The Vegan & Cruelty-free Skincare Products We’re Loving Right Now

Olivia Burton

Skin is the largest organ of the body, which is why looking after our skin is so important.

The two biggest beauty tips consistently suggested from dermatologists are always sunscreen and water intake, but besides these, good skincare products are the next best thing for helping combat skin conditions.

Understanding your skin and learning to manage it with the right products can play a big part in how your skin looks and feels. Scrap products marketed to you for ‘anti-aging’ with big price tags, instead go with simple ingredients that are kind to your skin and animals.

Image via Aesop

natural Australian skincare brands

How it works

The skin is a complex organ, with multiple layers. The outermost layer is the epidermis, consisting of sensitive layers, which go through sun damage, weather and the aging process. The layer beneath is the dermis, which contains sweat glands and hair follicles.

Even though we all have the same biology, our skin can be very different so use what works for you. I have combination (mainly dry), sensitive skin with some rosacea and live in the city; below are some vegan and cruelty-free skincare suggestions and tips to help save you money.

aesop crueltyfree

Image via Aesop

1. Cleaning

Cleaning your face is exceptionally important, especially for those that live in the city (pollution clogs pore) or wear makeup. It’s suggested that cleaning your face twice a day, morning and evening can make a significant difference to your skin. Select a cleanser or makeup remover that’s suited to your skin type, for example, sensitive skin should not contain any alcohol, and oily skin would be better suited to acidic cleansers. Invest in a face cloth, ditch the horrible face wipes and get into a routine.

Cheap tip – Coconut oil (not suggested for oily skin) is also a great eye make-up remover.

Aesop, Remove  $25.00

Australia’s plant-based brand, established in 1987 in Melbourne, produces cruelty-free and high-quality products that are plant-based. The Remove product is decently priced and long lasting, containing hydrating Tocopherol, and soothing Blue Chamomile.

Grown Alchemist, Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser $49.00

I have dry and sensitive skin, so this cleanser is perfect for me to remove makeup and cleanse. This cleanser contains Olive Leaf Extract, Vitamin B and Zinc to soothe and hydrate. Grown Alchemist is an Australian brand focusing on scientifically innovative formulas using natural ingredients.

Cruelty-Free Face Scrub

Image via Pinterest

2. Exfoliating

To deep clean the face, exfoliating is essential to remove old skin and blocked pores, leaving skin fresh and bright. Skin exfoliating should only be done around once a week to avoid stripping it of natural oils. For the body, exfoliating should be carried out with a body brush, which is suggested to get the blood flowing and help budge cellulite.

Cheap tip – A natural scrub can be made from coconut oil (or olive oil) and dried out coffee grounds mixed together. 

Aesop, Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste $55.00 

Full disclosure, I actually can’t afford Aesop products but this one is well worth the money. This creamy cleanser has fine Quartz and Lactic Acid, which makes skin feel polished and bright.

cruelty free skincare

Image via Herbs & Heart

3. Toning

For me, toners aren’t an essential step in skincare. However, I like it to double cleanse my skin. Toners can be used with a cloth in circular motions after cleaning to remove any excess makeup or sunscreen and restore skin’s acidic pH.

Cheap tip – Cold green tea and a dash of apple cider vinegar can be used in a spritz bottle as a natural toner, just keep in the fridge.

Herbs & Heart, Skin Tonic $35.00

Small Australian brand Herbs & Heart is natural, cruelty-free and made with pure love. This skin tonic is huge and multi-purpose, made from Rose, Witch Hazel, and Calendula. The toner can be used as a makeup remover, toner or mist when skin is feeling dull.

Cruelty-Free Face Skincare

Image via Dr. Hauschka

4. Hydrating (Day)

From living in the city, especially one that’s hot, it’s essential for me to have moisturiser on in the day. Firstly, always use a decent sunscreen, then use a moisturiser or combine and get a moisturiser with SPF.

Cheap tip – Keep skin looking hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres of water each day. 

Dr. Hauschka, Tinted Day Cream $65.00

Dr. Hauschka is a German brand that’s over fifty years old, known for it’s natural and organic products perfect for sensitive skin. The cruelty-free brand is aimed at mature skin, but I absolutely love the Tinted Day Cream as my foundation. It’s incredibly hydrating and gives a dewy, sun-kissed finish. The ingredients are packed with avocado, and almond oils rose wax, beeswax and rose water, to nourish dry, sensitive and red skin. This is my desert island product.

Sukin, Rosehip Hydrating Day Cream $24.95 (discounted in most Chemists)

Australian brand Sukin focuses on natural-based products that are also reasonably priced. This Rosehip Day Cream contains Rosehip Oil with Vitamin C and Pomegranate to assist dry skin.

cruelty free skincare

5. Hydrating (Night)

After cleaning at night, it’s important to consider a moisturiser based on skin type. For oily skin, it might be worth simply leaving it product free at night or if it’s dry try a rich serum. For my combined/dry skin, I use the below at night.

Cheap tip – Eye cream is so expensive, use tiny amounts of shea butter or coconut oil.

Mario Badescu, Seaweed Night Cream $32.00 

Mario opened up his simple salon 40 years ago in New York for problem-solving skincare. His brand uses high-grade botanicals and minimalist packing, to focus on perfect products. This Seaweed Night Cream is all-round winner, with no oils and a creamy, rich feel. It contains seaweed, collagen, and hyaluronic acid to soften and hydrate. In Australia, Mario Badescu is found in Mecca online or in-store.

Trilogy Rosehip Oil $21.49

Trilogy is a New Zealand natural skincare brand with ethical trade practices, no animal testing, and recyclable packaging. A few drops of this oil can be used underneath night cream for an extra hydrating boost or on its own. Rosehip oil is full of fatty acids that are ideal for repairing skin.

Olivia Burton

Olivia is an eco-writer, producer, science graduate & ocean enthusiast. After moving from London to Sydney, she found her love for the outdoors and recycled textiles, which led her to start writing about science and sustainable fashion. Olivia is really passionate about brands using fashion for good and innovation in the industry. She now splits her time between several not-for-profit organisations in communication roles. Olivia is also a Centre for Sustainability Leadership alumni and sits on the Fashion Revolution committee for Australia & New Zealand.