Cover Girl, one of the biggest cosmetic lines, has stopped all animal testing of their products. This is such good news. There are still some caveats to think about, but hurray!
One caveat is “except where required by law” – which means China. But if they are putting pressure on China to change their policy – well, they’re a really big company capable of a lot of pressure.
Second caveat is the parent company Coty has not ceased animal testing in its other lines. But they say they are working toward it. That’s hopeful. So buy Cover Girl again? Maybe. If it shows them that their decision is one their potential customers want them to make. Then wait and see if they follow through with their other brands. If not, it’s time to stop buying and start writing letters.
Coty Statement on Animal Testing
Below is a post I wrote for my St. Thomas Dog Blog in 2010. I have removed most discussion of specific cosmetic companies, including Cover Girl, because it is now outdated. For all brands, it’s best to google for information on current practice and changes in ownership.
Animal Testing (Oct. 14, 2010)
It’s very hard to buy products that are not tested on animals or made by companies that test on animals in at least some of their product lines. In this, I am not talking about government-mandated animal testing on pharmaceuticals and medical products. I’m talking about cosmetics, hair products and household cleaning products.
I knew that L’Oreal still used animal testing for their cosmetics and hair products. That made the news when L’Oreal bought The Body Shop, a company that prided itself on natural and cruelty-free products. So even though the Body Shop did not test on animals, its new parent company did. So it too went on the animal testing boycott list.
I looked online then to try to find products that were not tested on animals. The majority I found were brand names I’d never heard of or seemed to be available only in the US or online. But I want to just go into a drugstore and buy what I want. Not so easy. Physicians Formula is reliable for not testing on animals, but isn’t available in all stores.
But what about toothpaste, cleaning products or anything outside cosmetics and hair stuff? The biggies – that test on animals and make almost everything you have in your cupboards – are Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. P&G alone, just in cosmetics and skin care, owns Cover Girl, Max Factor (both bought by Coty) and Olay. Crest and Colgate toothpastes are made by P&G and J&J.
Parent and source companies
The issue isn’t as simple does a company do it or not. Some don’t do animal testing on some of their lines but do on others. For example, P&G owns Clairol which makes Herbal Essences hair care products. That line is not tested on animals, but others sold under the Clairol name are, as are products made and sold by the parent company P&G. So while bunnies’ eyes are not burned out if you buy Herbal Essences, they’re being used to test other Clairol and P&G products. And P&G isn’t losing your money due to their continued use of unnecessary animal testing. (P&G sold Clairol to Coty in 2015)
Also, some companies do not themselves use animals for testing their products, but they rely on research from companies that do. So while their hands are technically clean, they are still supporting the use of animal testing. At this point, product scientific research and formulation is pretty well-established. All the animals that needed to be blinded or have their hair fall out have given their lives for our safe beautification. Technology exists which can safely test products for human use without asking for animal sacrifice.
Who doesn’t do animal testing?
You can find a pretty comprehensive list of companies and brand that don’t use animal testing and those that do at caringconsumer.com. It’s part of the PETA site and has well-organized lists of companies and product names. I printed out the ones I needed and will be doing more animal-friendly shopping.
The black and white photo of the rabbit comes from P & G Kills, which provides good background on the company’s history of animal testing (available through Scribd).
The second photo used to be on the Wikipedia article on Animal Testing in the toxicity testing section. That has long relied on the Draize eye test. In a nutshell, it means putting a substance in an animal’s eyes and waiting to see what happens.