The UK has become a trailblazing country in producing cruelty-free skin care in the past few years, with hundreds of established and newly emerging ethical brands that offer clean and natural health and beauty products.
This growing change is a fantastic leap forward in an industry that has long been plagued by animal cruelty issues. Still, in such a competitive market, it can be challenging to choose the right skin care products for your individual needs and also to verify each brand’s ethical claims.
Luckily, we’ve put together a list of five of the top cruelty-free brands in the country, all doing amazing work to create highly effective products while eliminating animal cruelty and making a positive change to our planet. But first, let’s explore the definition of a cruelty-free skin care brand and the dramatic changes to the UK cosmetics industry in the past decade.
What defines a cruelty-free brand?
Animal cruelty in the cosmetics industry has been a global issue for decades, with thousands of companies using animal testing as a standard method in their formulation process. Thanks in large to demands from protestors and consumers to put an end to animal testing, there was a 175% rise in cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics brands between July 2013 and July 2018.
Cruelty-free cosmetics can be defined as products that are never tested on animals. Not only are ethical brands more humane, but their products are also far gentler to sensitive human skin. By eliminating the harsh chemicals that can often dry the skin out and result in damaging side effects, cruelty-free skin care companies will often use few but effective ingredients that safely and gently support the skin’s natural barrier.
5 cruelty-free skin care brands in the UK
Neal’s Yard has made a reputable name for itself for its honest and clean approach to skin care, as well as its unwavering dedication to sustainability. So much so that it is now one of the leading skin care companies in the UK. Neal’s Yard Remedies offer everything from skin care to aromatherapy products, with an array of award-winning formulations that are kind to your body and the planet. Neal’s is a Leaping Bunny approved cruelty-free organisation and the UK’s first certified organic health and beauty brand.
Bloomtown is a family-owned brand that made its start in its founder’s kitchen in 2016, commanding national attention in 2018 during an appearance on Dragons Den. This honest company was built on the core value of providing truly ethical products to consumers and has gone from strength to strength since its inception, boasting the title of the UK\s first Independently Certified Palm Oil-Free Company.
Bloomtown is a 100% cruelty-free skin care brand, with none of its products or ingredients being tested on animals and no items being sold in stores in any country that may require animal testing. With a variety of nourishing bath, face and body products sold on their online store, Bloomtown is the perfect one-stop-shop for clean and natural skin care that works.
Moo & Yoo
A family-run and ethically-driven company based in Scotland, Moo & Yoo offers luxurious hair and skin care products that are sustainable and gentle on the body. Co-founder Suzie realised that, as a hairdresser, it was difficult to find effective products that weren’t irritating to the skin and started the brand as a natural alternative. Moo & Yoo is an excellent choice for conscious gifting to your loved ones with its elegant range of gift sets and beautifully packaged products. The brand works closely with cutting-edge UK labs and boasts a 100% vegan and cruelty-free collection. Cementing their commitment to a healthier and happier planet, they have also pledged to plant one tree for every online order received. Just another great reason to shop with this forward-thinking brand!
A highly regarded cruelty-free makeup and skin care brand, Facetheory is committed to providing highly effective products that are 100% free from any animal-derived materials. The company was founded by Jamie Shuker in Sheffield and offers over 100 products formulated to tackle a multitude of skin concerns and suitable for various skin types. Not only are their products clean, natural and vegan, but they are also affordable, aligning with their straightforward, no-nonsense attitude to improving skin health.
Heavenly by name and by nature — this cruelty-free skin care brand offers nourishing and rejuvenating essentials that will help maintain a healthy glow from top to toe. With a focus on naturally cleansing and detoxifying the skin, Heavenly Organics are committed to providing 100% vegan products that are never tested on animals and refuse to sell their collection in mainland China or other countries requiring animal testing. With over 500 products on their online store, with everything ranging from beard and shaving oils to cruelty-free moisturizer, this Welsh brand is a trailblazer in the UK market.
The bottom line
When it comes to choosing a cruelty-free skin care brand that you can trust, it’s essential to do your research and establish that the claims made by the company are indeed accurate. With so much misinformation posted online, it pays to do your homework and keep your guard up. If you have any concerns about the claims made on a brand’s website, don’t hesitate to send them a quick email or call their customer service representatives — they are legally obliged to disclose whether or not their products are tested on animals. Just as important is to make sure that the products you buy are suited to your skin type and concerns to ensure that you can make the most out of your skin health routine.
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