Various array of eco-friendly, and natural skincare products laying flat on natural greenery and flowers growing amongst them.
May 22, 2024

Treat Your Skin Carefully: 20 Non-Toxic, Natural, and Vegan Skincare Brands That Are Eco-Friendly

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e all want beautiful, healthy skin that goes beyond vanity. Research has proven that poor skin health is linked to poor mental health and quality of life. Some skincare routines, like daily SPF application, prevent cancer by around 40%. There’s no doubt skin care is essential for all humans.

However, the big question is how to make skincare eco-friendly.

Commercial skincare has a poor reputation when it comes to sustainability. For instance, the skincare industry generates a staggering 120 billion tonnes of non-biodegradable waste annually. This is a significant contributor to environmental pollution. Moreover, the demand for natural oils like palm oil, often used in skincare, leads to deforestation, soil pollution, and the destruction of natural habitats. It's time we take responsibility for our choices and opt for eco-friendly skincare.

For now, sustainable skincare may seem hard to find, with many brands still greenwashing their products. But we don’t think it’s impossible. Driven by the growing body of eco-conscious consumers, several eco-friendly, non-toxic brands have emerged. And here's the best part-they are just as effective as their more established and unsustainable counterparts. So, you can be confident that you're not compromising on quality when you choose non-toxic, vegan skincare.

Table of  Contents

What does a morning and nighttime skincare routine include? 

Woman standing in bathroom performing her daily skincare routine while smiling in a relaxed manner.

A skincare routine should include washing your face and moisturizing, treating any skin ailments, and shielding your skin from the elements. Below is a general breakdown of what you will need for each routine:

Morning skincare routine:

  • Gentle Cleansing: stick to a gentle cleanser when you wake up if your face produces excess natural oils. Otherwise, just freshen up with water. This is because harsh cleansing when you wake up strips the skin of the natural lipids it produces overnight, which can compromise your skin barrier.
  • Serum: Use a serum that addresses a particular skin concern and has an antioxidant. Most of the time, we use expensive serums that we do not need, thus contributing to waste. Find one with vitamin C or other natural, non-toxic antioxidants to protect your skin from UV rays and pollutants. For example, you can use a bakuchiol serum for anti-aging that has vitamin C or two separate ones.
  • Moisturizer: If you struggle with dry skin, add a lightweight moisturizer before sunscreen. You can skip this step if your sunscreen has sufficient moisture or you aren’t particularly dry.
  • Sunscreen: This is the most critical step of your AM skincare routine. Use one that is ocean-friendly and free of common sunscreen hormone disruptors.

Nighttime skincare routine:

  • Double or Triple Cleansing: Cleaning your face before sleeping is crucial to remove all the pollutants and germs your skin was exposed to. Double or triple cleansing means using a cream, oil, or a gel cleanser. Just ensure they are gentle cleansers.
  • Serum: You can use your serum again at night if that’s what the manufacturer recommends, or you can use another ingredient to deal with your specific skin concerns. Sometimes, a condition needs more than one ingredient. For example, hyperpigmentation may be treated more effectively with a combination of active ingredients. There are several natural options you can use.
  • Moisturizer: Finish your routine with a moisturizer for soft, supple skin.

Check labels for ingredients that increase your skin’s sun sensitivity. These are best used at night and alongside adequate sun protection during the day.

What is non-toxic skincare?

Non-toxic skincare refers to products free of synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances, and other potentially dangerous substances. 

Non-toxic skincare is not just about being eco-friendly, it's about your health too. These products are free of substances that have been linked to health problems, such as endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, and carcinogenic characteristics. By choosing non-toxic skincare, you're making a conscious decision to protect your health and well-being.

What is vegan skincare?

Vegan skincare follows the tenets of veganism, thus excluding animal products and byproducts. Vegan skincare products are composed of plant-based or artificially synthesized ingredients.

However, it is essential to note that not all vegan products are automatically cruelty-free, but the majority of them are. Vegan skincare products are those that do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. Cruelty-free skincare, on the other hand, refers to products that have not been tested on animals at any stage of their development or production. So, it is best to look for vegan and cruelty-free products. 

What is cruelty-free skincare?

Cruelty-free skincare products have not been tested on animals at any stage of their development or production. These products are made by brands committed to ethical practices and do not engage in animal testing or support industries that exploit animals.

What is organic skincare?

