Best Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands

In a sea of brands and products, shopping for skincare can be overwhelming. If you know you want your skincare to be cruelty-free, enter this handy article. We narrowed down the best cruelty-free skincare brands out there, plus the bestselling products from each brand. All of the brands below say no to animal testing and are committed to being cruelty-free.


All of the brands below offer vegan options, and 4 of them are 100% vegan brands, meaning these brands do not use any animal-derived ingredients in their entire product line.


  1. Youth To The People VEGAN
  2. The Ordinary VEGAN
  3. Paula’s Choice
  4. Drunk Elephant
  5. COSRX
  6. The Inkey List
  7. Versed VEGAN
  8. Biossance VEGAN
  9. Tatcha
  10. iUNIK

The Best Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands + Bestselling Products

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Best Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands:

Youth To The People

Youth To The People is a cruelty-free and vegan skincare brand that was founded in 2015.

The California-based, family owned brand is all about using clean and superfood ingredients to leave any skin type looking and feeling its best. The products lack shady ingredients such as sulfates, paraben, phthalates, synthetic fragrance and added color.

Moreover, Youth To The People has an environmental-friendly approach, which reflects in the use of glass bottles and jars to reduce plastic waste. The brand also sources their ingredients from local suppliers as much as possible.

YTTP soon made it to a cult-favorite status, with many 5-star raving reviews all over the internet. Nowadays, their skincare collection consists of cleansers, exfoliants, toners, creams, serums and more.

Why We Love Youth To The People

Clean, effective, good ingredients, cruelty-free, vegan, eco-friendly

Price Range

From $34 to $68

Is Youth To The People Vegan?

Yes, YTTP is a 100% vegan brand, as it doesn’t use any animal derived ingredients in their entire product line.


Glass bottles and jars

Youth To The People’s Bestselling Products

Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask

youth to the people superberry hydrate + glow dream mask cruelty-free

This rich and creamy overnight mask deeply hydrates dry skin while asleep. It contains antioxidant and vitamin-C rich superberries to target dullness and an uneven skin tone. It also contains hyaluronic acid and squalane which hydrates, plumps and brightens your complexion.


Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Superfood Cleanser

youth to the people kale + green tea spinach vitamins superfood cleanser cruelty-free

This cult-favorite face wash is like a cold-pressed superfood juice for your skin. It is packed with greens such as kale, spinach and green tea to treat your skin to a ton of vitamins while deep-cleansing your face. The gel-to-foam texture is perfect for those with combination to oily skin.


Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream

youth to the people superfood air-whip moisture cream cruelty-free

Lightweight facial moisturizer that is best suited for combination to oily skin. It has an air-whipped gel-cream texture that is quickly absorbed. Featuring hyaluronic acid for moisture and antioxidant-rich superfood blend including spinach and alfalfa for its anti-aging benefits.



Best Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands:

The Ordinary

The Ordinary is a cruelty-free and vegan brand that offers a wide range of high-performing skincare products at very affordable prices. Although the clinical names of The Ordinary’s products may sound somewhat complicated at first, in fact it’s pretty simple. To clarify, instead of adding misleading ingredients The Ordinary prefers to keep it minimal with high concentrations of the active ingredients that actually work.

The Ordinary is all about ingredients, both when it comes to what’s in the products and what isn’t (everything is free of paraben, sulfates, mineral oil, formaldehyde and oxybenzone, just to name a few).

Why We Love The Ordinary

Honest formulations, high concentrations of active ingredients, price point, glass packaging

Price Range

From $3,95 to $28,90

Is The Ordinary Vegan?

Yes, The Ordinary is a 100% vegan brand, because it doesn’t use any animal derived ingredients in their entire product line


The Ordinary products come in plastic and glass packaging

Parent Company

The Ordinary is a cruelty-free brand, however the brand is owned by Estée Lauder, a parent company that is not cruelty-free

The Ordinary’s Bestselling Products

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

the ordinary hyaluronic acid 2% + b5 cruelty-free

This lightweight hyaluronic acid serum is the perfect first step in your skincare routine to lock in and add moisture and leave skin hydrated, soft and plump. Make sure to apply on damp skin for best results.


AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

the ordinary aha 30% + bha 2% peeling solution cruelty-free

Uniting a whopping 30% AHA’s and 2% BHA this peeling is for those ready to step up their peeling game. The blood-red 10-minute facial leaves skin smooth and glowy while it radically improves skin’s tone and texture.


Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

the ordinary niacinamide 10% +1% zinc cruelty-free

If you have acne-prone or oily skin, niacinamide is your answer. The water-based serum contains 10% of the miracle ingredient plus 1% zinc to control oil production, clear up acne and keep future breakouts at bay.



