Is Beauty of Joseon Cruelty-Free and Vegan in 2023?

Beauty of Joseon is an affordable Hanbang K-Beauty with a soothing, earthy look. But that doesn’t tell the whole story about its cruelty-free, vegan, and environmental policies.

Beauty of Joseon is cruelty-free but not 100% vegan, meaning some products contain animal-derived ingredients. It does not conduct animal testing on its products or distribute cosmetics where animal testing is required by law.

Hanbang is the umbrella term for Traditional Korean Medicine, and Beauty of Joseon blends some of the herbal complexes with modern skincare. 

Most Hanbang brands are in the luxury market, but Beauty of Joseon is accessible. With a reverence for herbs, a lot of its imagery focuses on nature. Let’s find out if it’s as sustainable as it looks. 

And how much has this simple brand prioritized cruelty-free policies and veganism? And can we trust them?

Looking for the best vegan alternatives? We preselected the best ones, click here. 

Beauty of Joseon Product Shot

Beauty of Joseon Ethical Overview

Cruelty-free: Yes

Vegan: No but Beauty of Joseon has vegan options

Clean ingredients: Yes

Sustainable & Ethical: Minimal efforts

Mica Mining Policy: Undetermined

RSPO Palm Oil Certified: Undetermined

Beauty of Joseon Is 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.


Beauty of Joseon is not owned by a parent company associated with animal testing.

Beauty of Joseon Does Not Test on Animals

Beauty of Joseon has been committed to creating clean, effective, and affordable Hanbang skincare that’s also cruelty-free since it was founded.

What Is Beauty of Joseon’s Cruelty-Free Status in 2023?

Here is a screenshot of Beauty of Joseon’s official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products, taken from its website:

Beauty of Joseon Cruelty-Free Status

Beauty of Joseon Has No Cruelty-Free Certification

Ideally, all brands that consider themselves cruelty-free should be Leaping Bunny certified.

While you might know PETA very well – it surprisingly doesn't hold the strictest cruelty-free regulations. Leaping Bunny certification is the gold standard to live up to.

Did you know that in the US, most animal testing is regulated by the Animal Welfare Act (1966)? If you did know this, did you know that this act does not include birds, rats, and mice, which comprise 95% of animals used in research?

Beauty of Joseon Is Not Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law.

Beauty of Joseon does not distribute any of its products to China or any country that requires animal testing on cosmetics by law.

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?

Beauty of Joseon is Not Vegan

Although the brand is not entirely vegan, Beauty of Joseon has a few vegan products to choose from. 

The most common animal-derived ingredient that Beauty of Joseon uses is: (honey)

If you're interested in which products are vegan or finding vegan brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: Beauty of Joseon vegan products. 

What Beauty of Joseon Products Are Vegan?

Although Beauty of Joseon uses honey and bee-derived ingredients, some of its products are vegan.

To save you some time, here are some of Beauty of Joseon’s most popular and award-winning products to choose from:

  • Apricot Blossom Peeling Gel
  • Glow Deep Serum
  • Relief Sun
  • Green Plum Refreshing Cleanser
  • Ginseng Essence Water

You can find a complete list of Beauty of Joseon’s vegan products on its website.

Vegan Alternatives to Beauty of Joseon


price range

100% vegan


$3 - $24


Leaping Bunny

$5 - $67



$8 - $32



$5 - $20


Leaping Bunny

$16 - $28


PETA, Leaping Bunny

Beauty of Joseon is Not Considered Natural, or Organic

Beauty of Joseon isn’t considered natural or organic. 

However, it does claim to use safe, simple, and clean ingredients. 

Its focus is to create clean Hanbang formulas that anyone can use.

All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas. Beauty of Joseon 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.

Beauty of Joseon Has A 91% Allergen-Free Ranking

According to Skin Safe, Beauty of Joseon has a 91% allergen-free ranking for each product.

Many of Beauty of Joseon’s products are free of allergens such as parabens, talc, topical antibiotics, nickel, MCI/MI, lanolin, gluten, irritant, dye, and SLS.

No Beauty of Joseon products use mineral oils, essential oils, artificial fragrances, or colorants. 

Reading the ingredient list is crucial because Beauty of Joseon is not 100% hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic, and they do not claim to be.

However, certain products specifically address these concerns, so make sure you buy what your skin needs. 

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, Beauty of Joseon 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, 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

Beauty of Joseon Is Minimally Sustainable and Ethical

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, Beauty of Joseon does not talk about their environmental policies online. All we know is that it:

  • Using clean ingredients to develop formulas that are kinder to the environment.
  • Use glass jars as packaging.
  • Reduced packaging for cleansing bars.
  • All product boxes and information leaflets printed on FSC (Forrest Steward Council) paper. 

Final Thoughts

Beauty of Joseon has a wonderful ethos, infusing Traditional Korean Medicine with accessible skincare however, they aren’t doing enough to be ethical or sustainable.

Gaining cruelty-free certification from a trustworthy organization and developing more vegan formulas would be a step in the right direction. 

There is so much Beauty of Joseon can do in terms of sustainable packaging, transparency of ingredient sourcing, sustainable manufacturing practices, and carbon emissions. 

Sadly, the brand isn’t too responsive to queries on complaints on social media channels. 

Lastly, it’s disappointing to see yet another branding with imagery that looks like it would be earth friendly but has no substance behind it.