Pin It
Animal testing
via Instagram @crueltyfreeintl

The UK may restart animal testing for cosmetics

TextHannah Bertolino

Animal testing has been banned in the UK since 1998, but a recent Home Office decision could change that

The UK may restart animal testing for cosmetic ingredients for the first time in 23 years. 

According to a letter from the government, the UK will align with a decision by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) which states that some cosmetics ingredients must be tested on animals to ensure safety. This decision, however, opposes the EU’s regulations, which ban the practice.

Specifically, the ECHA ruling states that German fragrance and flavour manufacturer Symrise should use animal testing on two substances – which are often used in cosmetics – in order to meet chemical safety regulations. One of the two chemicals, homosalate, is commonly used as a UV filter in make-up and personal care products.

Animal welfare charity, Cruelty Free International, told the Guardian that the government’s decision will be “blowing a hole” in its history of leadership regarding animal testing. ​​

“The government is saying that even ingredients used solely in cosmetics, and with a history of safe use, can be subjected to animal tests in the UK,” said Dr. Katy Taylor, the charity’s director of science and regulatory affairs. “(It) makes a mockery of the country’s quest to be at the cutting edge of research and innovation, relying once again on cruel and unjustifiable tests that date back over half a century.”

In 1988, the Labour party passed legislation with hopes of banning animal testing across the EU. Later, in 2004, the EU banned animal testing for finished cosmetic products and in 2009 for cosmetic ingredients.

In response to Cruelty Free International’s warnings, a spokesperson for the government explained that animal testing will be used minimally. “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 multiuse ingredients,” they said. “However, such testing can only be conducted where there are no non-animal alternatives.”

Last May, China ended mandatory animal testing for a majority of cosmetics – furthering its journey towards cruelty-free beauty. Previously, the country restricted cruelty-free beauty brands (such as Fenty Beauty) from directly importing products unless they paid for testing.

According to the National Medical Products Administration website, the majority of products – including shampoo, body wash, lipstick, and makeup – can now be imported without animal testing.

Read Next
Rico Nasty
How Rico Nasty crafted her avant-emo look Beauty Feature
Gucci lips
Thomas de Kluyver’s 6 top tips for achieving the perfect Gucci lips Beauty Feature
Bella Hadid marc jacobs
The cyber-cyborgian baldies at Marc Jacobs AW22 reflected the mood Backstage
Mowalola’s SS23 make-up proves the graphic smokey eye is still hot Backstage
dazed Schwarzkopf
The Head to Head event was an action-packed glimpse into the future of hair What Went Down
Vivienne Westwood AW19
Where’s the sustainable beauty at fashion week? Beauty Feature
Marc Jacobs Pride
Marc Jacobs would like you to sniff the gay rainbow Beauty news
LA Confidential
Why people are getting their nose jobs reversed Beauty Feature
ISAMAYA is opening a pop-up in London and you could be the first in Beauty news
Make-up artist Leo Chaparro’s bold beauty looks will captivate you Spotlight
Tommy cash Michele Lamy rick Owens
Tommy Cash just went full Lady Godiva at the Rick Owens show Beauty news
The radical history of the queer fat liberation movement Beauty Feature
Be gay, read books: Aesop’s free Queer Library is back Beauty news
Perfect workout
The rise of FHA: how workout culture is costing women their periods Beauty Feature
Collage Maker-21-Jun-2022-02.09-PM
Reviewing the best (and worst) curly hair shampoos and conditioners Tried and Tested
lydia deetz hair
Can we talk about Beetlejuice bangs? Beauty news