake in animal testing, making them both not cruelty free.

Is Nivea a clean and sustainable beauty brand?

Is Nivea cruelty free, clean, and a sustainable beauty brand?

Nivea is not strictly considered a “clean beauty” brand due to the synthetic ingredients and harsh chemicals they use in their items. 

The concept of ‘clean beauty’ is doubtful since it isn’t officially regulated; thus, brands can easily attach ‘clean,’ ‘green,’ and ‘natural’ products when they please. Generally, clean beauty products come without any components detrimental to human or environmental health. 


Despite this, Nivea has a solid commitment to sustainability, and they provide their ethos and objectives concerning it on their website, including the projects they back. They declare that they select the most sustainable and responsible sources.


Cruelty free alternatives to Nivea

Nivea is a well-known brand, and their products are easily accessible. Unfortunately, we can’t vouch for them since they don’t offer vegan options and are associated with animal testing. 

There are plenty of other fantastic brands that are cruelty free. Here are some of our suggestions:

Luckily all these brands are cruelty free according to our standards.

Wrapping Up

We found the solution to the query “is Nivea cruelty free?” and the answer is a resounding no; Nivea is not a cruelty free brand. Nivea may test on animals directly, through its suppliers, or another party. Moreover, Nivea is marketed in China and is held by a parent corporation that carries out animal testing. 

Apart from that, Nivea is not vegan and does not have fragrance-free or paraben-free items. However, Nivea has a solid commitment to sustainability.

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