Etude House lives on the fun, sassy side of K-beauty with a long history of pioneering new makeup trends. Let’s find out if Etude House is cruelty-free, vegan, and ethical. 

Etude House 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.
With a 48-year history in South Korea’s beauty industry, Etude House has developed some cult-status products that are popular from Japan to the Middle East.

The brand’s sugary pink look and celebrity faces bring in new generations of fans BUT is everything as sweet as it seems?

Cruelty-Free Soul readers know that fun branding doesn’t make a product ethical, sustainable or kind. Can you trust Etude House’s cruelty-free and vegan policies?
Etude House

Etude House Ethical Overview

Cruelty-free: No

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

Clean ingredients: No

Sustainable & Ethical: Minimal efforts

Mica Mining Policy: Undetermined

RSPO Palm Oil Certified: Undetermined

Etude House 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.


Etude House is owned by AMOREPACIFIC, a company that tests on animals where required by law. 

Does Etude House Test on Animals?

Etude House conducts animal testing when required by law, and it does ship to countries like China.

What Is Etude House's Cruelty-Free Status in 2023?

Etude House does not provide an official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products on its website

We reached out to ask for their statement but haven’t heard back from Etude House.

Etude House Has No Cruelty-Free Certification.

For as long as Etude House chooses to ship to and sell in China, they cannot be cruelty-free.

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 make up 95% of animals used in research?

Is Etude House Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law?

Yes, Etude House 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?

Etude House is Not Vegan

Etude House does not claim to have vegetarian and vegan ranges. Even if they did, it would be hard to consider any of its products free of animal-derived ingredients as “vegan” because it’s 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 Etude House uses are: honeybeeswax / collagen / squalane / pearl/ snail mucus  

Vegan Alternatives to Etude House


price range

100% vegan


$5 - $15


PETA, Leaping Bunny

$5 - $70


Leaping Bunny

$16 - $32



$14 - $17


Leaping Bunny

$15 - $30


Leaping Bunny

Etude House is Not Considered Natural, and Organic

Etude House may infuse its products with many natural ingredients, but it isn’t considered natural or organic. 

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

Its whole ethos is to make effective formulas and fun products that anyone can use.

All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas. Etude House is no exception – but it does choose to use better 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.

Etude House Has An 91% Allergen-Free Ranking

According to Skin Safe, and Etude House has a 91% allergen-free ranking for each product.

Etude House’s products are free of allergens such as paraben, lanolin, coconut, topical antibiotics, MCI/MI, nickel, gluten, soy, oil, and SLS.

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

However, certain products are specifically for 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!

Etude House aims to be a safe brand, so although they are not a clean beauty brand, you shouldn’t have to worry about any seriously harsh ingredients in its products.

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

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

Etude House Is Not Sustainable and Ethical

Almost no information about Etude House’s sustainability or ethical initiatives is on their website or social media feed.  

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.

The only way Etude House takes environmental accountability by:

  • Eco-friendly store materials, certified by KEITI (Korean Environmental and Technology Institute)

Final Thoughts

Etude House may be a reputable brand to many, but with no cruelty-free accreditation, they can’t be vegan. 

We also find the lack of transparency on their sustainability practices, ethical initiatives, and ingredient sourcing and supply chain beyond disappointing. 

While it’s not surprising that another hugely popular cosmetics brand isn’t taking responsibility for its impact on the world, we don’t expect Etude house to change any time soon.

Etude House may be cute and chic, but we wouldn’t recommend this makeup brand to environmental activists or people concerned with animal welfare. 

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