12 Best Vegan Moisturizers for Dry Skin (Cruelty-Free)

December 14, 2023

With winter quickly approaching, finding the best vegan moisturizer is essential. The dry air can be unbearable on our skin and can cause cracks and painful dryness. 

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Especially if you are prone to dry skin like me. A feeling I know all too well. 

Which is why I have curated this list of some of the best hydrating vegan and cruelty-free moisturizers on the market. These are not only effective but are also clean and non-toxic. 

A perfect blend of plant-based ingredients without compromising the quality of your skincare products

It’s time to level up your skincare routine and turn the dryness into healthy, radiant skin you won’t be ashamed to show off. Even in winter.

Let’s dive in!

Just like the food industry, the beauty industry can be brutal. So when looking for good vegan products, it’s important to research beauty brands thoroughly.

This way you can be sure they hold to their values and ethical stance. Ensuring they are free from both animal-derived ingredients and animal testing. 

Lucky for you, I’ve already done the work and the list below is free and clear of animal products and testing. 

Herbal Face Food (Top Pick!)

This is the ultimate in hydration and the absolute best vegan facial moisturizer you can invest in. It’s pricier than most but worth every penny if you’re serious about taking care of and beautifying your skin.

Herbal Face products are not only great for hydrating and moisturizing, they are potent for anti-aging and skin correction. 

All with the use of nature’s best, plants! No fillers, chemicals, or watered-down products. 

With Herbal Face, you can expect 100% clean, powerful, non-toxic ingredients to deliver results. Healing your skin at the cellular level. 

It truly is skincare at its finest. 

Suitable for all skin types, specifically combination skin.

Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream

This rich and creamy moisturizer is packed with antioxidants and nutrients to help hydrate and nourish dry skin. It contains superfoods like kale, spinach, green tea, and hyaluronic acid to help lock in moisture.

Plus, it helps give you a visibly brighter skin tone and a more radiant appearance, for youthful-looking skin.

Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream

This one is a deeply hydrating and nourishing cream formulated for dry, reactive, and sensitive skin. 

It’s infused with an adaptogenic herb blend and mushrooms, such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, and reishi. These help protect the skin from environmental stressors, irritation, redness, and fine lines and wrinkles.

The cream also contains squalane, jojoba oil, and shea butter to provide long-lasting hydration without clogging pores.

Expect all-around results with this one!

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA 

This affordable and natural face moisturizer is a great option for all skin types. Including sensitive skin. It has been formulated without oil, alcohol, or silicone and is also gluten and fragrance-free. 

Additionally, it contains a blend of ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and amino acids to help hydrate and soothe. So you’re skin can stay well-hydrated without feeling greasy. 

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream 

This rich and creamy moisturizer is fast absorbing and offers 24 hours of soothing hydration. It’s a must-have if you have sensitive skin and struggle with dry, irritated, cracked skin. Even eczema. 

What’s more is that it contains colloidal oatmeal, a natural anti-inflammatory, and ceramides to help strengthen the skin barrier. 

So if you want to soothe and calm your skin from intense dryness, this one will make a perfect addition to your winter skin care routine. 

A good face and body daily moisturizer. 

Pacifica Vegan Ceramide Barrier Face Cream 

This lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer is fragrance-free and perfect for super dry, eczema-prone skin. With an amino acid complex, niacinamide, and calendula, it works to balance and calm irritation.

It’s among the best vegan face moisturizers. Especially during the colder and dry months. 

Furthermore, the cream is formulated with vegan ceramides, amino acids, and shea butter. This is to help restore the skin’s natural barrier and lock in moisture. 

It is also allergy and dermatologist-tested to be gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin.

I’m amazed at how well this cream works. I use it for both my face and hands and it has made a huge difference. 

17 Best Vegan Face Cleansers

Discover some of the best vegan face cleansers that are clean, non-toxic, cruelty-free and won't dry out your skin.

Osea Undaria Algae Body Oil 

This seaweed-infused body oil is high-level and the ultimate in hydration. It comes packed with nutrients and antioxidants to help hydrate, protect, and revitalize the skin. 

Undaria algae is a type of seaweed rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids. Allowing it to help nourish and improve the skin’s elasticity.

After the first use, it will leave your skin glowing and soft without a greasy feeling. You’ll instantly see and feel the difference and quickly ditch your moisturizing cream! 

