Korean Beauty Trend – Cruelty-free Cosmetics
Some months back South Korea implemented a ban on animal testing for Korean cosmetics for the time being the ban only pertained to the Korean skincare and finished products but the Ministry of food and rural affairs and agriculture, South Korea planned on taking it further to the next level by banning animal testing on Korean cosmetics ingredients as a part of the five year plan for animal welfare. There are many companies that claim to be cruelty-free but different policies and discussions suggest different opinions about the brands implementing the same.
What Actually “Cruelty-free” Means?
The term was given by the animal rights movement and it refers to products that do not hurt or harm animals in their research, testing and production and this phrase was popularized by the fashion industry in order to differentiate the fake fur manufacturers from counterparts those traded pelt. In real words, it is simply put any activity in the process of cosmetic production that involve hurting or harming animals. One of the easiest example is animal testing. Any brand that involves animals for testing their products is not cruelty-free.
Cruelty–free vs Vegan
It is very important to understand the terms “cruelty-free” and “vegan” properly, as they are not interchangeable. A vegan product will never contain any ingredient derived from animals thus, all vegan beauty products are cruelty-free but at the same time not all cruelty-free products are vegan.
Whether There Are Cruelty-free Korean Brands or Not?
When it comes to knowing the names of companies or Korean beauty brands that are cruelty-free, PETA does not list any of the Korean beauty brands on their animal/non-animal testing list. There are many companies or Korean cruelty beauty brands that are strict when it comes to animal testing or any other animal cruelty when it comes to Korean beauty trend. Some of the best and most preferred names in the region are Etude House, Hera, Mamonde, Laneige, IOPE, Sulwhasoo etc. and some of them are owned by Amorepacific and it has voluntarily discontinued animal testing on cosmetics ingredients and finished goods since the year 2008.
Cruelty-free International did advertise regarding the cruelty-free brands and the above mentioned companies are currently cruelty-free.
Cruelty-free International East Asia Manager Mr. Lee said that he feels delighted that after two years of extensive work done by cruelty-free International they achieved the breakthrough and that he looks forward to end animal suffering for cosmetics in Korea.
Countries Taking Initiative to Go Cruelty-free
The outstanding five year Animal Welfare plan makes South Korea, the 2nd Asian country to announce the ban on animal testing for Korean cosmetics and implementing to certain extend after India. Some other countries too adhered to a ban on animal testing for cosmetics and beauty products. Israel banned the import of cosmetics or toiletries that are being tested on animals.
European Union Ban on Animal Test
The European Union implemented full ban the same year meaning that all the beauty products or cosmetics that are tested on animals cannot be sold in the EU. Also, all the cosmetics companies that manufacture the products within the EU cannot test the product or ingredients on animals.
Complications with Application of “Cruelty-free” Trend?
China still holds the “animal testing required” stance because of which going cruelty-free is not as simple as it seems to be. All brands who do not test their products on animals compulsorily have to do so in order to sell their products in China. This in any way surely affects all the brands that are vocal about eradicating animal testing are participating in the practice as long as they want to sell their products in Chinese market. Some customers see this as no major issue and continue to buy products from these brands despite the fact.
While the matters of testing on animals remain a gray area for some buyers, there still persist another great issue of green washing, which is of more concern. Some beauty brands claim to be cruelty-free as they do not test their finished products on animals. However, they involve in animal testing of the ingredients supplied by the ingredient suppliers. This is a great deceptive tactic that helps them to greenwash their beauty brands without actually taking necessary changes.
How to Shop “Cruelty-free”?
There are brands that have strictly opted cruelty-free trend and provide best cosmetics to their customers but in order to know them you should be sure of reliable sources proving their worth.
At Q-depot, we lay special emphasis on the fact that animals are also living organisms with senses close to human beings, and hence make it our primary concern to supply with cruelty free cosmetic range as well. Most of our products are certified and we aim to provide cruelty free cosmetic product which will be approved by People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Thus, you can be sure to check these cruelty free brands such as Etude House, Hera, Mamonde, Laneige, IOPE, Sulwhasoo and Innisfree etc. on our website, and be assured that it is 100% safe from all perspectives.
For cruelty-free Korean cosmetics brands list, we refer to the information provided by KARA (Korean Animal Rights Associates). Below is the list provided by KARA which can be accessed here>
The images used in this blog's posts are found from different sources all over the Internet, and are assumed to be in public domain and are displayed under the fair use principle. If you are the owner of the images and you believe that their use on this site is in violation of any copyright law, then please contact us, and we will take them down ASAP.
Etude House sells in China and is not cruelty free as well as many others listed here. Why the false info?
Hello there! thanks for the info. Please note that Etude House and Innisfree are Cruelty-free although this discussion of selling and not selling in China are complicated. We are following the information provide by Animals Rights Group Korea. Please follow the link here: http://www.ekara.org/cosmeticsanimaltestingfree/
But if they sell in china which requires animal testing , It isn't cruelty free. Yes they are cruelty free in SOUTH KOREA but not entirely as a brand. Some brands can sell in china if they have ingredients listed under the "whitelist" but the brands I do know that does that is NEOGEN and RE:P not Etude House and Innisfree.
Very interesting blog, looking forward to more wonderful!
Thanks for the encouragement. Stay tuned, much more to come.
But Etude House and Innis are not cruelty-free brands. You should update your info.
Hi Jennifre! According to our research and info. Etude and Innisfree are cruelty-free. We are following the information provide by Animals Rights Group Korea. Please follow the link here: http://www.ekara.org/cosmeticsanimaltestingfree/ If you get more info, please do share with us. We appreciate your correction!
You really need to update your info. None of the brands mentioned above are cruelty free as they sell to China. If a company has that ethos it needs to be from start to finish. Why say you care about animals and then sell to china knowing full well your products needs animals testing. Do your own research instead of passing the buck to another site
Thanks for sharing your feedback Shirley! To be honesty the issue of Creutly-free Korean cosmetics is very complicated and confusing. For your information, Korea already banned testing products on Animals since 2017. So given that, almost every brand is cruelty-free and as for as selling in China is concerned, i think they have their ways to sell there and things normally can be twisted in China. So just making conclusion based on selling in China is not a wise decision.
Apparently, there is a loophole which allows companies to sell in China without having to undergo animal testing procedures on their products or ingredients. I'm not entirely sure of the specifics but there is a list of ingredients that get an automatic pass into the market. However, any product sold in China is subject to being removed from the shelves and tested on animals. That's why no company that sells in brick and mortar shop in China can really be called cruelty-free.
Hello Danielle! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Well you are right. Each brand have so many different ways to get into China and i think thats what confuse all of us here. As you know that testing cosmetic products on animals is already banned in Korea since 2017 so given that, everything coming up is cruelty-free and how do the sell in China, well hard to say.
Leave a Comment