Organic skincare prioritizes components derived from organic farming practices. This means the plants are grown without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

Even the manufacturing process of organic skincare avoids harsh chemicals, resulting in a purer finished product. Therefore, by using organic skincare, you not only support sustainable farming practices but also reduce your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, which can be a significant benefit for your skin's health.

What is natural skincare?

Natural skincare products are made using ingredients sourced from natural sources or sources found in nature, like plants and minerals. Natural products are great for people with allergies as they are less likely to cause skin reactions. They are also often packed with antioxidants, which can help protect your skin from environmental damage. These benefits make natural skincare a popular choice among many consumers.

Although synthetic ingredients are not always inherently bad, a significant number of them are not produced sustainably and result in negative affects on the environment. Unless made by a trusted brand, it is often best to avoid them.

What does eco-friendly skincare encompass?

An eco-friendly skincare serum and cream in containers made of natural and recyclable materials with trees and greenery in the background.

Eco-friendly skincare takes a comprehensive approach to beauty and wellness, prioritizing the customer's health and the environment. It entails selecting skincare products that satisfy our beauty needs while having no detrimental influence on people or the environment. Here are some significant components of eco-friendly skincare:

  • Sustainable ingredients: Using natural, organic materials sourced responsibly and without depleting natural resources. This involves avoiding dangerous substances for ecosystems, such as certain types of palm oil. The production of palm oil often leads to deforestation, which not only destroys natural habitats but also contributes to climate change. By choosing skincare products that do not use palm oil, you can help protect the environment.
  • Non-toxic Formulas: Products that do not include dangerous chemicals or synthetic components that could harm the skin or the environment.
  • Cruelty-free Practices: Ensuring that no animal testing occurs at any stage of product development, following ethical animal treatment practices.
  • Vegan options: A product is considered vegan when free of animal-derived ingredients.
  • Eco-friendly packaging: Utilizing packaging that is recyclable, biodegradable, or made from post-consumer recycled materials to minimize waste.
  • Ethical production: Encouraging fair labor practices and ensuring that everyone who works in the production process receives fair treatment and a safe working environment.
  • Health consciousness: Providing products that are not only excellent for the skin but also help general well-being while avoiding substances that may be hazardous to human health

Ingredients you won’t see in non-toxic and vegan skincare products:

Anything derived from animals or that is believed to be toxic. Here's a peek at some ingredients you won't find in these products:

  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Sulfates (SLS and SLES)
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Formaldehyde
  • Petrochemicals
  • Animal-derived ingredients (e.g., lanolin, beeswax, collagen)

Why should you choose non-toxic and vegan over conventional skincare?

There are several compelling reasons to consider non-toxic and vegan skincare over conventional options:

  • Better for your health: Toxic chemicals are harmful to health, especially in the long term. Choosing non-toxic solutions reduces exposure to potentially dangerous compounds, potentially lowering long-term health risks.
  • Environmentally friendly: Many non-toxic and vegan products stress environmentally friendly practices. This can involve utilizing recycled or recyclable packaging, conserving water during production, and purchasing products from responsible farming. Choosing these goods helps you reduce your environmental impact.
  • Cruelty-free: Vegan skincare is free from animal testing and animal-derived ingredients, promoting ethical and compassionate practices.
  • Gentle on the skin: Conventional skincare frequently uses harsh chemicals such as parabens, which can peel and irritate delicate skin.
  • Support ethical and sustainable brands: By choosing these products, you support companies prioritizing ethical and sustainable practices.
  • Transparency: Many non-toxic and vegan products encourage transparency by fully stating their components and manufacturing processes. This allows you to make more educated decisions about what you put on your skin.
  • Ethical Consideration: Vegan skincare supports an ethical stance against animal cruelty in the beauty business. These goods are free of animal-derived components such as honey, beeswax, and collagen and are rarely tested on animals.

How to determine whether your skincare is eco-friendly, non-toxic, and vegan?

Woman evaluating and choosing skincare products in store isle filled with sustainable options and decorated with flowers and plants.

