A new ruling on animal testing could see decades of progress towards a cruelty-free beauty industry undermined as the UK looks to expand the use of animal testing to ingredients used in cosmetic products. If approved, it will be the first time in 23 years that animal testing has been used for cosmetics, according to an animal welfare charity. Animal testing on ingredients exclusively used in cosmetics was banned in the UK in 1998 and despite many of us acknowledging cruelty to animals across a wide range of industries, the UK government is now reconsidering its policy.
According to The Guardian, while the Home Office insists that the UK’s law on animal testing hasn’t changed, officials have since revealed that our rules would be aligned with a decision by the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) Board of Appeal, requiring certain ingredients to be tested on animals before they’re used on humans. As a government spokesperson explained: “Under UK regulations to protect the environment and the safety of workers, animal testing can be permitted, where required by UK regulators, on single or multi-use ingredients. However, such testing can only be conducted where there are no non-animal alternatives.”
For years, the UK was seen as leader in the space of cruelty-free beauty, and this new ruling is hugely detrimental to the progress that’s been made, particularly when it comes to cutting edge research and innovation. But with consumers continuing to drive demand when it comes to beauty, all hope is not lost. In an effort to ensure the world continues to make strides towards a sustainable and ethical future in which the beauty industry is one that’s cruelty-free, here are some of our favourite ethical beauty brands.