Is Neutrogena Cruelty Free: The Important Info You Need to Know

Neutrogena is a renowned name in the drugstore skincare and cosmetics sector, offering popular products like eye creams, facial cleansers, and lotions. Given its widespread use and affordability, a key question emerges: Is Neutrogena a cruelty-free brand? Despite not being my top choice, I have tried some of their products, leading me to question their stance on animal testing. Neutrogena’s position on being cruelty-free is somewhat ambiguous.

Bottom Line Upfront

Neutrogena does not qualify as a cruelty-free brand. While they do not conduct animal testing on their products, they market their products in countries like China where animal testing is mandated by law. In China, certain Neutrogena products, such as sunscreens, are classified as special cosmetics and may therefore be subject to animal testing.

About Neutrogena

Neutrogena, an American beauty brand, is widely recognized for its skincare, makeup removal products, and hair care solutions. Originally named Natone, the brand was established in 1930 by Emmanuel Stolaroff, initially serving the Hollywood film industry and sold primarily in salons and department stores. In 1994, the brand was acquired by Johnson & Johnson, propelling it to significant status in the beauty and skincare industry.

Is Neutrogena Cruelty-Free?

Neutrogena is not a cruelty-free brand. Although they do not directly test on animals, their presence in the Chinese market, where animal testing is a legal requirement for certain products like sunscreens, contradicts a cruelty-free commitment.

Neutrogena’s Cruelty-Free Statement

Neutrogena's Cruelty-Free Statement

Neutrogena’s statement echoes that of many major brands, highlighting their efforts in developing innovative product testing methods and collaboration with a global network of brands promoting alternative testing approaches. While they claim not to test their products on animals, a deeper look into their testing policies reveals that they comply with animal testing if required by regulatory authorities, indicating that Neutrogena is not cruelty-free.

Neutrogena’s Parent Company

Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Neutrogena, may engage in animal testing themselves, through third parties, or via their suppliers. This aligns both Neutrogena and Johnson & Johnson away from cruelty-free practices.

Neutrogena and China

Neutrogena’s presence in the Chinese market necessitates compliance with the country’s animal testing laws, especially for special cosmetics like sunscreens and hair dyes. This requirement applies even if other Neutrogena products are not directly tested on animals.

Neutrogena and Veganism

Neutrogena does not qualify as a vegan brand due to the inclusion of animal-derived ingredients like lanolin and beeswax in some products. While certain products may be free from animal-derived ingredients, the brand’s overall stance on animal testing disqualifies it from being considered cruelty-free or vegan.

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Neutrogena

If Neutrogena’s animal testing policy is disappointing, there are several cruelty-free alternatives to consider:

Nip + Fab

Nip + Fab

A UK-based brand with a global following, Nip + Fab offers affordable products similar to Neutrogena’s price range. Founded by Maria Hatzistefanis, the brand and its parent company are cruelty-free. Nip + Fab’s products, especially its Dragon’s Blood serum, receive high praise for their effectiveness.

Yes To

Yes To

Yes To offers a range of affordable, botanical-based products for various skin concerns. While generally well-received, some users report irritation, highlighting the importance of patch tests. Yes To is cruelty-free, though the cruelty-free status of its parent company, San Francisco Equity Partners, is unclear.

Derma E

Derma E

Derma E, known for unique products like scar gel, is another affordable, cruelty-free option. While not the most effective according to some reviews, it’s worth exploring for its distinctive offerings.

Andalou Naturals

Andalou Naturals

Recommended as a cruelty-free alternative to Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser, Andalou Naturals offers a wide range of skincare and body care products. Generally receiving positive reviews, it’s advisable to purchase their products in-store due to some online customer service issues.



A personal favorite, Pacifica offers skincare and makeup products that are both cruelty-free and vegan. Their Glow Baby Eye Bright Cream is particularly noteworthy, though some products like the Vegan Collagen Overnight Recovery Cream may have minor drawbacks.



For cruelty-free drugstore makeup, Milani stands out with its highly pigmented products suitable for all skin tones. While their foundations may not suit everyone, their range of makeup is extensive and affordable.



Elf offers a wide range of affordable, effective makeup and skincare products. Completely cruelty-free and vegan, they are an excellent choice for both makeup enthusiasts and beginners.



A German company offering fun, high-quality, and affordable cosmetics, Essence has a strong cruelty-free and vegan commitment. Their products are often considered dupes for more expensive brands.

BASD Body Care


A Canadian brand specializing in organic body care, BASD is vegan and cruelty-free. They are part of the Genuine Health Corporation, though the parent company’s cruelty-free status is unclear. BASD’s products are well-regarded for their quality and effectiveness.

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