CoverGirl "cruelty free" as cosmetics brand seeks to end animal testing

CoverGirl cosmetics wants to help end testing on animals, and its products are now certified as "cruelty free," the beauty giant announced on Monday.

"Consumers expect brands to be leaders for positive change so today CoverGirl is taking a stand about making cruelty free cosmetics a mainstream reality," Ukonwa Ojo, chief marketing officer of consumer beauty for Coty, CoverGirl's parent company, said in a statement. "We know we are not alone in wanting a beauty industry that is free from animal cruelty."

The makeup brand is the largest to receive the Leaping Bunny certification from Cruelty Free International, an animal-protection organization that has given the designation to more than 1,000 companies globally.

The move follows recent legislation in California that largely bans the sale of cosmetic products and ingredients that have been tested on animals starting in 2020. The soap brand Dove in September said its products would be accredited by PETA as cruelty free as of January 2019.

To get the group's stamp of approval, Coty -- which already had a policy of no testing on animals -- devoted months showing that its hundreds of third-party suppliers also did not perform any testing on animals during the process of developing CoverGirl products.

Coty has committed to at least one more of its brands being certified with the Leaping Bunny by 2020, but did not specify which one.

The New York-based beauty conglomerate also sells fragrances and professional salon products, generating more than $9 billion in annual revenue.

In afternoon trade, shares of Coty were off 0.2 percent. Shares of competitor Estée Lauder were off 1.4 percent. Revlon shares rose 3.9 percent.