Unilever began in late 19th century England with the purpose “to make cleanliness commonplace.” Today it’s an international corporation which can be found in all corners of the world.
But is Unilever cruelty-free? Do they test on animals or own any cruelty-free brands? These are the questions that I will answer for you in this post.
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Unilever’s Animal Testing Policy
When researching about parent companies I always like to read their official animal testing policy. Here is an excerpt from Unilever:
“We use a wide range of non-animal approaches to assess the safety of our products for consumers. We do not test our products on animals and are committed to ending animal testing. Our leading-edge research has one clear purpose: to continue to develop new non-animal approaches that can guarantee that our products are safe, without any need for animal testing.
Occasionally, when there are no suitable non-animal approaches available, some of the ingredients we use have to be tested by our suppliers to comply with relevant regulations; and some governments test our products on animals as part of their regulatory requirements.”
You can read Unilever’s full animal testing statement here.
Is Unilever Cruelty-Free?
Unilever states that they do not test on animals and are developing animal testing alternatives. But when those aren’t available or if a government, like China, requires animal testing then they ignore their own policy. (sounds hypocritical to me!)
So is Unilever cruelty-free? The answer is NO!….however, they do own several cruelty-free brands.
Unilever Brands to Avoid
All of the brands listed below are owned by the parent company Unilever. Any names that have CH are sold in China which requires animal testing.
The rest of the brands I would avoid because their ingredients or the end product has possibly been tested on animals. So I personally refuse to use those brands.
Key: CH sold in China
- Dove- CH
- Fair & Lovely
- Lever Ayush Therapy
- Lynx- CH
- P/S (Pepsodent, Mentadent, and Signal)
- Prodent (Pepsodent, Mentadent, and Signal)
- Rexona- CH
- St. Ives
- Vaseline- CH
- Zhonghua- CH
Bath & Body
- Caress (known globally as Lux)
- Duch Das
- Fissan Baby
- Le Sancy
- Lever 2000
- Lifebuoy- CH
- Lux- CH
- Block & White
- Hazeline- CH
- Ponds- CH
Hair & Cosmetics
- Alberto Balsam
- Carver Korea- CH
- Clear- CH
- Clinic Plus
- Cream Silk
- Elle 18
- Indulekha Bringha Oil
- Mods Hair
- Pure Derm
- Toni & Guy
- Tresemme- CH
- Bio Tex
- Blueair- CH
- Cif- CH
- Comfort- CH
- Omo- CH
- Sunlight -CH
- Super Pell
- Surf excel
Is Dove Cruelty-Free?
On October 10, 2018, Unilever announced that Dove was granted cruelty-free status by PETA. But is Dove truly cruelty-free?
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
Here’s an excerpt from Unilever’s press release:
“Dove’s cruelty-free status has been granted in recognition of the brand’s commitment to not conduct any tests on animals anywhere in the world.”
To be considered a cruelty-free brand you have to meet three criteria:
- The finished product has not been tested on animals
- The ingredients and formulations have not been tested on animals
- A cosmetic product that is not sold in mainland China.
Well, Dove fails 2 out of the 3 of that criteria. In their official statement, Unilever does not indicate that they will be pulling Dove out of China, which requires animal testing, nor do they say that their ingredients will no longer be tested on animals.
I do applaud Unilever’s efforts with trying to make Dove into a cruelty-free brand. However, until Dove stops selling in China and gives more specific information about their animal testing policy then they will remain on the list of brands that test on animals.
Cruelty-Free Brands from Unilever
Many peeps in the cruelty-free community feel strongly about using only cruelty-free brands from parent companies that are also cruelty-free. I personally support all cruelty-free brands regardless of the parent companies policies.
Here is a list of the Unilever brands that are cruelty-free.
Key: LB- Leaping Bunny certified, P= Peta certified
- Dermalogica |LB, P
- Hourglass |P
- Murad |P
- Nubian Heritage |P
- Ren Clean Skincare |P
- Schmidt’s Naturals |LB, P
- Seventh Generation |LB, P
- Shea Moisture |P
Related: Ultimate List of Cruelty-Free Brands
Pending Unilever Brands
I have reached out to the following brands to get clarification on their animal testing policy. Once I receive a response, I will update this post.
- Living Proof
- Dollar Shave Club
- Kate Sommerville
- Madam C.J. Walker
I hope I was able to answer any questions you had in regards to Unilever being cruelty-free. I’m disappointed that they don’t stick with not testing on animals..full stop. In life, you have to make a stand on what’s important to you.
It’s sad to see that for many of these brands money is more important than compassion towards animals. Hopefully, one day that will change.
Are you surprised about any of the brands on this list? Will, you buy the cruelty-free brands from Unilever or boycott them completely? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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