Welcome to the vegan skincare paradise! It seems like since Kylie Jenner launched her own namesake skincare brand with only vegan products, everyone is obsessed to find products that don’t harm animals, and for a good reason!
So, if you’ve been searching for the perfect vegan-friendly products to help you achieve your glowiest skin ever, then look no further. We’re here to break down all of your top options so that by the end of this article you will be totally “in the know” about what vegan beauty has to offer!
Whether you have oily or dry skin, sensitive or combination types, we bring you an expert guide packed with must-have brands and amazing products that are sure to keep everyone looking radiant. So get ready — let's dive into our Ultimate Vegan Skincare Guide!
What does vegan friendly mean?
Vegan-friendly skincare is the concept of incorporating beauty and cosmetic products into your life that is free from any animal-derived ingredients or animal byproducts. This means a lifestyle of using vegan beauty brands that not only support health and wellness, but also don’t harm our furry friends or cause environmental damage through unnecessary extraction for meat production. In this sense, vegan products are created by avoiding materials like honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen *yes, the Fountain of Youth is not vegan* and cholesterol as well as products tested on animals, of course.
This movement highlights a sense of respect for nature by promoting natural ingredients in products, eliminating synthetic chemicals, and focusing on sustainable approaches to sourcing ingredients ethically and consciously. These may include oils derived from coconut or jojoba, shea butter, and essential extracts that work together to provide deep hydration and nourishment that can help your skin stay healthy and glowing.
In a nutshell, vegan skincare is allowing our beauty routines to peacefully coexist with mother nature and animals in the animal kingdom!
Vegan Beauty Dictionary: Concepts you need to know
For all beauty gurus looking to expand their knowledge of the vegan lifestyle, here are the most common terms vegan skincare brands use to describe their amazing products:
Free from animal-derived ingredients
When a skincare product is labeled as free from animal-derived ingredients, it means that none of its components are sourced directly from animals. When skincare brands say that their product has no animal-derived ingredients, it means that no animal was harmed in any way to acquire or manufacture these products.
Free from animal by-ingredients
Skincare products with animal by-ingredients can contain a range of components derived from animal and insect sources.
Animal by-products such as beeswax, lanolin, collagen, and elastin are used in many skincare products. Beeswax is a wax produced by honeybees, lanolin is derived from sheep’s wool, while collagen and elastin come from cow and pig skin. These ingredients are all renowned for their ability to deeply nourish the skin while encouraging natural exfoliation, making them, according to the industry, great additions to any skincare routine.
However, for those seeking vegan or cruelty-free skincare options, many brands now offer plant-based alternatives to these traditional animal by-ingredients.
Cruelty-free skincare is a movement marked by the adopters of ethical practices in the product development and manufacturing processes. Simply put, it promotes the use of ingredients and products created without animal testing or exploitation.
For brands committed to cruelty-free production, this means that their offerings are designed and produced with respect for animals and free from animal harm across their entire supply chain.
Vegan and cruelty-free: Is it the same?
Determining the animal-friendly credentials of a product can be quite confusing. Is vegan and cruelty-free the same? Not necessarily. Vegan products are those made without any animal-derived or animal-by ingredients; this includes some forms of glycerin and hyaluronic acid, gelatin, lanolin, and many more. However, vegan products are not always cruelty-free.
While vegan products don't contain animal-derived ingredients, cruelty-free products don't necessarily have to be vegan. The determination of a product being cruelty-free rests on whether it has been tested on animals during production, not the ingredients used in it. So while a product may be marketed as both vegan and cruelty-free, those terms are describing different aspects of the product.
All in all, when you see “vegan cruelty free skincare” it means that the product hasn’t been tested on animals and doesn’t contain any animal products
How to identify vegan skincare products?
Identifying vegan skincare products doesn’t have to be a challenge. The easiest method is simply to look for the cruelty-free bunny or the PETA symbol on the product label. This is an internationally-recognized certification by Leaping Bunny and PETA that guarantees the product is vegan and no animal testing was done in researching and producing the cosmetic item
However, bear in mind that not all vegan products contain these symbols, so, when in doubt, read product ingredients lists - anything with beeswax, honey, snail mucin, collagen, glycerin, squalane, milk, or lanolin is not vegan. If unsure whether an ingredient comes from a plant or an animal source, there are many resources online that offer clarity on this!
