Going for vegan skincare products is a great way to make sure that your daily cleansing routines and rituals aren’t harming animals or the planet.
Many of them are leading the charge on plastic free packaging too.
To help you on your vegan skincare journey, we spoke to plant based expert Jennifer Hirsch, AKA, The Beauty Botanist, about what to look for in vegan beauty products.
Then scroll on down to our slideshow and discover some of the 31 best vegan skincare brands that use minimal, organic, natural and health-promoting ingredients to nourish your body and get your skin glowing.
What does vegan skincare mean?
Vegan skincare is skincare made without any animal or animal-derived ingredients including, but not limited to, lanolin, beeswax, honey, collagen, keratin, milk and silk.
How do you know if a skincare product is really vegan?
Brands are doing their best to help you identify skincare that’s suitable for vegans by labelling it as vegan, vegan-friendly or similar.
Retailers like Holland & Barrett are curating the best of vegan products to make it easy to shop and have plenty of choice in product.
However, the only way to know for certain that a product is vegan is to look for products that are certified by The Vegan Society.
The recognisable sunflower logo guarantees that the products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients or byproducts.
Furthermore, the logo certifies that the products and their ingredients must not involve, or have involved, testing of any kind on animals, conducted by the company on its behalf.
The trademark, which is registered in the UK, Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and India, represents the international standard for authentic vegan products.
What’s the difference between cruelty free and vegan skincare?
So this is not entirely straightforward.
A product that is cruelty-free means that neither the product nor the ingredients nor their component parts have been tested on animals (look for Cruelty Free International’s Leaping Bunny logo or PETA’s bunny ear logo on pack).
Some animal-derived ingredients like bee ingredients and lanolin are considered harm-free, and as such can be found in cruelty-free products.
Those ingredients won’t be found in vegan products, however, vegan products can contain ingredients that have been tested on animals.
Are cruelty free and vegan skincare products safe?
Yes. The movement against animal testing has driven the development of sophisticated alternatives for ensuring the safety of beauty products.
It’s something we as consumers should be proud of because we drove this evolution.
Additionally, the UK and EU have some of the most rigorous legislation around personal care products in the world.
Now, let’s dive into the best vegan skincare brands to shop from…
31 Best Vegan Skincare Brands For A Kind And Clean Beauty Routine
Moisturiser, Majo Skincare
If you’re after ethical, cruelty free, vegan, skincare (and who wouldn’t be?) Majo Medicine is a huge moisturising hug of a brand, perfect for anyone who wants a sustainable solution to dry skin. Majo’s Face Food features 10 all natural and organic essential oils, including Argan, Rosehip and Hemp. It’s fab for restoring a healthy plump glow to a tired face.
Bath Salts, Moa
MOA’s vegan friendly skincare products work wonders and this has seen them gain cult status quickly. These Dreamy Mineral Soak bath salts restore tired and sluggish skin with Himalayan pink salt plus lavender oil for relaxation, lemon peel for skin brightening and cardamom for emotional stress. Drift off into a good night’s sleep after your sustainable bathing.
Natural Serum, Shiro
While there are plenty of 100% natural skincare brands in the UK, not many come with Shiro’s reputation. Huge in Japan, this cult all organic vegan beauty brand’s Kombu skin serum is perfect for anyone with dry skin and a sustainable bent. The all natural serum is extracted from kelp, which is packed with Vitamin B2 and calcium. This improves the moisture retention in your skin.
Vegan Soap, Soap Folk
Say hello to inexpensive vegan skincare brand, Soap Folk . All their products are handmade, from their Safflower & Rosehip soap to their Body & Bath Oil. This brand uses natural ingredients and is suitable for vegetarians and, save for a few products that contain honey, vegans. All their packaging is recyclable and glass, rather than plastic.
Exfoliating scrub, Kinvara
Work away the day’s dirt and grime with awesome plant powered skincare from Kinvara Skincare . The exfoliating scrub is made from a mix of marine minerals, like seaweed and other vitamins. It comes as a fine powder that you mix with water. The mixture gently removes dead, dull cells. Vegan friendly, this cleanser is kind to skin, animals and easy to use.
Healing Salve, Previse
Plant based skincare has skyrocketed in recent years and this HydroFoam Rejuvenating Hyaluronic Moisturizer from Previse is the perfect example. It relies on nature not chemicals to save your skin. This cruelty free moisturizer can be used everywhere, is packed with hyaluronic acid and is vegan friendly. It doesn’t even contain essential oils or fragrances, so it’s great for people with sensitive skin.
