Korean skincare is the stuff. From Korean-based hit skincare brands to the K-Beauty glass skin routine – Koreans know skin like Belgians know chocolate.
Korean skincare is unique in that it focuses on preventing skin problems instead of hiding them. The ingredients are also much more gentle and clean than what we’ve been used to.
With many exciting Korean skincare brands available, we were curious to find out which of those brands were also vegan? Turns out quite a few.
See our list of vegan Korean skincare brands and pick out your favorite ones. You can also check our vegan Korean skincare routine.
How Vegan Are Korean Skincare Brands?
How vegan are Korean skincare brands in general? Well. It depends. You can easily find vegan skincare from Korean brands but many companies still use animal ingredients.
Animal Testing in Korean Skincare
However, animal testing still happens in Korea despite the ban. This means that as consumers, we just have to rely on the company’s words if they claim not to use animal testing.
Also, neighboring China may require certain imported cosmetics to be animal-tested. So any Korean company that sells their skincare in mainland China will have to use animal testing.
To be sure you are buying Korean skincare that is not animal tested, prefer brands that have a certified cruelty-free label from PETA, The Vegan Society, or Leaping Bunny.
Animal Ingredients In Korean Skincare
Overall, Korean skincare brands are quite plant-based. Most of their skincare utilize natural plant extracts such as fermented rice water, ginseng, or Centella Asiatica.
In addition, Korean skincare uses the same actives as Western brands – niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and ceramides – that are usually also either synthetic or plant-derived.
Nevertheless, some popular ingredients in Korean skincare are derived from animals, most commonly, snail mucin, horse oil, and bee propolis. There is a vegan alternative for snail mucin in wild yam.
Korean cult brands like Holika Holika, TonyMoly, and COSRX still use snail mucin. But at the same time, newer gen-Z skincare brands tend to be vegan as a core value.
K-Beauty Brands Vs Korean Beauty Brands
When looking for vegan Korean skincare brands, it is important to know what K-Beauty means.
K-Beauty mainly refers to this ritualistic skincare routine that originates in Korea. It involves many skincare steps from double-cleansing to using certain serums and essences.
K-Beauty is used to achieve a certain look such as honey skin or glass skin. The methods of application are also important. The products used in the routine do not have to be Korean.
Many Korean vegan skincare brands like KraveBeauty are not K-Beauty brands in the traditional sense since their products do not offer everything needed for the K-Beauty routine.
On the other hand, K-Beauty is also used to refer to Korean beauty brands – brands that make their products in South Korea and/or have a South Korean owner.
Some American skincare brands also choose to produce in Korea because of the country’s innovative technologies and affordable prices.
See also: Best Vegan Skincare Brands on Soko Glam
100% Vegan Korean Skincare Brands
These Korean skincare brands are fully vegan. No animal testing, no animal ingredients. Just good plant-based skin food from South Korea.
The Vegan Glow
The Vegan Glow is a conscious vegan skincare brand from Korea. They stand against animal exploitation and use only the safest plant-based ingredients possible.
The company has a beautiful minimalist collection of vegan skincare and haircare made from clean plant-derived ingredients like quinoa and kombucha.
The formulas are also PH-appropriate, chemical-free, and suitable for sensitive skin. From The Vegan Glow, you will also find plastic-free options.
Shop on: Amazon
Dear, Klairs is a vegan Korean skincare brand that specializes in clean and effective dermatologist skincare. Everything from Klairs is safe, effective, and vegan.
We’ve been longtime fans of their Black Deep Cleansing Oil. In addition, they have many other amazing cleansers and moisturizers designed to soothe and nourish every skin type.
Klairs is not always listed as a vegan brand. But as of 2023, everything from Klairs product selection is marked vegan, vegan-friendly, or even certified vegan.
Is Purito vegan? Yes, it is. The vegan Korean skincare brand has finally confirmed that all of their formulas are vegan-friendly, including their BB cream.
Formed from the words “purify” and “soil”, Purito is all about respecting our nature. The products are clean and safe as well as sustainably and climate-neutrally made.
The South Korean brand offers quality vegan skincare made with Centella, oat, panthenol, peptides, and other great ingredients. All to soothe and replenish the skin.
Re:p aka ‘Real Elemental Practice ‘ is a certified vegan Korean skincare brand. This natural brand utilizes the power of herbs such as chamomile, lavender, and melissa.
Our favorite Re:p product is their all-in-one lotion with avocado and rosehip. This innovative product works as a toner, essence, and lotion to balance and nourish your skin.
