La Roche-Posay: Is It Cruelty-Free?

Named after the thermal resort town. La Roche-Posay started as a dermatological company back in 1975.

Using the thermal waters from the town in its products, the brand grew and is now one of the most respected French cosmetic companies. Over 90,000 dermatologists recommend the brand.

Having skincare products based on the natural healing properties of water may sound wonderful and harmless.

Yet, does La-Roche Posay use or test on animals? The answer to that is: YES. The company isn’t cruelty-free.

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Looking inside La-Roche Posay’s products

The company offers a comprehensive list of ingredients on its website. Here is a  quick rundown of what the product range contains:

  • Shea Butter
  • Glycerin
  • Niacinamide
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin C
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Retinol
  • Glycolic Acid
  • Aqua Posae FiliFormis 
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Adapalene
  • Lipo-Hydroxy Acid
  • Zinc Oxide
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Silica
  • Perlite
  • Iron Oxides
  • Nerosensine
  • Ceramides
  • Dimethicone
  • Kojic Acid
  • Tranexamic Acid
  • Madecassoside
  • Phe-Resorcinol
  • Tocopheryl acetate 
  • Colloidal Oatmeal
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • Sulfates
  • Propylene glycol 
  • Copper
  • Parabens
  • EDTA
  • BHT

That list seems innocuous enough. Nothing to be concerned about as the ingredients can be sourced either through plants or synthetically produced.  

But how does La-Roche Posay test these ingredients? That is something that its website is very quiet about.

Certainly, the company would be proud to announce that it’s cruelty-free. But there is nothing about this at all.

It’s not on the right lists with PETA

La Roche-Posay is listed by PETA as both a company that is involved in animal testing and as one that is still on the organization’s “to-do” list. 

As a company on the “to-do” list means that La Roche-Posay still meets at least one of the following criteria set by PETA:

  • It tests its final product on animals. 
  • It tests any ingredients on animals. 
  • It uses a third-party supplier that tests on animals. 
  • It hasn’t assured PETA that it doesn’t conduct tests. 
  • It tests on animals “where required by law.” 
  • It tests on animals to sell its products in China.

La Roche-Posay and China

La Roche-Posay markets its products in China, a country that has tightened its animal testing regulations but hasn’t completely banned the practice. This change in China’s animal testing laws is all thanks to the persistence of PETA who has this to say:

“In 2012, PETA exposed the fact that some formerly cruelty-free companies had quietly started paying the Chinese government to test their products on animals to sell them in that country. At the time, animal tests were required for any cosmetics sold in China.

PETA immediately contacted the leading experts in the field of non-animal test methods at IIVS and provided them with the initial grant to launch their work in China.

IIVS scientists successfully worked with Chinese officials to approve the first non-animal test method, the 3T3 neutral red uptake phototoxicity assay, which is used to test cosmetics for their potential toxicity when they come into contact with sunlight.

In 2014, the Chinese government announced that it would accept the results from non-animal test methods but only for non–special use cosmetics manufactured in China. Tests on animals are still required for all imported cosmetics and all special-use cosmetics, regardless of where they were manufactured.”

However, this announcement falls short as PETA says in another article:

“…cosmetics companies that manufacture in China will have the option to market their products without first testing them on animals. China has implemented a new rule that will end, for some companies, the country’s long-standing requirement that cosmetics must be tested on animals to be sold there.

Companies can now make their own decisions about how products will be proved to be safe.

While China still requires tests on animals for all cosmetics imported into the country, this is a step in the right direction. Allowing companies to choose not to test on animals for cosmetics could prevent countless animals from being poisoned and killed, and it paves the way for non-animal product testing to become more readily accepted.”

Notice PETA says companies will have the option to sell in China without animal testing. That means being cruelty-free isn’t compulsory, it’s voluntary. 

La Roche-Posay doesn’t state whether the company or its suppliers are involved in animal testing. Yet, marketing to China indicates that its highly likely animal testing does occur.

LaRoche Posay is owned by L’Oreal

In 2018, L’Oreal bought LaRoche Posay and added it to its growing family of cosmetic and beauty brands. 

As a parent company, L’Oreal claims to be cruelty-free:

“In 1989, L’Oréal completely ceased testing its products on animals, 14 years before it was required by regulation. Today, L’Oréal no longer tests its ingredients on animals. L’Oréal no longer tolerates any exception to this rule. 

Certain health authorities may nevertheless decide to conduct animal tests themselves for certain cosmetic products, as it is still the case in China.

L’Oréal is the most active company working alongside the Chinese authorities and scientists for over 10 years to have alternative testing methods recognized, and permit the cosmetic regulation to evolve towards a total and definite elimination of animal testing. Thanks to this, since 2014, certain products manufactured and sold in China like shampoo, body wash or certain make-up products are no longer tested on animals.

That sounds amazing, right? Go, L’Oreal! 

However, there are a couple of issues with the above statement from L’Oreal.

First, there is no mention as to L’Oreal’s anti-animal testing policy being a blanket one that encompasses all its brands. 

Also, we see that only certain products no longer require animal testing in China. 

So, again we can be confident in saying that La Roche-Posay isn’t cruelty-free as its parent company still allows for regulatory animal testing on particular items.

LaRoche Posay isn’t certified as cruelty-free

If a company wants to be successful in marketing to an increasing number of consumers who are choosing to support the welfare of animals, being certified as cruelty-free is the ultimate standard. 