Supercharge Serum, BYBI
Boost your natural skincare routine with BYBI. This is a vegan, clean beauty favourite. BYBI’s Supercharge Serum will perk up dry, bleurgh skin with 15 nutrient rich oils, including watermelon, squalene, prickly pear, lemongrass and jasmine. BYBI is all about eco-luxe natural skincare. Read more about it in their Clean Beauty book
Seahorse Plankton Range, Beauty Kitchen
Vegan friendly Beauty Kitche n makes natural skincare that’s affordable too. Try their hero Seahorse Plankton range which uses two types of homegrown microalgae and three seaweeds that protect your skin from pollution and gives you a radiant complexion. You can also return empty packaging through their free Return, Refill, Repeat programme.
Pai has been designed specifically for sensitive skin. That means that it includes only the highest quality plant based ingredients and no nasties. Its Camellia and Rose Hydrating Cleanser has cleaned up on the green awards circuit and feels more like a luxury treat than a routine jobby.
Solid Foundation, LUSH
Ditch the plastic pots, compacts and tubes of foundation. LUSH’s Slap Sticks solid foundation come in 40 vegan-friendly shades, and are plastic packaging free. They’re made from coconut oil bought in Indonesia to support literacy programmes and argan oil which has been ethically harvested by a women’s co-op in Morocco.
Gender Neutral Skincare, United And Free
Vegan skincare brand United and Free is one of the new breed of brands that don’t distinguish between male and female skincare. They work with a seventh-generation alchemist to make sure everything smells gender neutral, the ingredients are all natural and even the packaging is recyclable. If you’re more no-nonsense, get clean and move on kind of person, then United and Free’s bottles are your new shower stalwarts.
Body Moisturiser, Organic Nation
Organic Nation tick just about every eco, vegan, ethical and organic box you could wish for and then some. It works with perfumers to find the right scents, promises a sustainable process from soil to skin (S2S) and combines the latest scientific theories on skincare with the best ingredients in nature. Try the Vanillamint Body Moisturiser with aloe and super berries.
Soap, The Soap Co
British based company, The Soap Co , combines luxury ethical skincare with positive social impact . The brand hires disabled or disadvantaged people and aims to create 60 new jobs each year. As for the products, the traditionally crafted soaps are made with sustainable palm and coconut oil mixed with local water from their Lake District manufacturing base.
Skin Refiner, The Beauty Chef
Cult organic plant based Australian brand, The Beauty Chef , creates products that have both naturopaths and nutritionists nodding in approval. Beauty editors all over the world have been flocking to this Probiotic Skin Refiner that uses natural fermenting to break down dead skin, stimulate collagen and boost skin’s immunity.
Rooted Oil, Noto Botanics
Noto Botanics want to reshape beauty products around doing good for you and the planet. It’s about a transparent process, vegan-friendliness, individual beauty and generally shaking things up a bit. Noto’s plant based products are minimal, multi-use and unisex. Try the Rooted Oil for hair and body – a woody, Argan oil-laced earthy affair that includes bergamot and cardamom.
Sensitive Skincare, Lulu And Boo
Lulu & Boo is a holistic skincare range for sensitive skin. This award-winning and affordable line includes everything from rich and creamy body lotions to healing ointments for chapped skin. Certified by the Vegan Society and the Soil Association, all of the ingredients are traceable and organically produced, meaning there’s nothing in this charming collection that can upset sensitive skin.
Unisex Styling Cream, Josh Rosebrook
A favourite with the LA A-listers, Josh Rosebrook ’s line of organic plant-based skin and haircare is another example of a brand ditching the need to create separate lines for men and women. This Unisex Styling Cream focuses on 100% organic or wild-crafted plants, herbs and oils that help heal skin heal naturally.
Argan Oil, Mun
Cult US sustainable beauty brand Mun is right on the money when it comes to minimal, Scandi-look skincare. Their range of pure healing botanicals are sourced from various ethical co-ops that fund education programmes and create jobs for Berber women. The toners and serums are packed with antioxidants, argan oil and vitamins that will calm, soothe and restore stressed skin.
Men’s Face Oil, Neighbourhood Botanicals
Neighbourhood Botanicals prove that protective face oils aren’t just for girls. This Men’s Oil packs a hearty punch of clean beauty for your face. It is 100% natural, vegan and full of Vitamin C and antioxidants. It also softens beards and helps with dry skin, so will soon become an essential part of any guy’s grooming routine.
