With so many phrases being thrown around the beauty space, like cruelty-free, vegan, organic, nontoxic, natural, and more, it can get confusing to know where to spend your money.
As many of these terms are unregulated, I’m here to share the beauty brands and products I can guarantee are 100% vegan AND clean beauty. Because vegan beauty doesn’t always mean clean beauty, unfortunately.
Ready to learn more? In this guide, dive into the BEST of vegan clean beauty, skincare, and haircare products in 2023!
By: Lisa Fennessy
IN THIS POST:
- Vegan and clean are not synonymous
- What is vegan beauty
- Certifying vegan bodies
- Non-vegan ingredients in clean beauty
- 100% vegan clean skincare brands
- 100% vegan clean makeup brands
- 100% vegan clean haircare
- Clean vegan-friendly beauty brands
- Ethical ingredient sourcing
- Clean skincare brands with vegan options
- Clean makeup brands with vegan options
- Clean haircare brands with vegan options
- Vegan makeup brushes
- Clean(er) vegan nail polish
- Clean vegan fragrances
There are a lot of phrases that get tossed around in the conscious beauty space these days like cruelty free, vegan, wildcrafted, organic, nontoxic, natural, naturally-derived….and it gets confusing real quick.
Probably because many of these terms are unregulated, undefined or left open to interpretation. A company will advertise; Our brand is nontoxic. And I’m like, Really? Then what’s up with the tumor growth accelerating parabens?
Or you ask a brand if they are vegan and they say they are Leaping Bunny Certified which only certifies that no animal testing was involved in making a specific product. Leaping Bunny does not speak to the composition of ingredients. So then it’s Groundhogs day in my inbox like, Yeah but are your products vegan?
Or how about the word organic which IS regulated by the USDA as it applies to agriculture but the FDA does not define or regulate the term organic when it comes to body care or personal care. So even when I talk about a product being “organic” I’m like IT IS….I mean, kinda…like as much as it can be…
Because of this loose language, I think one thing that happens often is vegan beauty is assumed to be clean beauty. And it’s not. Well…I mean, it can be of course but vegan beauty it’s not inherently clean beauty.
Vegan beauty is not synonymous with clean beauty. Cruelty free does not mean vegan. Vegan does not mean cruelty free. Nontoxic does not mean natural…
When it comes to beauty, you need to know what you are looking for to get what you want. So in that vein, I wanted to marry two very independent values to create the ultimate master CLEAN VEGAN BEAUTY MASTER LIST. Everything clean. Everything vegan.
What makes this resource different? First, it’s where clean meets vegan. And second, I actually created two master lists here. One for 100% Vegan Clean Beauty meaning everything these brands produce is 100% vegan. And another list for Vegan-Friendly Beauty. The Vegan-Friendly list is an incredible resource because I surveyed clean beauty in it’s entirety and identified brands who are not 100% vegan but who do offer some vegan options. Then I reached out to each brand to find out if and what products they offer that are vegan.
This process was really eye opening because I did find some inconsistencies along the way. For example…
Likewise, Honeybee Gardens formulates vegan. However when I emailed them to confirm they clarified that everything they are currently producing is vegan however there are 4 previously formulated, non-vegan lip balms that are still available on their website. Once they sell through those then they will officially be 100% vegan.
All of this to say it takes a little bit of leg work to confirm you are getting what you want. Also formulas change all the time – especially in the clean beauty world. Please note that ingredients listed below are accurate as of the time of research.
RELATED: Clean beauty at Sephora
Not all vegan beauty is created equal
Let’s look at a few examples to illustrate that vegan and clean are not synonymous:
Take a look at B. Beauty Cosmetics Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation Ivory 100 both cruelty-free and vegan and we see:
- BHT – endocrine disruptor, allergen and potential carcinogen.
- PROPYLPARABEN + METHYLPARABEN – Parabens mimic estrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptors.
- OCTINOXATE – A common sunscreen ingredient is shown to have hormone-mimicking effects on laboratory animals and is also found in humans, including mothers’ milk samples.
- PARFUM/FRAGRANCE – Which can house thousands of potential toxins including potential human carcinogens like styrene.
- CYCLOPENTASILOXANE – Which has been linked to tumor formation, endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity and is suspected to be an environmental toxin.
- TALC – Which can be contaminated with asbestos.
- CETYL PEG/PPG-10/1 DIMETHICONE, LAURETH 7 and several additional ingredients that can be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane and/or ethylene oxide; both known carcinogens.
And to be honest, there are more offenders here but I think we get it.
