Some words in beauty are considered dirty. In the UK, where our beauty products are heavily regulated to ensure they meet stringent health and safety standards, marketing terms such as clean and toxic-free make most beauty experts turn their noses up. As a result, there’s a whole load of results-driven beauty buffs out there who don’t want to give such products the time of day.
One word that all too often gets lumped together with beauty's "dirty" terms is vegan. The reason? Because many of the things that beauty marketing experts deem "unclean" also make the products not suitable for vegans. As a result, it often feels as though beauty products can’t be vegan without also being branded "clean," leaving those who want hardworking, efficacious, science-backed skincare products that are also vegan feeling left behind.
Because the truth is vegan-friendly beauty products serve a far greater purpose and have quantifiable benefits. At surface level, being vegan-friendly shows the product is suitable for those who only want to use skincare products that don't contain animal products. When you delve deeper, though, it can also give some suggestion of the eco-footprint of the product as well as the brand’s animal rights beliefs.
And if you ask us, we don’t think it’s fair for all vegan-friendly skincare products to fall into a category that is tarnished by the industry as being less effective. In fact, there are a whole bunch of vegan skincare products out there that deliver seriously impressive results.
So if you’re looking for vegan skincare products that will truly help improve your skin’s health, we’ve rounded up the best of the best below.
No skincare routine is complete without a really great cleansing balm, and this is one of the best around. Specially formulated for dry, sensitive skin that is feeling the effects of stress, it delivers soothing, plumping nourishment that leaves skin glowing for days. Not only does it feel impressively luxe, but it also contains vitamins A, C and E to boost radiance and hydration, as well as a whole bunch of fatty acids to protect the skin barrier and restore skin health.
Pretty enough for you to want to keep out on the side of your sink, this gentle cleanser from cult indie brand Monday Muse makes for the ultimate daily cleanse. It contains sweet-almond and hemp-seed oils to deliver barrier-loving nourishment, so you can wave goodbye to dryness-induced skin irritation.
We're not sure this face mask needs much of an introduction. Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask is a favourite among not only Who What Wear editors but also beauty experts far and wide. It's moisturising and glow-boosting and helps give dry skin a reset in its most desperate of times. In fact, we'd go as far as to say that this is the ultimate pre-event skin treatment.
If you struggle with breakouts, this new launch from Lixirskin should help. Whenever your skin needs some clarifying, mix one of these shots in with your cleanser, massage in and leave for a few minutes. With succinic acid, zinc gluconate and niacinamide, they work to unclog pores, reduce the presence of unfriendly bacteria and regulate sebum production for a significantly less congested complexion.
A wonderful option for those with dry, dull skin, this enzyme treatment is a great way to exfoliate without causing sensitive skin any upset. In just two minutes, the enzymes break down dead skin cells to leave skin looking clearer and more radiant.
This serum means business. If you have pigmentation or your skin has an uneven tone that you would like to rectify, this stuff should help. Jam-packed with antioxidants such as prickly pear and sea buckthorn as well as niacinamide and a patented plant stem cell extract, it will help plump fine lines, support your skin's natural defence barrier and fade dark spots and pigmentation.
Shocked to discover this cult staple is vegan? You're not alone. With the majority of vegan skincare products leaning towards a "natural' marketing message, Augustinus Bader's science-led research seems like an anomaly. But it's true: The Rich Cream has been reformulated to be fully vegan. If you're not aware, The Rich Cream is considered to be one of the most impressive skincare products in history. It's expensive, yes, but the youthful, glowy results can't be beaten.
Another great all-rounder and not too dissimilar from The Rich Cream, the U Beauty Super Smart Hydrator is a daily moisturiser that just delivers that special something-something. It hydrates, plumps and protects all at the same time, making it the perfect all-in-one skincare product.
Squalane is considered a powerhouse skincare ingredient thanks to its impressive moisturising and barrier-restoring properties. However, it's hard to come by squalane products that are vegan. This stuff, however, utilises plant-derived squalane (as well as vitamin C) to deliver a nourishing, glow-boosting and super-luxurious facial oil.
It might seem a bit counterintuitive to use an oil to help decongest your skin, but it's worth giving this stuff your attention. It's lightweight and non-greasy and contains charcoal to help promote skin clarity. Apply a few drops at night and wake up to a clearer, smoother complexion