Last Updated on August 27, 2023 by Annie Baldwin
CeraVe is one of the most popular skincare brands on the market, beloved for its effective and affordable products that cater to sensitive skin.
But how does CeraVe stack up when it comes to sustainability and environmental impact?
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at CeraVe’s eco-credentials and whether or not its products are truly bad for the environment.
Is CeraVe Bad for the Environment?
Yes, CeraVe’s use of disposable plastic packaging, animal testing, and lack of transparency around sustainability initiatives make it a brand that is overall not eco-friendly.
There are more environmentally conscious skincare alternatives available.
- CeraVe uses non-recyclable plastic packaging that contributes to environmental waste
- The brand tests on animals and cannot be considered cruelty-free
- CeraVe does not disclose much information about its sustainability practices
Is CeraVe Cruelty-Free?
One of the biggest criticisms of CeraVe is that it is not a cruelty-free brand.
CeraVe does tests on animals when required by law.
The company states that it is committed to finding alternative testing methods, but at this time CeraVe cannot be considered a cruelty-free skincare option.
This is a major concern for consumers who want to avoid products associated with animal testing for ethical reasons.
CeraVe is also not vegan, despite claiming that its products are.
The brand’s ingredient lists contain animal-derived ingredients like cholesterol and glycerin.
For consumers looking for a 100% plant-based and cruelty-free formula, CeraVe would not meet their standards.
The lack of vegan and cruelty-free certification makes the brand a no-go for many environmentalists.
Are CeraVe Products Toxic?
On the plus side, CeraVe products are free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and fragrances.
Their simple, no-fuss formulas cater well to those with sensitive skin conditions like eczema.
Unlike some mainstream beauty brands, CeraVe avoids using these common irritants and potential toxins.
CeraVe’s ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide are generally well-tolerated and not considered toxic.
The brand seems to take care in formulating gentle products that likely won’t aggravate the skin.
However, everyone’s skin can react differently, so patch testing is still advised.
How Does CeraVe Impact the Environment?
Besides animal testing and disposable packaging, CeraVe as a brand has little publicly available information about its sustainability practices and environmental impact.
They do not seem to have any initiatives aimed at offsetting their ecological footprint.
The manufacture and distribution of CeraVe products certainly contributes to carbon emissions, especially with the brand’s global reach.
However, without transparency from CeraVe, it’s impossible to know the full scope of the brand’s environmental impact.
This lack of information is frustrating for eco-conscious consumers.
Are There Greener Alternatives to CeraVe?
For those looking to make a more eco-friendly choice, there are a few skincare brands that offer CeraVe alternatives:
- The Ordinary offers affordable but highly-effective skincare including hyaluronic acid and niacinamide serums. Their formulas are vegan and not tested on animals.
- Acure uses recyclable packaging, plant-based ingredients, and sustainable practices. Their affordable products are Leaping Bunny-certified and cruelty-free.
- OSEA formulates vegan, cruelty-free products using organic, seaweed-derived ingredients. Their packaging aims to use recyclable and compostable materials.
- Plaine Products offers refillable aluminum bottles for lotions and cleansers. Their formulas are vegan, cruelty-free, and made from plant extracts.
Does CeraVe Have Future Plans to Become More Sustainable?
CeraVe is owned by L’Oreal, one of the largest cosmetics groups in the world.
L’Oreal has pledged to improve its environmental and social impact, including objectives around sustainable packaging, reducing greenhouse gases, and ending animal testing.
Hopefully, this corporate focus on sustainability will also translate to CeraVe adopting more eco-friendly practices in the future.
However, the brand’s current lack of transparency around ethical issues provides little assurance.
Consumers who want guaranteed cruelty-free and vegan products are still better off choosing CeraVe’s green competitors for now.
What Are the Risks of CeraVe?
While CeraVe products are free of common irritants like fragrances, there are still potential risks to be aware of when using their formulations.
One concern is that some of the ingredients may clog pores for those prone to acne.
The thick, creamy textures may feel too heavy for oily skin types.
CeraVe products also contain chemical UV filters like avobenzone, homosalate, and octisalate.
These can potentially cause skin irritation, and there are concerns about chemical filters impacting marine life.
It’s recommended to avoid sunscreens containing these active ingredients.
Of course, everyone’s skin can react differently to skincare ingredients.
As with any new product, it’s advised to do a patch test before applying it all over the face.
Start by testing CeraVe on a small area of the skin and discontinue use if any redness or irritation occurs.
Consulting a dermatologist is also recommended if you have any concerns.
Is CeraVe Ethically Made?
No, CeraVe cannot currently claim that its products are ethically made due to the animal testing conducted and the lack of transparency around sustainable practices.
While the ingredients may be gentle and non-toxic for human health, animal testing means CeraVe’s production process involves ethical concerns.
The brand also does not disclose much information about ethical labor practices, carbon emissions, or other environmental impacts from manufacturing.
Overall, CeraVe is not a leader when it comes to ethical and sustainable production.
Consumers who want a guarantee of ethically made skincare are better off choosing brands with established green certifications and initiatives.
The Bottom Line: Should You Feel Guilty Using CeraVe?
CeraVe products aren’t packed with toxic ingredients, which is a good thing for human health.
But the brand falls short in terms of eco-friendly credentials.
Between animal testing, non-vegan formulas, and plastic usage, CeraVe cannot claim to be a sustainable brand.
For people whose top priority is finding affordable skincare that caters to sensitive skin, CeraVe delivers on that promise.
However, consumers concerned about ethics and the environment will likely want to explore cruelty-free and package-free alternatives.
At the end of the day, it’s about evaluating your priorities and finding a skincare brand that aligns with your values.
If you love CeraVe but also care about sustainability, you could try purchasing only certain products and reusing containers to reduce waste.
Or you might decide to swap over to greener options that are just as effective for your skin.
Do you feel guilty using CeraVe products after learning about the brand’s eco-impact? Let me know in the comments!
What Are Phthalates and Why Are They Harmful?
Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. Studies link phthalates to hormone disruption and health issues, so many consumers try to avoid them.
Is Niacinamide Toxic?
No, niacinamide is generally very well tolerated and not considered toxic or unsafe. This vitamin B3 derivative can provide skin benefits like reducing inflammation.
What Does Sulfate-Free Mean?
Sulfate-free products do not contain sulfates, which are harsh cleansing agents that can irritate skin. Brands market sulfate-free formulas as being gentler.
At GreenChiCafe, we are passionate about the environment and sharing knowledge to help others live more sustainably. Check out our website for more great content about eco-friendly living!
Annie is a passionate environmental writer and activist. She has been writing about sustainability, conservation, and green living for over 15+ years. Annie is dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues and providing practical tips for living an eco-friendly lifestyle. When she’s not writing, you can find her volunteering with local environmental organizations, teaching workshops on zero waste living, or exploring nature. Feel free to get in touch with Annie: email@example.com