And this is not an isolated example. Let’s look at something that’s on the cleaner end of the spectrum like Cover FX Power Play Liquid Foundation – 100% vegan and cruelty-free. It’s advertised as not containing parabens, sulfates, phthalates, fragrance, gluten, mineral oil or talc. But it’s also formulated with:
- CYCLOPENTASILOXANE – Which has been linked to tumor formation, endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity and is suspected to be an environmental toxin.
- CETYL PEG/PPG-10/1 DIMETHICONE + LAURYL PEG-10 TRIS(TRIMETHYLSILOXY)SILYLETHYL DIMETHICONE, – which can be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane and/or ethylene oxide; both known carcinogens.
Shades of vegan
But what exactly is vegan beauty? In its most simple form, vegan, defined by the dictionary means using or containing no animal products. So for vegan makeup and skincare products, this means products do not contain any animal products, animal byproducts or animal derivatives.
But different things are important to different people and how people identify as or relate to the concept of veganism is ultimately up to each person.
“To us vegan is an ethos. It means that no animals were harmed in the making or sourcing of our products. So this translates into vegan ingredients, no animal testing and being palm free (animal habitats aren’t harmed in the harvesting of our ingredients). We are vegan ourselves, so for us, it’s not just a label. It’s at the core of how we want to be in the world and we couldn’t do business any other way.“Tara Pelletier, founder of Meow Meow Tweet
Tara goes on to add, “I think being truly vegan also means being cruelty free. So, this might be throwing some shade, but I don’t think your brand is cruelty-free if it’s not vegan.”
“With so many innovations in makeup, there’s absolutely no reason to ever include ingredients that aren’t vegan or cruelty free. Āether Beauty truly cares about where our ingredients come from and what they are made out of.”Tiila Abbitt, founder of Aether Beauty
“Veganism to me means showing compassion to animals, our health and the health of our planet. OSEA is all about healthy plant-based beauty rituals that you can feel good about.”Jenefer Palmer, founder of OSEA
RELATED: Top beauty products picks
Certifying vegan bodies
Some vegan products/brands will be certified vegan by the following bodies. However some vegan products can still be vegan without these certifications. Certifications take money so some brands choose not to go that route. Sometimes you may need to reach out to a brand and ask them if they are vegan or if a particular product of theirs is vegan. Use the following as tools to help make shopping easier. If a product is certified vegan by any of the following, the respective logo will most likely be on product packaging.
PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies “Cruelty-Free and Vegan” is used to certify a brand vegan. Note that PETA has two certifications (both shown above). Only one of these denotes vegan.
The Vegan Society certifies vegan products, not brands.
Certified Vegan by Vegan Action certifies products (not brands) and mostly focuses on food.
Leaping Bunny certifies that no animal testing was used in any stage of product development. It does not evaluate ingredient components. This is not a tool to help you shop for vegan products.
However, Tara Pelletier, founder of Meow Meow Tweet says “Leaping Bunny is the best standard for certifying cruelty-free. They’re the only certification body that requires you to follow your supply chain and submit proof. For PETA, you can just sign an affidavit.”
RELATED: Read more on how to understand these beauty & personal care certifications here.
Non-vegan ingredients in clean beauty
If you are reading ingredient lists to help you shop for vegan products, here is a list of commonly found non-vegan ingredients I see the most in clean beauty:
- animal hair in brushes
- pearl powder
One frequently questioned ingredient is vegetable glycerin which Tara from Meow Meow Tweet confirms is in fact a vegan ingredient. That being said there are other ingredients like squalene or manganese violet which can be either animal OR plant-derived. Brands are not required to disclose derivation on ingredient labels so it usually requires a followup email to the brand to clarify sourcing.
100% vegan clean skincare brands
- Corpus Naturals (deodorant)
- Davids (toothpaste)
- Doctor Rogers
- Konjac Sponge Co.
- Le Prunier
- Little Barn Apothecary
- Max Green Alchemy
- Meow Meow Tweet
- Mother Dirt
- Pai Skincare
- PLANT Apothecary
- Skin Owl
- Wabi Sabi
- We Love Eyes
SAVE: Be sure to check out my coupon code page to help you save!
100% vegan clean makeup brands
- Au Naturale
- Elate Cosmetics
- Honeybee Gardens: 100% vegan with the exception of 4 discontinued lip balms.
- Mo Mi
100% vegan clean haircare
Clean vegan-friendly beauty brands
First of all, it seems like there is no standard definition for “vegan-friendly.” I’ve seen it used to mean a product IS vegan but not certified vegan. And I’ve also seen it used for brands who sell both vegan and non-vegan formulas. Or a brand who is cruelty-free but not vegan.