Best Vegan Skin Care Brands You Need To Try
Interest in vegan skincare brands is booming, with consumers turning to products that are not tested on animals and made without any animal ingredients. Korean skincare brands have long been coveted for their top-notch research, innovative formulas, and highly-effective ingredients.
Now that more and more of these beloved brands are producing vegan options, more people than ever before are discovering the amazing combination of dutifulness towards animals combined with some of the most effective skincare on the market. Whether you're looking for a heavy-duty anti-aging serum or a gentle cleanser for any skin type, here are the best vegan skincare brands that produce vegan-friendly goodies:
Benton, the beloved Korean beauty brand, is known for its well-priced and high-quality skincare products. While the company does not operate as an exclusively vegan brand, it does go to great lengths in ensuring that most of their products are cruelty-free and don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients.
They have several vegan options with natural plant extracts replacing synthetic ingredients. They have even gone a step further by also formulating their products with responsible sourcing of all ingredients including sustainable resources like herbs, grain cereals, and plants. Plus, all their packages are eco-friendly and all their products are clean.
If you're familiar with K-Beauty, you may have heard of the Korean skincare brand COSRX. Known for its simplistic, ingredient-focused products, many consumers have been scratching their heads over the question: Is COSRX a vegan skincare brand? The answer is not so straightforward.
Many of their most effective products contain natural ingredients that don't require animal-derived or byproducts, like their exfoliators that are made to remove dead skin cells and are made from glycolic acid. However, while some items are indeed vegan-friendly, not everything COSRX is suitable for vegans. While COSRX is inclusive in their product line, it's important to research individual items before deciding whether or not they suit your lifestyle.
Nonetheless, all COSRX products are cruelty-free!
3. I’m From
I'm From is a one-stop shop for vegan skincare and beauty products that are authentically Korean. Founded as a sister brand to SKIN&LAB, this brand is committed to being 100% cruelty-free and has an amazing line of vegan skincare to nourish skin- ensuring peace of mind to all those seeking good quality beauty products made with plant-based ingredients and without any animal harm.
Heimish is a South Korean beauty and skincare brand that has taken the world by storm. It's known for its natural, high-quality ingredients and formulas which offer gentle, safe and cruelty-free alternatives. That said, Heimish isn't strictly vegan - though it has 100% vegan beauty products in their amazing All Clean line.
In an era when many consumers are shifting toward healthier, more sustainable choices in their beauty and skincare routines, Heimish offers products that are packed with natural ingredients without compromising efficacy or results.
iUNIK is an emerging cosmetic brand that offers modern products with a focus on natural, cruelty-free goodies. All of their formulations are free from potential irritants and utilize EWG-certified natural ingredients whenever possible. With the goal of being environmentally friendly, iUNIK has taken initiative to achieve cruelty-free certification, as they believe in treating animals and mother nature with respect.
They mostly offer vegan skincare products to get their customers healthy skin in a natural way, however, there are some non-vegan products you should be aware of like the ones that contain propolis or snail mucin.
Top 12 vegan skin care products
1. BENTON HONEST CLEANSING FOAM
Introducing Benton's Honest Cleansing Foam: the perfect combination of nourishing luxury and gentle cleansing! Start with a rich cream then watch as it magically transforms into a lathery dream. Benefit from natural, plant-based surfactants that minimize irritation while still giving you a deep cleanse that feels like butter - no uncomfortable tightness in sight!
2. BENTON’S GOODBYE REDNESS CENTELLA MASK
Redness, irritation, and inflamed blemishes? Say “goodbye” to them - permanently! Introducing the Benton Goodbye Redness Centella Mask Pack. It's like a warm hug for your skin.
Soaked in 45% Centella Asiatica Leaf Water, this ultra-soothing mask helps to restore your complexion right at the source by calming down redness, calming irritated skin, and evening out your skin tone.
3. COSRX ONE STEP ORIGINAL CLEAR PAD
Do you want clear, blemish-free skin? Then you need COSRX One-Step Original Clear Pad! These cottony soft pads are pre-soaked in delightful essence, so you can wipe away all that extra dirt and apply powerful acne-fighting toner for an impressive result. They penetrate deep down into your pores to rid them of any clogs and exfoliate those dead skin cells so you can have a youthful, fresh glow.
