Is Nivea Cruelty-Free: A Brand from EU But Sells in China

Nivea is a personal care brand that was founded by Paul Carl Beiersdorf in 1882 in Germany. Its name is derived from the Latin adjective niveus, nivea, niveum, which means ‘snow-white’.

Nivea quickly became one of the leading body-care brands in Europe. During the 1930s, it specialized in shaving creams, tanning oils, facial cleansers, toners, and similar. In the time of World War II, the term “Nivea” was used all over Europe, until Belersdorf once again bought the rights. 

During the ‘80s, Nivea started selling worldwide. Today, it is one of the biggest and most well-known skincare brands.

Is Nivea Cruelty-Free?

Not sold in China? No
PETA Certified No
Leaping Bunny Certified No
Has vegan products No
Not owned by a Parent Company that does Animal Testing? No

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Nivea is not cruelty-free. This means that the brand either tests finished products on animals, the ingredients it uses are tested on animals, or pays third-party or suppliers to conduct these tests.

Nivea doesn’t have an official cruelty-free policy. However, as it’s a brand from the European Union, it isn’t allowed to test on animals. However, it does sell in countries where these tests are mandatory. Also, it isn’t known whether the ingredients Nivea uses are being tested on animals, and if the brand pays its suppliers or other third parties to do these tests instead.

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What is the Deal with China?

Even though animal testing is proven to be an unnecessary and unethical practice, some countries still require it by law. This is the case with the second-biggest market in the world, China.

China requires any beauty product to be tested on animals before allowing importation and being sold in Chinese stores. Any company or brand that makes the decision to sell in China has also decided to test on animals – either by themselves or, usually, by paying a third-party company to test on their behalf. This is the main reason why a lot of brands can’t achieve a true cruelty-free status. After growing public outrage, China did lift some regulations in 2014, which allowed certain beauty products, such as shampoos and other skincare items, to be imported without testing, but this is still a small percentage.

A lot of brands that claim to be cruelty-free are being misleading thanks to these laws. Even if a brand doesn’t conduct animal testing on its own, by deciding to take the opportunity and sell in countries such as China, it is allowing a third-party to test the final product on animals. This is why PETA and the Leaping Bunny Program have forbidden brands that they certify to expand their market in this direction – and rightfully so.

A lot of companies are working with the Chinese government on lifting these regulations, and legislation was proposed in 2019 that should stop mandatory animal testing. However until today, no substantial progress has been made in this regard, we continue to wait patiently.


Is Nivea Vegan?

No, Nivea isn’t vegan. Most of its products contain animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products. Some products can be found that have vegan formulas, but this is rare, and the products aren’t labeled, so if you’re a vegan, we would suggest you don’t risk it with this brand.

Who owns Nivea and does the parent company test on animals?

Nivea is owned by Beiersdorf AG, which is a company that isn’t cruelty-free. It isn’t known whether or not the Beiersdorf AG allows its brands to be cruelty-free, as all of them do conduct animal testing of some sorts.

What products does Nivea sell?

Nivea is a well-known brand that sells body-care products. It sells all sorts of creams, so you can find anything from hydrating to anti-aging cream serums in its catalog. Nivea is also known for its tanning lotions and shampoos. The brand is easily recognized by the distinguishable dark-blue color combined with white.

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