It’s also a term that some vegans dismiss. For example, Tara Pelletier of Meow Meow Tweet says, “This term is something that we laugh at. Vegan-friendly sounds like you are putting up with vegans.” My advice is to double check with the company to make sure you are getting what you think you are getting. OR use this list, because I’ve already done all the work for you!
Vegan friendly in relation to this article means brands that have some vegan products but not everything in their full line is vegan. For example Josh Rosebrook’s Balance Shampoo and Conditioner are vegan but his Vital Balm Cream is not vegan because it is formulated with honey.
Ethical ingredient sourcing
In clean beauty, most of the time a brand is not vegan because they are using some sort of bee product or one of the other non-vegan ingredients listed above. I connected with RMS founder Rose-Marie Swift who has some vegan formulas and some non-vegan formulas. Many clean beauty brand founders, like Rose-Marie, are thoughtful about their formulas and go above and beyond to make sure their non-vegan ingredients are sourced ethically.
Our brand is not 100% vegan as we do use a small amount of beeswax in some of our products. We do NOT kill the bees nor are they being harmed in any way. They are free, protected to multiply and do their bee thing, which is, in turn, beneficial to the earth.
Bees make an extremely healing wax that is very high in numerous beneficial properties making it the best wax for the skin. We also feel that beeswax, the way we harvest and use it, is a better alternative to things like palm oil, which is used extensively in other cosmetics, and is killing off more of the orangutan population every day, and that ingredient is labeled as vegan! A little food for thought— “vegan,” on its own, does not necessarily or inherently mean better for the earth or for your health.Rose-Marie Swift, founder of RMS Beauty
Sourcing is importing because some people may be okay with using bee products that are sourced in an ethical way where they may not be okay with using bee products that are sourced conventionally. We see another example of ethically sourced non-vegan ingredients in the Siam Seas Split End Mender Hair Collection. Founder Supadra Geronimo explains…
The collection is formulated with silk cocoon. We humanely extract these cocoons meaning no butterflies are harmed or killed in the process. We source only abandoned cocoons that are considered “broken” by the silk industry. Silk manufactures won’t use these broken cocoons because of the disruptions in the silk threads which can not be used to manufacture expensive silk clothing. The ethical beauty industry is changing this cruel method by creating a demand and buying for broken cocoons from butterfly farms. This actually supports the growth of caterpillars while simultaneously working to stop the killing of live cocoons.Siam Seas founder, Supadra Geronimo
Just a few more questions to add to your list friends!
Okay, on to the resources! I PERSONALLY contacted all of the following brands and got this info from the owners/teams themselves SO THIS LIST? YEAH. IT’S LEGIT!
Clean skincare brands with vegan options
5 YINA: All 12 products in the collection are vegan except for the DIVINE Beauty Balm (beeswax) and DIVINE Bio-Adaptive Cleanser (pearl powder).
Agent Nateur: Vegan options here are their Sensitive Deodorant, Face Oil, Body Oil, Shave Oil, Holi c and Eye Serum.
Ayuna: Everything is vegan here except for Cream II and Body Cream.
Andalou Naturals: This budget-friendly line is vegan with the exceptions of their Get Started Kit, Instant Brightening Face Mask, Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub, Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser and Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask.
Beneath Your Mask: This entire line is vegan with the exception of Heal Whipped Skin Soufflé and Illuminate Clarifying Mask.
de Mamiel: All of thier products are vegan with exception of the Restorative Cleansing Balm and Rosey Lip Balm which both have beeswax, and the Brightening Cleanse & Exfoliate which contains buttermilk powder.
Jane Scrivner: Everything is vegan with the exception of their Nourishing Cleanser (beeswax).
Juice Beauty: The Juice Beauty brand is 99.9% vegan with all of their products being vegan except their Organic Lip Moisturizer which contains beeswax.
Graydon: All of the Graydon products are vegan, with the exception of Putty.
Honua: The entire Honua line is vegan with the exception of both of their masks ‘Aina Invigorating Face Mask and Moana Rejuvenating Face Mask which are both formulated with honey.
Indie Lee: Most of Indie Lee is vegan with the exception of Lip Treat, Calendula Eye Balm and I-Waken which all contain beeswax.
Josh Rosebrook: Everything is vegan except these three which contain honey: Active Enzyme Exfoliator, Vital Balm Cream and Complete Moisture Cleanse.
Kahina Giving Beauty: Everything is vegan with the exception of their Facial Lotion, Lip & Face Balm and Hand & Body Balm which all contain beeswax.
Kari Gran: Vegan items here include the Cleansing Oil, Tonic (both scents) and Serum. Also the mineral makeup is all vegan except for the blush. All of the Lip Whips contain beeswax.
