Korean skincare brand iUNIK is beloved for their affordable effective skincare products formulated with natural ingredients, like their Centella Asiatica Calming Gel Cream, a favorite of those with sensitive skin. But are their products ethical? Is iUNIK cruelty-free and vegan?
iUNIK is a cruelty-free company, but not all of their products are vegan. The company and their suppliers do not test their products or ingredients on animals, and they do not export their products to countries where animal testing is required by law.
While most iUNIK products are vegan, some of their products are formulated with animal-derived ingredients, such as propolis, which is produced by bees.
This post will examine what makes iUNIK completely cruelty-free, whether they have a parent company with conflicting interests, what animal-derived ingredients some of their products contain, and whether they are sold in countries like China, where animal testing is required by law.
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Is iUNIK Cruelty-Free?
IUNIK is completely cruelty-free. The company states that they are officially certified by PETA to be cruelty-free.
While we know that iUNIK does not test on animals as standard practice, they have also sought to make sure that none of the third-party companies they work with do either.
iUNIK also has a policy of not selling their products in physical stores in China. If they did, this would mean that at least those products would have to be tested on animals, so we can take this absence of a market in China to mean that there are no loopholes that are being exploited where some portion of their products are not cruelty-free.
Is iUNIK Owned By A Parent Company That Tests On Animals?
iUNIK is not owned by any parent company, so there is no parent company that could be testing on animals. As a self-owned company, iUNIK is in a strong position to not fall to the pressure of parent companies that may, for example, want to expand to markets where animal testing is mandatory.
An iUNIK spokesperson has also said that none of the companies they work with test their products on animals. This includes their suppliers, third-party contractors, distributors, and retailers.
Is iUNIK Certified Cruelty-Free?
IUNIK is certified cruelty-free by PETA as a company that does not test on animals. Requirements that must be met to be certified by PETA are:
- The company must submit a CEO-signed statement of assurance that they and their suppliers do not conduct, commission, or pay for any tests on animals for ingredients, formulations, or finished products and that they won’t in the future.
- The company must have a supplier agreement in place that they do not test on animals their ingredients or raw materials supplied to the company at any stage of production.
- The company must also submit paperwork to PETA that details their product testing policies and procedures, ingredients they use, products offered, and where the products are sold.
It is important to note that since 2018, animal testing for cosmetic products, including skin care and makeup, has been largely banned in South Korea.
This does not mean that every Korean skincare brand is cruelty-free, however. The law has many loopholes, and one of these loopholes relates to products exported to countries that require animal testing.
Because China is one such country, you can ascertain whether a Korean company operates entirely cruelty-free or not based on whether they sell to China or not.
If they claim to be cruelty-free but sell to China, then the product you are getting is not truly cruelty-free.
Is iUNIK Vegan?
The vast majority of iUNIK products are vegan, but there are a few exceptions, which means that the company as a whole is not vegan.
IUNIK’s black snail mucin products, iUNIK Black Snail Restore Serum and iUNIK Black Snail Restore Cream, are not vegan. Their propolis products, the iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Eye Cream, iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum, and iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Sleeping Mask, are also not vegan.
Do iUNIK Products Contain Animal-Derived Ingredients?
Of the iUNIK products that contain animal-derived ingredients, a few contain black snail extract, while others contain propolis extract.
INIK’s Propolis Sleeping Mask, Eye Cream, and Synergy Serum are made up of 16%, 40.5%, and 70% propolis extract, respectively. In nature, bees make propolis out of flower sap, tree buds, and other sources. They use it as a sealant for their hives. In iUNIK products, propolis helps to nourish and protect your skin.
IUNIK Black Snail Restore Cream uses 58% snail extract, whereas the Black Snail Restore Serum uses 70%. In nature, black snails are known to hibernate for half a year without drying out. In iUNIK products, the mucin that is extracted keeps your skin smooth, clear, and regenerating.
Is iUNIK Sold In China?
Despite the geographic proximity between the two countries, the Korean skincare company does not stock its products in physical stores in China.
This is significant because China has traditionally required all cosmetic products sold in the country to have been tested on animals. Determining whether a beauty or skin care product is physically sold in China is an easy way to find out whether it is cruelty-free or not.
China is phasing out the practice of mandatory animal testing for imported products, but to date, this is not absolute, only affecting some cosmetics categories. As of May 2021, China no longer required animal testing for what it deemed to be “general” cosmetic products.
A few notes: you can buy iUNIK products in stores in Hong Kong, which operates as a special administrative region within China, although it does not follow mainland China’s animal testing laws. For customers living elsewhere in China, you can also order from iUNIK online, and they will ship to China from South Korea.
Conclusion: Is iUNIK Cruelty-Free and Vegan?
We’ve learned that iUNIK is, in fact, cruelty-free, with the company making no use of animal testing for any of their products or ingredients and not working with companies that do test on animals.
Is iUNIK vegan as a company? No, since they use animal-derived ingredients in some of their products. We now know to identify products with black snail mucin and propolis as animal-derived.
Thanks for reading!