Vegan skin care is more than a passing trend—it’s good for your skin, the animals, and the planet. Plant-based ingredients are a more natural source of vitamins and antioxidants that help your skin thrive.
This clean beauty trend excludes any products that contain ingredients derived from animals, which reduces the risk of irritation or sensitivity. Here are our favorite vegan skincare must-haves:
1. No Animal Ingredients
Whether or not you’re vegan, opting for vegan skin care means ditching all those formulas that contain animal products, like glycerin, collagen and more. By doing so, you can feel good knowing that no animals were harmed or killed in order for you to enjoy your new favorite moisturizer or cleanser!
Luckily, there are plenty of vegan skin care brands that offer plant-based products with just as effective results. For example, Banish is a cruelty-free brand that offers small-batch acne-fighting formulas packed with essential oils, all packaged in their signature glass bottles and illustrated packaging.
Another great option is Neighbourhood Botanical, a vegan skincare brand that offers nourishing face oils that address specific skin concerns. The brand uses a mix of oils (hemp seed oil for hydration, ashwagandha and shea butter for stress-reduction, and olive and meadowfoam seed oil to boost glow) that you can apply directly on the skin. They also use a plant-based glycerin that is better for the environment.
Cruelty-free is a term that is used to indicate that no animal products or byproducts were used in the creation of the product. It also implies that the item was not tested on animals (which is still a huge problem).
It’s important to note that “cruelty-free” does not necessarily mean “all-natural” as it’s possible to make a vegan product that contains synthetic chemicals. However, if a brand is certified by a third-party organization such as The Leaping Bunny Program or Vegan Society, then it can be guaranteed that there are no synthetics in their products.
Neighbourhood Botanicals’ oil-based range is a great example of this; the products are made in small batches at their east London lab and packaged in recyclable, post-consumer packaging. They’re also carbon neutral and use renewable energy to power their production. Shop their vegan, cruelty-free collection here. A must-try is their mega refreshing Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels, PS12. They’ll blitz any bags or dark circles in no time.
3. No Animal Testing
The majority of vegan skincare products are cruelty-free and do not test on animals. This is a major win for the animal kingdom and the environment, as traditional beauty products often contain ingredients that cause irritation (like fragrances and harsh chemicals).
Plant-derived ingredients are much more gentle and can work just as well. Plus, they’re more eco-friendly and require less water, land, energy, and fossil fuels to produce than animal products.
A great way to find cruelty-free and vegan skincare is to look for the Leaping Bunny or PETA logo on products you buy. This ensures that the product is vegan and does not have any animal ingredients or byproducts such as honey or beeswax. Alternatively, you can search for products by brand that are specifically certified by the Vegan Society or by PETA as a cruelty-free brand. These brands have strict rules that they must follow for their products to be labeled as cruelty-free or vegan.
A vegan beauty routine can further support your eco-friendly lifestyle by avoiding products that contain animal-derived ingredients. Unlike most traditional skincare products that contain ingredients like lanolin, collagen, beeswax, and gelatin, vegan products use plant-based alternatives.
Natural, plant-derived ingredients are typically gentler for your skin. They are also free of toxins that can cause irritation, itchiness, and breakouts. They are also better for the environment since they can be easily recycled or repurposed, and they reduce the stress on the planet that comes with using animal-derived products.
There are many vegan brands that make eco-friendly products. Some examples include REN Clean Skincare, which makes its products in the UK and uses recyclable packaging, Cocokind, a woman-owned organic brand that donates to PETA, and Elate Cosmetics, which sells its compacts and tools in reusable glass jars or recycled cardboard. Another great option is Pacifica, a vegan and cruelty-free company that makes skincare and beauty products with ceramides and other plant-based ingredients.