Innisfree (Amorepacific)

Last Updated: March 7, 2024

How Ethical Is Innisfree (Amorepacific)?

Make a positive impact by supporting companies with the same values and ethics as what matters most to you. To navigate and find ethical brands, here’s a summary of Innisfree’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Innisfree cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Innisfree’s policies.
Innisfree is NOT Cruelty-Free. Innisfree engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.

Innisfree is also owned by Amorepacific, a parent corporation that does engage in animal testing.
Yes, Innisfree sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
Innisfree claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because Innisfree engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by Innisfree to be vegan.

Innisfree (Amorepacific)

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Is Innisfree Cruelty-Free?

⚠️ UPDATE! Innisfree is now certified cruelty-free by PETA. I’m looking into their claims to confirm how they’re able to sell in China while claiming to be cruelty-free. I’ll provide an update once I hear back from the brand.

☠️ Innisfree is NOT cruelty-free in 2024. 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 2024.

Because Innisfree has decided to sell in mainland China stores, it must consent to and pay to have its products tested on animals. That’s why most cosmetics brands selling in mainland China cannot be considered cruelty-free in 2024.

Although Innisfree may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, it knowingly allows Chinese authorities to test its products on animals in order to sell them in China.

For those reasons, we would not consider Innisfree to be cruelty-free by our standards.

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Cruelty-Free Policies

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.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

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 2024.

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!

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What do you think

3 thoughts on “Innisfree (Amorepacific)”

    1. When determining if a brand is cruelty-free or not, we generally don’t look into whether a brand is cruelty-free in some countries and not in others. We consider it all the same. And we look into whether the brand as a whole supports, funds, or conducts any form of animal testing on their ingredients, products, or formulations, anywhere in the world.

      Because Innisfree chooses to sell in China, they are well aware that they have to submit their products to be tested on animals. Because of this, we wouldn’t consider the entire brand of Innisfree to be cruelty-free.

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