Erborian claims to be the first Korean brand that bought BB cream to Europe. Is their science-meets-traditional-herbology skincare also cruelty-free and vegan?
Erborian 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.
While many other brands have phased out their BB and CC Creams, Erborian’s are still best sellers. The line has grown to include award-winning skincare with K-Beauty ingredients like ginseng, licorice root, and bamboo.
But after a change in ownership, do we know if Erborian’s cruelty-free and vegan policies are still trustworthy? And can they prove it?
Looking for the best vegan alternatives? We preselected the best ones, click here.
Erborian Ethical Overview
Erborian 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.
Erborian does not test on animals. Still, their parent company L’Occitane does conduct animal testing when required by law.
Erborian Does Not Test on Animals When Required By Law
Erborian is committed to creating effective cosmetics blending science and traditional herbs that are also cruelty-free. This has been its intention since it was founded.
What Is Erborian’s Cruelty-Free Status in 2023?
Here is a screenshot of Erborian’s official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products. It is taken from its website:
Erborian Has No Cruelty-Free Certification
When a multi-million dollar brand could easily be certified and claims to make “cruelty-free products” without any backing – we have to ask ourselves why?
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?
Erborian Is Not Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law.
Erborian does not distribute any of its products in stores in mainland 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?
Erborian is Not Vegan
Erborian has an extensive range of vegan products from which to choose.
If you're interested in which products are vegan or finding vegan brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: Erborian vegan products.
What Erborian Products Are Vegan?
Although Erborian uses some animal-derived ingredients – many of its cult-status, award-winning products are vegan.
To save you some time, here are some of Erborian’s best sellers to choose from:
Unfortunately, Erborian does not have a dedicated page for its vegan products.
However, you can email customer service, and they will send you an extensive list telling you exactly what you want to know.
You can also scroll through Erborian’s website and see which vegan products you selected.
Vegan Alternatives to Erborian
Erborian is Not Considered Natural, or Organic
Although they use many natural ingredients, Erborian isn’t considered natural or organic.
However, it does claim to use safe, simple ingredients.
Its whole ethos is to make clean formulas and products that anyone can use.
All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas. Erborian 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.
Erborian Has An 91% Allergen-Free Ranking
According to Skin Safe, Erborian has a 91% allergen-free ranking for each product.
Many of Erborian’s products are free of allergens such as parabens, lanolin, coconut, topical antibiotics, gluten, nickel, MCI/MI, soy, oil, irritants, and SLS.
Erborian products never contain sulfates (SLS + SLES), Parabens, Formaldehyde & foramina-releasing agents, Phthalates Retinyl Palmitate, Oxybenzone, Coal tar, Hydroquinone, and Triclosan & Triclocarban.
Reading the ingredient list is crucial because Erborian 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!
Given Erborian formulates and tests to EU standards and regulations- with strict ingredient policies – you don't need to worry too much.
With skincare and cosmetics, you want to avoid these ingredients:
Erborian Is Not 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.
Erborian does not mention any sustainability and ethical initiatives on its website. We also checked their Instagram but found a mix of skincare content with collaborations from makeup influencers and lifestyle tips.
Erborian’s BB and CC creams are undoubtedly a success worldwide, but we don’t feel they are doing enough from a cruelty-free or vegan aspect.
Getting certified by a trustworthy cruelty-free organization like Leaping Bunny would be the first step towards fixing this. And something as simple as making it easy to identify vegan products online would make a world of difference.
The packaging is gorgeous, and it’s fantastic to see inclusive images with no misleading digital enhancements.
But that pretty packaging isn’t marked as recyclable, and in 2023, we expect more from big brands regarding sustainability.
Wish we could say it was a love story with Erborian, but they just aren’t doing enough.