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.

by | Aug 12, 2021

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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It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 


Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 


Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 


Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 


Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?