KHUS+KHUS: Everything here is vegan with the exceptions of Bleu Body Wax, Kama Body Wax, Luna Body Wax, Surya Body Wax and Premo Hand Nail Foot Supreme Treatment.
Laurel: The following products from Laurel contain bee products; Honey Berry Mask, Effortless Cleanser, Support Cleanser, Eye Balm, Day Balm, Night Balm, Lavender Lip Treatment and Citrus Spice Lip Treatment. The rest of this line is vegan.
Leahlani: With the exception of Meli Glow, Mermaid Mask and Honey Love, all of Leah’s products are vegan.
Lilfox: All of the LILFOX products are vegan with the exception of Jungle Glow Rainforest Honey Enzyme Cleanse and Mask and Cleopatra Milk (coconut) + Honey Beauty Mask.
Lina Hanson: Everything here is vegan except Global Treasures which contains pearl.
Linne: Everything is vegan with the exception of the SMOOTH Body Balm which contains beeswax.
Mahalo: The entire line is vegan except for the MAHALO BALM, PETAL Mask and The BEAN which are all formulated with honey.
Max + Me: This line is vegan with the exceptions of Mask & Wash, Beauty Balm and Rescue Balm all of which are formulated with honey. Also the entire Sweet Serenity Collection is not vegan.
May Lindstrom: Everything is vegan except for The Honey Mud.
Maya Chia: All of the Maya Chia products are vegan with the exception of The Waterless Wonder Balm and The Super Blend, both of which contain beeswax, and The Highlight of the Day in the shade Afternoon Delight, which contains carmine. Read my full review on Maya Chia.
Odacité: All of their products are vegan except the Green Ceremony Cleanser (honey) and Hand & Heel Therapy (beeswax).
ORGAID: Both the Anti-Aging and Vitamin C masks are both vegan here.
OSMIA: This line carries some vegan products. These are the ones that are not vegan: Detox Exfoliating Mask, Serenity Milk Bath, Lip Doctor, Lip Repair, Pumpkin Facial Soap, Lavender Pine Soap, Milky Rose Soap, Oh So Soap
Province Apothecary: Everything is vegan except for their Face Balm + Rescue Balm which both contain beeswax. Also their Facial Dry Brush uses ethically sourced goat bristles.
Ranavat: This line is vegan with exception of the masks which have honey in them.
Siam Seas: Everything is vegan with the exception of The Split End Mender Hair Collection (ethically sourced silk cocoon).
Trilogy: Trilogy has some vegan options. This is what is NOT vegan…
- TGC Balancing Gel Cleanser (150ml)
- THM Ultra Hydrating Face Cream (75ml)
- TRN060 Rosapene™ Night Cream (60ml)
- TRFC117 Hydrating Jelly Mask
- TBS Age-Proof CoQ10 Booster Oil (20ml)
- TNC Age-Proof Replenishing Night Cream (60ml)
- TRAP101 Age-Proof CoQ10 Eye Recovery Concentrate (10ml)
- TRAP100 Age-Proof Overnight Mask (60ml)
- TEB45B Everything Balm (45ml)
- TEB018 Everything Balm (18ml)
- TRB002 Firming Body Lotion (200ml)
- TRB003 Ultra Hydrating Body Cream (150ml)
- TRB004 Ultra Hydrating Hand Cream (75ml)
- TBE001 Exfoliating Body Balm (185ml)
True Botanicals: Everything here except for the Everyday Sheer Coverage is vegan.
UMA Oils: Everything is vegan with the exception of these three which contain honey: The Absolute Anti Aging Rose Honey Cleanser and The Absolute Anti Aging Face Mask and The Ultimate Brightening Face Mask.
Ursa Major: Everything is vegan except for their deodorants and bar soap which both contain bee products.
Violets are Blue: Everything is vegan except for their Foot Salve and Lip Balm which both contain beeswax (both currently being reformulated).
Zoe Organics: Some vegan options here excluding the following products that contain beeswax…
- Diaper Balm
- Everything Balm
- Breathe Balm
- Nipple Balm
- Dr. Shannon’s Skin Balm
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Clean makeup brands with vegan options
100% Pure: “Right now we’re in a transitional phase, but we’re working on becoming a fully vegan brand. All products that contain an animal product (like milk enzymes for example) are being discontinued once we run out of stock. All new product launches will be fully vegan! We do not currently have a list of everything that is vegan but every product that is vegan is labeled vegan on our website.”
Alima Pure: Everything is vegan with the exception of Cream Concealers, Lip Tints, Natural Definition Mascara and Velvet Lipstick.
Antonym: This entire line is 100% vegan with the exception of their mascara and lip pencils which both contain beeswax.
