Is Covergirl Vegan & Cruelty-Free?

Covergirl is an American cosmetics company founded by Noxzema Chemical, a company that has been acquired on two occasions: in 1989 by Procter & Gamble and in 2016 by Coty, Inc, both multinational companies that own multiple high-profile brands.

Ever since its inception, Covergirl has always offered accessible and affordable makeup for the masses. Even when pairing with some of the most inspirational, barrier-breaking, and diverse ladies in recent memory, oftentimes a sign of extravagance and a steep price.

Are you vegan but want to know whether or not you can trust Covergirl to provide you with ethical and compassionate cosmetics? Well, let’s start by saying that Covergirl is not 100% vegan.

However, they’re making a significant effort to change in a really positive way.

Covergirl Still Relies On A Few Animal Ingredients

While they have some vegan-friendly products, they still rely on some major animal ingredients like beeswax, carmine, as well as potential non-vegan ingredients such as stearic acid and glycerine.

Beeswax

beeswax
Bees use wax to build combs to store honey and brood.

Also referred to as Cera Alba in some product labels, Beeswax is a wax commonly used in cosmetics to keep emulsions from falling apart.

As the name and image above suggest, Beeswax is a by-product of honey production.

It’s what bees secrete through their abdominal glands to form the building blocks that give birth to the complex structure of honeycombs. It’s essential to store honey and nurture young bees.

Most vegans are against the use of Beeswax for the same reasons they’re against honey. There are some unethical practices associated with traditional beekeeping that lead to the malnourishment of bees and premature death.

For example— queen bees have their wings clipped off to prevent worker bees from swarming and fleeing the colony. By maintaining the queen bee in a single place, they can essentially maintain a profitable production of honey (and beeswax) which wouldn’t otherwise be possible if the bees were allowed to migrate as they naturally do.

Carmine

carmine
Image is courtesy of Vahe Martirosyan

Carmine is a red pigment extracted from the crushed cochineal insect.

Carmine can also be referred to as natural red 4, cochineal extract, CI 75470, or crimson lake. This is the type of ingredient that is often used in products like lipsticks or blushes.

This ingredient has been used for a long time, even before cosmetics was an industry. It has been used throughout the ages by ancient civilizations like the Aztecs and the Mayans.

Stearic Acid

This ingredient can be derived from the stomach of cattle, and it can also come from a plant-based source such as vegetable-based oils. Usually, these oils are converted into solid fats that act as an emulsifying agent in body care recipes.

Some companies rely on palm oil instead, but for ethical and environmental reasons, palm oil has been regarded (within the vegan community) as a questionable ingredient. If you’ve been vegan for a while, then you’re probably familiar with the impact it has on certain endangered species like the orangutans, Sumatran tigers, Sumatran rhinos, and more.

Glycerine

Akin to Stearic Acid, Glycerine can also be derived from animal fats and plant-based fats such as coconut oil, soybean oil, and sometimes palm oil.

However, like many ingredients, that information is not very explicit on product labels, therefore the only way you have of knowing is by contacting the companies directly.

Other Common Animal Ingredients Used in Cosmetics

Aside from these four ingredients, there’s also a range of other ingredients that may, from time to time, come up in product labels.

Those ingredients are the following:

  • Collagen
  • Elastin
  • Keratin
  • Animal hair (in natural brushes)
  • Oleic acid
  • Guanine
  • Squalene (which may also be derived from vegetable oils)
  • Shellac
  • and Lanolin.

Some of these ingredients are 100% non-vegan. This includes Lanolin, Shellac, Animal Hair, Collagen, Elastin, and Keratin. The others may or not be vegan based on their origin.

Covergirl Vegan-Friendly Products

A quick search on Covergirl’s website has returned us a few vegan-friendly options.

Here are some of the vegan options we’ve found on Covergirl:

  • Clean Fresh Cooling Glow Stick
  • Clean Fresh Cream Blush
  • Clean Fresh Prep & Set Water Setting Spray
  • Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation
  • Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Oil
  • Covergirl Trublend Undercover Concealer
  • Exhibitionist Mascara
  • Exhibitionist Waterproof Mascara
  • Full Spectrum Matte Idol Liquid Lipstick

Feel free to find this collection on Ulta Beauty, they have a huge collection of Covergirl products available. Their vegan collection is not as huge as Tarte but we’re getting somewhere.

Is Covergirl Cruelty-Free?

Unlike Coty and some of the brands owned by Coty, Covergirl doesn’t sell products in China, a country where animal testing is required by law.

In fact, here’s what Covergirl stated on their official website:

“COVERGIRL is not sold in China. When it comes to other brands in our portfolio, we understand consumers’ concerns regarding animal testing in China. As a company, we do not test our products on animals and are committed to ending animal testing across our industry. We continue to be involved in dialogue with the Chinese authorities to find alternatives to their current approach. Our strategic partnership with Cruelty-Free International will also include working together to advocate for regulatory change to end animal testing globally.”

Plus, Covergirl has taken the leap, and they are Leaping Bunny certified by Cruelty-Free International. This essentially means that Covergirl products are not tested on animals, not by Covergirl, and not by third-party companies nor suppliers.

covergirl is cruelty-free

What is Cruelty-Free International?

Cruelty-Free International is an animal protection and advocacy group that campaigns for the abolition of all animal experiments.

It’s a widely respected authority in animal testing issues and is frequently asked by governments, the media, corporations, and official bodies for expert advice.

A brand is DEFINITELY cruelty-free if it has on its packaging a leaping bunny certified, and it’s even more convincing if that certificate is provided by Cruelty-Free International.

That being said, while Covergirl is leaping bunny certified, that doesn’t mean its parent company, Coty, Inc, is fully cruelty-free.

Coty, Inc Sells Products in China

The truth is that Coty sells products in China and conducts animal testing when required by law. And unlike Covergirl, Coty is not leaping bunny certified nor cruelty-free.

In addition, Coty also owns several other brands that sell in mainland China, including brands such as Max Factor, Philosophy, Nioxin, and several others. Unfortunately, Coty (or said brands) must fund the testing by paying Chinese officials to conduct the testing on their behalf.

However, you can rest at ease when it comes to Covergirl, as they are 100% cruelty-free. 

100% Vegan and Cruelty-Free Brands

Given that Covergirl is not a vegan brand, allow us to suggest some 100% vegan and cruelty-free brands that may provide you with a range of products similar to Covergirl.

There are some pretty dope cosmetics brands that would love to have your loyalty.

These brands don’t have one or two vegan products. Their entire collection is vegan, so feel free to browse away without hesitation.

Summary: Covergirl is not 100% vegan but it’s Cruelty-Free.

As we’ve covered earlier, Covergirl is not vegan but it has a few vegan-friendly products.

However, their collection of vegan products is actually very limited when compared to brands like Tarte, Too Faced, or bareMinerals that sell dozens of vegan products.

That said, Covergirl is 100% cruelty-free. In fact, it’s leaping bunny certified by the worldwide authority on all issues related to animal testing— Cruelty-Free International. Hence, we can safely assume that EVERY Covergirl product and ingredient is not tested on animals.

Still, Coty, the multinational company that owns Covergirl sells products in China and owns several other brands that also do it. In other words, if you’re interested in buying any of the vegan-friendly products by Covergirl, I do believe there are way more conscious brands out there.


This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase through these links. See my full disclosure here.

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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