Best Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands:

Paula’s Choice

Originally founded in 1995, Paula’s Choice has been around for a while. The skincare brand is all about creating effective skincare with science-backed ingredients to address all skin concerns, including dryness, acne and wrinkles. Paula’s Choice also leaves out questionable ingredients, such as sulfates sls essential oils and alcohol that are known to cause irritation to the skin, which is why the products are widely-loved by those with sensitive skin.

Why We Love Paula’s Choice

Effective science-backed skincare, non-irritating, wide range of products

Price Range

From $12 to $62

Is Paula’s Choice Vegan?

The majority of Paula’s Choice products are vegan. However, since Paula’s Choice also offers products that do contain animal-derived ingredients (see an overview of these products on their website) Paula’s Choice is not a vegan brand


Recyclable plastic packaging. Paula’s Choice offers a recycling program

Parent Company

Paula’s Choice is a PETA certified cruelty-free brand, however they are owned by Unilever, a parent company that is not cruelty-free

Paula’s Choice Best Products

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

paula's choice skin perfecting 2% bha liquid exfoliant cruelty-free

The brand’s number one product is this leave-on liquid exfoliant. It is formulated with 2% salicylic acid (BHA), which unclogs pores to clear skin and reduce acne, whiteheads, blackheads and oiliness, making this a hero product for oily skin types.


Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF30

paula's choice resist super-light daily wrinkle defense spf30 cruelty-free

This lotion-like SPF30 doubles as a tinted moisturizer that evens out skin tone and leaves you with a silky-matte sun-protected complexion. Packed with antioxidants it helps against skin aging too.


Super Hydrate Overnight Mask

paula's choice super hydrate overnight mask cruelty-free

This winner of Allure’s Best of Beauty awards is formulated with glycerine, shea butter and reishi mushrooms to hydrate and calm skin and reduce redness. The gel-cream mask can be used as an overnight leave-on as well a 20-minute wash-off.



Best Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands:

Drunk Elephant

Drunk Elephant was founded in 2013 by Tiffany Masterson, a former stay-at-home mom who suffered from various skin issues. She created a non-irritating skincare line that is free of the ‘Suspicious 6’ (being sulfates sls, essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens and fragrances/dyes), which Masterson believed were the cause of her skin problems. As a result, the clean beauty brand now offers a wide range of skincare products to target a variety of skin concerns.

Why We Love Drunk Elephant

Effective skincare, clean ingredients

Price Range

From $28 to $90

Is Drunk Elephant Vegan?

Drunk Elephant is not a vegan brand, as it uses honey in certain formulas. However, they do offer some products without animal ingredients


Plastic, partly recyclable

Parent Company

Drunk Elephant is a Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free brand, however the brand is owned by Shiseido, a parent company that is not cruelty-free

Drunk Elephant Best Products

T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

drunk elephant t.l.c. framboos glycolic night serum cruelty-free

This transformative night serum is made with 10% AHA and 1% BHA to resurfaces and exfoliates dull, congested skin overnight. It improves skin’s texture and diminishes the appearance of pores and fine lines.


T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial 25% AHA + 2% BHA Mask

drunk elephant t.l.c. sukari babyfacial 25% aha + 2% bha mask cruelty-free

Drunk Elephant’s cult-favorite product is this potent exfoliating combination of 25% AHA and 2% BHA that smooths and brightens and minimizes the visibility of pores and fine lines.


Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser

drunk elephant beste no. 9 jelly cleanser cruelty-free

This facial cleanser is the perfect balance in terms of removing all traces of makeup, spf and day’s grime, while still being gentle enough to not strip your skin of its moisture.



Best Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands:


When it comes to Korean skincare, the brand COSRX is a cult-favorite around the world. They offer straight-to-the-point formulas with highly concentrated active ingredients that our skin really needs. Whether you have dry, normal, combination or oily skin, COSRX thought of everyone. The brand doesn’t use any unnecessary ingredients to keep their products as clean as possible. As a result, all products are formulated without sulfates, paraben, mineral oil and talc.

Why We Love COSRX

Minimalistic straight-to-the-point formulations, good ingredient lists, cruelty-free, affordable

Price Range

From $6 to $32

Is COSRX Vegan?

No, COSRX is not vegan



COSRX Bestselling Products

Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

cosrx low ph good morning gel cleanser cruelty-free

This daily gel cleanser is infused with salicylic acid and tea tree oil (known for its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties) and is best for oily, combination and acne-prone skin types.


Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence 

cosrx advanced snail 96 mucin power essence

A do-it-all essence that is formulated with 96% snail mucin (yes, snail slime) which works to repair and brighten the skin while providing it with intense hydration.


Acne Pimple Master Patch

cosrx acne pimple master patch cruelty-free

Cosrx’s pimple patch puts a seal over your zit to suck up excess oil, flattening the pimple significantly overnight. The hydrocolloid patches also helps to prevent you from picking.



