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Is Innisfree Cruelty-Free?
☠️ Innisfree is NOT cruelty-free in 2023. Innisfree allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, including when selling in stores in mainland China.
Innisfree’s Animal Testing Policy
When asking, does Innisfree test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Innisfree’s ingredients or suppliers test on animals. And they don’t sell in any country or under conditions that may require animal testing by law.
To assess whether brands are cruelty-free, I always start with the company’s official animal testing policy on their website.
On Innisfree’s website, they state their parent company, Amorepacific’s animal testing policy. Amorepacific claims the products they sell in North America are not tested on animals. However, in some markets they sell to, require animal testing by local law.
See below for a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Innisfree’s website:
Policies stating, “some markets we sell our products require animal testing by local law” usually imply the company distributes its products in countries that require animal testing, like mainland China.
Is Innisfree Sold in China?
When I emailed Innisfree in 2020, they confirmed their products are sold in China.
The following is a snippet of the email response I received from Innisfree:
“innisfree has declared “a prohibition on unnecessary animal testing of cosmetics”.
In 2008, we voluntarily banned the in-house testing of cosmetics materials and finished products on animals. As of May 1, 2013, we have also banned our partners from animal-testing.
However, experiments on animals may be conducted in some countries to fulfill their regulatory requirements. For instance, the China Food and Drug Administration requires all imported cosmetics, new cosmetic ingredients, and special-use cosmetics to undergo animal testing through appointed organizations. Animal testing is therefore unavoidable to enter the Chinese market, which poses difficulty to all foreign cosmetics brands (including innisfree). Please note, innisfree does not conduct animal testing within the Chinese market, this is conducted by companies within China for the Chinese branch of innisfree
innisfree has taken action in the past and will pursue its efforts to promote change in the regulatory policies of countries that mandate animal testing.
We will continue to research and maintain industrial-educational cooperation in order to develop alternatives to animal-testing, and will strive for the abolition of customary tests on animals and the implementation of alternative testing.“
But Doesn’t China No Longer Test on Animals?
With the recent changes to China’s animal testing laws, cosmetic companies can now export and sell some of their cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet ALL of the following preconditions first.
- ONLY sell ‘general’ cosmetics (like makeup, skincare, haircare, nail polish, and perfumes)
- must NOT sell any ‘special’ cosmetics like sunscreens, hair dye, hair perming, or other cosmetics claiming new efficacy
- must NOT sell products designed for infants or children
- must NOT sell products that contain a ‘New Cosmetic Ingredient’
- AND if post-market testing is required, then the company must have a policy in place where it will RECALL its products rather than allow its products to be tested on animals
Also, products must meet ONE of the following in order to avoid animal testing in China:
- manufactured in China, or the final assembly is in China
- if manufactured outside of China and then exported to China, companies must obtain the proper product safety certificates and documents
However, it’s not stated anywhere that Innisfree has taken any steps to meet the above preconditions in order to avoid animal testing while selling in China.
Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see why most cosmetics sold in China (like Innisfree) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2023.
Because Innisfree has decided to sell in mainland China stores, they must consent and pay to have their products tested on animals. That’s why most cosmetics brands selling in mainland China cannot be considered cruelty-free in 2023.
Although Innisfree may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, they knowingly allow Chinese authorities to test their products on animals in order to sell in China.
For those reasons, we would not consider Company to be cruelty-free by our standards.
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Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China under conditions where animal tests may be required. Unfortunately, Innisfree refuses to do the same and therefore cannot be considered cruelty-free.
At ethical elephant, we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, or by any third parties, including when required by law.
See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist. Since Innisfree already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.
Is Innisfree Certified Cruelty-Free?
Innisfree is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.
Since Innisfree is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is substantiating or auditing Innisfree’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.
Is Innisfree Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?
Yes. Innisfree is owned by Amorepacific, parent corporation that still engages in animal testing in 2023.
Some cruelty-free consumers may choose to purchase and support cruelty-free brands owned by animal-tested parent corporations as they hope it will convince the parent company to become cruelty-free.
But in this case, Innisfree is NOT cruelty-free, and neither is its parent corporation, Amorepacific.
Does Innisfree Test on Animals?
To wrap up, Innisfree allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, like when selling in China. Therefore, we would NOT consider Innisfree to be a cruelty-free brand.
Currently, Innisfree is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.
Is Innisfree Vegan?
❌ Innisfree is NOT vegan. Innisfree claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but Innisfree engages in animal testing in some capacity, so we wouldn’t consider any Innisfree products vegan at this time.
In order for products to be considered vegan by ethical elephant’s standards, the products and their ingredients must not be tested on animals anywhere in the world. Also, they must not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.
Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Innisfree:
Looking to switch to cruelty-free brands? Here are some cruelty-free and vegan-friendly options that are similar to Innisfree:
And check out our Guide to Cruelty-Free K-Beauty Brands!