17 Skincare Brands That Are Next-Level Amazing—and Just So Happen to Be Vegan
Going green has never looked this good.
While adhering to a vegan diet is relatively straightforward (fruits and veggies, yea; meat and dairy, nay), ensuring that the contents of your beauty routine are vegan has historically been a bit more complicated. Despite the growing demand among consumers for more transparency on how brands formulate and package their products, the fact remains that when it comes to finding brands that are 100 percent vegan, it can be easier said than done. The reason? Though often associated with the “clean beauty” movement, vegan products don’t always fall under this same umbrella. In fact, even brands that are labeled clean, organic, and cruelty-free can still use animal-derived ingredients, like lanolin and beeswax, in their products, making them far from vegan-friendly. That’s because, for a product to be certified vegan, it cannot contain any animal-derived ingredients or animal byproducts in its formula. That means no honey, gelatin, collagen, keratin, elastin, or squalene, all of which are commonly found in everything from moisturizers to lip balms and face oils.
If that wasn’t already confusing enough, there’s also the issue of vegan versus cruelty-free products. While vegan beauty implies the absence of animal ingredients and byproducts, cruelty-free refers specifically to products that have not been tested on animals at any stage in their development (including at the ingredient level). A product, therefore, can be vegan without being cruelty-free and vice versa, which can make finding the best vegan skincare products for your needs all the more challenging.
To help take the guesswork out of the process for you, we’ve curated a list of the 17 best skincare brands that are not only 100 percent vegan but also super luxurious and efficacious. Whether you’re a full-fledged vegan, considering taking the plunge into the plant-based lifestyle, or are just looking for an amazing new serum to add to your routine, the brands below have you covered.
Youth to the People
Launched in 2015, Youth to the People is the California-based, family-owned vegan skincare brand behind some of the internet’s favorite cleansers, moisturizers, and masks—plant-based or otherwise. Focusing its products around consciously sourced, nutrient-dense superfoods, like kale, mushrooms, and green tea, each product is also blended with proven clinical actives to deliver powerful results that are good for both your skin and the environment. In addition to the massively popular Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser and Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Face Mask, our editors are also huge fans of the brand’s 15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum, which is packed with antioxidants to naturally brighten and perk up dull, tired-looking complexions with each use.
Don’t let Herbivore Botanicals’ beautifully packaged skincare line fool you—these luxe products are every bit as effective as they are display-worthy. Certified vegan from day one, this Seattle-founded brand ethically sources only the finest raw, natural ingredients to create products that actively restore skin to its optimal health and vitality. From its intoxicating scents and luxurious textures to its animal-friendly formulas, there’s a lot to love about Herbivore Botanicals’ skin and body products. Although, if you ask us, nothing beats the brand’s award-winning Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum, which helps smooth the appearance of fine lines and even skin tone without any of the irritation traditionally associated with retinol products.
A longtime favorite of celebrities and beauty obsessives, Vintner’s Daughter is the epitome of luxury plant-based skincare that works. Founded by April Gargiulo, a wine-maker by trade, the all-natural skincare brand consists of just two products: the Active Botanical Serum and the Active Treatment Essence. In the former, you’ll find a wide array of oil-soluble plant nutrients, including marigold, rosemary, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, rosehip oil, and turmeric, all of which help protect the skin from environmental stressors while also providing lasting moisture and radiance. For the best results, use it after the Active Treatment Essence, which incorporates water-soluble nutrients for increased hydration and skin-brightening benefits.
Don’t worry, squalane may be at the heart of Biossances’ skincare products, but this brand is still 100 percent vegan. Pioneers of the biotech beauty trend, Biossance famously invented a patented fermentation technique that allows them to produce a sustainable, plant-derived alternative to squalene that not only provides the same super hydrating benefits as the shark-derived (squalene) version, but is also vegan and non-comedogenic. A favorite of editors and celebrities including Reese Witherspoon, the product range offers something for every skin type and concern. Our go-to? The Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil, which brightens, firms, and hydrates skin while also imbuing it with an all-over rosy glow.
