Is Covergirl Cruelty-Free?

April 18, 2023
beautiful girl sits at table with makeup tools looks at mirror

Yes, Covergirl is cruelty-free! 

The beauty industry has had an ugly side for a long time in terms of animal welfare, but that is slowly changing. Many companies have made considerable strides in altering their production processes to be more ethical. 

As people become more conscious of their purchases, the issue of animal testing by beauty brands is becoming more prominent. 

Covergirl is a household beauty brand in the US. Covergirl makeup products include lipstick, mascara, eyeliner, blush and powders.

It is most renowned for its foundation lines. In 2019, its Simply Ageless foundation generated the highest sales compared to other foundation brands.


With such a big market share, electing to make all Covergirl products cruelty-free was a big step to take. 

Covergirl was certified as cruelty-free in 2018 and is the largest brand that has earned that certification. Covergirl does not test its products on animals. 

Other makeup product brands of similar size had been hesitant to make the change in fear of added manufacturing costs. For a long time, higher-end makeup brands offered some select cruelty-free products with premium pricing. 

Covergirl, on the other hand, is sold for an affordable price. By making this change, they paved the way for other drugstore brands to do the same. 

This shift also allowed consumers from all walks of life to purchase cruelty-free products without having to spend extra money. 

What does Cruelty-Free Mean?

There is no standard legal definition for the term “cruelty-free.” This means that companies can use their discretion when labelling their products. Some companies use the term when only the end product is not tested on animals. 

This is misleading to consumers since it’s possible that ingredients used were tested on animals even if the final product wasn’t. Beauty brands can still use the term “cruelty-free” if:

  • The brand hires a third party to conduct tests on its behalf.
  • The animal testing is done in a country other than the one the brand originates from (China, for example). 
  • The brand, or its manufacturers, use a third party to get results for their product testing.
  • The brand uses animal tests that have previously been done on an ingredient but do not perform those tests themselves.
  • They use animal products as part of their ingredients but do not test their final product on animals.
  • The brand has received certification as “cruelty-free” from an independent body. 
  • The products are tested on animals only when required by local law to be sold in a particular country.
  • Both the ingredients and the final product have not been tested on animals.

With so much room for interpretation, there needed to be a way for consumers to know exactly what a brand meant when it used the term on its products. 

Third-party certification bodies bridge this gap and ascertain whether or not a brand is truly cruelty-free. 

Is cruelty-free the same as vegan?

Sometimes the term “cruelty-free” is mistaken for “vegan.” Vegan products do not include any animal derived ingredients. 

So although cruelty-free companies do not test on animals, there’s still a chance that animal products are used in their ingredients. 

Is Covergirl Leaping Bunny Certified?

The Leaping Bunny certification is the global leading standard for cosmetics and personal grooming products. It is offered by Cruelty Free International. 

This company spearheads the effort to reduce animal testing in beauty product development and manufacturing. 

Cruelty Free International’s mandate is to promote the production and sale of cruelty-free products. 

It also aims to motivate makeup and household brands to use alternative methods of testing the efficacy of their products or ingredients. 

The Leaping Bunny certification is the only one recognised globally because of its rigorous certification process. As the gold standard, it requires manufacturers to go beyond what is required by law in all their manufacturing processes to end animal testing. 

Covergirl earned the certification and now displays the Leaping Bunny logo on its product packaging, website and advertisements for all of Covergirl products.

Brands with this logo are not tested on animals

For a long time, many beauty brands claimed that their products were cruelty-free but there was no way that consumers could verify these claims. 

The Leaping Bunny logo lets consumers know that the product they are buying was certified cruelty-free by an independent body. 

What criteria did Covergirl have to meet to get certified?

To get certified, a makeup brand has to prove that it does not test on animals at any point in the manufacturing process. This means that suppliers must also prove they do not test on animals.

The testing process is very rigorous and can take months to be completed.

Understanding Cruelty-free and Vegan logos

There are many third-party certification providers. If a brand passes the testing, it can display the logo that corresponds to the certification it received on its packaging and advertisements. 

If it is proven that any suppliers provide products that are tested on animals, the certification process is halted until those inconsistencies have been rectified. 

To become certified as cruelty-free, Covergirl had to prove the following: 

  • That the company is based in the US.
  • That Covergirl sells its own line of personal care or makeup products.
  • That Covergirl was ready to ban all animal testing for its products as well as for any ingredients used.
  • That all Covergirl suppliers were also ready to ban animal testing for their products and ingredients used in their products
  • That Covergirl was ready to commit against animal testing in the development and production of new products in the future. 

Is Covergirl’s parent company Coty Leaping Bunny certified? 

The Covergirl brand is owned by the parent company Coty. Coty established a partnership with Cruelty Free International and is also taking the steps to get cruelty-free certification for more of its brands. 

Coty is the parent company of several other brands, and some are sold in other countries. These products have to pass the certification tests that are required by law in those areas. 

As of now, Covergirl products are not sold in China. In China, cosmetic products have to be tested on animals as part of the stipulated testing requirements. 

Coty has been in dialogue with the Chinese regulatory board to find alternative ways of testing Covergirl products before they are allowed onto the market and sold in China. 

How can you show your support for cruelty-free brands? 

Now that you know Covergirl is a cruelty-free certified makeup brand, you can support their efforts. By choosing to only purchase certified cruelty-free products, you give brands room to expand their social responsibility. 

When brands that are cruelty-free thrive, it sets a good example for others that are thinking of making a change to do the same. We also believe in the mandate and have our own cruelty-free makeup recommendations for you here

Bigger brands will start to notice, and the vision of a world that is free from animal testing will be realised sooner rather than later. 

So, the next time your friends or acquaintances ask the question, “Is Covergirl cruelty-free?” you can give them a solid answer. 

Remember to ask them to show their support by looking out for the Leaping Bunny symbol on their own beauty and household products.

Photo by Stockking / CC BY