5:45 pm - 11/14/2015

7 All Natural Korean Beauty Brands Committed To All Things Organic

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If you're one of the many people who has switched (or wants to switch) to an all natural beauty routine, you don't have to miss out on Korean beauty and skincare products. But finding natural Korean beauty products can take a bit of extra effort because labeling can be inconsistent and claims of "natural" ingredients or "cruelty-free" products don't have to be certified by an independent regulatory agency. (This, it should be noted, isn't a problem unique to Korean cosmetics, and labels like "cruelty-free" don't have legal definitions in the United States either, while "natural" can mean a whole bunch of things, depending on the brand. Generally, though, the "all-natural" term refers to products that don't use synthetic chemicals.)

Fortunately for those looking to make ethical and eco-friendly cosmetic purchases from Korea, there are big-name Korean brands that do not test their products on animals. In fact, one of country's largest cosmetics companies AmorePacific voluntarily suspended animal testing in 2008; the company's holdings include the popular brands Etude House, IOPE, and Mamonde.

The relative flexibility of words like "cruelty-free" and "natural" means it's important to do your research if you want to understand which companies and brands are just as committed to using all-natural ingredients and creating cruelty-free products as you are to using them. But if you're willing to put in the effort, you can definitely find some great all-natural beauty products from Korea. To get you started, here are seven K-beauty brands making that commitment to be natural.

1. Innisfree

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Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask, $22, innisfree.co.kr

Established in 2000, Innisfree calls itself Korea's first natural cosmetics brand, and many of its ingredients are inspired by the natural beauty and resources of Jeju Island like volcanic clay or green tea. Though many of the brand's flagship products use ingredients sourced from Jeju, like green tea grown on an organic farm, not all of them are vegan, so make sure you check the labels if that's important to you.

2. Caolion

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Caolion Lte V3 Pore Care Hydrating Mask, $6, peachandlily.com

According to Peach And Lily, an online boutique that curates Korean cosmetics, Caolion "was the first brand in Korea to come out with products that did not have coloring, fragrances, or alcohol," and the brand continues to make packs and masks that are free of these additives and focus on all-natural ingredients.

3. Whamisa

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Whamisa Organic Flowers Olive Leaf Mist, $38, glowrecipe.com

Whamisa describes itself as an "organic fermentation cosmetic brand," and is perhaps best known for its mists and facial spray, neither of which include artificial fragrances or preservatives. Not only are the mists raved about, even being named the fanciest facial spray by Refinery 29, but they're also certified natural by the European trade organization BDIH.

4. Beyond

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Beyond True Eco Facial Emulsion, $30.70, koreadepart.com

Beyond has a whole eco-beauty philosophy outlined on its website, which includes a strong stance against animal testing and a commitment to using organic and natural ingredients. It makes everything from essences and serums to shampoos and conditioners, all with these guiding eco-friendly principles in mind.

5. RE:P

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RE:P Organic Cotton Treatment Toning Pad, $44, sokoglam.com

RE:P stands for "Real Elemental Practice," and Charlotte Cho of Soko Glam raved about these toning pads on her blog for their ease of use and efficacy. However, she was even more excited to share the brand's commitment to using organic and natural materials and ingredients, and even "triple confirmed" with the brand that it does not test on animals. Easy-to-use and eco-friendly make a pretty winning combination.

6. belif

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belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb, $38, Sephora

According to the company's website, belif uses no animal origin ingredients and promises never to include dyes or artificial fragrances. Though it's not a super renowned brand, this gel-cream has something of a cult following, receiving pages of rave reviews on Sephora for its ability to quickly moisturize skin without leaving any stickiness or heaviness.

7. aromatica

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Rose Absolute First Serum, $35, aromatica

Aromatica is, in many ways, the gold standard for Korean organic and all-natural skincare products. In no small part because it is extremely transparent about its manufacturing practices, even posting proof of its ECOCERT certification on its website. As it explains on site, aromatica is also the only Korean brand to "earn EWG’s Skin-deep Champion Status, an accolade awarded to toxin-free beauty brands." Many of aromatica's products are vegan, and those that are will be clearly marked as such on the website.

You don't have to give up on your all-natural skincare and beauty routine to enjoy Korean beauty products, especially if you know which brands to look out for. If the success of these brands is any indication, we're probably going to see more all-natural Korean beauty products on shelves soon.