Like many other Korean brands, Re:p Beauty is also free of harsh additives and chemicals like parabens, mineral oil, BHT, BHA; benzyl alcohol, and petrolatum.
KraveBeauty is one of our favorite vegan skincare brands. Based in New York and Seoul, the brand was founded by Korean beauty influencer Liah Yoo.
The certified vegan brand aims to simplify skincare and feed the skin only the nutrients it needs. Alongside great products, the brand is also providing skincare education.
From KraveBeauty, you will find their bestselling matcha cleanser, oat moisturizers, and our favorite – the Great Barrier Relief serum among other face and body products. And what’s best – KraveBeauty is 100% vegan.
Shop on: Official Site
Sweet Chef is a Korean-inspired vegan skincare brand that is clean, fresh, and nutritious – like a good smoothie should be. All their products are vegan and made in Korea.
The brand offers vegan serums and sheet masks made from veggie extracts like kale, beet, ginger, and turmeric. The selection also follows K-Beauty trends like ‘double-seruming’.
A sister brand to Glow Recipe, Sweet Chef was founded by two Korean-Americans, Christine Chang and Sarah Lee, with a goal to offer nutritious skincare at affordable prices.
Nuria Beauty is not a Korean brand in a traditional sense. We included Nuria because they are vegan, their products follow the K-Beauty philosophy, and they also produce in Korea.
The American brand is 100% vegan as well as clean, natural, and sustainable. They offer all types of products you need for the dewy glow – from cleansers and toners to moisturizers.
Founded by world traveler Naomi Furgiuele, Nuria combines skincare secrets from all around the world – and packs them into a perfectly layered K-Beauty routine.
Korean Vegan Skincare Brands Comparison
|The Vegan Glow||Quinoa, Kombucha||Hyojung Kim|
|Dear, Klairs||Vitamin C, Centella, Ceramides||Ryan Soungho Park|
|Purito||Centella, Oat, Peptides||Not Stated|
|Re:p Beauty||Avocado, Rosehip||Not Stated|
|KraveBeauty||Matcha, Oat||Liah Yoo|
|Sweet Chef||Kale, Beet, Ginger||Sarah Lee and Christine Chang|
|Nuria Beauty||Ginkgo, Bilberry||Naomi Furgiuele|
There are a couple of vegan Korean skincare brands that are mostly vegan. Most of their products are vegan and only one or two products include vegetarian ingredients:
- Glow Recipe – Glow Recipe is one of the best Korean-inspired skincare brands. Glow Recipe products are all vegan, except for their Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask which includes honey.
- Peach & Lily – Peach & Lily is the ultimate K-Beauty brand for glass skin. Everything from Peach & Lily’s original collection is vegan, except for their KBeauty Rescue Balm which uses beeswax. Other Korean brands on their website are not vegan though.
- I Dew Care – I Dew Care products are all vegan with an exception of their accessories and one collagen face mask. The Korean brand is bright, fun, and affordable.
We can only hope Peach & Lily and Glow Recipe will go fully vegan soon. Meanwhile, you can still enjoy a wide variety of high-quality vegan Korean skincare from their selection.
FAQ About Vegan Korean Skincare Brands
Some of the vegan Korean skincare brands include The Vegan Glow, Klairs, Sweet Chef, and Re:p.
You will find the best selection of vegan Korean skincare on Amazon, Sephora, and Ulta.
Not fully. Most Glow Recipe products are vegan but their Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask contains honey.
No. Holika Holika uses animal-derived ingredients such as snail mucin. Their animal testing policies are also unclear.
No. TonyMoly uses animal ingredients such as snail extract and honey.
Yes. Purito has confirmed that it is a vegan brand. Their BB Cream does not have a vegan label but its ingredients are nevertheless vegan-friendly.
Not entirely. Peach & Lily Collection is mostly vegan, except for their KBeauty Rescue Balm which includes beeswax. In addition, there are many non-vegan brands on Peach & Lily’s website.
We have only good things to say about vegan Korean skincare brands. The formulas are safe, clean, and utilize exciting plant extracts from Centella Asiatica to kombucha.
While we wish Korean skincare brands would give up snail mucin (looking at you TonyMoly) – especially when there is a vegan alternative in wild yam, we are still glad that many new Korean brands have included veganism as a core value.
From The Vegan Glow and Sweet Chef – we hope you found some Korean vegan skincare brands you liked. As soon as we find more of them, we’ll add them to this list.
See also: Vegan Korean Skincare Routine
Article update on May 02 (2023): Fact Checked and Medically reviewed by MD Shimona Garg
Article update on 14 February (2023): Removed Otzi Skincare from the list as the brand was shut down.