Here's your detective kit for uncovering eco-friendly, non-toxic, and vegan skincare:

  • Look for certifications: Certifications can be a helpful shortcut. Look for trademarks such as USDA Certified Organic for organic ingredients, Leaping Bunny for cruelty-free methods, and Ecocert certifications for environmentally responsible manufacture. 
  • Read ingredient lists:  Flip the product over! The ingredient list is your key. Look for terms like "organic," "natural," and "plant-derived." Avoid ingredients mentioned earlier, like parabens, sulfates, and animal-based products (honey, beeswax, collagen).
  • Research brand policies: Research the brand's philosophy. Do they prioritize sustainability and ethical sourcing? Check their website or social media for information about ingredients, packaging, and manufacturing practices.
  • Online resources: Utilize resources like the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) database to research specific ingredients and see their safety ratings.
  • Consider packaging: Opt for brands that use eco-friendly packaging, such as recyclable or biodegradable materials.
  • Check for third-party testing: Look for independent verification. Some brands use third-party testing to ensure their products' safety and purity. This provides an additional degree of trust, particularly for people with sensitive skin.

20 non-toxic, vegan, and eco-friendly skincare brands we recommend

1. Activist Skincare

Activist Skincare is a vegan brand that uses non-toxic active ingredients that are thus non-irritating but effective. 

  • Standout Product: Its Trial Kit with a $25 Free Gift Card allows you to try Activist Skincare for up to 1 month and comes with three cleansers for all skin types, one hydrating toning mist for all skin types, two serums to treat a range of concerns and one face oil also suitable for all skin types. They also contribute 1% of their annual sales revenue to environmental advocacy.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, perfect for travel with a dedicated travel kit and refillable pouches.
  • Sustainability Factors: 100% Vegan, 100% Non-Toxic and Non-Irritating Ingredients, 100% Cruelty-Free, Eco-Friendly Packaging. 

2. Pai Skincare

Pai Skincare is a clean and organic skincare brand that uses sustainable and ethically sourced plant-based ingredients in their vegan and cruelty-free products.

  • Standout Product: The Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil is popular for its ability to nourish and revitalize the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and scars.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, especially mature and sensitive skin. Contains anti-aging and regenerating ingredients.
  • Sustainability Factors: Non-Toxic, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Certified Organic, Sustainable Packaging.

3. Herbivore Botanicals

Herbivore is a clean, plant-based beauty brand that uses formulations from clinically proven natural active ingredients. They also avoid any toxic preservatives in their products.

  • Standout Product: The STAR Seed Sheer Glow Mineral Sunscreen is a favorite for its lightweight and smooth consistency that can be worn seamlessly under makeup.
  • Benefits: Dedication to effective, plant-based active ingredients that have visible results for most people.
  • Sustainability Factors: Non-Toxic Plant-Based & Natural Formulations, 100% Vegan, PETA and Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free.

4. Osea Malibu

Osea Malibu is a sustainable skincare brand that uses nutrient-rich seaweed and plant-based ingredients in their products.

  • Standout Product: The Ocean Cleanser is a cult favorite for its gentle yet effective cleansing properties, leaving skin feeling refreshed and nourished.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin, and provides hydrating and anti-aging benefits.
  • Sustainability Factors: Vendor provides directions on recycling that are specific to each product. Formulations are Non-Toxic, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, PETA and Leaping Bunny Certified.

5. Crunchi

Crunchi is a non-toxic and vegan skincare brand that uses plant-based ingredients and essential oils in its products.

  • Standout Product: The I AM Luminous Face Oil is highly praised for its ability to nourish and hydrate the skin, leaving it glowing and radiant.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, including dry and mature skin, and provides anti-aging benefits.
  • Sustainability Factors: Non-Toxic, Vegan, 100% Cruelty-Free.

6. True Botanicals

True Botanicals is a luxury, clean beauty brand that uses high-quality, plant-based ingredients in its products.

  • Standout Product: Pure Radiance Oil is a cult favorite for its ability to deeply nourish and rejuvenate the skin, providing a natural glow.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, including dry and mature skin, and provides anti-aging and radiance
  • Sustainability Factors: PETA Certified Vegan, Non-Toxic, Cruelty-Free, Sustainable Packaging, MADE SAFE Certified Non-toxic.

7. Juice Beauty

Juice Beauty is a pioneer in the organic and plant-based skincare industry, using certified organic ingredients in their vegan and cruelty-free products.

  • Standout Product: The Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer is a fan favorite for its ability to hydrate and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, especially mature and dry skin, and provides anti-aging benefits.
  • Sustainability Factors: EWG Verified Non-Toxic, Vegan American Vegetarian Association Certified, USDA Certified Organic, Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free Certification, Sustainable Packaging.

