There are many vegan alternatives to meat, dairy, and condiments, so it only makes sense that our options for vegan makeup, skin care, and other beauty products are just as plentiful—and, frankly, enticing. From 100% vegan brands like Pacifica to companies like Winky Lux and Caudalie that have select items with all-vegan ingredients, you can find a wide array of high-quality vegan beauty products available now, whatever your style or skin type may be. If you’re new to shopping for vegan cosmetics, here’s a quick briefing on what sets them apart from other beauty products.
What is vegan makeup?
As SELF previously reported, vegan makeup products do not contain any animal products. As far as formal certifications go, the Vegan Society issues trademarks to companies that apply and have products that meet the Society’s vegan standards, but there are plenty of technically vegan products that don’t have a Vegan Trademark. So, even if an item doesn’t feature any seals on its label verifying its veganism, check its ingredients list anyway—there’s a chance that it is, indeed, free of animal-based and animal by-products all the same.
Animal-derived ingredients to look out for include beeswax, honey, lanolin (moisturizing agent made from sheep’s wool), and carmine (a pigment that comes from beetles). Sometimes, products will use plant-based alternatives to these ingredients. If you’re still not sure if something is totally vegan after looking at its ingredients, you can always reach out to the brand for confirmation.
What’s the difference between vegan and cruelty-free makeup?
Although you may hear these terms mentioned in the same breath, they aren’t interchangeable. Again, as SELF has previously written, cruelty-free cosmetics can still contain animal products. Beauty brands are considered cruelty-free if they do not test their products on animals. Those with a Leaping Bunny certification bear the standard for animal-friendliness—the program requires zero animal testing on all levels of production, so look for Bunny if you want to be sure that you’re buying cruelty-free beauty products.
Whether you’re just learning about vegan beauty or want to add to your collection, you’ve come to the right place—here, we’ve highlighted a selection of best-selling, top-rated, glowingly-reviewed vegan makeup and skin care products on the market now. We’ve broken it down into vegan makeup and skin care products for eyes, lips, and face.