Coppertone (Beiersdorf)

Last Updated: August 24, 2022

How Ethical Is Coppertone (Beiersdorf)?

Make a positive impact by supporting companies with the same values and ethics as what matters most to you. To navigate and find ethical brands, here’s a summary of Coppertone’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Coppertone cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below to learn more about Coppertone’s policies.
Coppertone is NOT Cruelty-Free. Coppertone engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.

Coppertone is also owned by Beiersdorf, a parent corporation that does engage in animal testing.
Yes, Coppertone sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
Coppertone does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since Coppertone engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by Coppertone to be vegan anyways.

Coppertone (Beiersdorf)

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Coppertone is NOT Cruelty-Free!

Coppertone allows its products or ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law including when selling in stores in mainland China.

Coppertone’s Animal Testing Policy

While researching to learn more about Coppertone’s cruelty-free status, I couldn’t find the brand’s official animal testing policy anywhere on its website.

So I reached out to Coppertone to ask for more information about their animal testing policy. More specifically, I wanted to know if they commission or allow others to test their products/ingredients on animals, including when selling in countries that require animal testing (like in mainland China).

And Coppertone responded by saying:

“Thank you for your email regarding Coppertone.

We appreciate and share your concern on this issue. We do not conduct animal testing on our products, nor do we have any animal testing done on our behalf – unless, in the very rare case, this is specifically required by law.

For more than 35 years, Beiersdorf, has been at the forefront of seeking alternatives to animal testing. Animal testing has been completely banned for all cosmetic products in the European Union since 2004, and for all the ingredients of these products, since 2013. We are actively advocating for the worldwide acceptance of existing alternative animal-free test methods by respective authorities. 

Beiersdorf has been a leading expert in skin care for more than 130 years. The quality of our products as well as the safety and health of our consumers have always been and will remain our highest priority.”

Based on their response, it turns out Coppertone is owned by Beiersdorf. And Coppertone has the same animal testing policy as Beiersdorf. Both Coppertone and Beiersdorf state they don’t test their products on animals unless specifically required by law.

Policies stating “unless required by law” usually imply the company is selling its products in mainland China. That’s because cosmetics sold in stores in mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals.

Is Coppertone Sold in China?

Coppertone’s sunscreen products are indeed sold in stores in mainland China, therefore Coppertone must submit their products to be tested on animals by Chinese officials.

But Doesn’t China No Longer Tests on Animals?

Companies can bypass China’s pre-market animal testing by choosing to manufacture their ordinary or general cosmetics in China, but Coppertone sells sunscreen which means they are considered ‘Special Cosmetics’ and therefore are required to be tested on animals.

Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see why Coppertone’s sunscreens are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.

Because Coppertone has decided to sell in mainland China stores, they must consent and pay to have their products tested on animals. That’s why most cosmetics brands selling in mainland China cannot be considered cruelty-free in 2022.

Although Coppertone may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, they knowingly allow Chinese authorities to test their products on animals to sell in China.

For those reasons, we would not consider Coppertone to be cruelty-free by our standards.

Cruelty-Free Policies

Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China because of its animal testing laws. Unfortunately, Coppertone refuses to do the same and therefore cannot be considered cruelty-free.

At ethical elephant, we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, and by any third parties, including when required by law.

See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist. Since Coppertone already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Coppertone Certified Cruelty-Free?

Coppertone is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.

Because Coppertone is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is looking into or substantiating Coppertone’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.

Is Coppertone Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?

Yes. Coppertone is owned by Beiersdorf, a parent corporation that still engages in animal testing in 2022.

Some cruelty-free consumers may choose to purchase and support cruelty-free brands owned by animal-tested parent corporations as they hope it will convince the parent company to become cruelty-free.

But in this case, Coppertone is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its parent corporation, Beiersdorf.

Is Coppertone Cruelty-Free?

To sum up, by choosing to sell in mainland China, Coppertone must have its products tested on animals. Therefore, we would NOT consider Coppertone to be a cruelty-free brand.

Currently, Coppertone is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.

Is Coppertone Vegan?

Coppertone does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since Coppertone engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by Coppertone to be vegan anyways.

In order for products to be considered vegan by ethical elephant’s standards, the products and their ingredients must not be tested on animals anywhere in the world. Also, they must not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Coppertone

Looking to switch to cruelty-free sun care products? Here are some cruelty-free brands to check out:

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