4. COSRX CENTELLA BLEMISH CREAM
Forget about dealing with pesky post-blemish marks, for COSRX Centella Blemish Cream is here to help hydrate dry skin and soothe sensitive skin. Our cream is made with skin-friendly ingredients that work to alleviate easily irritated skin and reduce post-blemish marks from showing up! So get ready to bid goodbye to your blemishes and welcome a brighter, clearer you.
5. COSRX AHA 7 WHITEHEAD POWER LIQUID
Fed up with whiteheads ruining your complexion? Well, you're in luck: COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid is here to put those pesky whiteheads where they belong—history! This pocket-sized powerhouse packs a mean punch when it comes to banishing whiteheads from your skin.
Formulated with 7% glycolic acid, 2% niacinamide, and sodium hyaluronate, this is one of the best vegan skincare products that gently exfoliate the complexion and brighten skin.
6. I’m From Rice Toner
Get ready to say hello to younger and fresher looking skin with our I'm From Rice Toner! This hero product harnesses the power of 77.78% rice extract to form a protective barrier over your skin, preventing water loss and environmental damage. It'll keep you looking hydrated and radiant for days on end. Even better, rice extract helps collagen production which plumps your skin like no other.
7. I’m From Rice Serum
With 73% fermented rice embryo extract, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand that this serum is bursting with power! This heavenly elixir is filled with nutrition compressed into a smaller size than your traditional grain of rice, giving you the brightening and soothing effects you crave.
Packed with linolenic acid to nourish and strengthen your skin's barrier, plus Niacinamide to increase your skin's resiliency and balance oil production, there's simply no end to the benefits of using I'm From Rice Serum.
8. Heimish All Clean Balm
If you haven't heard of Heimish All Clean Balm yet, it's time to get with the program! This vegan-friendly double cleansing must-have will have your skin feeling (and looking!) like a million bucks. Certified vegan, natural, and paraben-free with a hypoallergenic formula that is specifically designed for all skin types? That's what we call a real deal. With its unique texture, Heimish All Clean Balm transforms from a solid balm to a silky oil cleanser, then magically becomes milky while rinsing.
Packed with orange, bergamot, and lime, this goodie is full of vitamin C and other nourishing ingredients that will leave your skin cleaned and revitalized.
9. All Clean Low Ph Balancing Vegan Toner
Ready to give stubborn spots the boot? Heimish All Clean Low Balancing Vegan Toner is here to save the day. It's packed with PHA, a better exfoliating agent than AHA & BHA for sensitive skin, and 90% natural plant-derived goodies that clear away dead skin cells. Its light, watery texture will not only rapidly absorb into your skin but tonify it too – so your skin can enjoy all those precious active ingredients!
- EWG Green
10. iUNIK NONI LIGHT OIL SERUM
Crow’s feet? Wrinkles? Who are you gonna call? NONI LIGHT OIL SERUM! With powerful anti-aging effects, this advanced serum is what you need to fight the most persistent wrinkles and fine lines. Formulated with great morinda fruit extract and other plant-based oils, NONI LIGHT OIL SERUM will leave your skin smoother than a baby.
11. iUNIK CALENDULA COMPLETE CLEANSING OIL
Ready for a cleansing experience that takes your skin from dull to "dynamite?" Meet Calendula Complete Cleansing Oil, the light-as-a-feather moisturizing first cleanser you're sure to fall in love with! Our special blend of sunflower, macadamia, and jojoba oil will clarify your pores while locking in hydration.
You'll also find calendula flower extract that nourishes, heals, and stimulates collagen production for increased firmness and elasticity - all without irritating your sensitive skin
12. iUNIK Rose Galactomyces Silky Tone-Up Cream
This clever cream uses galactomyces, rosewater, and natural plant extracts to hydrate your skin and give it a brighter and more even look. Combined with mixed grain extract to protect from UV rays, resmelin complex to soothe, and niacinamide for smoothing wrinkles and fine lines—you’ll love how pampered your skin feels after using this remarkable cream.
Vegan facial products: Where to find them?
Are you ready for a new skincare routine packed with vegan skincare products? Then, you’re in the right place!
If you’re already obsessed with some of the brands and products we mentioned in this blog, then you’ll love our perfectly-curated vegan skincare collection! Visit Asian Beauty Essentials to discover the best vegan Korean products!
And don’t forget to leave us any questions you have. Our team of experts will answer right away.