When you need something to hydrate your thirsty skin, it's important to choose something that is not only gentle and effective, but sources ingredients from the earth, not animals.
A large number of conventional moisturizers use oils and other products from animals.
Some common animal-based ingredients, according to The Ethical Elephant, are:
- Keratin — Used as a conditioner, derived from ground hooves, horns, and nails of animals.
- Animal Squalene — Used as a conditioner or moisturizer, obtained from shark liver oil.
- Stearic Acid — Used as a cleanser in products, obtained from fats of slaughtered animals.
It's difficult to imagine using something for which an animal had to be exploited or killed, but it has happened for many years. And it is still happening today.
Thankfully, there are numerous brands currently creating vegan and cruelty-free products. What do those terms mean? What is the difference between vegan and vegetarian products? And what are the best vegan moisturizers for your dry skin?
Let's answer all of those questions so you can find a moisturizer that you can love while taking care of animals at the same time.
Definition of Vegan Moisturizers
Finding the perfect moisturizer is about finding something that will nourish your skin, is perfect for your exact skin type, and uses natural ingredients. There is something else that matters too — how does it affect animals?
Vegan is almost a trendy term nowadays. Lots of people claim they "went vegan" or only eat vegan. What does vegan mean? And what does it have to do with moisturizers?
According to ReciPal, a food-label software company, vegan is a term many understand, but it isn't regulated by the American government. "It does not have a formal definition from the FDA, USDA, or FTC for the purposes of labeling," ReciPal says.
If the government doesn't regulate it, what is the term vegan understood to mean?
The term is generally understood to mean the product does not contain any animal products or by-products. This means it doesn't use eggs, milk, meat, animal oils, or source anything else from animals.
You will find the use of plant-based ingredients like olive oil or sunflower seed oil in vegan moisturizers instead of animal squalene.
What about honey and beeswax? Is honey vegan? That is a hot debate in the vegan community. According to the Vegan Society, using honey exploits the bees and it shouldn't be included in something claiming to be vegan. But Lovely Greens says using honey actually helps bees as a by-product of pollinating organic crops.
Whether you use honey or not is a completely personal decision and one the vegan community cannot decide entirely on. What they can decide on is the difference between vegan and vegetarian.
The Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian Moisturizers
The claim "vegetarian" means the product doesn't use anything that was a part of an animal — such as meat, hooves, or oils. However, the term vegan is more restricting. According to the Ethical Elephant, "vegan cosmetics do not contain anything and everything that was obtained or produced from living or killed animals."
Vegetarian products might contain egg whites or secondary animal byproducts. But vegan products don't contain any animal products in any form.
What Cruelty-Free Means
Cruelty-free is another term you might see on beauty labels. It's an important one — especially if you have a heart for animals.
The FDA stated that there are no legal definitions for this term. Just like vegan, it's a term that is understood by the community but not legally regulated.
In general, cruelty-free means the product was not tested on animals. According to the FDA, many companies that use this term will "rely on combinations of scientific literature, non-animal testing, raw material safety testing, or controlled human-use testing to substantiate their product safety."
If you care about animals and want to avoid anything that harms or exploits them, you should check out the following vegan moisturizers.
7 Best Vegan Moisturizers
Now that you understand what vegan means and why it is so important, let's look at the moisturizers that are best for your skin type.
All of the products in this list work perfectly as a daily moisturizer. It is important to choose one that meets your exact needs — sensitive skin, dry skin, anti-aging, or oily skin.
If you need a facial-cleansing routine, check out the Feel line of skin care. When you care for your skin with proper cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, you will see and feel a difference. You'll have softer skin with fewer blemishes and breakouts with a smoother skin tone.
1. 100% Pure Argan Oil
The 100% Pure moisturizer is made with argan oil. This is perfect for combination skin because it uses a plant-based source of squalene. Squalene effectively balances oil production, preventing your skin from over-producing oil and creating blemishes.
This one is best to use at night because it has such a high level of hydrating ingredients that it will renew your skin as you sleep. You can even use it on your hair for those days when it is especially dry or brittle and just needs a little extra moisture.
The Acure line has a variety of vegan products that are made for your specific issues. They have facial moisturizer with rose argan oil, a face cream for extra dry skin, and a night cream with ferulic acid and vitamin C.
All of their products are vegan, so you can browse and find the exact thing you need.
Their most popular product is the whipped night cream because it goes on lightly and doesn't feel the least bit greasy. It features plant peptides and turmeric, which both dig deep down to the cellular level to make your skin glow.
3. Nourish Lightweight Moisturizing Organic Face Lotion
The Nourish Lightweight Moisturizing Organic Face Lotion gives your skin deep hydration when you need. it. The Moroccan argan oil replenishes moisture while the rosewater improves your skin tone and elasticity.
This one also has shea butter to lock in the moisture and repair skin.
4. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
The First Aid Beauty (FAB) Ultra Repair Cream is perfect for acne-prone skin and helping to heal other skin conditions like eczema. It does all of this with plant-based ingredients that are completely vegan.
It uses colloidal oatmeal and shea butter to repair damaged skin. According to Oat Cosmetics, colloidal oatmeal is made up of "whole oat kernels that have been finely milled and processed in order to be used as a skin protectant." Keeping the oat kernels in the process means it maintains all the lipids and antioxidants that are so important for skin health.
If you have sensitive or irritated skin, look for a moisturizer like FAB that contains colloidal oatmeal in it.
5. Mad Hippie Face Cream
The Mad Hippie Face Cream will hydrate your skin and fight common signs of aging. It uses aloe leaf juice for skin healing, coconut oil for a lipid barrier, and green tea extract as a powerful antioxidant.
It also has a surprising ingredient — acai berry extract. Acai berries are known for being a super antioxidant from Brazil with high levels of hydroxyproline, a vital amino acid. Amino acids are the cellular building blocks of proteins. Using them in your skin care routine will help your skin look and feel healthy and strong.
6. Origins Ginzing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer
If you need something that will give you a refreshing feeling, try Origins Ginzing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer. It is the only one on this list that is oil-free, too. It is made with a surprising ingredient — coffee. It can actually help your skin wake up and feel energized.
This gel moisturizer does have cruelty-free honey and beeswax in it, so if you prefer no honey in your vegan products, this one is not for you.
7. Feel Squalane Facial Oil
The Feel Squalene Facial Oil is perfect for all skin types. It is a hydrating moisturizer that uses two essential oils — rosehip and avocado oils -— to hydrate thirsty skin.
Rosehip oil is packed with vitamin C, so it has anti-aging benefits. The avocado oil has vitamin E which fights breakouts and blemishes. It's a powerhouse moisturizer that does more than simply soften skin.
Vegan Moisturizer: the Animal-Friendly Option
Use plant-based ingredients in your face moisturizer to infuse it with hydration that comes from the earth. When you choose a vegan moisturizer, you are caring for the animals, protecting them from unnecessary testing. You can have amazing skin and feel good about standing up for vulnerable animals, too.
To complete your routine, check out Feel's line of vegan products. They all use ingredients sourced from the earth, not animals. When you choose a vegan product, you are choosing to invigorate your skin with plant oils and extracts that will give you soft skin, without using any animal ingredients at all.