A Guide to Cruelty-Free Korean Beauty

Korean beauty products are rapidly gaining popularity in the United States. Known for being gentler on skin and cheaper (and coming in cuter packaging) people are looking for these products more and more. I’m a large believer in cruelty free products so I had to stop and wonder, are there cruelty free brands?

The Answer: Yes and No

There are few product brands that I have found that are entirely cruelty free. However, I have found this handy dandy chart that gives you a list of products based on how cruelty free they are. Pretty neat huh?

List of cruelty free products


Now you’re probably looking at this and wondering “What’s the deal with China?” Let me explain. Mainland China requires all cosmetic products being sold to be tested on animals. Many brands will sell the Korean version in South Korea, then sell a different kind in China. I’m just reffering to mainland China here though, as Hong Kong has different rules which I’m not familiar with. Some of you from the west might be surprised that Lush is marketed as having animal products, and that’s because some of them have milk or lard in them (for soap). I also learned that a large brand Amorepacific owns other brands such as Laneige, Sulwhasoo and Mamonde. It is also affiliated with Etude House and Innisfree. They also released a statement “AMOREPACIFIC has voluntarily discontinued animal testing on cosmetic ingredients and finished goods since 2008. And as of May 1, 2013, expanded the non-animal testing policy to our suppliers. AMOREPACIFIC brand is sold in Hong Kong, not in mainland China.” However Etude House, Lanieige and many other brands have stores in mainland China.

Organic vs. Cruelty Free

Many people seem to have the impression that Organic skincare = cruelty free. This is not the case, and don’t be fooled by these brands. Sure they might be free from parabens and harsher chemicals, but they also could test on animals. Be careful when you read the organic label and assume animal testing free because it’s probably not the case!

Thank you for reading my first beauty blog post and happy shopping beauty bunnies!

Like what you read? Give Kira a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.