Is Dove Cruelty-Free: It Has Been Controversial for Years

Dove is a personal care brand founded in 1955 in the USA. Thanks to its successful marketing and high-quality products, it quickly became one of the most known personal care brands all across the world. Almost everyone knows Dove’s logo, a dove silhouette, designed by Vincent Lamberti in the 1950s.

Dove’s products are manufactured in more than 20 countries globally, including the US, Argentina, China, Egypt, Israel, Iran, Poland, South Korea, and South Africa. Its items can be found on shelves in stores and pharmacies of over 150 countries worldwide.

Throughout its existence, though, Dove has been at a center of several controversies. It has been accused of racism several times. The most notable accusation came in 2011 when Dove launched a commercial for its body wash, showing a black woman under the ‘before,’ and a white woman under the ‘after’ label.

Is Dove Cruelty-Free?

Not sold in China? Yes(*)
PETA Certified Yes
Leaping Bunny Certified No
Has vegan products Yes
Not owned by a Parent Company that does Animal Testing? No

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Dove’s cruelty-free status has been controversial for years.

Dove doesn’t test its finished products, as well as ingredients and formulations on animals. Even though it is made in China, that doesn’t have to affect this status, as only products sold in stores in mainland China have to undergo animal testing.

PETA certifies Dove since 2014. This decision outraged many, as people believe that Dove isn’t informative enough about its animal testing policies.

Despite the public outrage, PETA stands under its claims that Dove is cruelty-free and that it doesn’t pay any third-party or suppliers to conduct animal testing on its behalf. It is up to the consumer to trust these claims or not.

Best Selling Dove Products

Last updated on February 7, 2024 7:28 pm

Are Dove products sold in China?

Dove’s products are being sold in mainland China. However, Dove states that the only products it sells are ‘simple use cosmetics,’ which don’t have to undergo animal testing(*). The Chinese government can order its products to be tested on animals in case of a ‘serious consumer safety concern.’ This is why most people don’t want to consider Dove a genuinely cruelty-free brand.

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What is the Deal with China?

Even though animal testing is proven to be an unnecessary and unethical practice, some countries still require it by law. This is the case with the second-biggest market in the world, China.

China requires any beauty product to be tested on animals before allowing importation and being sold in Chinese stores. Any company or brand that makes the decision to sell in China has also decided to test on animals – either by themselves or, usually, by paying a third-party company to test on their behalf. This is the main reason why a lot of brands can’t achieve a true cruelty-free status. After growing public outrage, China did lift some regulations in 2014, which allowed certain beauty products, such as shampoos and other skincare items, to be imported without testing, but this is still a small percentage.

A lot of brands that claim to be cruelty-free are being misleading thanks to these laws. Even if a brand doesn’t conduct animal testing on its own, by deciding to take the opportunity and sell in countries such as China, it is allowing a third-party to test the final product on animals. This is why PETA and the Leaping Bunny Program have forbidden brands that they certify to expand their market in this direction – and rightfully so.

A lot of companies are working with the Chinese government on lifting these regulations, and legislation was proposed in 2019 that should stop mandatory animal testing. However until today, no substantial progress has been made in this regard, we continue to wait patiently.


Is Dove Vegan?

Dove is not a vegan brand, even though it does contain a few vegan products. In other words, it uses animal-derived ingredients and animal by-products.

Dove’s soaps are typically made from synthetic surfactants and vegetable oils, which means you could find some vegan items in its catalog. In several countries, however, Dove has a different ingredient list, and it contains tallow, a form of animal fat, which makes it not-vegan. If you are a vegan, we’d recommend you not risk it, especially as vegan products aren’t clearly labeled.

Who owns Dove and does the parent company test on animals?

Dove is owned by Unilever, a company that is not cruelty-free and conducts animal testing. However, Unilever allows its brands to operate under different policies, so it is possible that some, such as Dove, are cruelty-free. Despite this, many consumers don’t want to support brands that are owned by companies that test on animals.

What products does Dove sell?

Dove offers products for men, women, and babies alike. It sells items such as deodorants and antiperspirants, beauty bars, body washes, lotions, facial and hair care products. It launched a man’s toiletries line in 2010, entitled ‘Dove Men + Care”.

Dove has won several awards for its high-quality products. It is a well-respected brand inside the personal care industry.

Best Selling Dove Products

Last updated on February 7, 2024 7:28 pm

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