South Africa’s Dis-Chem animal testing policy on cosmetics

So, I’ve been looking around for shampoo/conditioner/soap stuff which is not tested on animals. It’s surprisingly difficult to find, which is odd: you would imagine that since humanity has been using soap for 4812 years we would have fucking figured out by now what makes our skin break out in a rash and what doesn’t without needing to rub it all over shaved rabbits kept in cages in horrible strobe-lit laboratories first.

I am agnostic about animal testing for medical purposes, but for vanity products and basic cleaning materials it’s just ridiculous. The frantic manic feverish visual shouting – yelling – BLUDGEONING of advertisements showing off the latest shampoo with nutrino cerano collagen elastin free-radical pro-xylane peptide antioxidant crap is nauseating, and it’s sickening to think how the media manipulates girls/women and slowly grooms them so that they eventually they actually don’t even blink at this shit and actually end up believing that using L’Oreal shampoo is going to make their hair age less or whatever-the-fuck.

And one is reminded of this every half an hour or so if you watch TV, browse the internet, listen to the radio, etc, so there is no damn escape and frankly it’s no wonder I’m as worked up as I am about it and all the swearing in this post is perfectly justified. If anybody ever manages to make the science behind that stuff popular enough to break through to the targeted market group those cosmetic companies are going to be in seriously deep shit (go go go Ben Goldacre and

Anyway the products which are not tested on animals tend to be full of things like organic free range yak lactate extract, with the yaks hand raised and milked by bearded tibetan monks wearing nothing but sandals. This sort of thing adds about R90 (£9ish) onto the price of what you would otherwise imagine would be a perfectly ordinary bottle of shampoo. I have spent hours trawling organic shops, supermarkets, chemists etc looking in vain for affordable shampoo which isn’t tested on animals. HOURS! And it was right under my nose the whole time (I think I must have just blanked it out because of the packaging or something): it seems that most Dis-Chem own brand products* a) actually work, b) are cheap and c) are not tested on animals**. Hurrah!

* This fact is based on me going into Dis-Chem and checking random bottles of bubble bath and shampoo, I have no idea how many products they produce actually are/are not tested on animals.

** Note that this information is only written on the back of their bottles in tiny writing and does not appear to be advertised anywhere (including their website) that I can see. This is odd; there is a huge market for caring consumers. Do they not know this? Why do they think the other companies get away with charging R100 for a tiny bottle of shampoo? Do imagine that just because a woman is interested in having shiny hair she does not care about animals? Hmm, worrying thoughts. On the other hand I am quite respectful of them as they are clearly doing it under their own steam and because they feel it is the right thing to do rather than as a slimy marketing ploy.

13 thoughts on “South Africa’s Dis-Chem animal testing policy on cosmetics

  1. Elsje Massyn

    I think you are hilariously funny – and share all your frustrations, without the swearing of course. he he

    I found Earth Sap Shampoo and conditioner @ Pick ‘n Pay stores quite good, at R36 a bottle. But DisChem seems like the guys to support.

    Thanks for the article

      1. Yolandie Horak

        Hi Rukaya,

        This is an issue I’m very obsessed with as well. I try to promote cruelty free products on my blog as well! I’ve also tried to contact Dischem for more info on their animal testing policies, I’m just waiting for their answer.

        But in the meantime, ever heard of Beauty Factory? They manufacture a whole range of stuff, including a really cool shampoo and haircare range, (and even home cleaning products) all of which are cruelty free.

        Also, Woolworths home range is cruelty free, though I’m not sure if they keep haircare?

        You can also try the Freeman range, available at Dischem. They have another really cool shampoo, which I’m actually using at the moment. All their stuff is cruelty free as well.

        Hope that helps!


  2. Toni Brockhoven

    Please use the Beauty Without Cruelty humane guide ( for comapnies that have been scrutinised and have proven that they do not use animal testing, that the INGREDIENTS have not been animal tested and neither do their subsidiaries or holding companies. BWC is an recognised authority, able to audit and endorse. ONLY companies that have been found humane by an independent third party can be considered acceptable to those wishing to use humane products. BWC does not charge a single cent at any stage for endorsement or the use of the logo once endorsed. If they are not on the list they are suspect!

  3. zumayna Ebrahim

    Always looking for products in South Africa not tested on animals and there’s a few but almost nothing in Cape Town, thanks for this article now I can shop at Dischem for my products.take care

    1. Justine

      The testing in China only applies if the products are sold in China. There are cruelty free companies that manufacture in China but do not sell. The Chinese law is “to protect the Chinese consumers”

  4. Shelby

    I emailed Dischem asking about their animal testing policy and here is their reply!

    “We are pleased to inform you that Dis-Chem does request that products are not tested on animals to prove the safety or efficacy of any of its own-brand products or raw materials for these products. We are satisfied that manufacturers utilize pre-existing data to confirm safety and efficacy to us.  We are in a fortunate position, that the majority of the ingredients used in our products have a history of safe use.
    To our knowledge, none of our Dis-Chem branded products have had to be tested on animals and we will to do our best to continue sourcing products such as these.”

    1. rukaya Post author

      Wow great, thanks Shelby! What a good attitude they have, I think they are very worthy of consumer support.

  5. Sasha

    The Freeman brand is not cruelty free. Please check the Logical Harmony website for a list of companies that definitely test on animals. Nature’s Gate shampoo and conditioner is definitely cruelty free and vegan .


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