sources: bustle, Images: thearomatica/Instagram; Courtesy Brands
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demeulemeester 14th-Nov-2015 10:57 am (UTC)
ty for posting this ♡ now i have some more brands to add to my must-try list~
has anyone used any products by skin vegetarian? they also have some products that use ingredients sourced from jeju. they're not as easy to purchase online as some other korean brands so i wanna know other ppl's thoughts before i dive in~
welljustguess 14th-Nov-2015 11:03 am (UTC)

oh the only brand i know is innisfree, i thought the other common brand like faceshop or skinfood also organic

kwonsoonyoung 14th-Nov-2015 11:13 am (UTC)
yeah idk why they didnt include those products too, i think nature republic is also an organic brand
ixakaixa 14th-Nov-2015 11:25 am (UTC)
thanks for posting this OP :D
today I went to the new Beyond store in my city but as it was my first time came across the brand I was hesitant to buy the product. The packaging is cute and they offered so many product line with different organic and natural ingredients and I was tempted to buy the snail cream maybe I'll buy it next time :3
goshipgurl 14th-Nov-2015 01:22 pm (UTC)
Innisfree products still contain tons of bad ingredients. Imi their all natural image is just PR.
a_cheshire_grin 14th-Nov-2015 01:50 pm (UTC)
Came here just to say this!

carmine_pink 14th-Nov-2015 02:08 pm (UTC)
Ooh, beauty post! Nice one, OP :)

I've heard of all of these brands from blogs, online retailers and such, Innisfree being the most famous, but I rarely hear about Beyond. Are they not really famous in the K-beauty blogging community or am I just not looking in the right places?
psychedelico_ 14th-Nov-2015 02:19 pm (UTC)
they're quite popular i think. their ambassador is kim soohyun. the thing is they don't appear to have a "star" product or line (e.g missha's time revolution first treatment essence or innisfree's green tea line). right now they're most famous for their alice in wonderland collection.
ironicmustache 14th-Nov-2015 02:42 pm (UTC)
i used belif before and wanted to like it cause their packaging was nice and it was kinda expensive, but my skin did not agree with it ... like most k cosmetics brands.
ah0000 14th-Nov-2015 03:03 pm (UTC)
I worked at one of the distributors mentioned here...just because they say it's organic or all natural it isn't necessarily so. I also buy Innisfree stuff even tho I know it has bad ingredients lol, I think Amore just does a great job of marketing the brand. I've tried belif but it doesn't do much for me. I do know someone who uses only belif tho and her skin is amazing.

I have wanted to try Aromatica, though, anyone use it before?
dafairyness 14th-Nov-2015 07:22 pm (UTC)
I've used stuff from their rose line (lovelovelove) and I'm currently using the orange blossom toner. It's a great brand, especially if you have super dry, super sensitive skin.
atopworld 14th-Nov-2015 03:18 pm (UTC)
I've heard good things about Whamisa, and I had something I wanted to try, but I can't ever imagine myself dropping $40 on one cosmetic product.
imienazwisko 14th-Nov-2015 03:23 pm (UTC)
i always wanted to try their sheet masks but 6000 won for one? idk
hyeena 14th-Nov-2015 03:18 pm (UTC)
Great post! I've been dying to try beyond's products
imienazwisko 14th-Nov-2015 03:19 pm (UTC)
i had no idea caolion stuff is natural? i have some of their masks and mucin water cream (crazy expensive for just 20ml). that pore mask changes color bc it's all natural. caolion has a warning on their website not to freak out if it's pink or violet when you took it out of the pouch. it happened to me haha. i heard good things about their pore masks too.
pseudo_shigure 14th-Nov-2015 03:33 pm (UTC)
i only know innisfree in this list tbh. and i don't buy that any of these brands are completely all-natural, but my friend uses the innisfre line for acne, i don't know which one exactly, but she at least uses the facial wash, moisturizer/sun block, bb cream and she said it's the only one that works for her, so...
leopolitan 14th-Nov-2015 03:36 pm (UTC)
i reeeaaally want to buy something from whamisa in my next haul but products with no preservatives freak me out. benton is a company that doesnt use preservatives and they had a scandal last year when one of their shipments went bad and gave a lot of people horrible cystic acne
ah0000 14th-Nov-2015 04:42 pm (UTC)
Well tbh it was also how Benton handled the issue that gave them a bad reputation lol

For whamisa I think it's good for dry skin but otherwise it's just overpriced as hell. It's way more expensive than it needs to be
tendrejoue 14th-Nov-2015 04:07 pm (UTC)
I like yadah cosmetics at least their face washes that I own are really nice!
baddiemey 14th-Nov-2015 04:49 pm (UTC)

Does anyone know where I can get DIY sheet masks?? I saw the ones on Amazon from China but I don't trust shit from there. Preferably natural and soft?

I also wonder when I see Koreans take squares of paper and place them all around their face and use it as a mask, where can I get those?
ah0000 14th-Nov-2015 11:34 pm (UTC)
I think face shop and nature republic both have diy face masks if I remember correctly. Maybe also Amore. If you live close to a Daiso, they have them too for cheaper
atopworld 14th-Nov-2015 07:13 pm (UTC)
Lol, I use some Innisfree toner that I just absolutely love. It hasn't done me terribly. And I've tried an AmorePacific sample and I loved it. The full bottle is too much money, so I'll stick to my samples.
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