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Vegan skincare is the next big trend in K-Beauty.

You heard it here first – in terms of 2020 BEAUTY TRENDS: VEGAN SKINCARE is the one to watch.

With the popularity of a vegan lifestyle continuing to grow, many Korean skincare companies are now focusing on the vegan beauty market, with some brands even focusing solely on vegan formulations.

In line with the growing trend towards cruelty-free skincare and makeup (cosmetic testing on animals has been officially outlawed in Korea), brands are now firming their stance that no animals need to have suffered for your beauty at any stage of the product’s lifecycle.


Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes use of animal products for food, clothing, or other purpose (including skin care and makeup). Vegan products do not use egg, milk, snail extract, bee by-products, or any other animal product.

Contrary to popular belief, Vegan is not the same thing as cruelty-free, although vegan products may be cruelty free.

“Cruelty-free” implies that at any given stage of development, a product was not tested on animals. It is possible for a product to be vegan, but not cruelty-free and vice versa.

Even though Korea has been 100% cruelty free since 2018, mainland China still requires animal testing of cosmetics that are sold in brick and mortar stores in mainland China. Thankfully, products directly mailed to consumers from overseas for personal use do not require animal testing. Hong Kong does not require animal testing and therefore imported products that are sold through Hong Kong for personal use do not have to be animal tested.

You can read more about cruelty free Korean cosmetics here.


If you’re vegan, it can sometimes be tricky to work out whether the cosmetics you use are 100% vegan. Here’s some hidden skincare ingredients to look out for:

Collagen: There are several types of collagen commonly used cosmetics, one of them being bovine collagen (which is derived from pigs). Make sure that the collagen you’re using is derived from plants or is synthetic.

Lanolin: Lanolin comes from sheep’s wool, and is a common ingredient used in hydrating formulas.

Bee and Honey by-products: Keep an eye out for beeswax, honey, propolis and royal jelly, all of which are used in many natural skincare products thanks to their high antioxidant properties.

Squalene: Not to be confused with “squalane” ,squalene is commonly extracted from shark liver oil. Make sure that the product you are about to use contains vegan squalene instead, which is derived from olives and wheat germ.


These are the Korean brands you can safely shop from for all your vegan needs:

Subi – All of their products are ethically made, sourced from humane supply chains, are vegan, cruelty-free and not sold in China.

Vegan Glow – 100% vegan and eco-friendly, the name itself is self-explanatory. While The Vegan Glow haven’t released many products yet, we guarantee they’ll become your certified go-to brand for vegan and environmentally clean products.


A wide range of Korean skincare brands now have a selection of products that are 100% vegan. Try:

COSRX – Try their Low pH Good Morning Cleanser, One Step Pimple Clear Pads or Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream, all of which are vegan.

Olivarrier – ALL of their products are dermatologist-tested, cruelty-free, EWG verified, vegan, and hypoallergenic with zero toxins. Perfect for those with sensitive skin.

Benton – Benton’s Aloe vera line is plant-based and great for the skin.  Benton itself is certified cruelty free by the PETA and specializes in natural beauty products that contain high percentages of active ingredients. Benton avoids parabens, mineral oil, alcohol, benzophenone, chemical preservatives and steroids.

Purito – The brand’s new PURITO Centella Green range is free of harmful additives, animal ingredients and animal testing. Purito itself is a 100% cruelty-free brand that uses ingredients that are EWG Green level safe, toxin/chemical-free with packaging that is environmentally friendly.

Klairs – Since 2016, Klairs transitioned their entire brand to become vegan and eco-friendly, though they do have some honey-based products. All the Klairs products we sell at STYLE STORY are vegan.

iUNIK – Excluding their propolis and snail products, iUNIK’s minimalist style skincare products use natural, plant-based ingredients to create their toners, serums, cleansers, etc.

Beauty of Joseon the new Bubble Cloud Toner from this beloved brand is 100% vegan friendly, and with its gentle formula that envelopes skin like a soft cloud because it offers a major glow up!


STYLE STORY’s Vegan Skincare Set

Take the fuss out of shopping for your vegan cosmetics with STYLE STORY’s exclusive Vegan Skincare Set.

This set includes everything you need to get started on your Korean skincare routine using 100% vegan, cruelty free products, with brands that focus on gently nourishing the skin using natural ingredients. The brands included are all ethical and take their vegan products and cruelty-free credentials seriously.


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