Is CoverGirl cruelty-free, vegan and sustainable?
cover girl is one of the most iconic cosmetics companies in the world. The beauty giant makes BB creams, eyeshadow palettes, skincare, and just about every cosmetic product you could think of, including the one and only Lash Blast mascara.
In addition to the affordability of CoverGirl products, people love that they’re responsibly made. CoverGirl is certified cruelty-free, makes vegan products, and seems seriously committed to reaching ambitious sustainability goals.
Since its acquisition by Coty Inc. in 2016, the brand has distanced itself from some of the criticism leveled at its former parent company, Procter and Gamble, primarily relating to deforestation. Coty is transparent about its supply chains, ingredient sourcing and sustainability progress.
Here’s a review from CoverGirl based on Treehugger’s Green Beauty Standards.
Treehugger Green Beauty Standards: CoverGirl
- Cruelty Free: Certified cruelty-free.
- Vegan: Not entirely vegan but has vegan products.
- Ethics: CoverGirl’s parent company publishes regular corporate sustainability reports and is on track to meet ambitious goals by 2030.
- Sustainable: CoverGirl and Coty are continually making progress in the area of sustainability, further reducing their waste, emissions and plastic use each year.
CoverGirl is certified cruelty-free
CoverGirl has been certified cruelty-free by the Leaping Bunny program since 2015 and Cruelty Free International since 2018. In fact, it’s the largest makeup brand in the world to feature the Cruelty Free International logo. Cruelty-Free International is considered the global gold standard, performing regular supply chain audits to ensure animals are untested, even at the manufacturer level.
Coty, the parent company of CoverGirl, is not completely cruelty-free but a partner of Cruelty Free International. The company says it “has been developing methods that provide a clear alternative to animal testing” for 25 years and “now uses innovative predictive assessment tools such as in vitro, in silico models and molecular modeling systems.” that provide realistic test conditions”.
CoverGirl Vegan Products
CoverGirl is not 100% vegan, but it does offer vegan products. Items included in its Own fresh the makeup and skincare collections, for example, are all vegan and made without harsh chemicals like sulfates, formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens and talc. Other vegan items, like Lash Blast Lash and Brow Serum, Outlast Ultimatte Liquid Lipstick, and Clump Crusher Mascara, are clearly marked.
Items not marked as vegan may contain animal products like oleic acid and glycerin. Although it does not specify whether these ingredients are of plant or animal origin, the brand’s cult classic Lash Blast Mascara– not labeled as vegan – contains both.
CoverGirl’s parent company has high ethical standards
CoverGirl’s parent company is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative that provides companies with a framework for sustainability and corporate responsibility. It has its own code of conduct for business partners which addresses human rights, discrimination, forced labor, “conflict minerals”, and more.
In a 2021 report, Coty claimed that it sources 100% mica from members of the Responsible Mica Initiative and said the progress of its roundtable on sustainable palm oil was “pending external validation”. Currently, 30% of the palm oil used in Coty products is RSPO certified.
The report set out targets to achieve gender balance in leadership positions by 2025 and to “equitably compensate for similar roles and performance regardless of gender” by 2022. In 2021, its executive committee was largely female and the company followed gender pay equity.
Coty is a signatory to the Charter for Change, which means it reports annually on its progress on direct funding, transparency, equality, and more.
CoverGirl is becoming more and more sustainable
CoverGirl is surprisingly durable for a brand of its size and price. Although the beauty giant currently relies on plastic, much of it single-use, to package its products, Coty has ambitious goals to reduce its plastic use, emissions and waste over the next next decade. The company reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 23% and its total energy consumption by 10% between 2019 and 2021.
Coty aims to recycle 80% of its waste and send none to landfill by 2030. Currently, only 0.3% ends up in landfill while 75% is recycled.
In 2021, CoverGirl announced that it was testing new packaging for its pressed powders that used 35% less plastic. It aims to phase out all packaging that is not recycled, recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. Currently, products in the Clean Fresh collection are packaged in 80% Forest Stewardship Council certified recycled paper.
CoverGirl Sustainable and Cruelty-Free Products
While CoverGirl may not be the most sustainable company in the beauty industry, it’s a great budget option that meets all four pillars of Treehugger’s green beauty standards. Here are the brand’s most ethical and eco-friendly products.
Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara
A vegan alternative to the brand’s classic Lash Blast mascara, this “clean” version— Treehugger’s favorite natural drugstore mascara — contains no mineral oil, parabens, sulfates or talc. It is wrapped in 80% recycled paper and comes in four shades ranging from pitch black to dark brown.
Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation
Skimmed milk also avoids a multitude of chemicals and replaces them with nourishing coconut milk and aloe. It’s one of CoverGirl’s lightest foundations, similar to a BB cream, and comes in 14 shades ranging from porcelain to dark.
Clean Fresh Skincare Primer Glow Mist
CoverGirl’s Clean Fresh edition not only covers cosmetics but also skin care. Rose water and vitamin C boosted Priming Luminescent Mist aims to clarify and soothe. The oil-free formula is designed for dehydrated skin.
Clean and fresh pressed powder
Talc is a mining (i.e. bad for the environment) ingredient that is sometimes infused with asbestos, and some pressed powders contain up to 100% of the substance. CoverGirl Clean Fresh Pressed Powder is talc-free, instead using tapioca and aloe vera powder to absorb oils from the skin.