Animal Testing For Cosmetics Could Return In The UK: Here Are 6 Cruelty-Free Brands We Love - Women's Health

Animal Testing For Cosmetics Could Return In The UK: Here Are 6 Cruelty-Free Brands We Love

A new ruling could see animal testing for cosmetics allowed in the UK for the first time since 1998. With consumers driving demand, we’ve rounded-up some of our favourite cruelty-free brands so we can keep striving towards an ethical beauty industry.

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.

Inika Organic

Touted as Australia’s only 100 per cent authentic, natural beauty brand, Inika Organic prides itself on products that are free of toxic chemicals. Both their skincare and makeup uses pure, organic ingredients that enhance your natural radiance and the company remains 100 per cent Australia-owned. All products are certified vegan and cruelty-free and the company takes great pride in knowing all ingredients are ethically sourced. 

Shop the range here. 

Inika Organic

Herbivore Botanicals

Finding skincare products that not only do wonders for your skin but are natural, cruelty-free too can be a daunting task. Thankfully, Herbivore Botanicals is here to fill the void, delivering skincare products that aren’t just magical for your complexion, but are light on the world too. From their moisturisers to masks, these products look and feel amazing, and smell great. 

Shop the complete range here. 


Weleda Skin

It’s the beauty brand beloved by supermodels and makeup artists around the world, and for good reason. Aside from products like Weleda Skin Food that do wonders for the skin, the company is committed to protecting the earth and its people. With ethical and quality standards that are binding for the company, Weleda also is deeply transparent with customers. The company does use palm oil for its products, but ensures that it is only sourced from certified organic cultivation. Weleda is also striving to protect the rainforests and has partnered with organisations like BOS Germany, the German partner of Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) to work with the people in Indonesia to protect the last remaining organutans and their habitat. 

Shop Weleda’s range here. 



At Leif, the company shines a spotlight on the native ingredients inherent to Australia. With a supporting cast of essential oils and extracts, the products exemplify just what can come of sustainable and ethical practices in beauty, which don’t compromise results. Leif formulations are vegan, cruelty-free and made in Australia. Free from sulphates, paragons and animal testing, the products are gentle enough for frequent use to suit all skin types. 

Shop the range here. 



Created in Australia, Lovebyt is transforming the toothpaste world. Cruelty and chemical-free, it was founded by Northern Beaches native Tash Scutts. Aside from being incredible to use, even the design of Lovebyt is something to get excited about as each package boasts a design by local artist Bruce Goold. You won’t find any nasty ingredients in the products, just a lot of natural ingredients like tea tree, peppermint and activated charcoal to name a few. 

Shop the product range here. 



Hurraw! Balm is certified vegan and a certified cruelty-free company. No animal products are included in their products and the company is proud to be part of PETA’s cruelty-free program. With their beautiful packaging and products, the company inspires countless people around the world to live a life that has the least amount of harm. As a statement reads, “Using any resource, creating any product, making decisions affects all lives on this planet. We feel that these efforts are familiar to our customers; we’re all in this together!”

Shop the products here. 


By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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