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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Is CeraVe an ethical brand?

A low ethical score is assigned to CeraVe by The Good Shopping Guide; L’Oreal is a multinational corporation that owns several other well-known make up and skincare brands, including CeraVe. Unfortunately, as indicated by its low Good Shopping Guide score in our Ethical Skincare Ratings Table, a huge conglomerate, L’Oreal, currently does not adhere to basic ethical standards. For this brand to qualify for our Ethical Accreditation, it must make a number of changes.

The Good Shopping Guide encourages all brands in the Skincare sector to reach for a higher ethical standard of business practice.

The make-up industry and colourism

As recently as 2020, giants in the cosmetics sector such as Estée Lauder, L’Oreal, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Beiersdorf have come under fire for marketing skin-lightening items that support colourism in the cosmetics sector. Any cosmetic product should never attempt to achieve lighter, whiter, or fairer skin; promoting such a product is Irresponsible Marketing.

Is CeraVe Cruelty-Free?

CeraVe is not Cruelty-Free. CeraVe does not publish its Animal Welfare Policy online and its parent firm, L’Oreal is certainly not Cruelty-Free. CeraVe also sells its products in-store in mainland China, where animal testing is required by law.

Is CeraVe vegan? 

Even if CeraVe claims that its products are ‘vegan’, because this is not a Cruelty-Free skincare brand, no vegan or vegetarian accreditation can be awarded to CeraVe.

Other Human Rights criticisms of CeraVe and L’Oreal

Consumers should be informed that the international behemoth Nestlé owns a sizable portion of shares in L’Oreal. (The Good Shopping Guide scores Nestlé brands very low since it engages in a number of unethical business activities across all of our research categories.)

The Associated Press brought attention to one of the major ethical problems L’Oreal is associated with. In certain palm oil fields in Malaysia and Indonesia, incidences of violence against women have not only been tolerated but are common. These occurrences included women being subjected to harmful substances and physical and sexual assault. Some of the women who were mistreated and assaulted were as young as 16 years old.

Please be aware, that the article from The Associated Press contains some very upsetting details.

Does CeraVe’s parent company, L’Oreal make Political Donations?

In recent election cycles, L’Oreal gave US political parties more than $200k. For additional information on these contributions, which were given to both Republican and Democratic candidates, see the Open Secrets website.

In what areas does CeraVe perform well ethically?

The Good Shopping Guide carefully researches a brand’s Environmental Report since a brand or company’s documents relating to environmental issues frequently provide a good indication of that brand or company’s awareness of its impact on our planet. Fortunately, the “CeraVe for the Future” handbook has a long list of objectives for 2030 and 2025, including targets for biodiversity, water, and climate change. (For further information on them, see the report itself.) It is encouraging to hear from CeraVe that they have established quantifiable goals for both their direct business operations and supply networks.

The Soil Association certified CeraVe Garnier’s collection of organic skincare products.

How can CeraVe improve its ethical rating?

The Good Shopping Guide uses 15 ethical criteria to establish CeraVe’s score. CeraVe needs to explain and address a number of ethical issues, such as its position on GMOs, Animal Welfare, and its complicity in the unethical production of palm oil.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Irresponsible Marketing


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating