Neogen is another self-proclaimed “innovator” in the Korean skincare scene. They’ve got high quality, high-performance products, but can they be cruelty-free and vegan too?
Neogen 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.
We can’t fault them for the effectiveness of their formulas, but there has to be more to make a brand worth buying. Neogen has fallen snuggly into the category of being cruelty-free because there isn’t anything that says they aren’t.
Can we truly trust a brand to be cruelty-free when they don’t take a solid stance on their policies?
Looking for the best vegan alternatives? We preselected the best ones, click here.
Neogen Ethical Overview
Neogen is 100% 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.
Neogen is by all accounts 100% cruelty-free. While they don’t proudly announce it all over their website, that doesn’t make them less cruelty-free.
The parent company of the brand is Outin Futures which used to be cruelty-free and certified by Cruelty Free International. Emphasis on the “used to be”. It’s unclear why they lost their certification.
Does Neogen Test on Animals?
Neogen doesn’t have a history of testing on animals. While they have been promoted online as a cruelty-free brand for almost ten years, there isn’t much to be found before then.
The brand has never proudly stated itself to be against animal testing, but they do include cruelty-free descriptions in all of its product descriptions.
Neogen has also tried selling in China but only through Hong Kong to use loopholes in the animal testing laws. Bit of a red flag?
What Is Neogen’s Cruelty-Free Status in 2023?
Neogen 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.
If anything changes or if Neogen responds, we will update the article.
Neogen Has No Cruelty-Free Certification
Without a solid cruelty-free certification, taking Neogen’s already flimsy cruelty-free status seriously is difficult.
There are vague mentions of the brand being leaping bunny certified through their parent company Outin Futures eight years ago, but since then, Outin Futures has lost its certification, and so has Neogen.
So why aren’t they certified? Neogen is a multi-million dollar brand that could easily be certified if it wanted to be. Ideally, all brands that consider themselves cruelty-free should be Leaping Bunny certified.
Leaping Bunny certification proves that:
Is Neogen Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law?
Neogen is currently using a loophole to get their products into China to avoid animal testing by law.
There are a few of these loopholes, but one of the most successful and effective ones (and the one Neogen is using) is by shipping to Hong Kong and then selling their products to the rest of China online.
This loophole is more effective than the “whitelist” method a lot of other brands are using.
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?
Neogen is Not Vegan
As much as we wish it were, Neogen is not 100% vegan. Many of the products include animal-derived ingredients, but at least there are a few that are 100% vegan – and they’re certified too!
Some of the most common animal-derived ingredients that Neogen uses are: honey, beeswax, propolis, quaternium-60, collagen and snail mucin.
What Neogen Products Are Vegan?
Neogen has some great vegan products to choose from in their ranges – and they’re vegan-certified too!
Here are a couple worth mentioning:
Unfortunately, Neogen does not have a dedicated page for its vegan products.
However, you can email customer service, and they will send you an extensive list of exactly what you want to know.
You can also scroll through Neogen’s website and see which vegan products once you've selected them.
Vegan Alternatives to Neogen
$5 - $20
$9 - $65
$15 - $50
$20 - $90
PETA, Leaping Bunny
$3 - $17
Neogen is Not Considered Natural, and Organic
Neogen has some awesome products that have high percentages of natural ingredients, BUT overall the brand is not natural or organic.
Neogen has advertised itself as innovative and science-driven, with formulas that are effective and safe for everyone to use.
All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas. Neogen 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.
Neogen Has An 82 – 91% Allergen-Free Ranking
According to Skin Safe; Neogen has an 82 – 91% allergen-free ranking for each product.
Many of Neogen’s products are free of allergens such as gluten, coconut, nickel, top common allergy-causing preservatives, lanolin, paraben, topical antibiotic, MCI/MI, soy, dye, and SLS.
Reading the ingredient list is crucial because Neogen 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!
Luckily, Neogen 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:
Neogen Is Moderately Sustainable and Ethical
One of the ethical causes Neogen has supported is breast cancer awareness.
For the month of October, Neogen has donated 10% of all sales from their “Pink Collection” to the Breast Cancer Foundation.
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.
Neogen takes environmental accountability by:
All in all, Neogen isn’t the worst brand out there. Finding Korean skincare brands that are 100% cruelty-free, vegan and sustainable is difficult.
So while Neogen isn’t 100% vegan and their cruelty-free policy is lacking some transparency, they are significantly better than a lot of the brands out there.
Currently, the evidence shows that they are cruelty-free, but we’d like to see some initiative from Neogen to openly state their animal testing policy and get the certification to prove it.
When it comes to sustainability, Neogen has at least opened the conversation on their initiatives and made some minor steps to make their products better for the planet.
The conclusion is that what they’ve done is a good start, but they can still do better. As buyers, we need to keep communicating our needs, but Neogen is worth keeping an eye on.