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

This multi-faceted rescue moisturizer is designed to protect the skin against environmental damage. It contains a blend of plant ceramides and 6 African oils to help protect and nourish dry, dull skin. 

All without the use of silicone or artificial fragrances. 

Lala is a great moisturizer for all skin types including acne-prone skin. And with its antioxidant-rich green tea extract, it helps to fight signs of aging

*Currently out of stock on Drunk Elephant

Kora Turmeric Glow Moisturizer

This Kora Organics moisturizer is an ultra-hydrating, refillable moisturizer that targets hyperpigmentation, dullness, and wrinkles. As well as the appearance of fine lines.  

It is formulated with a blend of natural and organic ingredients that work to brighten, nourish, and protect the skin. It leaves your skin visibly smooth and plump with a radiant glow.

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Day & Night Duo

This skincare set is one of Juice Beauty’s most popular and an excellent choice for vegan face cream. Much like all of their products, the quality is high-level. Plus, they are sustainable and eco-friendly which goes a long way for me. 

The Stem Cellular Day & Night Duo is designed to provide 24-hour hydration and anti-aging benefits. With key ingredients that include:

  • Resveratrol, grape juice
  • Jojoba Oil 
  • Shea butter

The day cream provides hydration benefits with the antioxidant-rich ingredients of jojoba and shea. Other natural ingredients include a proprietary blend of fruit stem cells. 

The night cream helps to reduce deep lines and wrinkles while keeping the skin moisturized overnight. You can view the full ingredients list here

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Day Cream 

This Vitamin E Moisture Day Cream is a lightweight, easily absorbed moisturizer that has been a customer favorite for years. It’s among the best moisturizers and provides skin hydration for 48 hours.  

Its vegan formula contains 95% natural-origin ingredients, including hyaluronic acid and raspberry oil for vitamin E. Both work together to hydrate and nourish. As well as replenish the skin’s moisture

What’s more, is that The Body Shop uses recyclable glass jars made from 40% recycled glass. I love brands that go the extra mile to do right by the environment. It’s a win-win! 

The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer 

The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer is a lightweight, gel-cream moisturizer that hydrates and brightens the skin. Its formulation consists of vitamin C from camu camu berries, aloe vera gel, and bakuchiol. 

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radicals and brightens skin texture. The aloe vera, on the other hand, soothes and hydrates to help calm the skin.  

Furthermore, Bakuchiol is a plant-based retinol alternative that helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Use the cleansing polish to exfoliate and clear away dead skin cells. Then finish up with the Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer for the final touch. Both are designed for daily use.  

This cream works great on all skin types including sensitive and combination skin.  

How to Choose the Best Vegan Face Moisturizer for Your Skin Type?

Choosing the best vegan face moisturizer for your skin type involves several factors. Some of these can range from specific skincare needs to the climate you live in to personal preferences. 

Below are some guidelines to help you make your selection:

Determine Your Skin Type

  • Dry Skin Types: Look for moisturizers with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and oils such as jojoba or avocado oil.
  • Oily or Acne-Prone Skin Types: Opt for oil-free or non-comedogenic moisturizers. Ingredients like salicylic acid or hyaluronic acid can be beneficial.
  • Combination Skin Types: Choose a moisturizer that balances hydration without making oily areas greasier.

Check Ingredients

  • Avoid harmful animal-derived ingredients like lanolin, beeswax, and collagen. Opt for vegan and cruelty-free products instead. Some brands even make their products with vegan collagen. 
  • Choose a moisturizer with hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, and plant-based essential oils.
  • Ingredients with antioxidants like green tea extract, vitamin C, and vitamin E can help protect your skin from environmental damage.

Consider Your Climate

Opt for Lighter Formulas for Humid Climates: In humid environments, you may prefer a lighter, water-based moisturizer. Especially if you have acne-prone or fall under the oily skin types category. 

Opt for Richer Formulas for Dry Climates: In drier climates, a richer, oil-based moisturizer can provide more intense hydration.

SPF Protection

If your moisturizer is part of your daytime routine, consider one with SPF to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Fragrance-Free Options

Fragrances can be irritating, especially for sensitive skin. Consider fragrance-free or naturally scented options.

