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The 6 Best Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizer Brands

Posted by Aaron Seminoff on

Many people who make the switch to veganism eventually realize that many of the beauty products that they use aren't exactly friendly to animals. In fact, an alarming amount of popular skincare and cosmetics brands test their products on animals. Skip ahead and purchase our favorite vegan moisturizer here - or keep reading for more!

Testing on animals is an incredibly cruel process that forces them to be exposed to potentially toxic ingredients that can result in bodily harm. Their eyes are exposed to irritants and potentially cancer-causing chemicals get absorbed into their bloodstream.

Additionally, many beauty brands use animal products in their formulas, making these products anything but vegan. That's why if you're vegan, it's important to know which products and ingredients to avoid. 

Moisturizer Ingredients That Are Not Vegan

vegan face moisturizer ingredients

If you want to live a truly vegan lifestyle, the following products must be avoided:

  • Albumen: Used in many hair products and lotions, albumen is a coagulating agent that comes from egg whites.
  • Beeswax: Taken from virgin bees, this product can be found in many cosmetics and lotions as a moisturizing agent.
  • Carmine: This ingredient is made of crushed up beetles and gives cosmetics a bright red color. Carmine can be found in many lipsticks and blushes.
  • Gelatin: Used in many gel-based hair and skincare products, gelatin is created by boiling cow or pig bones.
  • Keratin: A popular ingredient in the hair care industry, keratin is a protein that comes from the feathers, hair, bones and hooves of animals like cows and pigs.

For a more extensive list, check out this complete list of non-vegan ingredients to avoid.

Non-Vegan Moisturizers

Because of the fact that so many of the animal-based ingredients found in beauty products are named after their chemical compounds, it's hard to fault someone for not realizing that a product that they are using is non-vegan. Therefore, we've made a list of some popular moisturizers that are known offenders to the animal-loving community.

  • Oil of Olay Daily Moisturizer

This popular moisturizer is neither vegan nor cruelty-free. Olay is known to test their products on animals. Plus, this product contains many animal products.

  • Origins Moisturizers

Origins is a skincare company that produces many popular moisturizers. Although the brand has created an image of ethical-consciousness and social responsibility, the company still tests on animals.

  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

This moisturizer has been a cult favorite in the beauty world since it was first released. Unfortunately, Clinique is known to test on animals. Plus, the formula contains glycerol, an ingredient that comes from animal fat.

  • Neutrogena Facial Moisturizer

This popular drug store moisturizer is yet another product that is made by a company that tests on animals.

Cruelty Free Face Moisturizers 

The good news is that more and more companies are coming out that make completely vegan skincare products. The following moisturizers use absolutely no animal products and have not been tested on animals.

1. Acure Day Cream

acure cruelty free moisturizer 

This product works wonderfully as a day moisturizer because its formula is light and non-greasy. It contains chlorella, a plant-based ingredient that is loaded with skin-satisfying nutrients like vitamin A and magnesium. This product also contains gotu kola, an herb that has been used for centuries as an anti-aging agent.

In addition to moisturizing the skin, this product helps beat acne and eradicates dry patches that can develop due to dermatological conditions or cold, dry winter weather. The refreshing citrus scent is the result of real plant-based extracts instead of synthetic fragrances that are known to cause skin irritation. Best of all, this product will leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated all day long.

Buy on Amazon.

2. Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

 Drunk Elephant Cruelty Free Face Oil

This product hasn't been on the market for very long but it has already reached cult status. Some beauty bloggers have even called it the best vegan face moisturizer out there. The bottom line is that if you want your skin to feel softer and more supple than it has ever felt, this is the product for you. The price is up there but you only need a couple drops of this oil per application, meaning that this product will last for a long time.

Rich in nutrients like vitamin E, omega fatty acids and antioxidants, Drunk Elephant's Marula Luxury Facial Oil both hydrates and restores your skin, leaving it glowing all day long. Virgin Marula oil, the product's leading ingredient, reduces fine lines and wrinkles as well as dark spots and dry patches.

Buy on Amazon.

3. AHAVA Essential Day Moisturizer

ahava cruelty free moisturizer 

This product is a very poplar vegan face moisturizer. AHAVA has been around for a while and has developed a reputation for being vegan and cruelty-free. This moisturizer is known for being incredibly light and leaving skin feeling soft and hydrated instead of greasy and congested. The unique gel-like formula has a cooling effect on the face and absorbs into the skin quickly so that you can apply makeup immediately after using it.

Like all AHAVA skincare products, the Essential Day Moisturizer contains Osmoter™, the brand's unique combination of minerals that come from the Dead Sea. This product is perfect for combination skin as these Dead Sea minerals balance out the skin's tone and texture while providing adequate hydration to last you through the day.

Buy on Amazon.

4. DR. ALKAITIS Organic Night Crème

Dr Alkaitis Vegan Face Moisturizer

When it comes to night creams, it's important to find a product that has the ability to repair the skin so that you will wake up with a glowing, youthful and supple complexion. This product does just that while being completely vegan and friendly to animals.

This rich formula is perfect for nighttime and absorbs into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. It also soothes skin irritation and redness that can result from acne and blemishes. Plus, this night cream will tighten pores and lines around the face.

Buy on Amazon.

5. Trader Joe's Nourish Oil-Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer

trader joes cruelty free face moisturizer

Perhaps you're surprised to see a grocery store brand make the cut. We were surprised too until we tried it out for ourselves. Needless to say, Trader Joe's makes skincare products that are not tested on animals and do not contain any animal products.

Despite being incredibly affordable, this product is the real deal. The super light, oil-free formula is perfect for sensitive skin. Because it lacks harsh synthetic fragrances, it won't cause skin irritation.

What makes Trader Joe's Nourish Oil-Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer unique is its antioxidants that have tremendous anti-aging effects on the complexion. This product is ideal for combination skin and will not clog the pores.

Buy on Amazon.

6. Beauty without Cruelty Aromatherapy Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer

beauty without cruelty vegan moisturizer 

The name says it all. This vegan and cruelty-free moisturizer is one of the most affordable products on our list, coming in at under $12 for two ounces (at the time of this article). However, it's an incredibly effective moisturizer that boasts numerous benefits for skin that is dry and stressed out.

Sweet orange and lavender essential oils give this product its incredible smell. These essential oils also kill bacteria on the face that cause acne and help prevent blackheads. It's oil-free, meaning that it won't leave your skin feeling congested and greasy. The smooth yet rich formula absorbs into the skin quickly so that your face won't be shiny for the rest of the day.

Buy on Amazon.


Cruelty Free Vegan Face Moisturizers

By understanding which ingredients to avoid and which brands to support, you can be on your way to living a truly vegan lifestyle. The vegan moisturizer brands that we have listed above will leave your skin feeling soft, healthy and supple without harming any animals in the process.

We hope that you enjoyed this list of vegan moisturizers. Just as a disclaimer we did use several links in this article through our Amazon affiliate program and we earn a small percentage of each sale. Feel free to share this list with your friends. If you think that we have missed any must-have vegan moisturizers, feel free to let us know in the comments below. And, remember to always check face moisturizer ingredients before you buy to ensure that you are being kind to animals!


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