Best Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands:

The Inkey List

Good skincare doesn’t need to be expensive. And if you’ve ever tried a product of The Inkey List, you know this to be true.
Similar to The Ordinary, each product of The Inkey List is based around one active ingredient, such as niacinamide, salicylic acid and retinol. The simplistic ingredient lists assure you exactly know what you’re putting on your face. Most importantly, when you know what ingredient your skin needs, the BS-free formulas really deliver.
Another plus, the products are all formulated without fragrance and other irritating ingredients.

Why We Love The Inkey List

Effective, bs-free skincare, simplistic ingredient lists, affordable, fragrance-free

Price Point

The products of The Inkey List are all under $15


The Inkey List offers some products that are suitable for vegans, but it is not a 100% vegan brand


The Inkey List products come in plastic packaging of which 75% is recyclable

The Inkey List Best Products

Vitamin C 30%

the inkey list vitamin c 30% cruelty-free

Vitamin C is the skincare ingredient to brighten and regenerate dull skin. What makes this silicon-based vitamin C serum so special is the high concentration of 30% L-ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C), the lightweight non-greasy feel on the skin and the price tag of only 10 dollar.


Salicylic Acid Cleanser

the inkey list salicylic acid cleanser cruelty-free

This cleanser is a great option for acne-prone skin, as the 2% salicylic acid (BHA) works to exfoliate and deeply clear up easily congested pores. The gel cleanser washes away oil, dirt and other impurities from the skin and helps tackle break-outs and dullness.


Q10 Antioxidant Serum

the inkey list q10 antioxidant serum cruelty-free

Q10 is an antioxidant which helps to repair and protect from the damaging effects of the sun and free radicals. This highly concentrated q10 serum, that’s also formulated with top-notch ingredients squalane and hyaluronic acid, melts into the skin and leaves a perfect natural glow.



Best Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands:


Founded in 2019 Versed quickly became a widely-loved skincare brand. This has everything to do with the clean ingredients and result-driven formulations that come with reasonable price tags. From cleansers to serums to sunscreen, Versed offers it all.
Besides being free of paraben, sulfates sls and sles, phthalates, silicones, mineral oil, talc, most of Versed products are fragrance and essential oil free.
When it comes to packaging Versed uses a mix of mostly post-consumer recycled materials and FSC-certified paper for its boxes.

Why We Love Versed

Clean ingredients, result-driven formulations, affordable, cruelty-free, vegan, eco-friendly

Price Point

Versed’s products are all under $25

Is Versed Vegan?

Versed is a 100% vegan brand, meaning they don’t use any animal-derived ingredients in their entire product line


Post consumer recycled plastic, recyclable materials, and alternative packaging made from 97% less material than traditional designs according to their website. It also uses 100% FSC-certified paper for the boxed items

Versed Best Products

Press Restart Retinol Serum

versed press restart retinol serum cruelty-free

Retinol is one of the best ingredients to prevent signs of aging bit usually retinol products come with a price tage. Enter Versed Retinol Serum, which retails for just 22 usd. If you’re new to retinol, this gentle serum is a great way to start.


Dew Point Moisturizing Gel Cream

versed dew point moisturizing gel-cream cruelty-free

This super lightweight gel-cream, made with squalane and glycerin work best for those with normal to oily skin, as it delivers good hydration while not feeling heavy on the skin. It absorbs instantly and leaves the skin feeling balanced and happy.


Guards Up Daily Mineral SPF 35

versed guards up daily mineral spf 35 cruelty-free

This mineral sunscreen not only protect you from the sun, but thanks to the antioxidants also shields your skin from pollution and blue light (your screens). The lightweight tinted formula leaves a natural finish with zero white cast.



Best Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands:

Biossance (vegan)

Biossance is a leading clean and ethical skincare brand that was founded in 2016. The brand uses squalane as their key ingredient in all their products. What is squalane, you ask? To clarify, our body produces it own version of squalane called squalene (with an e) and is basically what keeps our skin moisturized and elastic. However, as we get older our skin produces less squalene, which results in dryness and aging.

In the past squalene that was used in skincare was typically being harvested from sharks, because shark livers are filled with squalene. Luckily, Biossance found a way to create their own version called squalane, made from sustainable sugarcane. Consequently, this saves the lives of millions of sharks per year.

Biossance is a clean brand which means all of their products are free of toxic ingredients such as sulfates SLS and SLES, paraben, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil and more.

Why We Love Biossance

Innovative clean vegan brand, high-quality ingredients

Price Range

From $14 to $72

Is Biossance Vegan?

Yes, Biossance is a vegan brand, as their products contain no animal ingredients or by-products in the manufacturing process or final product.


