Yes, Vegan Skincare Works—These 16 Brands Are Proof


(Image credit: @cassandra.cadwell)

If you're among the skeptical lot who thought veganism was just a fad diet, we've got news for you: The plant-based lifestyle is here to stay. Not only are grocery store aisles filled with more vegan meal options than ever, but beauty retailers are also filled with more makeup, hair, and skincare packages donning symbols of bunnies and other adorable animals signifying their animal-friendliness. This, my friends, is no trend. It's a shift in the collective consciousness that's finally making headway in the beauty space.

Whether you're a full-fledged vegan, considering taking the plunge into the lifestyle, or just looking to reduce your carbon footprint, you might be on the market for vegan skincare now. Abstaining from eating meat and animal byproducts in your meals is one thing, but this behavioral shift also means that popular skincare ingredients like beeswax, carmine, and lanolin, although they can sometimes be sourced organically and sustainably, are suddenly disqualified from your vanity. Gulp.

With all the misleading labels and claims out there, we thought it would be helpful to do the heavy lifting for you and outline 16 of the best skincare brands you can shop that are completely vegan. We're not just talking one-off products here. Each of the brands mentioned here offers 100% vegan products, period. Check out the list ahead, and shop the editor-approved staples from each brand.

1. Youth to the People

Youth to the People is a crowd-pleaser that has gained immense popularity over the last few years since its inception. Its plant-based products prioritize efficacy by focusing on potent antioxidants and phytonutrient-dense formulas for vibrant, youthful skin.

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2. Pai

If you've been on the quest for alternatives to the mass-market, not-so-clean products that have historically dominated the beauty space, British skincare brand Pai is one that's always been easily identifiable as clean, vegan, and cruelty-free. The brand is registered with The Vegan Society, which is the organization that originally created and trademarked the term vegan in 1944. Pai also has a skincare blog to help further demystify the what and why of vegan skincare ingredients.

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3. Mara

This sea-powered skincare brand has products that are expertly formulated with clean, nontoxic ingredients centered around the brand's proprietary algae blend. You can count on them for vegan and cruelty-free products that tap into the most potent sea and plant ingredients.

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4. Herbivore Botanicals

This cool girl–approved line of vegan and cruelty-free face and bodycare products are as effective as they are luxurious. You'll find everything from refreshing mists and body scrubs to potent oils and serums all aimed at delivering results safely and without the use of toxic ingredients or animal byproducts.

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5. Alpyn Beauty

Alpyn Beauty is a sustainable, plant-based skincare line that employs wild-harvested botanical actives from the mountains surrounding Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The line claims many monikers like clean, natural, vegan, and cruelty-free and is formulated with high performance in mind to preserve, protect, and strengthen the skin.

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6. Shani Darden

Shani Darden is among the most revered celebrity estheticians in the game and counts stars like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Jessica Alba, and Kelly Rowland as loyal clients. Now, you can bring a piece of her results-oriented treatment style home with her eponymous skincare line. She currently offers a suite of gentle and effective products that are each vegan and cruelty-free.

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7. Skyn Iceland

This line features clean, natural ingredients sourced from Iceland and aims to address the negative effects of stress on the skin. Each and every product is vegan and cruelty-free, and the company also keeps sustainability top of mind with its packaging and initiatives.

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8. Moon Juice

From concocting fresh-pressed juices and adaptogen elixirs in its L.A. storefronts to launching skincare nationwide, Moon Juice has been bringing plant-based goodness to the market for some time now. Save for a few of its edible tinctures, which contain non-vegan pearl, all of Moon Juice's other offerings, including its entire skincare line, are vegan.

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9. Odacité Skincare

Purity and efficacy are the priority at Odacité Skincare. The California-born, French-inspired line brings in the highest quality ingredients, potent plant extracts, oils, and safe cosmeceuticals to create top-of-the-line products. The brand is also PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free.

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10. Vintner's Daughter

This skincare brand takes its cues from the family business in which founder April Gargiulo grew up: fine wine. It's there that she learned the importance of high-quality ingredients and meticulous formulation, which is the standard she brings to her highly active, clean, and vegan offerings.

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11. Versed

When it comes to clean, affordable skincare, Who What Wear's sister brand Versed tops the list. It's about quality skincare for all over here, so each of the formulas is designed to offer incredible results without toxicity. The entire range is Leaping Bunny–certified and 100% vegan and cruelty-free

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12. Osea

Malibu-based skincare brand Osea has offered 100% vegan products since the '90s, well before it was trendy to do so. It's committed to clean, naturally sourced ingredients and sustainability in its packaging and practices.

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13. Derma E

Clinically tested for safety and efficacy, this line utilizes only plant-based ingredients in its formulas. Every offering in its comprehensive range is vegan and cruelty-free and made with high-quality natural ingredients and safe synthetics.

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14. Pacifica

This affordable brand offers a comprehensive offering of bodycare products including skincare, makeup, hair products, and more, all of which are vegan and cruelty-free. Its among the limited number of drugstore brands that consumers can count on for 100% vegan products.

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15. Goop Beauty

Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow developed Goop Beauty to be a high-performance range that aims to combine luxury formulas with certified-organic ingredients. It's also vegan and cruelty-free.

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16. Biossance

Biossance utilizes a patented process to produce its hero ingredient, sugarcane-derived squalane, instead of using shark-derived squalane like other brands do. In fact, every one of its products and ingredients are 100% vegan and sustainably sourced.

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Associate Beauty Editor

Courtney Higgs is a Cancer sun, Libra rising beauty enthusiast with about six years of experience in the editorial space. She was previously Who What Wear's associate beauty editor after spending many years working on the West Coast edit team at InStyle Magazine. She graduated from California State University, Northridge, with a BA in communication studies and pivoted to editorial after spending her college years working in the legal field. Her beauty philosophy is simple: She believes there are no wrong answers and that discovering our favorite beauty products and rituals is a journey, not a sprint. When she's not geeking out over products, she can be found adventuring around L.A. with her fiancé; watching reality TV with their French bulldog, Bernie Mac; or relating way too hard to astrology memes.