Is CoverGirl REALLY Cruelty Free?

Is CoverGirl cruelty free? My Beauty Bunny investigates.

Is CoverGirl Cruelty Free?

Earlier this week, I received a ton of messages from you guys letting me know that CoverGirl is cruelty free and Leaping Bunny certified. You may wonder why I have been silent about this until now. I’ll be honest – I was shocked! CoverGirl is a huge brand that was formerly owned by Procter & Gamble and now owned by Coty. Neither parent company is cruelty free, and in the past their brands have always had a “when required by law” animal testing clause, so this news seemed to come completely out of left field.

I had a lot of questions, and wasn’t prepared to share the news with you guys until I had checked some things out. I spoke with my fellow cruelty free bloggers, Tashina of Logical Harmony, Courtney of Phyrra.net and Emily of Emily Wolf Beauty, and some things weren’t quite adding up.

The first thing that the girls noticed that was strange is that Cruelty Free International (a UK organization that is one of several orgs that make up Leaping Bunny) was spreading the news like wildfire, but Leaping Bunny was silent. There was no mention of the news that CoverGirl is cruelty free on social media, and it wasn’t listed on their shopping guide. I reached out to Kim, my contact at Leaping Bunny, and she was able to confirm that CoverGirl is indeed Leaping Bunny certified, the ingredients are not tested on animals, and CoverGirl is not sold in China or countries that require animal testing. She told me that they were working on getting CoverGirl added to the Leaping Bunny shopping list (and since then it HAS been added to the list).

Leaping Bunny is the gold standard for cruelty free brands. They do a thorough audit, looking at the brand’s entire supply chain, including raw material suppliers and manufacturers. They make sure the brand and its distributors is not selling in regions where animal testing is required (mainland China being the biggest one). They require a fixed cut off date for animal testing – for the brand and it’s suppliers. They also require brands to recommit each year. You can read more about their methods here.

There’s always confusion around this topic, so I think it’s worth mentioning. Products can be sourced from or MADE in China (or other countries where animal testing is required by law), and still be cruelty free. If you see “made in China” on the back, that doesn’t mean it’s not cruelty free! China does not require products to be tested on animals unless they are imported and sold there (with Hong Kong and some provinces being exceptions to the animal testing laws). In addition, it’s okay for brands to SHIP products to residents of China without animal testing. The laws only cover products that are sold in retail stores.

SIDE NOTE: Just to add more confusion to the mix – if brands open their own factories in China, and only sell in certain provinces it looks like they can avoid animal testing. There is still concern about post market testing (where authorities can pull products from the shelves at any time and test them), but it’s looking like this is becoming quite rare, and only for “special use ingredients” which most cruelty free-minded brands avoid. This is still a grey area issue for me, and there’s a lot of debate amongst cruelty free bloggers, animal groups like The Humane Society and Leaping Bunny, and brand reps.

Okay so back to CoverGirl! They reached out to me, and I asked them some follow up questions.

Can you confirm that CoverGirl is not selling in any market that requires animal testing, and none of the ingredients are tested (even in the EU and US markets some testing is required for certain ingredients)?

They got back to me with this:

Thanks so much for getting back to us. To answer your question, by obtaining the Leaping Bunny certification, Cruelty Free International has certified that COVERGIRL does not test on animals in any markets where our products are sold and CFI Does NOT make exceptions for regulatory testing. To earn the Leaping Bunny certification, Cruelty Free International requires a rigorous audit of a brand’s supply chain before certification is awarded + also regular independent supply chain audits to ensure continued compliance.

So, at this point, I can say that they have answered all of my questions. I don’t see any reason not to believe that CoverGirl is cruelty free! CoverGirl is officially cruelty free and Leaping Bunny certified (but it should be noted that their parent company, Coty is not). When I heard the news, I was originally suspicious, then cautiously optimistic, and now I’m celebrating! It feels a bit weird, because I have been avoiding CoverGirl products for SO many years. But, in a nutshell, isn’t this what we want ALL brands to do? We want them all to change their ways and become cruelty free. So I won’t dwell on their past, but instead will welcome them with open arms into our cruelty free community.

I am proud of you guys. It’s because of YOU that we are starting to see big brands like CoverGirl go cruelty free! Brands listen to consumers, and when we ban together and make our voices heard, we can affect change. The animals thank you!

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