8. Kora Organics

Kora Organics is a luxury skincare brand founded by Miranda Kerr that uses certified organic and plant-based ingredients in their vegan and cruelty-free products. However, two of its products are not organic: the Noni Glow Face Balm, which contains beeswax, and the Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum.

  • Standout Product: The Noni Radiant Eye Oil has received rave reviews on social media and remains popular, proving its effectiveness and longevity beyond a viral moment.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, dehydrated and dull skin, and provides anti-aging and radiance benefits.
  • Sustainability Factors: Vegan, Toxin-Free, EcoCert Certified Organic, PETA Certified Cruelty-Free, Sustainable Packaging.

9. Cocokind

Cocokind is a conscious skincare brand that uses sustainable and ethically sourced plant-based ingredients in its cruelty-free products. Most of its products are vegan except for those formulated with beeswax, such as the ‘mymatcha all-over moisture stick,’ ‘skin butter’ and ‘turmeric stick.’ Most of their products are also clean, except for their Sake body lotion, Silk SPF, Scrubbing Clay, and Vitamin C Glow Serum.

  • Standout Product: The Revitalizing Eye Cream is highly praised for its ability to hydrate and brighten the under-eye area, reducing the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, particularly sensitive and mature skin around the eye area, and provides anti-aging and brightening benefits.
  • Sustainability Factors: Mostly Clean except for the products noted above.Vegan Action Certified, USDA Organic Certified ingredients, Certified Cruelty-Free

10. Pacifica Beauty

Pacifica Beauty is a cruelty-free and vegan skincare brand that uses plant-based ingredients and essential oils in their products. Its Compassion Standards™ highlight 1,800 that the brand never uses in its products, promising clean, vegan, and cruelty-free products.

  • Standout Product: The Vegan Ceramide Cream is loved by skincare enthusiasts for its ability to deeply hydrate and replenish the skin's barrier, leaving it plump, healthy, and radiant. This cream is also accepted by the National Eczema Association.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, especially dry skin, and provides hydrating and nourishing benefits.
  • Sustainability Factors: Clean, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Recyclable Packaging.

11. Acure

Acure is a clean and affordable skincare brand that uses plant-based ingredients and superfood extracts in its vegan and cruelty-free products. It is parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, and formaldehyde-free.

  • Standout Product: The Radically Rejuvenating Facial Scrub is a cult favorite for its ability to exfoliate and balance the skin gently, leaving it refreshed and glowing. 
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive and acne-prone skin, and provides gentle exfoliation and balancing benefits. It is also relatively affordable.
  • Sustainability Factors: 100% Vegan, Clean and Toxin-Free Formulations, Cruelty-Free, Recyclable Packaging with TerraCycle.

12. Ren Clean Skincare

Ren Clean Skincare is a pioneering clean beauty brand that uses plant-based ingredients and advanced bio-actives in their vegan and cruelty-free products. This brand specializes in creating skincare products for sensitive skin types.

  • Standout Product: The Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk is a fan favorite for its ability to cleanse and soothe sensitive and irritated skin gently.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive and irritated skin, and provides calming and soothing benefits.
  • Sustainability Factors: Natural, Organic and Toxin-Free Formulations, 100% Vegan.

13. Biossance

Ursa Major is a skincare brand that uses only safe, clean, naturally derived ingredients while avoiding all irritating and unhealthy conventional chemicals.

  • Standout Product: The Squalene + Omega Repair Cream is the most popular product because of its light, soft, and effective formulation that hydrates all skin types while gently detoxifying.
  • Benefits: Sugar-cane-derived squalane mimics the skin’s natural oils for maximum hydration. The natural ingredients are non-irritating and are suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Sustainability Factors: EWG Verified, Non-Toxic, Vegan, Cruelty-Free

14. Earth Harbor

This brand is vegan, cruelty-free, and dedicated to harnessing plant-based ingredients' power while staying ocean-friendly.

  • Standout Product: SUNSHINE DEW Antioxidant Cleansing Oil is lauded for its effective makeup and sunscreen without stripping the skin. The antioxidant properties also help with hyperpigmentation caused by pollutant stress on the skin.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types and calms the skin. They have also teamed up with 1% For The Planet® to dedicate all sales to protecting the world's oceans and solving the global water crisis.
  • Sustainability Factors: Some products are refillable. Purely Natural, Non-Toxic, Synthetic-Free, Ocean-Friendly, Vegan, Organic, Certified Cruelty-Free

15. Odacité

Odacité is a clean and organic skincare brand that uses fresh, natural, plant-based ingredients and advanced green technologies in their vegan and cruelty-free products. The plants they use are grown without harmful chemicals like pesticides.

