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Is Caudalie Cruelty-Free, Vegan & Sustainable in 2024?

Skincare fans get more demanding each year and with good reason. The skincare brands of the future will be vegan, sustainable, free from harmful ingredients, and won’t allow animal testing. Unfortunately, we have some way to go before we reach that level. And until that happens we have to assess each brand individually to see how it matches with our own values. 

So, is Caudalie cruelty-free, sustainable, and vegan in 2024?

Let’s find out. 

Here at HomeMindful, we put the highest priority on sustainable products that aren’t tested on animals. Animal testing is a cruel practice that should be banned worldwide. Not to mention it’s entirely unnecessary given our advancements in technology.

Caudalie: Background & Company Overview

Caudalie was created out of inspiration for the antioxidant properties of grapevines during a vineyard tour in Bordeaux. Its co-founders, Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas, aimed to harness the benefits of grape extracts in skincare, laying the foundation for Caudalie’s unique approach to beauty.

From its beginning in 1995, Caudalie has worked on crafting effective skincare products that are also rooted in natural, plant-based ingredients. The brand’s philosophy centers around the grape extracts known for their antioxidant properties. Grape seeds, vines, and grape water feature prominently in their formulations, delivering skincare solutions that are gentle and effective.

The brand is associated with luxury and currently offers not just skincare products but entire experiences in its spa boutiques. 

Who Owns Caudalie?

Unbelievable as it may be, Caudalie is privately owned by its founders, Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas. They established the company in 1995 and have been actively involved in its development and growth ever since. So, there’s no Caudalie parent company (yet).

Where Is Caudalie Sold?

Caudalie is available throughout parts of Europe and online via its official website or approved stores like Sephora and LookFantastic. For more specific information, check Caudalie’s website. 

Is Caudalie Cruelty-Free?

Caudalie is not cruelty-free. Here’s the official statement from the company’s FAQ page:

“Caudalie has been against animal testing ever since it was founded. None of our products or the ingredients we use are tested on animals, in accordance with European regulations. We use alternative methods to test our ingredients and finished products.

Having said that, in China, where our products are distributed, the authorities can impose tests on animals for dark spot-correcting products, referred to as “products with a specific use”.

We are of course committed to this testing being abolished and our philosophy is to take action rather than criticise. This is why we have been putting pressure on the Chinese government for years for it to authorise alternative methods.”

While the company claims to be cruelty-free in Europe, its products are sold in China where the authorities will require animal testing for some of its products. There are ways to avoid that, but the text above shows that isn’t among Caudalie’s priorities. 

What’s more, Caudalie isn’t cruelty-free certified by PETA or Leaping Bunny. So, even if the company has the best intensions in Europe, its commitment to cruelty-free skincare isn’t as strong as it appears. 

Is Caudalie Vegan?

No, Caudalie is not vegan. The term “vegan” indicates that a product does not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products. While the brand offers some vegan products, others contain beehive products like honey or beeswax. You can find this information on the company’s FAQ page, where the statement is again vaguely written to confuse consumers seeking more information.

Non-vegan Caudalie products include:

  • Crushed Cabernet Scrub
  • French Kiss
  • Gentle conditioning Shampo
  • Lip Conditioner 
  • Gentle Buffing Cream

Is Caudalie Sustainable?

Caudalie is fairly sustainable, especially compared to most skincare brands we’ve reviewed. The company has implemented various initiatives to reduce its environmental impact and contribute to sustainable practices worldwide. Here are some of the ways in which Caudalie does its part for the planet: 

  • Eco-friendly packaging: The brand prioritizes eco-friendly packaging, using recycled materials such as plastic and glass. The only exceptions are its multi-material pump dispensers and caps, but you can also recycle these in Caudalie Boutiques, thanks to the TerraCycle partnership. Also, many of its products are available in refillable glass jars, reducing packaging by approximately 85%. 
  • Planting trees: The brand contributes 1% of its turnover to associations that plant trees, resulting in over 10 million planted trees worldwide. Trees contribute to biodiversity, support ecosystems, prevent soil erosion, and enhance air and water quality, making them essential for overall environmental health.
  • Plastic collection and recycling: Caudalie pledges to collect and recycle 100% of the plastic waste generated by the brand annually. It does that with the help of local communities and recycling facilities and repurposes the plastic.

It looks like Caudalie takes its sustainability commitment seriously, and we can only approve of its effort to reduce packaging, which is a huge issue for most skincare brands. 

Still, keeping in mind the brand’s vague statement and commitment to animal testing, we’ll keep a look at its big promises for sustainable skincare. 

Caudalie Alternatives

If you’re looking for some cruelty-free Caudalie alternatives, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best choices:

  • Drunk Elephant: It’s a certified cruelty-free skincare brand, popular for its effective ingredients and solutions. Read more about Drunk Elephant’s animal testing policy
  • The Inkey List: This brand is committed to cruelty-free practices and offers accessible, transparent skincare solutions,
  • Herbivore: The company has a good range of skincare products celebrated for their natural ingredients and ethical practices. 

Let us know in the comments if you have another favorite Caudalie alternative. 

Is Caudalie a Clean Brand?

Caudalie uses a lot of natural ingredients in its formulations, but it’s not an entirely “clean” brand. Still, Caudalie products contain no parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, mineral oils, or SLS. The company expressed a commitment to remove even more harmful ingredients from its formulations by the end of 2023, so we’ll be looking out for their update on this. 


How ethical is Caudalie?

Caudalie is a somewhat ethical skincare brand. The company shows a serious environmental commitment, but it’s still not cruelty-free or vegan in 2024.

Is Caudalie worth the price?

Caudalie’s formulations have good ingredients and aren’t the most expensive skincare we’ve seen. Many skincare lovers find these products effective for hydration, anti-aging effects, and overall skin health. You can start with a smaller-sized product or some samples to see how your skin will react before investing more of your hard-earned money in Caudalie products.

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