Ere Perez: 100% vegan except for the Almond Mascara (beeswax) however the Avocado Mascara is vegan.
Fitglow: All of Fitglow’s products are vegan with the exception of Lumis, Eye Bright, Conceal+ and their lip products which are made with beeswax.
Gressa: This entire line is 100% vegan with the exception of Renewing Polish which contains raw honey.
HAN: Most of HAN is vegan with the exception of their Lip Glosses, Cheek & Lip Tints and Multi Sticks all of which have beeswax.
Honest Beauty: Not 100% vegan. Waiting to hear back on what is.
Hynt: Everything is vegan except for their mascara.
ILIA: Several of the products here contain beeswax. The following do not. These are ILIA’s vegan options…
- Satin Cream Lip Crayon
- True Skin Serum Foundation
- True Skin Serum Concealer
- Cucumber Water Stick
- Radiant Translucent Powder SPF 20
- Soft Focus Finishing Powder
- Vivid Foundation
- Vivid Concealer
- On & On Eye Primer
- Color Haze Multi-Matte Pigment
- Liquid Light Serum Highlighter
Kosas: There are a couple vegan products at Kosas including their Tinted Face Oil, 10-Second Eyeshadow and all of the blushes.
Lily Lolo: Lily Lolo has several vegan options. Here they are:
- All Mineral Foundations
- All BB Cream’s
- All Mineral Concealers
- All Correctors
- All Finishing Powders
- Star Dust
- All Illuminators
- Make-up Mist
- Pressed Blush in shades: Coming Up Roses, Tickled Pink, Just Peachy, Life’s a Peach, Just Peachy, Tawnylicious
- Mineral Blushes in shades: Cherry Blossom, Juicy Peach, Rosy Apple, Doll Face, Rosebud
- Both Cheek Duo’s
- Contour Duo Sculpt & Glow
- All Loose Mineral Bronzers
- All Pressed Bronzers
- All Mineral Eyeshadows EXCEPT: Golden Lilac and Black Sand
- All Pressed Eyeshadows EXCEPT: Peekaboo
- Laid Bare Eye Palette
- Smoke & Mirrors Eye Palette
- Aurora Eye Palette
- Stellar Eye Palette
- Pedal to the Metal Eye Palette
- Natural Vegan Mascara
- Big Lash Mascara
- Both Natural Eye Pencils
- Eye Primer
- All Vegan Lipsticks
- Soft Nude Lip Pencil
Plume: Everything is vegan except for their Lash Serum which contains honey. (Currently reformulating their Lash Serum and it will be vegan by 2020).
Ritual de Fille: Several products here are made without animal byproducts; The Alchemist Highlight Intensifier and the Ash and Ember Eye Soots in the shades Cultist, Seven Sisters, Obsidian, Love Spell, Golden Age and Sigil.
RMS: Everything that’s packed in glass pots here is formulated with a bit of beeswax. Everything else is vegan.
Suntegrity: Here are the vegan options at Suntegrity…
- Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer
- 5 in 1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen
- Impeccable Skin
- Suntegrity Sunscreen Lipstick
- Vanish Sunscreen Remover
- Natural Mineral Sunscreen for Body 3 oz/5 oz/ Unscented
W3ll People: The following products are vegan at W3ll People..
- Bio Tint Multi-Action Moisturizer
- Bio Extreme Lip Gloss
- Nudist Lip Butter
- Nudist Multi-Use Cream
- Nudist Multi Use Duo
- Bio Booster Serum
- Expressionist Liquid Eyeliner
RELATED: My top ILIA Beauty products & review
Clean haircare brands with vegan options
Innersense: The following are vegan; Hydrating Cream Hairbath, Hydrating Cream Conditioner, Pure Inspiration Daily Conditioner, Color Radiance Daily Conditioner, I Create Waves, Harmonic Healing Oil, Hydrating Hair Masque and Quiet Calm Curl Control.
Captain Blankenship: Everything here is vegan except for the deodorant and cuticle balm.
Vegan makeup brushes
Clean(er) vegan nail polish
Clean vegan fragrances
- Petit Historie: 100% vegan
- Kahina Giving Beauty: 100% vegan
- OSMIA: 100% vegan
- Los Feliz Botanicals: Red Rock and Yucca Valley are both vegan.
- Rahua: Palo Santo Oil Perfume is vegan.
- Lotus Wei Anointing Oil: Everything with the exception of Infinite Love which contains beeswax absolute.
- Florescent: 100% vegan
- Lina Hansen: Satori Perfume Oil is vegan.
See something that’s missing? Leave a comment below so we can add it in!
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