Palmolive (Colgate-Palmolive)

Last Updated: February 26, 2023

How Ethical Is Palmolive (Colgate-Palmolive)?

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 Palmolive’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Palmolive cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below to learn more about Palmolive’s policies.
Palmolive is NOT Cruelty-Free. Palmolive engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.
Palmolive does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since Palmolive engages in animal testing in some capacity, we wouldn’t consider any Palmolive products vegan anyways.

Palmolive (Colgate-Palmolive)

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Is Palmolive Cruelty-Free?

☠️ Palmolive is NOT cruelty-free in 2023. Palmolive allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law.

Palmolive’s Animal Testing Policy

When asking, does Palmolive test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Palmolive’s ingredients or suppliers test on animals. And they don’t sell in any country or under conditions that may require animal testing by law.

To assess whether brands are cruelty-free, I always start with the company’s official animal testing policy on its website.

However, I couldn’t find Palmolive’s animal testing statement anywhere on its website.

So I reached out to Palmolive to ask for more information about their animal testing policy. More specifically, I wanted to know if they commission or allow others to test, not just their finished products but their ingredients on animals, including when selling in countries that require animal testing (like mainland China).

“Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about the use of animals in product safety testing. Colgate-Palmolive has a longstanding worldwide policy to minimize and to ultimately eliminate animal testing for all consumer products.

Central to this commitment are our over 35-year long efforts to encourage the development of alternatives that are scientifically valid and can be accepted by safety regulators. We are leaders in promoting, encouraging and participating in the development, validation and acceptance of alternative non-animal testing methods worldwide, investing over a million dollars annually on research with non-animal alternatives. We work closely with worldwide regulatory agencies to examine how non-animal tests can be incorporated into their safety requirements for consumer products. 

Because of our commitment to conduct as few tests on animals as possible and our transparent efforts to diligently advocate to eliminate the tests still required by the government, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has recognized Colgate-Palmolive as a company “Working for Regulatory Change.” You can read more about this here: http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/PDF/companies-working-for-regulatory-change.pdf

We also continue our commitment to finding and using alternative methods through support and involvement with the European Partnership for Alternative to Animals (EPAA) and the Institute for In Vitro Science (IIVS). Additionally, we support the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT). Colgate actively shares its work to reduce animal use and develop alternatives, so that this information can help others in their search for ways to minimize animal use.

Globally there are circumstances when regulatory agencies require animal testing. In such limited instances, the tests are conducted only at contract testing facilities that meet both government standards and the more rigorous requirements established by Colgate with input from animal welfare groups.

In 2016, 2017, and 2018, no animal tests were conducted. We look forward to a day when all necessary safety studies can be performed without the use of animals and we will continue to work to make that day come sooner.

For more detailed information on this important topic, we hope you will visit our website at https://www.colgatepalmolive.com/en-us/core-values/our-policies/product-safety-research-policy.”

Based on Palmolive’s response, Palmolive has the same animal testing policy as its parent company, Colgate-Pamolive, where both state they make an exception to allow their products to be tested on animals when regulatory agencies require it.

Truly cruelty-free brands will never allow their products or ingredients to be tested on animals. Cruelty-free companies have a policy where if the law requires them to test on animals then they will refuse to sell their products under those conditions.

For example, some imported products sold in stores in mainland China are required by Chinese laws to be tested on animals upon registration. Therefore, truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell in China in order to remain committed to their no animal testing policy.

Unfortunately, Palmolive state they will allow their products and ingredients to be tested on animals if the law requires it. For those reasons, Palmolive is NOT cruelty-free.

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Cruelty-Free Policies

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, or by any third parties, including when required by law.

See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist. Since Palmolive states they allow their products to be tested on animals when required by law, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Palmolive Certified Cruelty-Free?

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

Since Palmolive is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is substantiating or auditing Palmolive’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.

Is Palmolive Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?

Yes. Palmolive is owned by Colgate-Palmolive, a parent corporation that still engages in animal testing in 2023.

Some cruelty-free consumers may choose to purchase and support cruelty-free brands owned by animal-tested parent corporations as they hope it will convince the parent company to become cruelty-free.

But in this case, Palmolive is NOT cruelty-free, and neither is its parent corporation, Colgate-Palmolive.

Does Palmolive Test on Animals?

To wrap up, Palmolive allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law. Therefore, we would NOT consider Palmolive to be a cruelty-free brand.

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

Is Palmolive Vegan?

Palmolive is NOT vegan. Palmolive does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since Palmolive engages in animal testing in some capacity, we wouldn’t consider any Palmolive products 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 Palmolive

Looking to switch to cruelty-free products? Here are some cruelty-free brands to check out:

Or check out our Guide to Cruelty-Free and Vegan Dish Soaps!

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