Woman kissing bunny rabbit



NIVEA believes that part of caring for the planet also means respecting the animals we share it with. While many people hold this belief, there is still uncertainty around labels and what cruelty-free skincare or cruelty free beauty means.

At NIVEA, we want to be transparent about how we care for the well-being of animals: we have a clear position against animal testing, and we offer a large range of vegan skincare products, 100 percent free of animal-derived ingredients. We also aim to protect ecosystems with particularly high and unique biodiversity.


At NIVEA, we are convinced that animal testing is unnecessary in proving how effective and tolerable our cosmetic products are on your skin. With more than 35 years of experience, we are among the global leaders in the development and application of alternative test methods. Back in 1992, our skin researchers developed one of the world’s first officially approved tests without animal testing.

NIVEA aims to abolish animal testing for cosmetic products around the globe and continues to advocate for cruelty free skincare. That is why we support various international working groups, for example, by sharing our scientific insights. We are also working to convince authorities in China and other parts of the world who still require animal testing for specific cosmetic products that it is unnecessary, and are urging them to approve alternatives to animal testing officially.
Sustainability timeline at NIVEA


Cosmetic testing on animals has been banned in the EU since 2004 – and all ingredients in these products since 2013. NIVEA welcomes and wholeheartedly complies with this milestone towards more  cruelty free skincare products. In this respect, all cosmetic products available in the EU are “free from animal testing”. However, advertising a legal fact does not reflect NIVEA’s goal for honest and transparent communication.


In recent years, there has been an increasing push to ban animal testing worldwide, and many countries have already put such bans in place. However, in China, animals are still routinely used in testing to assess the safety of products including cosmetic products. These tests are conducted by state-authorized institutes, without the involvement of the manufacturers. This data is not used by us in any of our safety assessments, nor do we require it in order to perform them. 

As a company, we still operate in China and believe that leaving the market is not a solution to the problem. However, our goal is to convince the Chinese authorities that animal testing for cosmetic products is unnecessary. There are regular discussions between Beiersdorf and the Chinese authorities on the ambition to stop the testing of products on animals. The Chinese authorities have already taken steps to facilitate the registration of products manufactured in China, such as shampoos and shower gels, without having to undergo animal testing, in an attempt to demonstrate their commitment. This is a positive development, and we will continue to advocate for the elimination of local tests on animals for all cosmetic product categories in China and on a global scale.

respecting animals

How is NIVEA fighting animal testing?

NIVEA has been pioneering the development of alternative methods to animal testing for around 40 years. Our affiliation with Beiersdorf, one of the leading and most trusted names in research, gives us a unique perspective and expertise in this field. We are constantly involved in initiatives to develop new alternative methods to animal testing, and have strongly contributed to advancing this research. We are committed to eliminating animal testing to cosmetic products worldwide, through advancing and funding research. Read more about our research for alternatives to animal testing.
Aloe Vera Plant


The term “vegan cosmetics” refers to skincare products, make-up, and toiletries, such as body and face washes, that do not contain animal-derived ingredients. There are many ingredients, which are made from what animals produce, such as beeswax, honey or milk. When sourced responsibly, these ingredients are renewable solutions, which are not only gentle to your skin but also to the animals who made them.

At the same time, some ingredients can be made from by-products of livestock farming for food production. In this context, the treatment of animals concerns many consumers. There are environmental issues, for example, deforestation to clear up more grazing land. With large-scale livestock farming significantly driving climate change, NIVEA takes these concerns seriously.

For many people, animal-derived ingredients do not reflect the values of living in harmony with animals. That is why they look for alternatives, such as vegan and plant-based skincare products.


NIVEA feels it is our responsibility to protect our beautiful planet because it is not only our home but also the home of millions of animal species, which rely on balanced ecosystems, such as forests, rivers, and savannahs.

In addition to making sure that we source our plant-based ingredients harmoniously with nature, NIVEA’s parent company, Beiersdorf, also aims to protect ecosystems with particularly high and unique biodiversity.

Our first ecosystem initiative  is located on the island of Borneo in Malaysia. We are working with local partners to protect wildlife habitats in Tabin, since this region is home to many rare species. The aim over the next five years is to stabilize the populations of endangered species, such as the rare Borneo elephant and the orangutan.

To achieve this goal, we will continue promoting sustainable palm oil production, and fight deforestation. By 2025, all palm oil farmers and a total area of 20,000 hectares in this region will be certified according to the internationally recognized RSPO standard (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil).

Seed oil

Frequently Asked Questions


Is NIVEA Cruelty Free?

As part of our commitment to caring for the planet, we believe that it's important to respect the animals that we share it with. At NIVEA, we take a strong position against animal testing, and we are proud to offer a large range of vegan skincare products that are 100 percent free from ingredients derived from animals. Our aim is also to protect ecosystems that are rich and unique in biodiversity.

What NIVEA products are vegan?

NIVEA offers a broad range of vegan skincare products to cater to people that prefer alternatives to skincare products that have animal-derived ingredients. Explore our vegan skincare product range, where all products are 100 percent free of animal and animal-derived ingredients. 

When did NIVEA stop testing on animals?

Outside of China, and wherever it has been legal to do so, NIVEA has actively worked to avoid the use of animal testing in its cosmetic products since 2004 when the EU prohibited animal testing on cosmetic products.

NIVEA is committed to putting an end to animal testing for cosmetic products worldwide. As a pioneer in the development and application of alternative test methods to animal testing, we have around 40 years of experience in this field. Additionally, we are working to encourage authorities in China and other parts of the world that are still requiring these tests to change their perspective on them - encouraging them to approve alternatives to animal testing.

Is NIVEA Leaping Bunny certified?

NIVEA is currently not Leaping Bunny certified, however, for many years now, we've been working on developing alternative test methods to validate our products' tolerability and effectiveness without the need for animal testing. As a global organization, we strive to achieve universal acceptance of alternative test methods worldwide. We aim to convince authorities that animal testing is unnecessary for cosmetic product categories, which is still regulated in China and some other countries.

We believe that animal testing is not necessary to validate the safety of our cosmetics products. We have been strongly investing in developing alternative test methods and advocating for their international acceptance, also together with external partners, such as Cosmetics Europe or the EPAA. It is our stated goal that animal testing worldwide is completely abandoned and we are fully committed to making animal testing obsolete worldwide.


We want to be 100 percent transparent and answer all your questions about sustainability at NIVEA. If you could not find all the answers you were looking for on this website, or are looking for more detailed information, please visit the sustainability website of NIVEA’s parent company, Beiersdorf.