Cruelty Free K-Beauty Brands

If you’re into K-beauty, it can be kind of difficult to navigate the issue of animal testing. This post is about brands that do not test their products on animals, but it is not a requirement that they are also vegan. If you’re looking at vegan products, you’re probably better off checking the individual ingredients lists for products sold by these brands.

However, regardless of whether you’re an exclusively cruelty free makeup user, or just prefer cruelty free brands, you’ll probably be happy to know that South Korea is working on phasing out animal testing over the next year or two. Another issues is that it is uncertain whether or not some of these brands test on animals in China. The thing is, China requires that products that are physically sold in the country are tested on animals before they can be sold to humans, but the same requirement does not appear to exist for products that can be bought online only.

Furthermore, please be aware that this list might not be perfect since it primarily relies on secondary sources (in English) and that there may be brands out there that are cruelty free but not represented on this list. This list aims to serve as a way for you to narrow it down to a handful of brands that you can then look into further to ensure that they meet your standards for what you consider cruelty free. If you do notice any discrepancies on the list, please let me know.

According to Style Story (an Australian K-beauty site/store), the following brands do not test on animals: Etude House, Hera, Innisfree, IOPE, Klairs, Leaders, Mizon, COSRX, It’s Skin, I Am Sorry Just Cleansing, Thank You Farmer and ISNTree.

There are a few more brands that are dedicated to being cruelty free: RE:P, Aritaum, DR Jart+, Espoir, Laneige, Mamonde, Pony Effect, SanDa Wa (labelled by the Leaping Bunny Standard), and Sulwhasoo. These and other brands are listed by the blog Wildwood and Sage as being cruelty free.

Brands with no info available according to Korean Beauty Blog: Clio, Holika Holika, SkinFood, Nature Republic, The Saem, TonyMoly.


Bullet Journals

I’ve got a minor obsession with stationary and at the moment that has caused me to attempt bullet journaling. So, I thought I’d write about it. There are some super pretty bullet journals out there, this isn’t one of them. I don’t have the patience for fine design, this is just done for fun and productivity purposes.

I typically have a few different spreads, a front page, and recurring features. The theme for August is anything jungle/tropics related since I’m really over winter. I’ve got a mood tracker where I simply fill in how I felt on a particular day. I’ve got a main goals spread which tracks things like exercise and blog posts, then I’ve got specific goals pages for work and my PhD. I also track things like what fictional media I consume (books, movies, etc), beauty products I’ve tried, and any particular ‘rewards’ I’ve scheduled that month. As you can tell there’s a page from September there, which just creates an overview of the weeks of the month and things that are particularly important.

In terms of stationary, I’ve got four different types of pens & pencils, some washi tape, and not much else really. My pencil case is pretty awesome though, it’s one of those with sequins that ‘flip’ over. So yeah, it can either be a charming ocean colour or matte black. Or a combination of both for that matter. Got it at Think Geek. It’s pretty basic but it gets the job done.

Essentially it’s like a calendar but more flexible and more fun. I also take the approach that it never stops evolving and thus I keep adding illustrations and doodles as I go along.
Some people tend to track almost everything they do and I just don’t have time for that, like who has time to mark down all of the glasses of water they drank in a day?

In terms of themes, I just pick things that I like. Next month is space, then it’s Halloween, followed by baked goods, and then Christmas/Holidays.
The next time I do a detailed setup, I might share it in a more coherent way.

6 Things I’d Love to See from K-Beauty Brands


I love Korean Beauty products and brands in general, but there are some things I’d like to see change or added. This is not calling out any specific brand or hating on the K-beauty industry, just more of a wish list.

  1. More shades
    Korean cushions are some of the best things you can use on your face, and they’re a godsend if you’re an extremely pale person. However, it’s not uncommon for brands to release maybe 2 shades or so. I’d like to see a wider range of skin colours and undertones represented in K-beauty. Even if you only look at Korean people, there are more than two or so skin colours/shades found in the population. It would hopefully boost these brands internationally and provide more options for consumers all over the world.


2. More creative hand creams
I love hand creams and have a pretty decent collection of them. K-beauty brands like TonyMoly, SkinFood, and The Saem all come up with amazing hand creams in cute packaging. I’d like to see more of that in the industry. I’m waiting for a rose scented hand cream to be released in rose shaped packaging, space inspired hand creams released inside planets, or even a whole candy themed collection. You’re good at it, so please keep on doing it!

3. Caffeinated Skin & Body Care
Coffee scrubs are commonplace these days. There’s some limited research to suggest that caffeine might have a soothing and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin when exposed to UV rays, leading me to think that researching caffeine as an ingredient in SPF focused products may be worthwhile. Although I must say I don’t know much about the research in this area, caffeine is sometimes used in products targeting dark and puffy under-eye areas. Plus, I’ll buy a coffee scented anything, so if you sell something that smells like coffee, I’ll happily hand over my money. There’s plenty of cafe themed collections and PR photos, so this one shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

4. Moving Away From Animal Testing
There’s a very logical reason as to why a lot of Korean brands test on animals – Chinese law requires that beauty products sold in the country is tested on animals. However, a few brands do their best to avoid animal testing, including SanDaWha (which has some awesome skin care products). I’d just like to see a greater move away from animal testing even if all brands don’t follow suit. I don’t exclusively use cruelty free brands, but more brands getting on board would make it a lot easier for people to access cruelty free products and open the market up for a group of consumers that are currently hesitant about the entire industry. Plus, moving away from animal testing in general is something I believe is a good idea now that other forms of testing are equally good.

5. Eyeshadow Tints
Lip tints are lightweight, blendable, and come in a range of colours. I would like to see that technology/technique adapted into eyeshadows. It would be easily applied with your fingers or a sponge applicator. If you wait a few seconds before applying it, it might be less prone to transferring than many other forms of eyeshadows. Moreover, it would enable a more gradient look for eyeshadows that can be achieved even by people like me who suck at blending.

6. Accompanying Candles
Skincare and makeup collections by Korean brands are often themed according to their active ingredients. You’ll have a whole collection themed around green tea or grapes. Where appropriate, I’d love to see more scented candles accompanying those collections, maybe to be included when you buy a set of something.