Skip to content

Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

Back to table


Is Pond’s skincare good for the planet, for animals and for people?

Pond’s is a skincare brand owned by Unilever, one of the biggest retail corporations in the world. Pond’s is an old American brand, made famous by its fast-healing witch hazel extract and Pond’s Cream in 1846. Though Pond’s Cold Cream is a cultural mainstay of America, today the brand remains most popular in Spain and parts of Asia.

In 1987, Pond’s was acquired by Unilever.

Due to the unethical business activities of Pond’s’s parent company, Unilever, this brand, unfortunately, does not score well in The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Skincare Ratings Table.

We encourage Pond’s and other skincare brands that do not gain high Good Shopping Guide scores to keep striving to improve the ethics of their business activities, and to push the skincare sector to lead the way when it comes to protecting the Environment, Animals and People.

Is Pond’s Cruelty-Free?

Pond’s is not Cruelty-Free, and has no Animal Welfare Policy on its website. (Though in the FAQs section of its site, Pond’s does claim that it does not test on animals; though this statement is a little vague, and could be improved with more detail about third-party testing and testing elsewhere in the supply chain.) Other reputable consumer information sites are in agreement and corroborate that Pond’s is not a Cruelty-Free brand.

(These sites include Cruelty-Free Kitty and Waldo’s Friends.)

Unilever itself states that,

“Occasionally, across Unilever’s broader portfolio of brands, ingredients that we use still have to be tested by suppliers by law, to comply with regulatory requirements in some markets; and some government authorities test certain products on animals as part of their regulations.”

The Good Shopping Guide considers the activity of the parent corporation when researching the Animal Welfare Policies from individual brands, as we believe consumers should be made aware of this information. If parent corporations own majority or large shares of a brand, then it can be assumed that the parent corporation will be making a lot of money in sales from the brands it owns. For this reason, The Good Shopping Guide takes the activity of the parent corporation into account when considering a brand’s ethics.

The decision to purchase from specific brands that don’t test on animals but whose parent businesses do is up to the individual customer. Consumers should, in our opinion, be as well-informed as possible about the products they purchase.

Is Pond’s vegan?

Pond’s is not Cruelty-Free and therefore none of its products can be certified-Vegan either.

Are Pond’s skincare products Organic?

Unfortunately, no Unilever beauty brands have any certified-Organic products.

Is Unilever a good company?

Whilst The Good Shopping Guide was encouraged to see Unilever’s in-depth Environmental Report, with many targets and progress updates, Unilever can hardly be called a good ethical company.

Does Unilever use GM ingredients in its products?

Unilever does use GM ingredients in its products, as evidenced by this statement from Unilever.

“Our priority is to provide consumers with safe products that meet all regulatory requirements and fulfil our high standards for quality. And our commitment to safety and quality includes all of our food ingredients, whether produced from conventional crops or from GM crops authorised by regulatory bodies. We believe GM crops are as safe as their traditional counterparts and fully support regulatory control around GM technology and continued scientific research in the area.”

Some environmentalists and environmental scientists believe that GM crops have a significant ecological impact. This report from Montana State University goes through why the use of GM crops can increase the use of herbicides and increase the likelihood of herbicide-resistant weeds.

How could Pond’s become an ethical brand?

Pond’s is held back in becoming a more ethical company by its parent corporation, Unilever. However, we encourage Pond’s and other Unilever brands to obtain both Vegan and Organic accreditation, in order to better conserve the vulnerable Environment and Animals.

To find out more about Pond’s skincare, see its website.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Irresponsible Marketing


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating