Last Updated: September 5, 2022

How Ethical Is DHC?

Make a positive impact by supporting companies with the same values and ethics as what matters most to you. To navigate and find ethical brands, here’s a summary of DHC’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is DHC cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on DHC’s policies.
DHC is NOT Cruelty-Free. DHC engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.
Yes, DHC sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
DHC does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since DHC engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by DHC to be vegan anyways.


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DHC is NOT Cruelty-Free!

DHC allows its products or ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law including when selling in stores in mainland China.

DHC’s Animal Testing Policy

On DHC’s website, they claim they never test on animals, however, “the DHC affiliate operating in China is required to perform a certain amount of animal testing on some of the products offered in that country to comply with local laws.”

See below for a screenshot of what’s currently stated on DHC’s website:

Is DHC Cruelty-Free?

Is DHC Sold in China?

DHC confirmed in their animal testing statement that their products are indeed sold in mainland China and that those products must comply with Chinese laws that require animal testing.

But Doesn’t China No Longer Tests on Animals?

Companies can bypass China’s pre-market animal testing by choosing to manufacture their ordinary or general cosmetics in China, but it’s not stated anywhere that DHC has taken this route.

Additionally, the possibility of post-market animal testing is not completely ruled out and may be conducted on some cosmetics sold in physical stores in China.

As of May 1, 2021, cosmetic companies can also export and sell their ordinary or general cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet a set of preconditions first. However, meeting these conditions has proven difficult, and it’s still unclear what exactly is accepted according to the new regulations. So there’s no word yet of any company that has successfully done so.

Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see why most cosmetics sold in China (like DHC) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.

Because DHC has decided to sell in mainland China stores, they must consent and pay to have their products tested on animals. That’s why most cosmetics brands selling in mainland China cannot be considered cruelty-free in 2022.

Although DHC may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, they knowingly allow Chinese authorities to test their products on animals to sell in China.

For those reasons, we would not consider DHC to be cruelty-free by our standards.

Cruelty-Free Policies

Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China because of its animal testing laws. Unfortunately, DHC refuses to do the same and therefore cannot be considered cruelty-free.

At ethical elephant, we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, and by any third parties, including when required by law.

See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist. Since DHC already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is DHC Certified Cruelty-Free?

DHC is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.

Because DHC is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is looking into or substantiating DHC’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.

Is DHC Cruelty-Free?

To sum up, by choosing to sell in mainland China, DHC must have its products tested on animals. Therefore, we would NOT consider DHC to be a cruelty-free brand.

Currently, DHC is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.

Is DHC Vegan?

DHC does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since DHC engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by DHC to be vegan anyways.

In order for products to be considered vegan by ethical elephant’s standards, the products and their ingredients must not be tested on animals anywhere in the world. Also, they must not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to DHC

Looking to switch to cruelty-free brands? Here are some cruelty-free and vegan-friendly options that are similar to DHC:

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