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Unilever Brands – Which Ones are Cruelty-Free or Sold in China?

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Is Unilever cruelty-free?

Answer:

No. Unilever is not a cruelty-free corporation because some of their ingredients are tested on animals. In addition, some of Unilever’s products are also tested on animals in China where animal testing is required by law for all imported cosmetics.

However it should be noted that 6 of Unilever’s brands are PETA certified cruelty-free: Dermalogica, Murad, REN, Shea Moisture, Seventh Generation, Schmidt’s Naturals, and Nubian Heritage.

And 3 of Unilever brands are Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free: Dermalogica, Schmidt’s Naturals, and Seventh Generation.

Unilever’s Animal Testing Statement

Unilever claims that they do not test their products on animals and are committed to ending animal testing however some of their ingredients are tested by their suppliers to comply with “relevant regulations.”

So although none of their finished products are tested on animals but the individual ingredients were. Also, Unilever may not be doing the testing themselves but their suppliers are testing their ingredients on animals on their behalf.

Source: Unilever

Unilever also state in their animal testing policy that some of their products are tested on animals by governments as part of their “regulatory requirements.” This implies that Unilver is selling their products in countries that require animal testing by law, they’re most likely talking about mainland China.

Again, Unilever may not be conducting these animal tests in their own labs but they’re paying and consenting other officials to test their products on animals.

Therefore, I would not consider Unilever or any of their brands that are sold in Mainland China to be cruelty-free.

It should be noted, throughout the years, Unilever has acquired 6 PETA certified cruelty-free brands: Dermalogica, Murad, REN, Shea Moisture, Seventh Generation, Schmidt’s Naturals, and Nubian Heritage. These 6 brands are not sold in China and are not required to be tested on animals. These 6 brands are in fact, certified cruelty-free by PETA.

3 of those brands are Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free: Dermalogica, Schmidt’s Naturals, and Seventh Generation.

When a corporation, as large as Unilever, has over 130+ home and personal care brands in its portfolio, it’s sometimes hard to tell which brands are selling in China, or certified cruelty-free, or brands that naturally inherit their parent company’s animal testing policy.

List of Unilever Brands

I wanted to list out some of Unilever’s brands to help with:

  • Figuring out which of Unilever’s brands are cruelty-free
  • Knowing which of Unilever’s brands are sold in Mainland China
  • If you don’t want to support anything associated with Unilever, then use this list as a reference as you should avoid all the brands on this list

Please note that I’ve only listed brands that are available in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK to keep this list condensed.


Sold in China – This brand distributes its products in China where animal testing is required by law

PETA Certified – This brand is PETA Certified Cruelty-Free

Leaping Bunny – This brand is Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free

No notes – It has not been confirmed whether this brand sells in China, buy or boycott at your own discretion.

Personal Care

  • AXE – Sold in China
  • Brut
  • Degree – Sold in China
  • Impulse
  • Lever 2000
  • Lux – Sold in China
  • Lynx – Sold in China
  • Rexona – Sold in China
  • Schmidt’s Naturals – Leaping Bunny Certified PETA Certified
  • Sure

Skincare

  • Aviance
  • Badedas
  • Breeze (soap)
  • Caress
  • Citra
  • Dermalogica – Leaping Bunny Certified PETA Certified
  • Dove – Sold in China
  • Dove Men+Care – Sold in China
  • Lifebuoy – Sold in China
  • Murad – PETA Certified
  • Noxzema
  • Nubian Heritage – PETA Certified
  • Pond’s – Sold in China
  • Radox
  • RENPETA Certified
  • Shea Moisture – PETA Certified
  • Simple – Sold in China
  • St. Ives – Sold in China
  • Suave
  • Vaseline – Sold in China

Hair

  • Alberto Balsam
  • Bioexpert
  • Clear – Sold in China
  • Nexxus – Sold in China
  • Sunsilk – Sold in China
  • TIGI
  • Timotei
  • Toni & Guy
  • TRESemmé – Sold in China
  • VO5

Makeup

  • Hourglass

Oral Care

  • Close Up
  • Pepsodent
  • Signal – Sold in China

Household/Cleaning

  • Cif – Sold in China
  • Comfort – Sold in China
  • Coral
  • Domestos
  • Drive
  • Jif
  • Seventh Generation – Leaping Bunny Certified PETA Certified
  • Sun
  • Sunlight – Sold in China
  • Surf
11 Responses
  • Gina
    October 8, 2018

    I think Unilever like many other companies that claim to be “Cruelty free” and do not test on animals are deceiving. Consumers really need to do their homework and contact these companies that claim these falsehoods ( i.e. Unilever) and start boycotting their products. There is NEVER, EVER a reason to test on animals. Absolutely sickening.

  • Jo
    December 31, 2017

    HI, I’m currently in Argentina and would like to know how to know which Unilever products aren’t testing on animals so I can reduce the purchase of those. What should I look up to on their website??
    Thank you!

  • Marianne Stacey
    March 15, 2017

    I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY PRODUCTS GET EXPERIMENTED ON ANIMALS AS CLEARLY THERE SKIN IS NOTHING LIKE HUMAN SKIN SO WHY DO PEOPLE AND THEIR COMPANIES DO THIS I’VE NEVER EVER UNDERSTOOD THIS!! SO WHY SHOULD ANIMALS HAVE TO SUFFER FOR PEOPLKRE!!

  • Gabi Busby
    December 29, 2016

    I think it’s sad to hear that a multi million company still supports animal testing by using ingredients that are produced in China. How can profit be out before the well being and health of an animal which has got as much right to life pain free on this planet as us humans?

  • Lorisca De Ridder
    August 19, 2016

    Hi there, does not been tested on animanl mean they do not contain animal products as well?

    • Vicky Ly
      August 19, 2016

      Heya!

      No, sadly “not tested on animals” doesn’t always mean it doesn’t contain any animal products! The term “Vegan” is often used to describe when something is both not tested on animals AND doesn’t contain any animal products. However, that is not how it’s ALWAYS used since there are no labeling laws that restrict how companies use these terms.

      So if you’re looking for something that is not tested on animals AND does not contain any animal products.. you want to find products that say they’re “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals” AND that they’re also “Vegan”

      Here’s a post explaining the two terms which you might find helpful! https://ethicalelephant.com/crueltyfree-vs-vegan/

  • Aimee
    March 22, 2016

    I was looking at your list and it’s great you put the little images to decipher is they test or don’t etc however there are a lot of blanks is that because they don’t or you don’t know if they test?

    • Vicky Ly
      March 22, 2016

      Hey Aimee! This list doesn’t necessarily indicate which brands that are owned by Unilever does or does not test on animals. This list shows 3 things:

      1. A list of Unilever brands most commonly sold in US, Canada, Australia, and the UK

      2. The few select brands that Unilever owns that are CERTIFIED cruelty-free by either Leaping Bunny or PETA with their corresponding bunny logos next to each brand name

      3. Which of Unilever brands have been confirmed to selling in China where it is required by law to test on animals which are noted with China’s red and yellow flag next to the brand name.

      This list is primarily for people who choose not to purchase any brands that are owned by a parent company (like Unilever) that DOES test on animals. Most people are often surprised to learn that Unilever owns a few certified cruelty-free brands like REN, Murad, and Dermalogica and then will choose to no longer buy from these brands anymore.

      It’s totally up to consumers to do what they’re comfortable with but I always like to provide as much information as possible to help caring consumers make informed decisions =)

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