Cosmetics and toiletries

Testing cosmetics and their ingredients became illegal across the European Union as of 2009, and as of March 2013, the EU introduced a complete ban on the sale of cosmetics that had been newly tested on animals elsewhere.

This is a tremendous achievement, but there are still companies selling products here that also sell products outside of the EU that have been tested on animals. Buying products that display the ‘Leaping Bunny’ logo is the best way to ensure that you are buying from a company that does not engage in animal testing anywhere.



Animal-testing of finished cosmetic products – but not ingredients – banned across the European Union.


Law extended to ban the testing on animals of cosmetic ingredients, accompanied by a partial marketing ban prohibiting the sale within the EU of animal-tested cosmetics (with the exception of the use of three specified tests: for repeated dose toxicity, reproductive toxicity and toxicokinetics).

March 11th 2013

EU introduces a complete ban on the sale of all new cosmetics that have been tested on animals anywhere in the world.

So are all cosmetics cruelty-free now?

Cosmetic and body products (or their ingredients) on sale in the EU will not have been tested on animals, however, the same company might sell a product with different ingredients outside of the EU, which has been tested on animals.

Cruelty Free International’s ‘Leaping Bunny’ logo Leaping Bunny logocontinues to be the best way to identify whether you are supporting a company that has pledged not to test its products on animals anywhere. For a list, visit the Cruelty Free International website.

Lush has its own very strict cruelty-free criteria so even though it is not endorsed under the Leaping Bunny scheme it is actually one of the most ethical of all high street retailers.

Please note, some cosmetics contain animal ingredients such as keratin, lanolin and beeswax, so are not suitable for vegans. Many companies, for example Superdrug and the Co-op, now label which of their products are vegan-friendly.

There is a fantastic selection of 100% cruelty-free make-up, body and grooming products in the Animal Aid shop!