When it comes to affordable vegan skincare brands, Versed sits at the top of our list. Created by Merit founder Katherine Power, this Insta-famous brand is known for delivering quality products that offer luxury-level results but at a fraction of the cost. Minimally designed and sustainably-minded, each product is also formulated per European Union standards to ensure their efficacy and safety and promise to fit seamlessly into your existing skincare routine. Among our favorites from the brand is the Sunday Morning Antioxidant Oil-Serum and the Gentle Cycle Milky Cleanser, which dissolves away makeup and impurities while also leaving your skin feeling soft, smooth, and moisturized.
When you need your skincare products to be not only vegan and cruelty-free but also clean, luxurious, and sensitive skin-friendly, turn to Pai Skincare. Founded by Sarah Brown in 2007, the 100 percent natural skincare line specifically formulates its products for ultra-sensitive skin types without using any potentially irritating chemicals, toxins, perfumes, or alcohols. Made in small batches in Brown’s native England, all of Pai’s products are consciously sourced, individually tested, and certified organic, so that those with reactive or allergy-prone skin can rest assured that their complexions are in good hands. For instant skin-soothing benefits, we recommend the Instant Kalmer Serum and the Rosehip Bioregenerate Facial Oil, which work together to help reduce redness and irritation and strengthen the skin for a healthier, more rejuvenated-looking glow.
Shani Darden Skincare
You may know Shani Darden as the buzzed-about skincare guru behind Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kelly Rowland, and January Jones’ flawless complexions, but did you know she also has her own namesake skincare brand? Launched in 2018, the award-winning collection currently features six complexion-boosting products that are all cruelty-free, vegan, and recyclable and are centered around proven ingredients like retinol and peptides to deliver maximum red carpet-ready results. While Darden’s Retinol Reform is already an icon-in-the-making, we’re also huge fans of the Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer, which is quite literally the lightest yet most hydrating moisturizer we’ve ever tested.
Spurred by her love of the ocean, former beauty editor and digital influencer Allison McNamara launched her namesake skincare brand in 2018 with the aim of creating clean, sustainably made products that harness the power of both plants and the sea. Centered around a proprietary algae blend, each product also boasts plenty of proven skincare ingredients, including green tea, vitamin C, and evening primrose, to provide high-performance results that support healthy, glowing skin without any unwanted animal byproducts. Not sure where to start? Reach for the OG Algae + Moringa Universal Face Oil, which features a potent blend of all-natural vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients to give your skin a plumper, more youthful appearance—even Chrissy Teigen and Olivia Munn are said to be fans.
Founded in 2018 by Kendra Kolb Butler, Alpyn Beauty is a luxury skincare brand that sustainably harvests wildcrafted ingredients in the mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Why Jackson Hole, you ask? At an average height of 6,237 feet above sea level, these plants are some of the hardest-working and most resilient around, making them especially adept at preserving, protecting, and strengthening the skin’s natural barrier. For a gentle yet effective brightening treatment, we love the PlantGenius Survival Serum, which uses the brand’s proprietary PlantGenius Complex to deliver instant radiance, long-term glow, and all-day moisture in one.
Summer Fridays needs no introduction. The cool-girl brand founded in 2018 by beauty influencers Mariana Hewitt and Lauren Ireland has quickly gone from being a single-product startup to one of today’s most sought-after skincare brands—and not just among vegans either. Launching first with the sell-out Jet Lag Mask, the indie brand has since expanded into cleansers, moisturizers, and body care products, all of which feature the brand’s chic, Insta-friendly aesthetic. While we’ll forever be die-hard fans of the brand’s masks, we’re also partial to the natural vanilla-flavored Lip Butter Balm and the Cloud Dew Oil-Free Gel Cream, which is basically your one-way ticket to a plump, dewy complexion.
If the practice of self-care is just as crucial to your beauty routine as the products you use, consider adding Moon Juice to your lineup. Combining “plants, science, and wisdom” in one, the LA-based brand got its start as a cold-pressed juice bar before expanding to beautifully packaged supplements and skincare. Using pure, sustainable, and active plant-based ingredients like silver ear mushrooms and ashwagandha, the brand creates products that work from the inside out and vice versa, inspiring a holistic sense of balance and wellness. For a gentle brightening treatment, we love the Acid Potion Resurfacing Exfoliator, which can be used daily to remove dead skin cells, minimize the appearance of pores, and soothe redness for an all-over healthy glow.