Trial and Error

Everyone’s skin is different, what works for one, may not work for another. So be patient in finding the right vegan moisturizer for you.

Consider testing small samples or travel-sized versions before committing to a full-sized product.

A great option would be to try a skincare beauty box like Petit Vour or Love Goodly. Both offer clean, non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free skincare beauty products and vegan cosmetics. 

Their boxes provide a variety of options that allow you to try different brands. It’s a great way to find your perfect match!

Read Reviews

Look for reviews from people with similar skin types and concerns. This will give you an idea of how a product works for others.

Consult with a Dermatologist

If you have specific skin concerns or conditions, it’s always a good idea to consult with a dermatologist. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your skin’s unique needs.

Remember that skincare is a personal journey, and what works for one person may not work for another. Pay attention to how your skin responds and adjust your routine accordingly.

FAQs About Vegan and Cruelty-Free Moisturizers

What does cruelty-free mean? 

The term cruelty-free means that a product has not undergone testing on animals at any stage of development or production. 

Products that commonly refer to being cruelty-free:

  • Cosmetics
  • Personal care products
  • Household items

In recent years, there has been an increase in brands opting out of animal testing. And the use of animal ingredients in their products. 

With good reason!

They choose cruelty-free products to support the ethical treatment of animals. As well as to avoid contributing to their suffering in the testing process. 

How do you determine if a product is cruelty-free?

To determine if a product is “cruelty-free,” look for certifications from reputable organizations. These include Leaping Bunny or PETA

You’ll be able to recognize if a product is vegan and/or cruelty-free by their logo on the packaging. 

Another option is to check the brand’s official website. 

If they are legit cruelty-free and vegan, they will be transparent about it. Steer clear of brands that do not make it clear. You shouldn’t have a hard time finding this information on their website. 

What is the difference between vegan and cruelty-free skincare?

A brand can be designated as cruelty-free even if it’s not entirely vegan. 

Conversely, a vegan skincare brand may claim to be “vegan” while still engaging in animal testing. This practice is misleading and we discourage purchasing from such brands. 

Supporting brands that are certified vegan and align with both cruelty-free and vegan principles is highly recommended.

What are the benefits of vegan and cruelty-free products?

Vegan and cruelty-free products offer several benefits for individuals and the environment. Below are some key advantages.

Ethical Treatment of Animals

Cruelty-free products are not tested on animals. Ensuring that animals are not subjected to unnecessary harm or suffering.  

Vegan products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients which promotes the ethical treatment of animals.

Environmental Impact

Reduced Environmental Footprint: Vegan products have a lower environmental impact compared to animal-based products. Producing plant-based ingredients typically requires less land, water, and resources. As opposed to raising animals for meat or other animal-derived products.

Sustainable Practices: Many vegan and cruelty-free brands focus on sustainable practices. This includes using eco-friendly packaging and sourcing ingredients responsibly. A major plus.

Health Benefits

A well-balanced plant-based, vegan diet is essential for optimal health. Some benefits include lower risks of heart disease, cancer, and chronic illnesses. 

Social Responsibility

Choosing vegan and cruelty-free products supports companies that prioritize ethical and humane practices. Additionally, it contributes to the growth of a market that values animal welfare and Mother Earth.

Allergen Considerations

Vegan products are free from common allergens associated with animal products. Making them a great option for individuals with allergies or dietary restrictions.

Global Impact

Opting to purchase vegan and cruelty-free products helps combat global issues. Some of these include biodiversity conservation, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and the preservation of ecosystems.

Positive Brand Image

People are becoming more conscious of the ethical and environmental impact of their purchases. So brands that prioritize vegan, cruelty-free, and sustainable practices look better in the eyes of the consumer. 

What is animal testing “where required by law”?

Animal testing “where required by law” refers to situations that mandate animal testing for approval. This could be for safety evaluations or the marketing of certain products. 

These regulations vary across countries and industries and often apply to pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, chemicals, and pesticides. 

Efforts are ongoing globally to promote alternative testing methods to eliminate testing on animals. 

Sandra Campillo

Sandra Campillo

Sandra Campillo is an eco, vegan lifestyle and travel blogger and entrepreneur. Join Sandra and her community of readers on SandraCampillo.com to learn how to live a healthier, more sustainable, and compassionate way of life.

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