Women's Skin Care
Shop vegan and cruelty-free women's skin care products. From moisturizing creams and oils, to toner and eye cream, all of the products in our store are 100% free of animal-derived materials, ingredients, by-products and testing.
What are vegan and cruelty-free skin care products?
The term “vegan” with regard to lotions, moisturizers, toners, wrinkle serums, sunscreen, face creams and other women’s skin care products, refers to products that do not contain ingredients that are derived or sourced from animals or insects. The term “cruelty-free” means a product and its ingredients aren’t tested on animals.
Please Note: On this site, we feature products that are both vegan AND cruelty-free; they contain no animal or insect ingredients, and are not tested on animals.
What animal ingredients are typically found in skin care products?
Many common non-vegan creams, lotions and other skin care products contain a wide variety of animal-derived and sourced ingredients that act as thickeners, moisturizers, emulsifiers (basically, helping oil and water mix), emollients (which help to smooth the skin by temporarily filling in surface cracks and gaps), or as skin conditioners. Some animal-derived ingredients to avoid include:
Tallow: Derived from the fat of sheep and cows. It's often used as a thickener.
Stearic Acid: Another ingredient derived from animal fat, it's used as an emulsifier (stearic acid can be vegetable-based also, but origin won’t be clear on a label).
Animal Fats (various): Fish oil, mink oil, turtle oil, and lanolin (from the oil glands of sheep). These all generally serve as emollients.
Urea: A water-attracting compound found in urine (fortunately it’s typically made in a laboratory nowadays).
Beeswax: The wax from a bee's honeycomb that is used as an emulsifier.
Royal Jelly: The substance bees feed to their larvae, which contains proteins, fats and carbohydrates).
Hydrolyzed Silk: Broken down silk protein that acts as a moisture barrier and skin conditioner.
Collagen: Collagen, the veritable “fountain of youth” in the modern beauty industry. Derived from the connective tissue in animals, it acts as a barrier to help lock in moisture. Fortunately, silica, non-GMO & organic soy, vitamin C, Vitamin A and a host of other sources help us naturally boost our collagen production.
What companies make vegan/cruelty-free women’s skin care products?
The following companies make women’s skin care products that are 100% cruelty-free and 100% vegan-friendly:
The companies listed below make women’s skin care products that are 100% cruelty-free, but make some products that contain beeswax, honey, or similar ingredients:
- Avalon Organics (lip balms contain organic beeswax)
- Alba Botanica (beeswax in many lip care products)
- 100% Pure (their vegan products will clearly be labeled as such)
- Kiss My Face (their vegan products will clearly be labeled as such)
- Acure Organics (only lip balms contains beeswax)
- Andalou Naturals (their vegan products will clearly be labeled as such)
- Au Naturel Botanicals (their facial creams contain beeswax)
- Aubrey Organics (their vegan products will clearly be labeled as such)
- Yes to… (some vegan options - vegan products not clearly marked)
- Auromère (2 non-vegan products; Wrinkle Serum contains milk & ghee, Neem Balm contains beeswax)
- Badger (The only animal-derived ingredient they use is beeswax, which is present in many of their products and will be marked on the product label as ‘cera alba’)
Why buy skin care products that are vegan/cruelty-free?
It comes down to this: if you buy a vegan-friendly and cruelty-free product, you’re buying an animal-friendly product. For skin care products, there are plenty of plant-based, mineral and synthetic ingredients that act as emollients, moisturizers and emulsifiers in place of animal-derived ingredients. They can get the job done as well as, and in many cases better, than animal-derived ingredients.
Does buying vegan/cruelty-free products make a difference for the animals?
It comes as a surprise to many that buying vegan & cruelty-free products is actually one of the most effective forms of animal welfare activism, and one of the best ways to promote animal welfare issues. When you buy a vegan and cruelty-free product (such as a skin care product), you’re telling stores, manufacturers, and everyone in the supply chain that there’s a market for these items; companies will naturally respond to that demand by manufacturing and supplying products for consumers to purchase. The more consumers doing this, the bigger that market will become. Conversely, this will erode the market share of products that test on animals and use animal ingredients, ultimately resulting in less animals slaughtered for products.
Are vegan & cruelty-free skin care products expensive?
In general, vegan and cruelty-free skin care products are not any more expensive, or any less-expensive, than products that include animal sourced and derived ingredients and/or products that are tested on animals. Just like non-vegan/non-cruelty-free products, there are differences in the quality of the ingredients used, differences in the manufacturing processes employed, and different brand names behind various products; all of these factors can make prices vary from one product to the next.
I’ve just turned vegan, should I get rid of any non-vegan products that I own?
Deciding on how to deal with your old non-vegan, non-cruelty-free clothing, makeup, footwear and personal care items is certainly one of the more challenging aspects of adopting a vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle. There really is no right or wrong way to sort this problem out; ultimately, it comes down to what you decide you’re no longer comfortable using, what old products you can afford to replace immediately with vegan products, and what you feel can be given away in a hygienic manner. Your best options might be to give away any unused or gently used products to friends and family, or use products (if you’re comfortable doing so) until they have run out or otherwise outlived their usefulness.
How do you choose which products to list?
We maintain a growing list of companies that we find, or that are suggested to us, that make toner, hand cream, facial cleansers and other women’s skin care products that seem to be completely vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. We contact these companies to find out straight from them if they're cruelty-free, and if any or all of their products are fully vegan-friendly. If the companies are cruelty-free and they make vegan products that are sold on Amazon, we list those products here for your convenience.
Please Note: While we like it when companies are on 3rd party certification lists, such as Leaping Bunny or PETA’s lists, we do not rely on that information; we like to hear it directly from the companies themselves. In addition, such certification is voluntary and usually involves an expense to the company, so not every company that’s cruelty-free obtains such certification.
Similar product categories
If you’ve found this page on women’s vegan skin care products helpful, check out similar product categories to learn or shop more:
For companies that make women’s vegan & cruelty-free skin care
If you make vegan and cruelty-free hand and foot cream, lotion, toner, or other skin care products, we’d love to feature you and your products on the “Brands We Love” section of our site! Contact us at - info(at)getitvegan(dot)com - to get started!
Some of the information for this mini guide on vegan and cruelty-free handbags and purses was compiled from the following source(s):
- Living: “Animal-Derived Ingredient List.” (n.d.). PETA. Retrieved April 16, 2017. http://www.peta.org/living/other/animal-ingredients-list/
- Articles: “What Is a Vegan Skin Care Product?.” (Feb. 15, 2017). Avanti Rx. Retrieved April 16, 2017. https://www.shopavantirx.com/2017/02/15/what-is-a-vegan-skin-care-product/
- Articles: “Vegetarian Alternatives To Collagen Supplements.” (July. 30, 2016). WayfaringRachel.com. Retrieved April 16, 2017. http://wayfaringrachel.com/vegetarian-collagen/
- Health: “What animal products are used in moisturizers?” Caitlin Uttley (August 20,2009). HowStuffWorks.com. Retrieved April 16, 2017. http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/moisturizing/products/what-animal-products-are-used-in-moisturizers.htm