Is dove vegan?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is dove vegan?” and will discuss if dove products are cruelty-free or not.

Is dove vegan?

No, the dove is not vegan. Although some of their goods are vegan, Dove is not a vegan brand. None of their goods are vegan-certified. Gelatin, beeswax, honey, and other animal by-products are among the animal-based substances utilized in various Dove products. Dove is produced by Unilever, a British multinational consumer goods company and the largest producer of soap in the world. Unilever’s products are available in around 190 countries.

For 2011, as found in previous reports, rodents and rabbits accounted for 80% of the total number of animals used in the EU. Mice were the most commonly used species with 61% of the total use, followed by rats with 14%. The second most commonly used group of animals was, as in previous years, the ectotherm animals (reptiles, amphibians, fish), which represented almost 12.4%. The third largest group of animals used was birds with 5,9% of the total use(6).

What is the origin of Dove?

Dove products are made in 22 countries, including China, the United States, and Egypt. Dove is produced in a variety of locations before being supplied to areas around the manufacturing centers.

Is Dove a cruelty-free brand? Do Dove’s products go through animal testing?

Dove’s goods may, unfortunately, be tested on animals. Dove is in the murky area when it comes to animal testing, but I wouldn’t call them cruelty-free because they sell their goods in mainland China. Dove declared in 2018 that they were no longer using animals in their products. They state under their animal testing policy that they have banned all animal testing for their goods anywhere on the planet.

Dove has been added to PETA’s list of cruelty-free brands, Beauty Without Bunnies. On their items, they display the cruelty-free logo. This is a little deceptive, as PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies certification criteria is somewhat lax.

However, this could be deceptive to consumers because Dove isn’t truly cruelty-free according to the community’s commonly accepted criteria. Animal experimentation is required by law in mainland China, where Dove sells its goods. As a result, dove goods may be submitted to animal testing after they have been released.

To summarize, despite their efforts to become cruelty-free, Dove is not cruelty-free and may test its products on animals. However, according to the company Unilever, a new and innovative policy has been implemented regarding baning animal testing for all of the safety testings performed for the companys products. They claim: “Dove has been globally accredited “Cruelty Free” by the animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in recognition of the Dove global commitment to permanently end tests on animals everywhere in the world”.

Products that are sold to consumers must be safe for them to use. Most countries have laws that confirm this principle and rightfully hold the manufacturer or the retailer responsible (1). Recently, the European Union introduced the Seventh Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive, which includes a ban on the marketing in the EU of cosmetics with ingredients that have been tested on animals, anywhere in the world, as of 2009 (for most tests) or 2013 (for all tests). Cosmetics in this legislative context include soaps, shampoos, deodorants, antiperspirants and toothpastes, i.e. products that play an important role in personal hygiene and dental health (2).

The Unilever team published a suggested future direction in 2004,13 and this was the initial basis for re-thinking our approach to assessing consumer safety without new animal testing. Over the past 15+ years, we have leveraged the best new science and technology and expertise available, in partnership with leading scientists globally, to transform how we apply next generation science and a non-animal toolbox (based on new approach methodologies) to make decisions on the safety of products used by billions of consumers across the world every day. Unilever entered into a collaborative research and development agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015, to develop and implement new approach methodologies to better assess and assure the safety of chemicals in consumer products without using animal data (2). 

In vitro tools combined with mechanistic and predictive chemistry information on ingredients can allow the identification of potential biological targets, toxicological liabilities and mechanistic information for understanding adverse outcome pathways (AOPs). This concept in chemical safety assessment can be applied to both human and environmental safety assessments. Each AOP begins with a ‘Molecular Initiating Event’ when the chemical interacts with a biological target leading to a potential sequence of events across different levels of biological organization resulting in an adverse outcome with direct relevance to a defined risk assessment context (3).

Do you know if Dove is available in China?

Dove is available in China. They attempted to use a loophole to continue selling in China while avoiding animal testing, but this was not viable. This is why.

Animal testing for pre-market approval

Pre-market animal testing for cosmetics produced in China was abolished by the Chinese government in 2014. For products manufactured in other countries and sold in mainland China retailers, pre-market animal testing is still necessary.

Dove has announced that it will no longer sell several of its goods in mainland China. The goal would be to maintain a presence on the Chinese market while remaining cruelty-free.

To do this, Dove products sold in mainland China must be made in China and must not be classified as special-use items. Sunscreen, deodorants, hair removal products, hair dye, and other special-use cosmetics have specific claims and are used for a specific effect/function.

