Latest update | February 2018: Unfortunately, Korres will start selling products in stores in mainland China. I’ve removed the brand from my cruelty-free list and will no longer support them.

I’m happy to announce that I’ve added Korres to my list of cruelty-free brands.

They have recently pulled out of China by closing all their Chinese retail locations, making the company 100% cruelty-free! They are also NO LONGER affiliated with Johnson & Johnson, their former American distributer and also a company that tests on animals.

First of all, Korres doesn’t have a single mention of animal testing in their FAQ, and all that can be found on their American website is a “Not tested on animals” claim in a product description. But they e-mailed me the following animal testing policy:

Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Dear Suzi:

Thank you for contacting Korres.

Korres, shares your concern about the use of animals in safety testing. We are against animal-testing; we do not test ingredients or products on animals, nor do we hire outside companies to do so for us at any stage in production including the sale of our products.

Our product safety testing includes the use of non-animal testing in the lab or clinical tests on volunteers under the supervision of dermatologists and/or special practitioners as required.

If you have additional questions or comments you may contact us at 855-956-7737. It will be our pleasure to assist you.


Molly Barba
Korres Consumer Affairs

Since they didn’t address my questions about China, I e-mailed them back and also asked them about their relationship with Johnson & Johnson, their (now ex) American distributor. Here’s their reply:

Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Dear Suzi:

Thank you for contacting Korres.

To answer your question about China; we welcome the change in the Registration System for Cosmetics – Chinese officials are in the final stages of introducing the country’s first non-animal testing method for cosmetics ; we are trying to postpone launches of new products in the Chinese market until then the new legislation is effective.

Korres was previously distributed in the United States by Johnson and Johnson, but we are no longer affiliated with them.

We hope you will continue to enjoy Korres products. For more information on any of our products, we invite you to visit us on the web at www.korres.com.

If you have additional questions or comments you may contact us at 855-956-7737. It will be our pleasure to assist you.


Molly Barba
Korres Consumer Affairs

This didn’t answer many questions regarding China.

The fact is that Korres is a major international player in the cosmetics industry, with worldwide locations. In 2007, they opened a store in Shanghai. Since then, they also opened stores in Beijing and Hong Kong, but “because of animal testing”, all their Chinese stores were closed recently. The source for this is the German Korres website, which originally states:

Gute Nachricht für den Tierschutz: Nachdem alle Bemühungen gescheitert sind, die chinesische Administration davon abzuhalten, Kosmetikprodukte über Tierversuche zu testen, hat Korres die Belieferung für den gesamten chinesischen Markt eingestellt und die ehemaligen Korres Stores in Bejing, Shanghai und Hongkong geschlossen.


Good news for animal welfare: After all the efforts have failed to deter the Chinese Administration from testing cosmetics on animals, Korres has ended supply to the Chinese market and closed its former Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong stores.

On June 25 2014, that same page cited Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong as part of Korres store locations:

KORRES ist international in den exklusivsten Beauty- und Departmentstores und in 35 eiegnen Korres Stores, unter anderem in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Mailand, Rom, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Wien, Singapur, Bejing, Shanghai, Hong Kong und Kuala Lumpur zu finden.

And I finally received confirmation about this! Korres has confirmed to me that the company did officially pull out of China because of the animal testing concerns. Korres is currently cruelty-free and their products aren’t tested on animals.

2016 Update

I’m still happy to say that Korres hasn’t re-entered the Chinese market in 2016, and it definitely looks like the company has no plans to do so! Here’s the locations of their current worldwide stores:


They also have a wide wordlwide distribution, but it’s limited to Japan and Singapore in Asia. No retailers and distributors in China.

View Comments (16)
  • Hi! In Brazil, Korres is distributed by Avon, so, is Korres a cruelty-free company yet? Because Avon is in China :/ #help

  • Below is Korres’ reply to my query about re-entering the Chinese market, sent to me on 15th February 2018:

    “We appreciate your interest in our brand and happy to inform you that the decision to sell in China is to continue to grow the business internationally. The plan does not affect our position as a cruelty-free brand and we will plan to enter the market while still remaining loyal to our no animal testing stance.”

    A bit of a rubbish reply really!

  • I live in Greece and love Korres products. However, it was just announced that Morgan Stanley and a Chinese company, Profex, will buy a majority stake in the company. It seems they are looking to expand into the Chinese market… :/

    “Company founder Giorgos Korres stressed on Wednesday that he will hold on to a 30 percent stake in the firm as well as the management, adding that the development opens the way for Korres’s expansion to the Chinese market.”

    “Shanghai-based Profex is owned by Greek entrepreneur Pavlos Kontomichalos and will undertake the exclusive distribution of Korres products in China, Hong Kong and Macao.

    Korres announced on Wednesday that the existing plant at Oinofyta, north of Athens, is able to cover the demand of the Chinese market for at least the next couple of years.”


  • Hello! That is such a helpful list, thank you so much for all of your efforts. Is Apivita a cruelty-free brand? I had contacted them last year but they failed to reply.

    • Hello Dimitra,
      I have sent them some time ago an email, and this is the answer I received. As you will see, they don’t mention China at all, so maybe we should investigate some more.

      Dear Eliza,

      Thank you for contacting us.
      APIVITA is a company of natural products, faithful to its philosophy and values, which does not use animal derivatives (except bee products) and cares for its products and raw materials not to be tested on animals. Besides, the design and production of our products follows the European Union legislation prohibiting testing of cosmetics in animals.
      To use a logo on our product packaging to indicate that it is not tested on animals, we must be a member of an organization like BUAV. BUAV and other similar organizations simply confirm that after 2003, companies have not been supplying new raw materials tested on animals.
      The raw materials we have been supplying as a company since 2003 are all natural and usually certified by various organisms of natural or organic products, so they have not been tested on animals. When we need to test for the efficacy and safety of our products, we do clinical trials in humans in collaboration with dermatologists and following scientific protocols.
      Thank you very much for your interest in our company and our products. We will be at your disposal for further information.

  • I am so happy to see that Korres has ditched China and their archaic stance towards animal welfare. And getting rid of Johnson & Johnson? Even better!
    I love their products and am proud to support a company who stayed true to their values instead of succumbing to animal testing just to make more money. This Greek company will always have a special place in this Greek girl’s heart 😉

  • Hi there 🙂 I’ve been under the impression that Korres (among with other brands) were cruelty free and mostly vegan, but have just noticed that they are distributed by online retailers to China, such as Feelunique.com – what’s your opiniion on this? Same with Pacifica .. technically speaking, they should not be sold to China?

    looking forward to your comment!

    • If they are only sold online and not in stores in mainland China, they can still be cruelty-free. I hope this helps! 🙂

  • If Korres cannot even get on the PETA or Leaping Bunny list I don’t really trust them? I mean, what’s keeping them from applying for these lists?

  • Hello there, I just came across this post while checking on Korres’ policy on animal testing.
    While i’m glad that they are not doing animal testing to sell in China, I’d like to state that Hong Kong as a special administrative region have a different legal system from China. It is not required by law to have animal testing on cosmetics in Hong Kong! 😉

  • Hi! I just came across this post. Info about Korres is very contradictory! Your info seems to be the latest though….

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