What is Vegan Skincare? The Lowdown

Man wiping vegan moisturizer over his cheek

Want to start making more planet-conscious choices with your beauty regime?

You may not realize, but many beauty products on the market contain animal-derived ingredients, making them unsuitable for vegans. However, there are a number of vegan skincare products available. But what is vegan skincare and how can you incorporate it into your regimen?

We’ve got all the answers for you.

What is Vegan Skincare?

First of all, what makes vegan skincare, well, vegan?

For a skincare product to be considered vegan, it must contain zero ingredients that are derived from animals. This can be anything from milk or honey to collagen and some Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s).

Is ‘Vegan Skincare’ Cruelty-Free?

When it comes to the difference between vegan and cruelty-free skincare, there are a few differences.

To put it simply, vegan skincare means that the ingredients don’t come from any animal sources, whereas, cruelty-free products aren’t tested on animals, but may still contain ingredients derived from animals.

So, not all cruelty-free skincare is vegan, and technically, not all vegan skincare is cruelty-free.

To make things much simpler, the entirety of our ranges are ALL cruelty-free. Oh, and we’re PETA certificated and never allow animal testing at any stage of development for both ingredients and final products.

Why Choose Vegan Skincare?

So, what are the perks of going vegan with your skincare?

Great for Animals

It almost goes without saying, but vegan, cruelty-free skincare is much kinder on the animal kingdom.

When choosing our vegan skincare, you can be safe in the knowledge that no animals were harmed in the making of the products you’re using.

Better for the Environment

Like the meat industry, the animal-based beauty industry can have a negative impact on the planet, causing air pollution, water pollution, and deforestation.

We’re proud that our suppliers are committed to achieving the highest standard of environmental management, giving you great peace of mind when choosing our vegan products.

Five Popular Vegan Skincare Ingredients

New to the vegan world and not sure what ingredients to look out for when picking your skincare products? We’ve got you.

Here are some of the most common skincare ingredients that you may not have known are vegan:

  1. Niacinamide (vitamin B3): is synthetically produced and vegan. With the potential to strengthen your skin’s barrier, it is often used in skincare products to help to maintain skin moisture.

2. Vitamin C: recognized for its purported ability to enhance skin health; target signs of aging, and minimize damage from external aggressors, vitamin C is a potent component in skincare.

3. Vitamin E: this ingredient possesses anti-inflammatory qualities and acts as a protective shield against free radicals. Vitamin E is commonly found in various plant oils.

4. BHA (beta-hydroxy acid): BHA is also a vegan skincare ingredient. Thought to possess both anti-inflammatory and exfoliating properties, it may help to prevents blackheads, blemishes, and have a calming effect on the skin.

Algae: derived primarily from seaweed, algae is a beneficial antioxidant known to help to reduce inflammation green, red, and brown algae are all vegan and commonly used in skincare.

5. Bakuchiol: this ingredient can help to soothe and firm skin and is a great vegan-friendly alternative to retinol. Derived from the Babchi plant, bakuchiol is always vegan.

Other plant oils such as coconut, rosehip or avocado oil (just to name a few), are also common vegan skincare ingredients that you won’t have to worry about!

Five Popular Skincare Ingredients That are NOT Vegan

Here are some non-vegan skincare ingredients that are commonly found in a number of beauty products.

1. Beeswax: this is a substance created by female bees to construct honeycomb and it’s estimated by The British Bee Keepers Association, that bees need to visit an incredible 30 million flowers to produce just a pound of beeswax. Employed for the production of body balms, lip balms and certain mascaras to prevent the separation of certain ingredients, this product is not vegan.

Vegan Alternative: plant and soya waxes, like candelilla wax, serve as vegan alternatives to beeswax.

2. Glycerin: most commonly found in soaps and moisturizer, glycerin is derived from both plant and animal sources, so it can be challenging to determine its origin – vegan-friendly glycerin will usually be labeled as ‘Vegetable Glycerin’. Animal-derived glycerin is a protein obtained from the horns, hooves and hair of animals.

Vegan alternatives: this ingredient can be found in plant sources such as soybean or corn. Their extracts are a great source for glycerin in vegan skincare.

Note: be careful, glycerin can also be found in palm oil, which is often rejected by the vegan community due to its links to deforestation. However, some forms can be sustainably sourced and therefore, vegan-friendly.

3. Retinol: retinol can be sourced from both plants and animals, so ensure you check the ingredients label before choosing the product. Traditionally, it is extracted from animal sources as a type of vitamin A and is commonly present in anti-wrinkle and eye creams.

More recently, retinols are being produced synthetically in labs to precisely replicate the natural molecules.

Vegan Alternatives: pumpkin seed oil, hemp oil, bakuchiol oil and rosehip oil are all natural substitutes, as they are rich in vitamin A.

4. Squalene: squalene was originally derived from shark liver oil and is commonly present in lip balm, deodorants, and moisturizers.

Vegan Alternatives: olive oil or wheat germ oil are great vegan options.

5. Collagen: collagen is believed to possess youth boosting properties and the ability to enhance skin elasticity, although there is no definitive proof that the skin can effectively absorb it. This protein is often obtained from animal tissues, bones, skins, or ligaments sourced from bovine or marine life.

Your Vegan Skincare Routine

Ready to live your best plant-based life? Check out our top vegan, cruelty-free skincare picks!

Start with a Vegan Cleanser

We’re proud to showcase a wide range of vegan cleansers suited to a variety of skin types.

If you have dry skin, or are prone to acne, our gentle formulas work to deeply cleanse the skin, removing dirt and excess oils, without stripping away moisture.

How to use: Apply a dime-sized amount into your hands and massage the product into the skin using circular motions then rinse.

Clarify Using a Vegan Toner

A facial toner sets the stage for further products to work their magic. It not only preps and primes, but also delivers soothing ingredients to give you the best canvas to work on before going in with more skincare products.

Whether you want extra exfoliation, or a boost of hydration, we have the best vegan toners to help you achieve your goals.

How to use: Dispense two or three drops onto a cotton pad and gently wipe the complexion to further cleanse the skin of any remaining impurities.

Nourish with a Vegan Serum

A serum will be your bestie if you want to give your skin an extra nourishment boost. Our vegan serums are perfect for helping to hydrate, smooth and balance the complexion.

How to use: Using two to three drops of product, massage into your fingertips and press firmly into the skin.

Don’t forget the Eyes: Vegan Eye Cream

The skin around our eyes is extremely delicate, so a gentle, vegan eye cream is a must. Don’t worry, vegan formulas are just as hydrating, so you can maintain healthy-looking skin.

Whether you’re worried about dark circles or fine lines, we’ve got you covered with a multitude of vegan eye creams designed to aid brightening, plumping and revitalizing those eyes!

How to use: Dispense a pea-sized amount to your ring finger. Apply to the under-eye area and blend in using tapping motions.

Finish with a Vegan Moisturizer

Moisturizer is key, no matter your skin type. Ensuring skin is well hydrated has countless benefits, including helping to improve tone and texture.

But no matter what your skin concern, we have developed a range of vegan moisturizers to suit a variety of skin types!

How to use: Take a scoop of moisturizer and distribute the product across in each section of the face, and massage in using circular motions.

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Pamper Night? Reach for a Vegan Face Mask

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Whatever your skin type or specific concern, our kind, vegan formulas are packed with the vitamins and minerals needed to keep skin looking healthy!


When it comes to vegan skincare, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy healthy skin while being kind to the planet. We ensure your products maintain their effectiveness and provide results for all skin types.

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Revolution Beauty

Revolution Beauty

Writer and expert