Unfortunately, Hada Labo is not cruelty-free! This means that their products may be tested on animals either by themselves, through their suppliers, or through a third party. 

As sustainability trends are on the rise, every day more and more people are paying attention to what their favorite bands are up to. 

“Sustainably sourced” and “eco-friendly” are some of the catchphrases that big brands like to slap onto their labels of cosmetics and beauty care products. 

Brands give the illusion of being environmentally conscious just to get a piece of the eco-conscious cake.

 But do they really care about what’s going on with the world? 

It may come as a surprise but even the “animal-friendly label” on the packaging doesn’t exactly mean that it’s cruelty-free. 

There isn’t any legal definition for the term cruelty-free and so companies are free to use this term and interpret it in whatever way they want to. 

In this article, I’ll be providing all the details you need to know on whether the brand Hada Labo is actually cruelty-free or not.

So let’s dive right in!

Is Hada Labo really cruelty-free? 

Hada Labo can’t be considered a cruelty-free brand. There are many reasons why this brand doesn’t come under the cruelty-free list.

In order for a brand to be cruelty-free, they must not test finished products or ingredients on animals and make sure that their suppliers don’t do it either. They should also look out for third parties and ensure that they’re not testing on animals. 

Unfortunately, Hada Labo isn’t considered cruelty free because they don’t have any official animal testing policy. This makes it unclear to customers whether the brand should be trusted or not. 

Without proper information provided on their cruelty-free status, they can’t be considered cruelty free.

Hada Labo is a Japanese skincare brand that was founded in 2004 by Rohto pharmaceuticals. The name translates to “skin lab”. The brand’s main focus is on cleanliness and minimalism.

They believe in giving the skin only what it needs and nothing more. Therefore, their products don’t contain any added colors or fragrances. 

This brand has enjoyed global recognition and success across Asia and the Americas. 

In order to keep up with the rising trends to abolish animal experimentation, Rohto pharmaceuticals in January 2016 released a statement to ensure that they will no longer conduct animal testing. 

This also included the outsourcing of many raw materials as well. They concluded that they were actively trying to use alternative methods to animal testing.

Now the question arises why their brand Hada Labo isn’t 100% cruel free? 

A major reason why this brand isn’t cruelty-free is that the products are sold in mainland China, where animal testing is required by law.

Moreover, their products which are marked as “medicated” use skin whitening or skin brightening ingredients. These ingredients are classified as quasi-drugs which means that they’re subject to animal testing to ensure effectiveness and safety for human use. 

Therefore, by using such ingredients in their products, the brand is contradicting the cruelty-free policies. 

But then it’s confusing because Rohto’s statement said no animal testing including products with quasi-drugs! 

Well, I guess that was just a front they put up to help increase their sales. Unfortunately, customers still don’t trust the brand.

Is it vegan-friendly? 

Hada Labo isn’t 100% vegan. Many of their products contain animal ingredients. However, they do offer some vegan products. 

A vegan brand formulates its products using only plant-based ingredients and not animal-derived ones. This includes animal byproducts as well, like eggs or milk. 

It should be noted that as this brand tests its products on animals, many people don’t consider them a vegan-friendly brand. 

Their products also contain any animal-derived ingredients, such as Carmine, lanolin, collagen, and gluten. Therefore, most of their products aren’t vegan. 

So if you’re looking to buy from this brand, then don’t forget to check the ingredient list on the packaging! 

However, there are many brands that are cruelty-free as well as vegan. One should support them and not back companies like Hada Labo. 

Is it ethical? 

For a brand to be considered ethical, it must make sure to not harm humans, animals, or the planet. As Hada Labo isn’t a cruelty-free brand, its ethical values come into question. 

This means that they’re causing harm to innocent animals, which is why they can’t be considered as an ethical brand.

Not only are they conducting it themselves, but also not standing up against animal cruelty in other countries. An ethical brand contributes to society in a responsible manner, but Hada Labo fails to do that. 

Hada Labo completely contradicts their parent company, Rohto Pharmaceutical’s, statement against animal experimentation.  

However, an ethical brand is also a sustainable one. This Japanese skincare brand announced its “We Care” campaign for the benefit of society and the environment.

This campaign focuses on providing skincare education to the public. Through this campaign, they’ll try to reach the underprivileged community. They claim to help create a sustainable environment. 

The brand has also started exploring greener packaging. For instance, one of their best product is hyaluronic acid which is simply packaged and has nothing fancy about its design.

The customers reviewed saying that the bottles look like containers for chemical substances. However, the brand replied that the point was to eliminate waste and offer products beneficial to the skin. 

Rohto pharmaceutical has also started taking an unconventional approach to its packaging. 

They began selling refills of certain products in plastic pouches. The point was to bring refillable cosmetic products that would help reduce waste.

Hada Labo is consciously trying to make an effort toward becoming more eco-friendly and reducing its carbon footprint. In this case, maybe it can be considered an ethical brand.


It is crucial that we must start supporting eco-friendly brands and ditch those who are still following old and cruel practices. Hada Labo is neither cruelty-free nor vegan. 

However, they have taken an approach towards becoming more planet-friendly. While their packaging might be green, one can only hope that they start moving towards becoming cruelty-free as well. 

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