Cosmetics Regulations

It is important to make clear the ban on using animals for the testing of finished cosmetic products or ingredients remains in force.

It is unlawful for any business to place on the market cosmetic products, or their ingredients, that have been tested on animals to meet the requirements of the Cosmetics Regulation Act 2009. The UK was the first country to introduce an animal testing ban for cosmetics in 1998 and we are committed to maintaining it and encouraging others to adopt a similar approach.

However, some ingredients used in cosmetics have always required animal testing under other legislation, including chemical safety regulations. This is usually to assess safety to workers at manufacturing plants and/or to protect the environment. Such testing is lawful in the UK and is not in conflict with the bans under the Cosmetics Regulations. Animal testing in these contexts is only allowed as a last resort, and this was confirmed in the recent court judgement.

The Government is committed to the protection of animals in science and to ensuring animal research is only carried out where no practicable alternative exists.

I hope you find this clarification to be useful.