Vegan Skincare Must Haves for Animal Lovers

One of my bridal clients messaged me on Instagram, asking me about the best vegan skincare brands. While, I’m not vegan, I’m a major animal lover and cruelty free makeup artist who eats a Pescatarian diet and enjoys trying vegan dishes.

When I have a vegan client in my makeup chair, I am happy to use vegan products on them so I try to be as informed as possible on which brands and products are or are not.

A product can be cruelty free, but not vegan, and vice versa. Vegan skincare contains no animal-derived ingredients.

The below isn’t a comprehensive list, but a basic starter list of ingredients that true vegan skincare should be without.

It is worth noting that there are plant-based and synthetic versions of ingredients like lactic acid, squalane, collagen, glycerin, stearic acid.

Vegan skincare does not contain

  • Lanolin
  • Beeswax
  • Honey
  • Carmine
  • Snail mucin
  • Casein
  • Collagen
  • Keratin
  • Gelatin
  • Silk powder

Until I was researching this post, I didn’t even know that some of these brands were 100% vegan! Now, I’m even more impressed.

I’ll be telling you the standout products from each vegan skincare brand and why.

Youth to the People

Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Superfood Cleanser

This cleanser is gentle, effective and enjoyable to use. I also love that Youth to the People packages their products in glass and sells refills, making their products a more sustainable choice as well.

Featured in THIS POST

Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream

With calming mushrooms and anti-aging peptides, this cream is hydrating and heavenly for dry and irritated skin.


Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel

If you’re prone to milia, or don’t like the feeling of a heavy eye cream, this eye gel is perfect. It feels cool and light.

I wrote about Biossance in THIS POST.

Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum

Vegan lactic acid products can be hard to come by, considering lactic acid is typically milk-derived, but Biossance has a vegan form. You can see a visible glow the next morning after using this, making it a vegan product with instant gratification.

Shani Darden

Retinol Reform

Retinol is another ingredient that is often animal-derived, plus this contains 2% vegan lactic acid too, making this is vegan godsend. It works well, is non-irritating and offers quick results.

Featured in THIS POST.

Skyn Iceland

Face Lift in a Bag

This is basically a puzzle of sheet masks that give some nice, noticeable lift to your face. It’s a temporary effect, but very useful before an event or photoshoot.


Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm

I really enjoy this cleansing balm, combined with a warm washcloth, for makeup removal.

Featured in THIS POST.

Good Molecules

Pure Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil

This is a great oil for someone who has more normal skin or doesn’t like a heavy feeling oil. Most skin types tolerate rosehip oil well.

Silicone Free Priming Moisturizer

This makes an excellent makeup primer for normal skin types, hydrating without adding that slippery silicone feel. I love that it has a hygienic airless pump.

I have always enjoyed sea buckthorn oil and this is no exception. This oil is great for dry skin like mine. I layer it on top of moisturizer at night.

The Ordinary

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

You’ve likely heard of The Ordinary but did you know the brand is 100% vegan? I didn’t until researching this post. Their Niacinamide keeps my pores clear and breakouts under control, especially right before my period.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

I think almost anyone could benefit from a hyaluronic acid and since it’s a simple ingredient, there’s no reason to pay more than you need to. This is a great serum to apply before moisturizer and usually makes for a much better makeup application as a result.

I wrote about The Ordinary in THIS POST.

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