Nivea’s (Beiersdorf) Animal Testing Policy

RESEARCH: Regarding animal testing
ANSWERS: They do not test on animals but ingredients might be tested
RESULT: Personal boycott

I wrote into Beiersdorf, which creates Nivea products a few months ago and forgot to post their response. They send me two documents of their policies. I’ve copied and pasted one section of it but the full documents can be viewed here as google docs:
Beiersdorf (Nivea) Q&A on Animal Testing (Dec 2011)
Beiersdorf (Nivea) Animal Testing Statement (Dec 2011)

Although I appreciate their transparency (as it is so rare in the cosmetics industry), I am personally boycotting their products as there are alternative skin care companies that can work with their manufacturers to ensure that ingredients aren’t being tested on animals.

UPDATE: Nivea sells their products in China (see article here), a country that has a mandatory animal testing policy and therefore they definitely test their products on animals.

Questions & Answers Animal Testing
(December 2011)

Does Beiersdorf Conduct Animal Testing?
Beiersdorf neither conducts nor commissions animal testing of cosmetic products. This has
already been our policy long before the corresponding legal requirements went into effect in the
European Union in 2004. We are convinced that animal testing of cosmetic products for proving
safety and effectiveness is unnecessary.
Some ingredients of cosmetic products are however, animal-tested by raw material suppliers in
accordance with current legal requirements.

Why are animal testing methods for cosmetic ingredients still necessary?
In Europe, substances used for the manufacture of cosmetic products are generally subject to
the chemicals legislation (REACH). This means that these materials must be registered by their
manufacturers. For the registration dossier data from animal testing (on mice and rats) is
generally needed, in order to substantiate the safety for human health and the environment. The
European legislative bodies made efforts to minimizing the amount of required animal testing.
Additionally, industry invests millions of Euros in developing alternative test methods.
Beiersdorf itself is – with two exceptions – not a manufacturer of raw materials and for this
reason does not conduct animal testing with raw materials.

Why can’t you just abandon new ingredients and with them new animal tests (and for
example re-combine known ingredients in a new way)?

The safety, health and well-being of consumers are our primary concerns. New ingredients
might for example, improve skin tolerability, enhance UV protection or be more environmentally
friendly than previously used ingredients. Furthermore, even with known ingredients with a long
history of use occasionally new questions regarding safety emerge that must be solved properly.

Why can some companies/brands claim that they are completely free of animal testing?
Why isn’t NIVEA “animal test-free?”

Animal testing of cosmetic products was already completely banned in 2004. Beiersdorf neither
conducts nor commissions animal testing of cosmetic products. In Europe the claim “animal
test- free” is only allowed under very stringent conditions:It must be ensured that neither the
manufacturer nor his suppliers have carried out or commissioned any animal tests on
ingredients or the finished product, or have utilized raw materials that have been tested on
animals by third parties for developing cosmetic products. We cannot judge whether companies
using this claim reliably comply with those limitations. As we at least cannot exclude that
substances employed in our products have been tested on animals by third parties, we are not in
a position to use the label “animal test-free”

Source: Beiersdorf (Nivea) Q&A on Animal Testing (Dec 2011)

For a list of animal testing policies by companies I’ve contacted, check out the list here: List of Animal Testing Policies by Companies.

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  1. love this post, thanks so much. I was having trouble finding info as to whether/not Nivea products are cruelty-free (I checked the companies listed on PETA, but needed some clarity as I could not find Nivea on either the “DO test on animals” or the “DO NOT test on animals”. Before I went ahead and tried somehow to contact the company, myself, I tried a quick “Nivea animal cruelty free” search on Google – and up popped your post. So thank you!

  2. Hello, I found this post checking for whether Nivea conducts tests on animals :)
    I find your blog in general very very interesting!! I have one comment/question: in Europe, the law about animal tests for cosmetic production became even stricter this year (check out:
    So: what about the products from Nivea which are marketed in the EU? From what I understand, if I buy a Nivea product in Italy, according to the recent law, this product should be completely animal-free…right?
    Thanks a lot!

  3. Suzanne, my understanding is that Nivea has moved into the China market,therefore they must test on animals as Chinese law requires it. Up till then I believe they did not test. Very disappointing.

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