Is MISSHA Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

MISSHA is a popular Korean cosmetics brand that specializes in skincare.

Since 2000, they have prioritized their Korean demographic to satisfy their beauty standards.

MISSHA has since gone worldwide to cater to a larger variety of skin types. 

It is important for animal lovers, activists, and vegans to know whether their chosen cosmetics brands are cruelty-free and/or vegan.

Not only do people not want to financially contribute to animal testing, but purchasing products that have come from non-cruelty-free brands can make people feel incredibly guilty and uncomfortable. 

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So, is MISSHA cruelty-free?

The short answer is a resounding and unfortunate no - MISSHA is not a cruelty-free cosmetics company.

They have some products that have vegan formulas, but this does not negate the fact that these products may have still been tested on animals.

That’s the short answer, and here is the long answer!

Does MISSHA test on animals?

It’s very rare for a cosmetic company to openly admit that they test their products on animals.

This is because they know it would make the brand look bad, despite their honesty.

MISSHA is one of those cosmetic companies.

Cosmetic companies can get away with not saying they are or aren’t cruelty-free because there currently are no laws to confirm or deny it.

The only reputable source that confirms whether a cosmetic company is cruelty-free is an official certification from PETA or other animal activist organizations.

MISSHA has not been certified as cruelty-free, therefore it is not a cruelty-free company. 

It is not clear as to whether MISSHA tests their products on animals directly, or whether their non-cruelty-free status is due to third-party testing.

Third-party testing is where the suppliers and owners of ingredients from outside sources test the products on animals before sending the ingredients to MISSHA.

Even if MISSHA doesn't directly test their products on animals, they are still considered non-cruelty-free because their third-party suppliers test on animals. 

Does Missha Sell In China?

This is where it gets tricky.

Even if MISSHA suddenly claimed they don’t test their products on animals, this doesn’t mean the countries where they sell their products don’t test on animals, either. 

As of 2021, China passed a mandatory law that means it is now illegal to test imported cosmetics products on animals.

This includes mascara, blush, shampoo, perfume, and any other products that could cause irritation to human skin or eyes.

Before this, it was mandatory to test imported cosmetics on animals before putting them on the market. 

Whilst this is something worth celebrating, this doesn’t mean China can’t pull products from the shelves to test on animals.

This is called “post-market testing”. 

Post-market testing is, in China’s view, a way to prevent negative criticism about certain products.

For example, if people have complained about a moisturizer that has irritated their skin, Chinese stores and companies can remove those products from their shelves to test them on animals.

This is to investigate whether the product is safe for humans. 

Also, for China to accept imported products, the companies must test their products on animals before they reach China.

It’s a clever loophole that makes the new law somewhat redundant. 

As MISSHA sells their products to mainland China, this means they must have tested their products on animals beforehand.

This is, in theory, to prevent post-market testing - which can still happen. 

This is the best way to confirm that MISSHA tests its products on animals.

Due to China’s new regulations on imported cosmetics, companies must go through series of animal testing to confirm that their products are safe for human use.

Whilst China no longer does this for them when the imported products reach their country, nothing stops them from pulling products from the shelves for post-market testing purposes. 

Does Korea Require Beauty Products To Be Tested On Animals?

In 2018, a law was passed that companies cannot test their products on animals.

However, this stance is somewhat similar to China’s laws, as the law does not mean imported ingredients can’t be tested on animals.

As long as the testing doesn’t occur within Korea, brands can do whatever they want with their products. 

This means that MISSHA’s non-cruelty-free status is probably down to third-party testing and the ingredients from suppliers in different countries. 

What Is Misshas Parent Company?

Parent companies are another way for animal activists and vegans to consider whether a cosmetics brand is cruelty-free or not.

For example, a cruelty-free brand could be owned by a parent company that tests its products on animals.

In these instances, it’s up to personal preference whether you would consider the brand cruelty-free. 

MISSHA’s parent company is Able Skincare, which is a cruelty-free skincare company that is not vegan.

Whilst Able Skincare doesn’t test on animals, MISSHA still does. 

Is MISSHA vegan?

It’s very common for cosmetic brands to create vegan formulas to cater towards a vegan audience.

This is a clever loophole for cosmetic brands who test their products on animals with no confirmation, as it means they can fool vegans into believing their products must be cruelty-free if they contain no animal products. 

Sadly, due to MISSHA’s stance on animal testing, even their vegan products can be considered non-vegan.

Whilst some of their products may not contain honey, beeswax, or other animal by-products, the products will still be tested on animals.

This is the complete antithesis of veganism. 

Of course, there’s no way of confirming that every single MISSHA product has been tested on animals.

If you are willing to play the risky game of purchasing a vegan product with the hope that it wasn’t tested on animals, there’s nothing stopping you.

However, many animal lovers, activists, and vegans alike would disagree with this. 

What Korean brands are cruelty-free?

Whilst K-beauty brand MISSHA is not cruelty-free, that doesn’t mean that other Korean cosmetics brands aren’t cruelty-free, either. 

Some Korean brands that are cruelty-free include: 

  • Klairs - cruelty-free and vegan
  • I’m From - cruelty-free and some vegan products
  • COSRX - cruelty-free and some vegan products
  • Glow Recipe - cruelty-free and vegan
  • By Wishtrend - cruelty-free, but not certified
  • Re:p - cruelty-free and eco-friendly
  • Purito - cruelty-free and eco-friendly
  • Withmy - cruelty-free and vegan

Can I buy MISSHA’s products if I’m vegan?

Obviously, nobody is forcing anyone to buy or not buy any products.

If you feel comfortable buying one skincare product from MISSHA, whether it is vegan or not, it comes down to personal preference.

After all, some may think that buying one product won’t make a financial dent for the company on a large scale.

Technically, buying one MISSHA product isn’t directly supporting China’s animal testing loopholes, right? 

However, products that test on animals cannot be considered vegan.

Veganism is about not contributing, either financially or literally, to the pain and suffering of animals.

Even if a MISSHA product doesn’t contain any animal products or by-products, it still could have been tested on animals before being put on the market. 

Is MISSHA an ethical company?

As MISSHA has not been certified by PETA or other animal organizations as cruelty-free, they cannot be considered an ethical company.

Despite Korea’s laws on animal testing, MISSHA must still test their ingredients or imported products on animals from suppliers or third parties. 

As well as this, MISSHA still sells its products to mainland China.

As of 2021, China has legally stopped testing imported products on animals.

However, there are loopholes.

Post-market testing still exists in China, where they have every right to pull a product from the shelves to investigate whether it is safe for human use to prevent negative reviews and criticism. 

As MISSHA sells its products to China, it cannot be considered an ethical company.

An ethical company is one that cuts all ties with suppliers, third parties, and countries that allow testing on animals.

An ethical company offers completely vegan products that include no animal by-products.

As MISSHA is neither of those, they aren’t an ethical company.