The Face Shop stands for clean beauty with selected natural extracts to enhance your inner glow. Is this one of the few K-beauty brands that offer cruelty-free, vegan, and value-for-money skincare?

The Face Shop 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.
The Face Shop’s core values are to use natural ingredients, keep the prices low for customers and create products for any skincare woe out there.

And it's been doing exactly that since 2003. The Face Shop tagline is ‘Natural Story,’ and it's expanded rapidly since being bought by LG- yes, the TV and appliance giant- in 2010.

Just because The Face Shop is innovative and budget-friendly doesn’t mean it deserves to be a part of your skincare routine.

Read on to find out why we think you should avoid this brand at all costs.
The Face Shop The therapy Collection

The Face Shop Ethical Overview

Cruelty-free: No

Vegan: No (The Face Shop cannot be considered vegan if it is not cruelty-free)

Clean ingredients: Yes

Sustainable & Ethical: Minimal efforts

Mica Mining Policy: Undetermined 

RSPO Palm Oil Certified: Undetermined

The Face Shop 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.


The Face Shop’s parent company LG has no history of testing on animals, 


It has continued selling the brand in a region that does require animal testing. 

Does The Face Shop Test on Animals?

The Face Shop claims to be “against animal testing,” but it’s been clear that it conducts animal testing when required by law.

The Face Shop does ship to countries like China. However, they still have a stance on cruelty-free cosmetics. 

What Is The Face Shop’s Cruelty-Free Status in 2023?

The Face Shop does not provide an official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products on its website.

We emailed them to ask for one, and sadly, we didn’t get a response. 

The Face Shop Has No Cruelty-Free Certification

With a strong presence in China – we know 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.

Is The Face Shop Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law?

Yes, The Face Shop 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.

Please note that while The Face Shop is manufactured in China, it does not test on animals at all.

This law is purely enforced on international cosmetic products entering China and not on products being made within the country itself. 

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 

The Face Shop is Not Vegan

Although It claims to have vegetarian and vegan ranges, it’s hard to consider any of its products that are free of animal-derived ingredients as “vegan” because it’s not 100% cruelty-free.

Some of the most common animal-derived ingredients that The Face Shop uses are: honey, marine (fish) collagen, and squalane

Vegan Alternatives to The Face Shop


price range

100% vegan


$5 - $15


PETA, Leaping Bunny

$20 - $50


Leaping Bunny

$20 - $50


PETA, Leaping Bunny

$3 - $24


Leaping Bunny

$15 - $70


Leaping Bunny

The Face Shop is Considered Natural but not Organic

The Face Shop is a natural brand. It boasts over 600 natural ingredients but does not specify what percentage of each product is natural. 

Although The Face Shop might use some organic ingredients, it is not certified organic, nor does it advertise itself as an organic cosmetics brand. 

All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas. The Face Shop 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.

The Face Shop Has A 91% Allergen-Free Ranking

According to Skin Safe, The Face Shop has a 91% allergen-free ranking for each product.

Many of The Face Shop’s products are free of allergens, such as paraben, lanolin, coconut, topical antibiotic, nickel, MCI/MI, gluten, soy, dyes, and SLS. 

Reading the ingredient list is crucial because The Face Shop 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!

The Face Shop does not explain what they consider true clean beauty to be or list which serious hidden nasties won’t be found in its products.

It’s worth knowing that 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

The Face Shop Is Minimally Sustainable and Ethical

Even though The Face Shop markets itself as an eco-conscious brand, there’s very little about its sustainability and ethical initiatives on their website. We also checked their Instagram but found a mix of beauty content and product promotions.

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 Face Shop takes environmental accountability by:

  • Working on sustainable packaging developments.
  • Ensuring that the plastic containers they use are recyclable.
  • Encouraging consumers to recycle their products.
  • Developing some refillable packaging and reducing plastic refills.

Final Thoughts

The Face Shop may live up to its reputation as an affordable K-beauty pioneer, but they are doing too little to call itself ‘committed to nature.’ 

The Face Shop does not provide enough information on its supply chain, ethical policies, or sustainability initiatives. The tricking phrase ‘against animal testing’ leaves us little trust in the brand. 

We don’t even know if the palm oil or mica used by The Face Source is certified as sustainable or forced labor free.

Using a lot of natural extracts and recyclable packaging is not good enough.

To be a truly earth-friendly brand, The Face Shop should look at creating biodegradable formulas, using clean energy sources across business areas, and redesigning packaging to have a smaller impact, just to name a few.

Oh, and not to mention not selling in China!

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}