Day Cream, Atlantis
Atlantis Skincare’s rich Day Cream is perfect for slathering on each morning. It’s packed with 100% natural (82.5% organic) seed oils like macadamia and sweet almond, as well as hyaluronic acid to wage war on wrinkles. Handmade in small batches, this plastic-free skin care powerhouse comes in bright blue, recyclable glass pots.
Cleansing Wash, Faace
Fuss-free skincare brand Faace are here to make sure your skin is taken care of no matter what with their new Dirty Faace Cleansing Wash. Available in a recyclable tube, the cleansing wash contains plant-based natural surfactants derived from coconut fatty acids which give the skin a deep cleanse without drying it out or disturbing its natural microbiome.
Eye Balm, Edible Beauty
Edible Beauty ’s premise is that if it’s not good enough to go in your mouth, it’s not good enough to go on your skin. It uses wildcrafted Australian plants and herbs that are organically grown and high grade. The vegan friendly ‘& Gold Rush’ eye balm uses edible gold to reduce puffiness and dark circles (an old Japanese Geisha trick) as well as blueberry oil, cucumber and passionflower to hydrate and soothe.
High end beauty line Orveda’s Clay Mud Cleansing Powder harnesses all natural ingredients, like bio-fermented kombucha, black tea and moringa in its exfoliator to reset and restore your skin. It comes in a beautiful glass bottle that contains no mineral oils or animal extracts. Orveda’s a vegan friendly, eco-luxe secret weapon for serious beauty addicts.
Organic Facial Oil, By Sarah
By Sarah promotes itself as a ‘transparent skincare company’ , from upfront labels about its ethically sourced, all natural ingredients to its amber glass bottles and jars. We love the cult, award-winning, vegan friendly Organic Facial Oil . Cruelty free and small batch, it uses apricot oil, pumpkin seed, argan and vitamin E for spectacular results.
True Cleanse Oil, Sister & Co
Treat yourself to a bottle of plant based Sister & Co’s Rosa Body Oil . It comes in a heavy duty glass bottle and contains organic marshmallow root, rose geranium, jasmine, mandarin and tea oil for a gentle but hardworking everyday body oil. A little goes a long way. Recycle the glass, keep the pump for the next bottle and repeat.
Hand And Lip Balm, MOA
Say hello to the magical Green Fairy. Eco-friendly skincare brand MOA uses Absinthe and yarrow extract as the key ingredients for this duo hand and lip balm. Organic, vegan-friendly and soothing, it comes in a recyclable steel pot (and won’t give you a hangover).
Facial Serum, Awake Organics
One of our favourite vegan skincare brands, Awake Organics’ hero plastic free skincare product is this facial serum that helps eradicate blemishes. The Citrus & Hemp Clearing Face Serum uses food grade hemp oil plus grapefruit, lavender, tea tree, rosemary and patchouli essential oils – all in a glass bottle.
Firm & Tone Oil, Inlight Beauty
It’s not all about the face. Inlight Beauty’s Firm & Tone Oil uses ylang ylang and geranium to tone skin and boost that circulation. Best of all it’s all about keeping glass in circulation – everything comes in beautiful, recyclable Miron glass. Available at online eco-friendly beauty store, Pure Skin Lab.
Sugar Scrub, Bloomtown
We’ve been a bit in love with plastic free skincare wonders, Bloomtown , and its vegan sugar scrubs for a while. They come in fabulous glass jars and sum up everything wonderful about seasonal ingredients. Palm oil free and made in small batches, Bloomtown’s scrubs come in jars that can be returned and exchanged for star points to spend on new products.
Nourishing Face Serum, Vanderohe
One of our favourite discoveries this year is Vanderohe’s No1 Nourishing Face Serum . The exceptionally sourced, plant based, face oil comes in a dark glass bottle and is handcrafted in London. Inside the bottle are food grade, wild harvested, cold-pressed essential oils that will rejuvenate even the tiredest face. A plastic free, travel essential.
Organic Skincare Box, Isla Apothecary
Pamper yourself or a friend with this cute treat box from hand blended, small batch wonders, Isla Apothecary . Each box includes a Refine + Radiate Face Mask, Neroli Body Oil, Blood Orange and Vanilla Sugar Scrub and Relax + Recover Bath Salts. All of the ingredients are ethically sourced and organic where possible.