  • Standout Product: The Synergie[4] 4-IN-1 Powder Masque is highly praised for instantly brightening and revitalizing the complexion.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, highly recommended for dull and uneven skin tones, and provides brightening and revitalizing benefits.
  • Sustainability Factors: Natural, Organic, Non-GMO Ingredients,  Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Sustainable Packaging.

16. Meow Meow Tweet

Meow Meow Tweet is an AAPI and LGBTQ+ vegan, all-natural, cruelty-free skincare brand that uses natural and organic plant-based ingredients in its products.

  • Standout Product: The Rosehip Chia Face Oil is a fan favorite for its ability to deeply nourish and hydrate the skin, leaving it glowing and radiant.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, especially dry and mature skin, and provides anti-aging and nourishing benefits.
  • Sustainability Factors: All-Natural, Non-Toxic, Cruelty-Free, Vegan, Plastic-Free & Low Waste Packaging, Refills for some products are availble.

17. PLANT Apothecary

Plant Apothecary is a clean and natural skincare brand that uses organic and plant-based ingredients in their vegan and cruelty-free products.

  • Standout Product: The Cloud Break Enzyme Cleanser is formulated with a blend of fruit extracts that combats dullness. It is also highly praised for its skin purifying and refreshing effect without stripping essential oils.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, especially mature and sun-damaged skin, and provides anti-aging and rejuvenating benefits.
  • Sustainability Factors: 100% Non-Toxic, Naturally-Occurring, Biodegradable Ingredients, Vegan, Cruelty-Free

18. Blissoma

This eco-friendly brand has committed to all-natural, biodegradable products minus any animal-testing or health-harming toxins. They believe in holistic care that is rooted in plant science.

  • Standout Product: The Award-Winning Smooth A+ Correcting Serum has won over the hearts of many as customers have praised how effective this holistic formulation is against breakouts, rosacea and texture correction.
  • Benefits: The nutritious botanicals used in the formulations effectively minimize the appearance of acne, redness, aging, and other skin problems.
  • Sustainability Factors: Toxin-Free, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Petro-chemical Free.

19. Annmarie Skin Care

Annmarie Skin Care is a vegan, all-natural brand that promises beautiful glowing skin without artificial ingredients. They believe in wildcrafted, organic actives to ensure clean, toxin-free skincare products.

  • Standout Product: Annmarie provides a whole bundle of its bestselling products, including two of their best anti-aging products, an aloe herb cleanser to preserve your skin barrier, and an anti-aging serum. This bundle comes with a free Deluxe Sun Love - Everyday Sheer Sunscreen.
  • Benefits: Apart from being perfect for all skin types, this brand has a range of products that can be used in a personalized routine. It is recommended to complete their quiz to get the best value from Annmarie.
  • Sustainability Factors: Nontoxic MADE SAFE® Certified, 100% Vegan and Cruelty-Free.

20. Alpyn Beauty

Alpyn Beauty is a clean and natural skincare brand that uses wild-harvested and sustainably sourced plant-based ingredients from the Alpine region.

  • Standout Product: The Melt Moisturizer is a fan favorite for its firming , deeply hydrating and nourishing skin, leaving it plump and radiant.
  • Benefits: Suitable for all skin types, dry and mature skin, and provides intense hydration and anti-aging benefits. All products are also fragrance-free.
  • Sustainability Factors: All-Natural Ingredients, No-Toxins, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, 100% Recycled Glass Jars.

Glow green!

An illustration of a person with long flowing hair and glowing skin standing behind her carefully curated eco-friendly skincare routine with greenery lining the background.

Embracing the journey of skincare goes beyond merely selecting effective products; it involves choosing brands that resonate with your values, prioritizing both your well-being and environmental responsibility.

Opting for non-toxic, vegan, and eco-friendly skincare allows you to nurture your skin while championing ethical and sustainable practices. Remember, caring for your skin is an ongoing adventure. Each step towards cleaner, plant-based skincare products represents a positive stride.

Embarking on this green journey might involve some trial and error, but with time, the rewards become evident. You'll not only see the clear, radiant benefits on your skin but also feel great about the soft, yet impactful footprint you're leaving on the earth.

Last Update:
May 22, 2024