Best Cruelty-Free & Vegan Skincare (Body, Hair)
FYI: furry friends approved this list
In this article I am going to highlight some of my favorite skin-, body- and haircare favorites (all cruelty-free and vegan!). I see that you guys are enjoying these posts just as much as I do, which is why I will make sure to share more content like this in the future.
Curious? Then please keep on scrolling!
My Skin: dry, sensitive
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 (34 USD; Made in USA) – hands down, the best sunscreen for makeup wearers (or anyone, who can’t stand white cast, balling, pilling and all other sunscreen associated disasters). Oh! This gluten-free gem doesn’t smell like your traditional suncare either, which is a brilliant thing in my book. What is interesting about this product’s texture is that it is pretty much identical to a typical silicone-based face primer (you know, one that hides an appearance of pores and dry patches?), which means it will trick a hater's eye into thinking your skin is extra smooth and poreless. Weightless, invisible and surprisingly soothing thanks to Meadowfoam Seed, Red Algae and Frankincense as its key ingredients. I often wear it on its own, as I love just how velvety (never greasy) it looks. Perfect for girls and boys of all ages.
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (18 USD; Made in USA) – while it won’t be the World’s most efficient second-step cleanser, if you are looking for a delicate and refreshing face wash to use every morning – look this way. The pH friendly formula is made with the same cleansing agents that you typically find in a contact lens solution, thus making this Glossier gem that extra bit gentle and soothing. No soapy dramas here, only the smoothest gel cleanser that rejuvenates the skin and leaves it feeling soft and clean. I do not think it is effective at dissolving makeup (or even removing makeup residue for that matter), but as a [potential] first step in your AM skincare routine - it is impeccable.
Sukin Signature Foaming Facial Cleanser (8.99 USD; Made in Australia) – when it comes to "green" skincare, I feel like Australia is ten steps ahead of the rest of us. Luckily, some of it is available globally and here is a wonderful drugstore line that I absolutely adore – Sukin. Not only are their products cruelty-free, carbon-neutral, but also vegan and clean. My current favorite from the brand is their gel cleanser formulated with Chamomile, Aloe Vera, Green Tea, Evening Primrose, Rosehip Oil and Witch Hazel. Although it is technically made with oilier skin types in mind, my Sahara skin loves it. Doesn’t feel drying in the slightest and works really well as a second step cleanser when you really want to wash every last bit of makeup and grime away (alternatively use it first thing in the morning/evening to refresh your skin). Pores are happy and! It smells amazing thanks to the blend of Mandarin, Tangerine, Vanille and Lavender.
Good Molecules Caffeine Energizing Hydrogel Eye Patches (18 USD; Made in Korea) – are my favorite (and mega affordable) little hydrogel masks that you leave on for 10-15 minutes to instantly refresh and de-puff delicate skin area underneath your eyes. Powered by Caffeine Extract, Licorice, Peptides and Aloe Vera – these will work particularly well whenever your feel like your undereye is looking puffy, dull, dehydrated or lackluster. Can be applied both in the morning or evening. If you plan on wearing makeup afterwards, I suggest removing the serum residue altogether as it might pill under concealer. Personally speaking, I prefer to wear mine during bath time while I multi-mask; I always follow up with an eye cream afterwards. This formula is scent-free and you also get 30 pairs in each container. Win-win!
LUSH Fresh Face Mask (9.95-13.95 USD; Made Locally) – speaking of multi-masking, if you are looking for organic, freshly made face masks - it is time to rush to the nearest LUSH store (you can typically locate them from a mile away, aromas are so inviting!). Whether it is dryness, texture, dullness or breakouts that you are dealing with - you will easily find your mate here. What I like about these fresh masks is that they are effective and still made out of 100% natural ingredients. Suitable for all skin types, sensitive included. Plus, when you collect six empty black containers of any LUSH products, you can easily exchange them for one fresh mask you fancy. Recyclable and fab! My personal favorites are: Catastrophe Cosmetic (when you break out), Rosy Cheeks (clay those clogged pores away), Cup O’ Coffee (this invigorating scrubby mask is best used on the body when you shower).
Grown Alchemist Antioxidant+ Facial Oil Borago, Rosehip, Buckthorn (55 USD; Made in Australia) – speaking of high-end Australian skincare, meet Grown Alchemist. I have tried quite a few products from the brand in recent years, but it is their Antioxidant+ Facial Oil that won my heart. Unlike most facial oils, this one has a slightly more balmy, serum-esque feel to it. It is packed with free radical fighting antioxidants to ensure that your skin is firm, hydrated and smooth at all times. This is an excellent oil to use at night, especially during harsh winter months. Exfoliate, gently massage a few drops of this oil into your skin and kiss your pillow goodnight. You will wake up with a soft, refreshed and radiant complexion in the morning. A great oil for people with drier skin types. I know I say it all the time, but little goes a long way with this product (one bottle will probably last you anywhere from 6 to 12 months). Another favorite from the brand is Rosehip & Camellia Seed Oil (however, between the two, I still prefer the Antioxidant+ Facial Oil).
