Learn in this KoCo Blog article about Vegan Korean skincare. Vegan and non vegan Ingredients to quickly recognise.

Veganism"A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose” The Vegan Society.


The vegan lifestyle is growing rapidly in many industries across the globe, including within cosmetics. It's important for people to become aware that the use of animal products is not restricted to foods only. Korea and Koreans have taken great steps towards a more sustainable society.


KVU's (Korea Vegetarian Union) latest statistics show that close to half a million Koreans are strict vegans. This has considerably influenced the cosmetic market in the past few years.

Korean cosmetic, vegan or not vegan?

Many Korean cosmetic brands have made it a priority to use nothing but natural ingredients in their products. They believe that not only is it better for the planet, but that it can be beneficial to your skin and health in the long run.

Vegan Skincare Korea

Most ingredients used in Korean skincare products are plant based, but not all.
So what are the common ingredients used in Korean cosmetics that aren’t vegan:

  • Snail Slime
  • Bee venom
  • Honey
  • Eggs
  • Milk/cream
  • Starfish extract
  • Pig Collagen

These components are always mentioned and easily recognisable in the ingredients list.


Other common ingredients are more difficult to identify as being vegan or not. Some of them could have come from animal based products or plant based products. These are:

  • Lanolin
  • Squalene
  • Collagen
  • Hyaluronic acid

To ease your mind and save you some time in your research of vegan cosmetic products for your skincare routine, we have created a vegan skincare collection.


Vegan certification isn’t the norm in South Korea as much as it is in other parts of the world. While it isn’t a requirement, Korean cosmetic brands are very conscious about their ingredients use. Major brands, such as Klairs, are switching to fully vegan product lines. Even their existing products have been reformulated with 100% vegan ingredients.

Are all Korean cosmetic products cruelty-free?

Korean Skincare Cruelty Free

Since 2018, testing on animals is forbidden in South Korea. By law, Korean skincare manufacturers aren’t allowed to test substances or product safety on animals. Some brands sell their products to China which used to require animal testing before entering the Chinese market. Since May 2019, laws are also changing in China which are now allowing some free of animal testing products on their market.


There is still a long way to go, but the Korean skincare is taking steps in the right direction for your skin and for our planet.