If you prefer your skincare with a heavy dose of science and technology, you’re going to love Noble Panacea. Founded by Sir Fraser Stoddart, a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and recipient of the Albert Einstein World Award of Science (impressive, huh?), this luxury skincare brand features two ranges: The Brilliant Collection (for brightening) and The Absolute Collection (for advanced anti-aging). Each boasts the brand’s patented Organic Molecular Vessel Technology, which protects and preserves active ingredients, then releases the benefits in several steady doses for a healthier, more radiant complexion. You’ll see results within days of using the products and can feel good knowing that all of the scientifically proven formulas are clean, vegan, and refillable to help reduce unnecessary plastic waste.
Another affordable option, BYBI is the up-and-coming vegan and cruelty-free skincare brand that centers its sustainably-minded products around the latest superfood ingredients. The result is a 100 percent natural lineup of complexion-boosting essentials that are safe, effective, and beautifully packaged. Prepare to get hooked on the UK-based brand’s multipurpose Babe Balm and the Acid Gold AHA Resurfacing Face Mask, which uses pumpkin enzymes to help clear, smooth, and brighten dull, blemish-prone skin, so it feels healthy and renewed.
Founded by lifestyle influencer Erica Choi of Egg Canvas, Superegg is the new minimalist skincare brand inspired by the traditional use of eggs in Asian beauty routines. Each of Superegg’s products features what Choi calls “duplexes,” or “duplicated complexes” of plant-based ingredients designed to match the nutrients found in the vitamin-rich parts of an actual egg—the shell, the white, and the yolk. Together, these duplexes work to balance the skin and help restore it to a smooth egg-like complexion—hence the brand’s name. In addition to the Gentle Elements Cleanser, a creamy, foaming formula that balances the skin without stripping it, the clean line also includes the Sound Renewal Moisturizer (our favorite of the two products). This ultra-light, fast-absorbing gel-cream features Choi’s Yolk Duplex, a blend of amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamin E, which recreates the hydrating and brightening properties of, yup, you guessed it, egg yolk. Move over glass skin, “eggshell skin” is here to take your throne.
Inspired by co-founder Agatha Luczo’s Italian heritage, Furtuna Skin is the vegan skincare brand that’s giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “farm-to-face” beauty. Using fresh, wild-harvested botanicals hand-picked from her family’s 864-acre Sicilian farm, the brand creates potent, results-driven products intended to simplify your beauty routine in the most luxurious way possible. In addition to being clean and vegan, all of Furtuna Skin’s products are also consciously crafted to maximize the ingredients’ potency without negatively impacting the surrounding environment. If you’re in the market for a super hydrating face oil, we can’t recommend the Due Alberi Biphase Moisturizing Oil enough. It’s packed with organic olive oil, blue Anchusa azurea flower, and over a dozen other botanicals to visibly plump skin with long-lasting moisture as it helps repair its protective barrier for a healthier, more youthful complexion.
After struggling for years with a serious health crisis, Hillary Peterson decided to take matters into her own hands by launching True Botanicals—an all-natural luxury skincare line that puts safety and efficacy first. Beloved by Olivia Wilde, Laura Dern, and Ashley Graham, the California-based brand formulates its products to be MADE SAFE-certified, meaning they’re free of more than 5,000 ingredients that are known or suspected to harm human health. What’s more, the products are also all really good. Our personal favorites include the Moisture Lock Overnight Mask and the Chebula Active Immunity Serum, which stimulates collagen production, helps regulate pigmentation, minimizes inflammation, reduces blue light pollution, and maintains hydration all in one.
African Botanics’ founders Craig and Julia Noik sustainably source their ingredients from South Africa’s Fynbos region—a remote utopia of antioxidant-rich plants and natural resources. Inspired by traditional beauty rituals, the face and body treatments are renowned for their healing, nourishing, and therapeutic benefits, not to mention their luxurious clean, vegan formulas. While you can’t go wrong with any of the brand’s products, we’re especially fond of the Résurrection Eye Cream and the Marula Shimmering Gold Oil, which gives skin the most insane sun-kissed glow.