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum (90 USD; Made in USA) – while this brand can be quite “hit or miss” at times, with some products being overhyped or overpriced for no clear reason, this serum is sadly a keeper. Bad for the wallet, but never for the skin. AHAs and BHAs are excellent exfoliators that not only lift dead skin cells, but also improve texture, clear out pores to reveal glowing, smooth and evened out skin tone. T.L.C. is a blend of glycolic, tartaric, citric and salicylic acids. Quite a gentle formula, however! If you are new to chemical exfoliators in general, it is worth nothing that you might feel a slight tingling sensation at first. It will dissipate as you get used to the formula though. Apply one-two pumps of this clear, magical scent-free serum to your face and neck at night; make sure to wear sunscreen in the morning. I find that you do not need to use T.L.C. on a daily basis, one-two times a week work just fine. So long forehead bumps, minor breakouts, wide pores and toxic people!
Bite Beauty Agave+ Nighttime Vegan Lip Therapy (24 USD; Made in Canada) – out of every other lip care product that the brand offers, this must be my number one favorite. Think of it as a melting balm to oil lip mask, which gives your lips a well-deserved hug that lasts all night long. This is a beautifully formulated, lightweight [yet rich] product that I have been enjoying for more than a year now. Believe me when I say that it is quite potent (plus smells like a delicious chamomile-bergamot heaven). Enriched with powerful antioxidants including Agave, Pomegranate and Jojoba - it is going to keep your pout pretty and kissable all day long. Compared to the brand’s original Agave+ Intensive Vegan Lip Mask, it feels equally nourishing but not as thick (I do love and recommend both nevertheless).
LUSH Body Butters (8.95-12.95 USD; Made Locally) – the two I want to highlight in this post are Buffy and Scrubee. These little guys are every lazy girl’s (and boy’s!) dream. Want to scrub and moisturize your body in one go? Look no further. Now, before I start sounding like a cheap TV infomercial, I want to say that being a swimmer I deal with dry skin on my body all the time. After spending an hour in chlorine, I first use one of my LUSH shower gels (I keep two or three little bottles for different moods; they smell divine and are amazing for dry, sensitive skin) and then follow up with either Buffy (more nourishing) or Scrubee (more exfoliating). Great thing is that it only takes a minute to use: you rub the bar onto damp skin and as butter begins to melt you are able to quickly massage your entire body with it. Rinse, pat dry, enjoy!
P.S. they smell like a delicious dessert thanks to the blend of Shea/Cocoa Butters, Almond, Coconut and Honey.
Buffy is Vegan🍃
Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream (45 USD; Made in USA) – reputation precedes this guy and for all the right reasons: whipped, nourishing, smoothing and absolutely delicious (speaking of the signature warm and sweet Salted Caramel, Pistachio and Vanilla scent) body cream that is going to melt into your skin and keep it hydrated all day long. It does have a bit of a pearlescent shimmer to it as well, which might be invisible to the naked eye, yet not to the sensual Copacabana sun (wink wink). Think of it as a sophisticated beach or pool party companion. No chunky glitter here, only heavenly soft skin and a pinch of glow. While I don’t think it will tighten your “bum bum” per se, it will be a perfect cream for people who love excellent (and sweet) body care.
Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Strengthening Treatment Hair Oil (30 USD; Made in Korea) – is a silicone-free, ceramides-rich replenishing hair oil that is a perfect solution for split ends. The formula is quite potent, yet lightweight at the same time. Do not go overboard with it! One-two drops are all you need. My hair type is fine and quite wavy. I am sure some smart magazine article would label it as 2B/2C (although I am guilty of frying it to get to 1B). Now, add chlorine to the equation and you get hair that is dry and frizzy. The key to using this oil is to rub a couple of drops between your hands first, then gently run your fingertips through separate locks of hair to ensure that you apply just enough to mid-end section (avoid roots). It can be used on dry or damp hair; the latter technique works best if you plan on letting your locks air-dry and do their curly girl thing. Think of this oil as a hair repairing treatment, not a styling product. I often apply it before going to bed and rinse it out in the morning. After a few weeks of use (two-three times a week) my hair looks bouncier, ends are much healthier and not as dry. Tiny but mighty, eh! If you are looking for a restorative hair product, it might be something for you to try.
P.S. I actually came across a review of a cancer survivor, who loved this oil, because it helped restore her hair after chemotherapy and stress. Frankly, I love seeing feedback like that!
Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream (38 USD; Made in USA) – this was my [crazy humid] summer 2019 discovery. I felt like my hair wanted to absorb as much humidity as it possibly could, which made it look insanely frizzy. No matter what I used, nothing helped. Well, until I discovered this styling cream. Not only does it smell divine, but you only need a pea-sized amount to see results. Otherwise, if you go heavy-handed, it may look heavy or stick your locks together (especially if yours are on a fine side). I find that this formula shines when it is applied to damp hair. I typically let it absorb for 5-10 minutes before I style. Whenever I use this cream, my hair looks well-conditioned, smooth and doesn’t get as frizzy as it typically would with other styling products. Yes - you can’t run away from humidity, but! At least this formula won't leave you looking like a sad loofah sponge.
What do you guys think about these products? Let's chat some more in the comments!
PR samples & purchased products; full disclaimer here