Soap

Plant-based soap is available in Japan (look for the kanji for ‘plant’, 植物). Note however that palm oil is often used.

It can be difficult to find a soap that was made without testing on animals. Cruelty-free Japanese products are not common and most companies appear to sell in China where animal testing is mandated by law. It’s probably safe to say most Japanese beauty products, including soaps, are made using animal testing. We will note below if any of the products are cruelty-free.

The Japanese Anti-Vivisection Group (JAVA) publishes a Japanese guide to cosmetics companies that are cruelty-free and also cosmetics companies that are all-vegetarian (although not necessarily vegan). Find more information about it at the blog Cooking Vegan Around the World here.

Below are some examples of 100% plant-based soaps, as well as some soaps that contain animal products.

PLANT-BASED SOAP

Clover Additive Free Soap is made from 100% vegetable raw materials according to the Clover website (photo also from website).

Clover soap

 

 

 

 

 

Kao White Soap is made from 100% plant-based materials (although this is palm oil from Malaysia) – see the Kao website (photo also from website).

Kao white soap - cropped

 

 

 

 

 

Konnyaku Shabon soaps state that they are made of 100% plant-based ingredients on their website. Photos from website.

konnyaku shabon 2.jpg    konnyaku shabon

Lush is a very popular store in Japan with more than 150 branches in the country and a website. It does not do animal testing and all the products are vegan or vegetarian. It sells plant-based soap as well as facial masks, shampoo, conditioner and many other products. They also sell charity products, with the purchase price, minus tax, going to various charitable organizations both inside and outside of Japan. The company’s website states that about 80% of their products are vegan.

Per Lush’s USA website, the company does use palm oil derivatives in some of its ingredients. The list of ingredients using palm oil derivatives is here.

At least in the Shibuya, Tokyo branch most, but seemingly not all, of the products were labeled vegan or vegetarian, so it might be a good idea to look up the products you want before you go. They appear to specialize in highly scented/fragranced products.

20190131_155317    20190131_155654    20190131_155721

 

Lion Shokubutsu-Monogatari (Plant Story) Herb Blend Beauty Soap. Ingredients: Soap foundation (100% vegetable based), palm fatty acid, fragrance, chamomile extract, etidronic acid, EDTA-2Na, water, ethanol, BG, titanium dioxide.

Lion soap frontLion soap back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miyoshi Additive Free Foaming Body Soap/Miyoshi 無添加せっけん泡のボディソープ

20190202_195923

Miyoshi also makes regular white soap, kitchen soap and washing soap.

Per a phone call made in January 2019, the only animal ingredient Miyoshi uses is 牛脂, gyuushi, beef tallow. When 牛脂 is used, it is always listed on the product page of their website. They only use 牛脂 in some of their 固形 (solid) soaps or 粉 (powder) soaps. None of their 液体 (liquid) soaps contain any animal ingredients.

• Miyoshi Additive Free Foaming Hand soap/Miyoshi 無添加せっけん泡のハンドソープ

20190208_123306 - Copy.jpg

Seria Additive Free Soap. Ingredients: Soap foundation (100% vegetable based), etidronic acid, water.

Additive feee soapAdditive free soap - back

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seria Hinoki Soap. Ingredients: Soap foundation (100% vegetable based), hinoki oil (from Japanese cypress), glycyrrhizic acid 2K, cocamidopropyl betain, fragrance, PEG-75, etidronic acid, water, EDTA-4Na, iron oxide.

Hinoki SoapHinoki Soap - back

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shabondama Soap’s Baby Soap (Solid Type). Their website states that they do not test on animals. It also states that this product is made without animal fats and lists the sole ingredient as soap base (photo from website). However, some of their other products do use animal fats.

shabondama baby soap solid type

Shabondama Soap’s Pure Vegetable ‘Bubble Bath’ Body Soap. The company website says the raw material is 100% vegetable oil (photos from website). Their website states that they do not test on animals. However, some of their other products do use animal fats. Also comes in a larger “bath size” and a three-pack.

Bubble bath soap - from their website

shabondama 100g   shabondama 3 pack   shabondama bath size

Top Valu Soap is 100% plant-based. Top Valu is a brand sold at Aeon’s Max Valu supermarkets.

Top Valu Soap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANIMAL-BASED SOAP

Cow Brand Beauty Soap is made from beef tallow and also contains milk ingredients. See the Cow Brand Soap Kyoshinsha website (photos from their website).

cow-beauty-soap-from-their-website    cow-beauty-soap-2-from-their-website

Miyoshi Additive Free Face Soap/Miyoshi 無添加洗顔せっけん is not vegan. The Miyoshi website says the raw materials of this bar soap are palm kernel oil and beef tallow.

unnamed

Miyoshi also makes regular white soap, kitchen soap and washing soap.

Per a phone call made in January 2019, the only animal ingredient Miyoshi uses is 牛脂, gyuushi, beef tallow. When 牛脂 is used, it is always listed on the product page of their website. They only use 牛脂 in some of their 固形 (solid) soaps or 粉 (powder) soaps. None of their 液体 (liquid) soaps contain any animal ingredients.

Pelican Soap appears to contain beef tallow. The ‘Factory Information’ on the company’s English website lists the raw ingredients as vegetable soap chips and ‘Soap chips with cow fat and palm tree oil’. The photo below is also from their website.

pelican-soap-from-their-website1

Reckitt Benckiser Muse Soap (ミューズ) is not vegan according to an email received from Reckitt Benckiser in late 2014.

red-box-soap

LAUNDRY DETERGENT

Shabondama Soap’s Pure Vegetable ‘Sunol’/シャボン玉 純植物性スノール is made from vegetable fats, not animal fats. The sole ingredient is listed as “pure soap.” It contains palm oil. Fabric softener is unnecessary when using this product. Per their website, they don’t test on animals. Some of their other items do contain animal fats. Photo from website.

shabondama sunol laundry soap

Shabondama Soap’s ‘Sunol’ Liquid Washing Soap/シャボン玉スノール液体タイプ
洗濯せっけん 
is additive-free and made from 100% vegetable fats which are cooked for more than one week until they become liquid. Synthetic surfactants, fluorescent whitening agents, fragrance, and coloring agents are not used. Per their website, they don’t test on animals. Some of their other items do contain animal fats. Fabric softener is unnecessary when using this product. Website states it can be used for “babies and seniors.” Good for fully automatic washing machines and drum type washing machines. Ingredient is listed as “pure soap.” A refill is available. Photos from website.

sunol liquid     sunol liquid refill

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2 thoughts on “Soap

  1. Bethan Jones

    These soaps may be intrinsically vegan, but can you please tell me which ones test on animals? ありがとうございます

    Reply
    1. isitveganjapan Post author

      Please try LUSH and Shabondama, as neither test on animals and both have options without animal ingredients. We’ve added some information to the Soap section about these brands.

      Reply

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