Cruelty-free certifications as like badges of honor that yell: “WE DON’T TEST ON ANIMALS!”

Both PETA and Leaping Bunny provide such certification.

However, La Roche-Posay, as we have seen, isn’t on the cruelty-free list with PETA. Also, it isn’t recognized by Leaping Bunny as free from animal testing.

That should sound alarm bells in those of you who want to promote the rights of our furry friends.

LaRoche Posay alternatives

When it comes to shopping for cruelty-free skincare products, there are an ever-growing number of companies you can choose from. 


Starting in the kitchens of its founders, Elsie and Dominika, BYBI quickly gained a reputation for the clean and effective formulas they use in its products. Everything is completely vegan and cruelty-free.

The BYBI range covers skincare, eye care, lips, cleansers, and more.   

Regarding its cruelty-free status, BYBI says:

“We are proud to say we do not test any of our products on animals.BYBI believes that beauty should be cruelty free.

We are also proud to be Leaping Bunny approved. A global programme, Leaping Bunny requires cruelty free standards over and above legal requirements.

All our products are approved under the Cruelty Free international Leaping Bunny programme, the internationally recognizable gold standard for cruelty free products. We adhere to a fixed cut-off date policy and proactively monitor our suppliers to ensure that our products continue to adhere to the Leaping Bunny criteria.

Our supplier monitoring system is also independently audited.”

Great stuff, ladies. Thanks for taking care of our beauty, the planet, and all its furry inhabitants.


Back in 2003, the company took up the challenge to create an “accessible cure for malaria”. It succeeded and then turned its attention to using the same technology to improve skincare…without having to use animals. 

It created a sugarcane-based squalane (typically derived from the oil in the liver of sharks used for skincare) which has seen over 2 million sharks now saved each year. How’s that for being ecologically responsible? 

On top of that, Biosannce has banned over 2,000 ingredients that are known to be toxic to both humans and the environment. Now, that’s truly caring.

It is certified by PETA and Leaping Bunny, so you know that no animals are harmed in the making and testing of the Biosannce skincare range. 

Plant-derived formulas and animals being saved. What more could you ask for?

Sunday Riley

The motto of Sunday Riley is: Always Clean, Always Cruelty-Free.

Sums up everything perfectly, right? 

Its products are naturally- and botanically-derived while using eco-friendly technology. In fact, Sunday Riley states:

“We are Green Lab Certified, with over 80% of Green Lab assessment actions implemented in our commitment to deliver high-quality products without damaging our planet.”

That’s great, yet the question we all want to know is: What about the animals?

Let Sunday Riley answer that:

“Since Sunday Riley launched in 2009, we have made it a priority to never test on animals.

As part of this ongoing commitment to respecting animal rights, we are proud to be double certified as a cruelty-free brand, by PETA and Leaping Bunny. Our brand and products have undergone rigorous assessments and met the standards of both organizations to be recognized as a cruelty-free brand.”

Your skin looks amazing and the animals…well, they’re happy and enjoying life, too. Thanks, Sunday Riley.

Derma E

A company that offers products that are 100% vegan, GMO-Free, and no animals are harmed. Makes you feel all warm and tingly inside, doesn’t it?

The company humbly started in Southern California with one product: a jar of Vitamin E Moisturizing Cream. It was incredible and the word quickly spread.

Now Derma E has so many products to choose from you only have to ask: Which part of me needs some TLC? 

Derma E products proudly display Leaping Bunny’s Cruelty-Free logo and the company is also certified by PETA as being cruelty-free. 

But, wait, there’s still more. Derma E supports a range of organizations, one of which is the World Wildlife Fund.

So your purchase is doing wonders for your skin, the world, and animals.


The company was founded by Tricia from inspiration after a personal tragedy: she lost her mother to skin cancer. 

From that, Tricia became an advocate for using sunscreen.

However, the products available contained a lot of ingredients that can be carcinogenic (a double standard when trying to prevent cancers such as melanoma) and that got Tricia to think “I’ll make my own sunscreen using substances that are natural and safe.” 

No animals are used to test the products, rather Suntegrity uses humans. Because of this love for animals, Suntergrity is recognized by Leaping Bunny and PETA as a cruelty-free company.

That’s double protection: your skin is taken care of when you’re enjoying being outside in the heat of the day plus animals are safe and are playing in the forests, mountains, lakes, and jungles. 

The Reproach about La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay is one of the more popular French skincare ranges on the market. Though it uses ingredients that are naturally derived, there is a deafening silence around whether its products are tested on animals.

The website has nothing to say regarding LaRoche Posay’s cruelty-free policy. Also, the fact that it markets to China speaks volumes to many animal welfare advocates. 

Bought out by L’Oreal in 2018, seems to have made no difference in La Roche-Posay’s animal-testing stance. Yes, L’Oreal claims that it, as a parent company, is actively striving to end such a practice, yet admits that it still uses animals when required by legislation.

PETA has La Roche-Posay absent from its cruelty-free list. Additionally, PETA says that the company is still yet to make a move in the right direction.

That means that one can be confident that La Roche-Posay isn’t cruelty-free. 

There are alternative skincare brands that you can use. These brands are recognized by Leaping Bunny and PETA as being cruelty-free.

BYBI, Biosannce, and Suntergrity are all companies that are such companies. The products offer the same efficacy as those cosmetic companies that still support animal testing. 

By choosing to go with truly cruelty-free brands, it may cause companies such as La Roche-Posay to move to be 100% cruelty-free. 

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