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Is Pantene Cruelty-Free?
☠️ Pantene is NOT cruelty-free in 2023. Pantene allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, including when selling in stores in mainland China.
Pantene’s Animal Testing Policy
When asking, does Pantene test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Pantene’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 their website.
On Pantene’s website, they claim the company, Pantene does not test its products on animals. However, they go on to state China’s animal testing regulations.
See below for a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Pantene’s website:
Policies stating China’s animal testing laws usually imply the company is selling its products in mainland China. That’s because cosmetics sold in stores in mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals.
Is Pantene Sold in China?
In my research, I discovered that Pantene products are indeed sold in stores in mainland China.
Below is a screenshot of Pantene’s Chinese website:
But Doesn’t China No Longer Test on Animals?
With the recent changes to China’s animal testing laws, cosmetic companies can now export and sell some of their cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet ALL of the following preconditions first.
- ONLY sell ‘general’ cosmetics (like makeup, skincare, haircare, nail polish, and perfumes)
- must NOT sell any ‘special’ cosmetics like sunscreens, hair dye, hair perming, or other cosmetics claiming new efficacy
- must NOT sell products designed for infants or children
- must NOT sell products that contain a ‘New Cosmetic Ingredient’
- AND if post-market testing is required, then the company must have a policy in place where it will RECALL its products rather than allow its products to be tested on animals
Also, products must meet ONE of the following in order to avoid animal testing in China:
- manufactured in China, or the final assembly is in China
- if manufactured outside of China and then exported to China, companies must obtain the proper product safety certificates and documents
However, it’s not stated anywhere that Pantene has taken any steps to meet the above preconditions in order to avoid animal testing while selling in China.
Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see why most cosmetics sold in China (like Pantene) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2023.
Because Pantene 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 2023.
Although Pantene may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, they knowingly allow Chinese authorities to test their products on animals in order to sell in China.
For those reasons, we would not consider Pantene to be cruelty-free by our standards.
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Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China under conditions where animal tests may be required. Unfortunately, Pantene 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, or by any third parties, including when required by law.
See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist. Since Pantene already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.
Is Pantene Certified Cruelty-Free?
Pantene is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.
Since Pantene is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is substantiating or auditing Pantene’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.
Is Pantene Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?
Yes. Pantene is owned by Procter & Gamble, 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, Pantene is NOT cruelty-free, and neither is its parent corporation, P&G.
Does Pantene Test on Animals?
To wrap up, Pantene allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, like when selling in China. Therefore, we would NOT consider Pantene to be a cruelty-free brand.
Currently, Pantene is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.
Is Pantene Vegan?
❌ Pantene is NOT vegan. Pantene does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since Pantene engages in animal testing in some capacity, we wouldn’t consider any Pantene 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 Pantene
Looking to switch to cruelty-free hair products? Here are some cruelty-free brands to check out:
or check out our Guide to Cruelty-Free & Vegan Drugstore Shampoo!