Guide to Cruelty Free and Vegan-Friendly Korean Beauty Products 

The cruelty-free and vegan movements are rising in popularity as people become more aware of the cruelty inflicted on animals to manufacture beauty products. But what do these initiatives stand for, and why should you care about them?

Cruelty-free products have not been tested on animals at any stage of production, whereas vegan means the item does not contain animal-derived ingredients. Buying vegan Korean beauty products is an excellent option for those concerned about animal welfare and who want to support companies committed to ethical and sustainable practices.

The Benefits of Using Cruelty-Free and Vegan-Friendly Products

Below, we list the top benefits of vegan and cruelty-free products:

Rich in Antioxidants and Nutrients

Cruelty-free and vegan Korean beauty products are often made with natural ingredients rich in antioxidants. These components help maintain healthy skin by neutralizing free radicals that can cause damage and premature aging. 

Fewer Synthetic Chemicals

Using cruelty-free and vegan-friendly products means fewer synthetic chemicals in your daily routine. Many conventional beauty products contain harmful chemicals, such as parabens, phthalates and sulfates, which can be absorbed into your skin and potentially harm your health. 

No Animal-Based Ingredients

One of the most significant benefits of using vegan and cruelty free Korean beauty products is that they do not contain any animal-based ingredients. Not only is this better for animals, but it can also be better for your skin. Animal-based elements can be harsh and irritating to some skin types, leading to breakouts, inflammation and other issues.

Animal Testing Is Not Necessary

Animal testing has been a common practice in the beauty industry for many years. However, with technological advancements, subjecting animals to cruelty is no longer necessary. Many alternative methods, such as in vitro testing and computer modeling, are now available to provide accurate results without causing harm. 

Healthier for the Body

When it comes to personal care products, choosing cruelty-free and vegan-friendly options can benefit your body. Many traditional products contain harsh chemicals and animal byproducts that can cause allergic reactions and even disrupt hormones. However, you can avoid all of this by going natural, allowing you to enjoy a safer and more natural approach to self-care.

Better for the Planet

The production of traditional beauty and skincare products often involves using harmful chemicals, which can negatively impact the environment. These chemicals can end up in our waterways, soil and air, contributing to pollution and harming wildlife.

How To Know if the Product Is Cruelty-Free and Vegan

Choosing natural beauty products is the better choice for yourself, for the animals and for the environment. But how can you tell if a product is vegan and cruelty-free?

The following are the main ways to know:

Check for a Certified Vegan Logo

One of the easiest ways to know if a product is genuinely vegan is to look for a certified vegan logo, which is typically displayed on the product’s packaging. They indicate that a third-party organization has independently certified the item as vegan.

Some of the most well-known vegan certification logos include the following:

Vegan Society logo

Vegan Society logo

Certified Vegan logo

Certified Vegan logo

PETA-approved Vegan logo

PETA-approved Vegan logo

Each of these organizations has specific criteria that products must meet to be certified, so you can be confident that a product displaying one of these logos has passed thorough assessments.

Check for a Cruelty-Free Logo

Cruelty-free logos are usually displayed on the product’s packaging or the company’s website, indicating that what they sell has not been tested on animals. The certification is awarded after a brand undergoes a rigorous evaluation that involves verifying its ingredients, suppliers and manufacturing processes to guarantee that they are not engaged in animal testing.

Here are some logos to watch out for:

Leaping Bunny Logo by CCIC & BUAV

Leaping Bunny Logo by CCIC & BUAV (Cruelty-free International)
Caring Consumer Logo By PETA
Caring Consumer LogoBy PETA
CCF Rabbit Logo by Choose Cruelty-free
CCF Rabbit Logoby Choose Cruelty-free

Check for Animal-Derived Ingredients

Not all products display the logos mentioned above, so checking for animal-derived ingredients is also crucial in determining if the item is cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. Read the label carefully and look for any components that may come from animals.

Unfortunately, many common ingredients found in beauty and personal care products include the following:

  • Squalene: Harvested from the livers of live sharks (not to be confused with squalane derived from plant based material). “The squalane in skin-care products is now being derived mostly from plants such as olives and rice bran,” Dr. Garshick says. It can also be derived from other plant oils including amaranth seed, wheat germ, and even sugar cane, Dr. Fisher explains.
  • Carmine: Made from crushed cochineal insects
  • Guanine: Derived from fish scales
  • Honey: Harvested from bees
  • Lanolin: Comes from sheep wool 
  • Shellac: Made from the tiny scale insect called the lac
  • Collagen: Fibrous protein that comes from the tissues and bones of animals
  • Glycerine: Extracted from animal fat

Some products may use vague terms like “natural flavors” or “fragrance,” which can be used to hide animal-derived ingredients. If you see these terms on the ingredient list, it’s best to contact the brand directly and ask for clarification.

Check the Online Certified Cruelty-Free Database

Online Certified Cruelty-Free Databases are compiled by organizations specializing in animal welfare and ethics to provide a comprehensive list of companies that do not test on animals or use animal-derived ingredients in their products.

Some of the most popular certified cruelty-free databases are the following:

Check With Your Community

Many online communities and forums are dedicated to discussing ethical and sustainable products, and these are excellent resources for finding information about particular brands and their offerings. Facebook and Reddit are perfect websites to start to get in touch with like-minded individuals who want to make conscious choices about the products they purchase.

 Korean Vegan & Cruelty-Free Product Recommendations:



The Korean beauty industry has come a long way in offering cruelty-free and vegan personal care commodities. With the rise in demand for ethical beauty products, more brands are shifting towards using sustainable practices and animal-friendly ingredients. By choosing to support these companies, we can contribute to a more compassionate and sustainable beauty industry. 

However, it is essential to remain vigilant and do our own research to ensure that the products we purchase truly align with our values. Always check the label and ask the cruelty-free community if you spot unclear information on the product packaging.

Are you a business that wants to sell cruelty-free and vegan-friendly products? UMMA is an all-in-one K-beauty wholesale company that wants to help companies grow while supporting green, sustainable causes in the beauty industry. Join our global community today.

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