Combining innovation and tradition, Banila Co gives us simple and effective skincare. They may have modern and minimal takes on traditional K beauty routines, but they have worked on their cruelty-free and vegan policies.

Banila Co is not 100% cruelty-free or vegan, as its products are sold where animal testing is required by law. It also cannot be considered vegan as it is not cruelty-free.
Banila Co got the ball rolling in 2017 when they hit the international market, but they have been a national favorite in South Korea since they began in 2006.

The brand has become an easy favorite for those that love their minimal and modern take on Korean skincare with their cute and colorful products. They’re so popular they sell their Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm every 3.1 seconds worldwide.

It’s easy to see why they’re appealing.

Still, colorful branding can’t hide their disappointing ethical and sustainability policies

However, if you are looking for alternatives to Banila Co in the same price range with the same quality, click here.

Banila Co Ethical Overview

Cruelty-free: No

Vegan: No (Banila Co cannot be considered vegan if it is not cruelty-free)

Clean ingredients: Yes

Sustainable & Ethical: Minimal efforts

Mica Mining Policy: No

RSPO Palm Oil Certified: No

Banila Co is Not Cruelty-Free

Test any of its products or ingredients on animals


Purchase any ingredients tested on animals within its supply chain


Distribute its products to any countries that require animal testing by law.


Banila Co is another brand with conveniently difficult-to-find information on their cruelty-free policies – this is never a good sign.

We know Banila Co has stores in mainland China and therefore allows animal testing by law.

The brand is owned by F&F (Fashion & Forward), which isn’t associated with animal testing.

Does Banila Co Test on Animals?

Banila Co has little information to give us when it comes to what their stance is on animal testing. They allow it when it comes to shipping to countries like China that require it by law.

What Is Banila Co’s Cruelty-Free Status in 2023?

Banila Co has no official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products on its website or social media. After reaching out, we still haven’t received a response from the brand.

Banila Co Has No Cruelty-Free Certification

It’s not all that surprising to find out that Banila Co has no cruelty-free certification. They will never get a credible certification when they make no steps to be truly cruelty-free.

Of course, if they ever stepped in the right direction, we should expect Leaping Bunny or at least PETA certification.

Certification from Leaping Bunny is ideal – even more so than PETA – because it holds rigorous standards and does regular audits to ensure they are upheld.

Leaping Bunny certification proves that:

  • No animal testing is conducted on the ingredients, formulas, or final products they sell.
  • No animal testing is conducted by the brand suppliers or on their ingredients or formulas.
  • No animal testing is done by someone else that the company itself paid for.
  • Any other form of testing (beyond ingredient and consumer safety), such as worker safety and environmental health, is considered and evaluated.

Is Banila Co Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law?

Yes, Banila Co distributes its products in China, where animal testing on cosmetics is required as products arrive at the border.

China has a shocking track record. It is the country with the most animal testing globally, with over 20 million animals used per year.

However, if you live in China or are concerned about its cruel beauty policies, there are a couple of loopholes.

Here's how to find cruelty-free cosmetics in China: Are Cosmetics Made in China Cruelty-Free?

Banila Co is Not Vegan

You’ll find some products from Banila Co that proudly claim to be vegan, which is not true! In reality, those products can’t be considered truly vegan when the brand is not 100% cruelty-free.

Does it have products that are free of animal-derived ingredients? Yes.

Are these products considered holistically vegan? Not in our opinion.

Some of the most common animal-derived ingredients that Banila Co uses are honeybeeswax, royal jelly, propolis, and silk.

Vegan Alternatives to Banila Co


price range

100% vegan


$15 - $40


Leaping Bunny

$20 - $50


Leaping Bunny

$30 - $80


PETA, Leaping Bunny

$5 - $20


Leaping Bunny

$20 - $70


PETA, Leaping Bunny

Banila Co is Not Considered Natural, and Organic

Banila Co doesn’t claim to be natural or organic. They have always focused on making products that are gentle and effective with modern skincare technology.

All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas. Banila Co is no exception – but it does choose to use better or clean synthetics.If a synthetic ingredient is "clean," it means it is safe and non-toxic for us. Its purpose is to preserve the stability of a beauty formulation.

Banila Co Has A 91% Allergen-Free Ranking

According to Skin Safe, Banila Co has a 91% allergen-free ranking for each product.

Many of Banila Co’s products are free of allergens such as gluten, coconut, nickel, top common allergy-causing preservatives, lanolin, paraben, topical antibiotic, MCI/MI, soy, propylene glycol, oil, irritant/acid, dye, and SLS.

Banila Co has also leveled up its game by being completely hypoallergenic but not non-comedogenic. 

However, we recommend reading a product’s ingredient list before purchasing, as formulas can be subject to change.

The EU/UK Have Stricter Ingredient Regulations

We don’t want to scare you, but you HAVE to read up on any product’s ingredient list before you make a purchase – especially if you live within the United States.

The reason why will shock you.

The FDA has only banned or restricted 11 harmful chemicals from cosmetics within the country. Europe and the UK, on the other hand, have banned 1,328!

Luckily, Banila Co sets a great example of what true clean beauty is meant to be, and you shouldn’t have to worry about any serious hidden nasties in its products.

With skincare and cosmetics, you want to avoid these ingredients:

  • Ethoxylated ingredients (PPG, PEG, and polysorbate)
  • Ethanolamine compounds (DEA, MEA, and TEA)
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, aka teflon®)
  • Propylene glycol (pg) & butylene glycol
  • DMDM Hydantoin
  • Triclosan

Banila Co Is Not Sustainable and Ethical

Banila Co isn’t super active with social causes. The brand apparently once donated 500 jars of their Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm at the beginning of the pandemic.

It's no secret that the world has a huge waste problem, and cosmetic brands only make it worse by using unsustainable packaging and harmful ingredients.

Unfortunately, Banila Co doesn’t consider sustainability a factor in the brand. You won’t find any mention of any environmental policies online, not even urging their customers to recycle.

Final Thoughts

Simply put, we expect more from Banila Co. This brand is quickly becoming a skincare favorite worldwide, but they have a lot of work to do when it comes to ethics and sustainability.

The brand is not cruelty-free and can’t be considered vegan (even if they say they are). Their level of transparency regarding these policies is concerning.

And when it comes to their packaging – it may be cute and colorful, but we can’t continue to support brands who can’t even acknowledge their responsibility to create products that are kinder to the planet.

There’s so much to be done and improved on. We won’t hold our breath, hoping these policies and initiatives change anytime soon.

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