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Is Dove Cruelty Free and Vegan? (2021 Update)

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Dove is not cruelty free. Some of Dove’s products are vegan, but Dove is not a vegan brand.

Generally, this brand’s cruelty free status is a little questionable and doesn’t fall within my criteria of “cruelty free”.

Read my thorough analysis below and find out why Dove is not cruelty free and vegan.

I’ll also share some of the best cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Dove’s most popular products.

Is Dove cruelty free? Are Dove products tested on animals?

Unfortunately, Dove’s products may be tested on animals.

As far as animal testing is concerned, Dove falls into the gray area, but I wouldn’t consider them cruelty free as they sell their products in mainland China.

Back in 2018, Dove announced that they have become cruelty free. In their animal testing policy, they claim that they’ve prohibited all animal tests for their products anywhere in the world.

Dove was added to PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies list of cruelty free brands. They use the cruelty free logo on their products.

This is a little misleading, and PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies certification criteria are very relaxed.

However, this may be misleading for consumers, because Dove isn’t really cruelty free according to the generally accepted criteria within the cruelty free community.

Dove sells their products in mainland China, where animal testing is required by law. Therefore, Dove products may be subjected to post-market animal testing.

So, in conclusion, although they’re making efforts to go cruelty free, Dove is not cruelty free and may test their products on animals.

Let’s take a look at the details.

Is Dove sold in China?

Yes, Dove is sold in China.

They tried to use a loophole to continue selling on the Chinese market and avoid animal testing, however, that’s not really possible. Here’s why.

Pre-market animal testing

In 2014, the Chinese government stopped requiring pre-market animal testing for cosmetics produced in China. Pre-market animal testing is still required for products that are manufactured in foreign countries and are sold in stores in mainland China. 

Dove has stated that they’ll stop selling some of their products in mainland China. The goal would be to remain on the Chinese market while also being cruelty free.

To achieve this, Dove products that are still sold in mainland China must be manufactured in China, and also must not fall into the category of special-use products. Special use cosmetics are ones with specific claims, used for a particular effect/function, such as: sunscreen, deodorants, hair removal products, hair dye, etc. 

Assuming they’ve stopped selling products which do not fit these criteria in mainland China, they have succeeded in avoiding Chinese pre-market animal testing laws. So far, so good.

Post-market animal testing

This is where it starts to get tricky.

In 2019, China stopped requiring routine post-market testing of cosmetics.

However, non-routine post-market animal testing is still possible for all products sold in mainland China in certain cases.

This means that in case of customer complaints or health concerns, Dove products are at risk of being pulled from the store shelves and tested on animals.

As of 2021, there’s no way to avoid the non-routine post-market animal testing requirements for products sold in mainland China.

Dove sells in mainland China, therefore, they can’t be cruelty free.

Is Dove owned by a parent brand? If yes, is it cruelty free?

Dove is owned by Unilever, which is not cruelty free.

In their animal testing policy, they explain their position regarding animal testing and their efforts to stop it.

However, the biggest problem is that they continue selling in mainland China. Therefore, Unilever is not cruelty free.

Unilever also owns other brands that aren’t cruelty free, including Rexona and Axe, but they also own some cruelty free brands such as Shea Moisture.

Is Dove vegan?

Dove is not vegan.

Some of their products are vegan, but as a brand, Dove is not vegan. None of their products are certified as vegan.

Animal-based ingredients used in some of Dove’s products are: gelatin, beeswax, honey, and similar animal by-products. 

Is Dove vegetarian?

No, Dove is not vegetarian.

Some of their products are vegetarian, but as a brand, Dove is not vegetarian. None of their products are certified as vegetarian.

Some Dove products such as shampoo and body wash contain gelatin, which is not vegetarian-friendly.

Cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Dove

Some of Dove’s most popular products include deodorant, soap, shampoo and body wash.

Check out my post on the best cruelty free skin care brands that are also 100% vegan to discover more alternatives.

These are my favorite cruelty free alternatives:

Cruelty free deodorant

It’s hard to find cruelty free and vegan deodorants that are also natural and that actually work.

The Kopari Aluminum-Free Deodorant is one of my favorites. It actually gets the job done while also being both vegan and cruelty free.

Another popular cruelty free deodorant that you can try is Tarte Clean Queen Vegan Deodorant.

Cruelty free soap

If you’re into natural and organic soap, check out Saavu Naturals. They have several scents to choose from including lavender, green tea and lime and jasmine Another great choice is Kiss My Face. They use all kinds of natural moisturizing and cleansing ingredients, such as olive oil, coconut, lavender and green tea.


Now, I’d like to hear from you.

What do you think about Dove’s cruelty free status? What are your favorite cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Dove products?

Tell us in the comments below!

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