16 Cruelty-Free Korean Beauty–Inspired Products to Make Your Skin Glow

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Korean beauty products and trends have created quite a wave of interest among beauty-product fans stateside. For those of you who don’t like the idea of smearing snail goo or egg on your face, we put together this list to show you how easy it is to find cruelty-free, vegan versions of popular Korean beauty products.

More and more makeup lovers are learning that we’re all more beautiful when we show compassion toward animals. Here are some of our favorite products:

Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence by Olivarrier utilizes a mega-moisturizing molecule called squalene. This olive-derived ingredient is a staple in Korean beauty.

With My is a Korean toothpaste company that infuses its cruelty-free and vegan toothpastes with popular ingredients such as green tea and pomegranate extracts.

By now, BB and CC creams have become makeup-cabinet staples, but did you know they have Korean roots? BB creams are tinted moisturizers that became popular because of their acne-fighting properties. CC creams then came on the scene to one-up BB creams, offering additional moisture and sun protection. We love ARTCOS Blemish BalmPhysicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Cream SPF 30 and Pacifica’s Ultra CC Cream Radiant Foundation.

Korean beauty fans love cleansing water for its micelle molecules, which remove impurities and makeup from skin. NYX Stripped Off Micellar Water is available in seven formulas and scents.

Sheet masks can be infused with any skin-benefiting ingredients, and Gabriel Cosmetics’ Skin Brightening Mask features two ingredients that are popular in Korea—ginseng and green tea. Also try a Bright Eyes Mask by 100% Pure.

We don’t condone milk cleansers—for obvious reasons—but you can opt for a vegan version, instead. Cleansing Milk by Juice Beauty features almond, chamomile, and calendula for their moisturizing and cleansing properties.

Rubber masks are all the rage among adventurous beauty fans. skyn ICELAND adds the Arctic Hydration Rubberizing Mask to the facial-mask pantheon.

The Korean beauty blurring trend is intended to soften any fine lines in your face by leaving a layer of “blurring” moisturizer underneath your foundation. Try Murad’s Invisiblur Perfecting Shield, which achieves this effect without any animal-derived ingredients.

Sugar scrubs are super-popular in Korea, and they’re so simple to make—there’s really no reason to spend money on them. Check out this fast recipe:

Watermelon is another buzzy ingredient in the skincare world. This Alighten Nutritive Revitalizing Facial Oil has watermelon seed oil, along with olive, spinach seed oil, argan oil, and more.

If you think facial care is a bore, maybe bubble masks will change your mind. They fizz, foam, and tingle, and e.l.f.’s Hydrating Bubble Mask is a great cruelty-free choice.

Cushion compacts are similar to BB and CC creams, as the formulas are focused on improving skin as well as on providing coverage. Simply press down on the cushion a couple of times (we recommend wet n wild’s MegaCushion Highlight) and dab onto the desired area for a more even and less cakey application than your normal foundation provides.

Sea kelp–infused products are a must-have for any self-respecting makeup #shelfie. Freeman Beauty’s Purifying In-Shower Mask is enriched with sea kelp and probiotics to balance your epidermis’s ecosystem. Feel free to “multi-mask” with other products such as cucumber, charcoal and black sugar, and avocado and oats.

Have a favorite company you don’t see on our cruelty-free list? Write to them and encourage them to go cruelty-free. If they are already cruelty-free, you can encourage them to join our Beauty Without Bunnies program.

Although we’re making progress toward ending cruel tests on animals and many non-animal tests are widely available, some countries still require testing.

The best thing that you can do is purchase products only from companies that don’t support these tests. To find out if a beauty brand is cruelty-free, simply search our Beauty Without Bunnies database. It features 2,700 cruelty-free companies—and counting!

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