In China, cosmetics are categorized as either ordinary use (e.g., hair care, nail care, skin care, perfumes, etc.) or special use (e.g., hair growth, hair color, hair removal, spot removal, sun block, etc.). Ordinary cosmetics are reviewed at the provincial level and often are sold without animal testing. Special use products require a State Registration, which necessitates animal testing for eye and skin irritation. In a long run, the cosmetics industry may become the first sector to give up animal testing as a result of legislation. But, for the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and the chemical sectors in general, there is no clear timetable for replacing animal testing (4).

They have succeeded in circumventing Chinese pre-market animal testing rules, assuming they have stopped selling products that do not meet these standards in mainland China. So far, everything has gone well.

Animal testing after the sale of a product

This is where things start to get complicated. In 2019, China ceased requiring cosmetics to undergo routine post-market testing. Non-routine post-market animal testing is still feasible in some situations for all items marketed in mainland China.

This means that Dove goods could be taken from store shelves and tested on animals if there are any customer complaints or health concerns. For products marketed in mainland China after 2021, there will be no way to evade non-routine post-market animal testing obligations. Dove sells on the Chinese mainland, thus they can’t be cruelty-free.

Although tests for new imported ingredients theoretically were accepted from laboratories outside China in the past, the tests usually were done in China. Laboratory locations are determined from the animal sources identified in the dossiers,  because animals are usually bred near the testing laboratory. However, this is no longer the current practice. In April 2021, the Chinese National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) released a new regulation called “Guideline on cosmetics efficacy claim evaluation”, which took effect 1 May 2021, stating that most cosmetic efficacy claims require a human test, consumer research, or laboratory testing to prove the claim. The laboratory testing includes in vivo and in vitro tests on the active ingredient, but they are optional and can be replaced by a human test or consumer trial research (in China, animal tests are mandatory before a human test can be done). This legislatioin ended all mandatory animal testing for a majority of general cosmetics and means that the chinese legislation no longer requires animal tests for cosmetic safety approaval (5).

Is there a parent company that owns Dove? Is it, if so, cruelty-free?

Unilever, which owns Dove, is not a cruelty-free company. They clarify their perspective on animal testing and their attempts to end it in their animal testing policy. The most serious issue is that they continue to sell in mainland China. As a result, Unilever is not a cruelty-free company.

Unilever owns both cruelty-free and non-cruelty-free brands, like Rexona and Ax, as well as certain cruelty-free brands like Shea Moisture.

Alternatives to Dove that are cruelty-free and vegan

Deodorant, soap, shampoo, and body wash are among Dove’s most popular items. These are some non-cruelty-free options:

Deodorant that isn’t tested on animals.

It’s difficult to locate cruelty-free, vegan deodorants that are also natural and effective. One of my favorite deodorants is Kopari Aluminum-Free Deodorant. It genuinely does the job while also being cruelty-free and vegan. Tarte Clean Queen Vegan Deodorant is another popular cruelty-free deodorant to try.

Soap that isn’t tested on animals

Check out Saavu Naturals if you’re looking for natural and organic soap. Lavender, green tea, lime, and jasmine are just a few of the scents available. Kiss My Face is another excellent option. Olive oil, coconut, lavender, and green tea are among the naturally hydrating and cleansing components they employ.

Other FAQs about Vegans that you may be interested in.

Is Dunkin beyond vegan?

Is e 415 vegan?

Is e-liquid vegan?

Are 3 musketeers vegan?


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Is dove vegan?” and discussed if dove products are cruelty-free or not.


  1. Fentem, Julia, Mark Chamberlain, and Bart Sangster. The feasibility of replacing animal testing for assessing consumer safety: a suggested future direction. Altern Lab Anim, 2004, 32, 617-623.
  2. Fentem, Julia, et al. Upholding the EU’s Commitment to ‘Animal Testing as a Last Resort’Under REACH Requires a Paradigm Shift in How We Assess Chemical Safety to Close the Gap Between Regulatory Testing and Modern Safety Science. Altern Lab Anim, 2021, 49, 122-132.
  3. Unilever. Safety Sciences in the 21st Century — Scientific Research to Underpin Next Generation Risk Assessments. 2018.
  4. Bayne, Kathryn, Jianfei Wang, and Wanyong Pang. Oversight of animal research in China. Laboratory Animals. 2018, 263-291.
  5. Knight, Jean, et al. Continuing animal tests on cosmetic ingredients for REACH in the EU. Altern Anim Experiment, 2021, 38, 653-668.
  6. Meigs, Lucy, et al. Animal testing and its alternatives–The most important omics is economics. ALTEX-Alternatives to animal experimentation, 2018, 35, 275-305.