Biossance’s packaging is made with 100% post-consumer recyclable plastic or glass. The carton boxes are made from sugarcane paper material

Biossance Best Products

Squalane + Omega Repair Cream

biossance squalane + omega repair cream cruelty-free

Besides key ingredient squalane, this cream is formulated with omega fatty acids, shea butter and glycerin which all together offer ultra-hydration that is best for very dry skin.


Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil

biossance squalane + vitamin c rose oil cruelty-free

This bestselling oil is lightweight yet brings a ton of moisture into the skin while vitamin C brightens and firms. It has a light pleasant rose scent and gives a natural glow.


Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer

biossance squalane + probiotic gel moisturizer cruelty-free

The lightweight gel texture of this moisturizer is great for those with combination to oily skin. It controls oiliness throughout the day, while simultaneously delivering deep hydration.



Best Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands:


Tatcha is a Japanese-inspired skincare brand that was launched in 2009 and is since widely loved for its clean and high-quality formulas and luxe feel.
The brand uses Japanese ingredients such as green tea extract, saccharomyces, rice ferment, which are all known to sooth, hydrate and plump the skin and its antioxidant abilities.

Note: most of Tatcha’s products contain fragrance, which is a commonly known irritant to the skin.

Why We Love Tatcha

Clean, high-quality formulations, luxe feel

Price Range

From $12 to $195

Is Tatcha Vegan?

No, Tatcha is not a vegan brand as they use animal derived ingredients in some of their products. However, Tatcha also offers products that are free of animal-derived ingredients, including The Water Cream, The Camelia Cleansing Oil and The Essence


Mostly plastic

Parent Company

Tatcha is a PETA-certified cruelty-free brand, however Tatcha is owned by Unilever, a parent company that is not cruelty-free

Tatcha’s Best Products

The Water Cream

tatcha the water cream cruelty-free

Despite being ultra-lightweight, this cult-favorite cream is very hydrating. It literally feels like a splash of water in your face. Due to its watery texture, this is best for combination to oily faces.


The Deep Cleanse

tatcha the deep cleanse cruelty-free

This gel-based cleanser is packed with tiny fruit fibers that deeply cleanse and gently exfoliate without over-stripping the skin. The oil-free formula lathers into a foam to eliminate excess oil and unclog pores.


The Dewy Skin

tatcha the dewy skin cruelty-free

Another bestselling moisturizer of Tatcha is the Dewy Skin Cream that thanks to its rich nature, it’s best for those with dry skin. It makes your face stay moisturized and dewy (not greasy) all day.



Best Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands:


iUNIK stands for Ideal Unique Natural Ingredients Know-how and that is exactly what the K-beauty brand is. iUNIK focuses on producing highly effective skincare with science-based natural ingredients only. The minimalistic skincare brand, that was founded in 2012, offers a wide range of skincare products including 6 serums, which are each meant to target a specific skin issue.

Why We Love iUnik

Effective skincare, science-based natural ingredients, wide range of skincare, very affordable

Price Point

iUNIK’s products are all under $25

Is iUNIK Vegan?

Most of iUNIK’s products are vegan, however some products do contain animal-derived ingredients, which is why iUNIK is not a vegan brand


Plastic and glass packaging

iUNIK Best Products

Centella Calming Gel Cream

iunik centella calming gel cream cruelty-free

This gel-cream is formulated with skin-loving centella to calm down sensitive, stressed skin. The lightweight moisturizer sinks right into the skin and leaves a cooling effect.


Calendula Complete Deep Cleansing Oil

iunik calendula complete cleansing oil cruelty-free

This cleansing oil is the perfect first step for a double cleanse as it melts of makeup, sunscreen and dirt. The velvety texture emulsifies with water and leaves skin clean and soft.


Tea Tree Relief Natural Facial Serum

iunik tea tree relief serum cruelty-free

If you’re struggling with acne, breakouts or sensitivity, this serum is for you. It is formulated with tea tree which is known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.


Do you miss any cruelty-free brands in this article or do you wonder if a brand is cruelty-free? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below.


What Is The Difference Between Vegan And Cruelty-Free?

In short, cruelty-free means a product and its ingredients have not been tested on animals and vegan means a product does not contain animal-derived ingredients. This is why a product can be cruelty-free and not vegan. Similarly, a product can be vegan and not cruelty-free.

What About Parent Companies?

Some of the brands mentioned in this article are owned by parent companies that are not cruelty-free. As the brands themselves are committed to being cruelty-free and never test their products or ingredients on animals, we consider them to be cruelty-free. Of course, you can think of this differently which is why we’ve mentioned it when a brand has a parent company that is not cruelty-free.

More Cruelty-Free Skincare:
Face Sunscreens
Acne Products
Face Masks