Top Must-Have Vegan Beauty Brands

Vegan beauty products
Top must-have vegan beauty brands

Compassion is always in season, and it’s always beautiful. In this article, we cover the best vegan beauty brands so that the next time you need to top up your beauty products, you know which ones to get.

Despite the increase in awareness, did you know that most popular beauty brands on the market today — be it skincare, makeup, or toiletries — are not all that vegan-friendly?

And, we’re not just talking about animal testing either. On the positive side, this cruel practice is steadily decreasing. However, this is not the case when it comes to animal products. In truth, beauty products usually contain a large number of ingredients that come from animals. Keep reading to find out what makes most beauty products unsuited for vegans. Furthermore, we’ll also give you the ultimate list of vegan beauty brands to look out for!

If you are new to veganism, find out some tips on How to Become Vegan in 3 Simple Steps.

Animal products can be found in most cosmetics.
Animal products can be found in most cosmetics.

Bugs? In non-vegan beauty brands?

It’s more likely than you think. From snails to beetles, even the insects aren’t safe.

Of course, the labels of these animal by-products are never clear. Instead, manufacturers use ambiguous, hard-to-pronounce names to cause the reader to gloss over the details. This is especially true when it comes to ingredients that are popular with the masses or the media.

The better-known animal products found in cosmetics are:

  • collagen
  • tallow
  • beeswax
  • gelatin

Unusual animal products

However, there are some unusual ones too. These include:

  • carmine
  • Cornu aspersum glycoconjugates
  • shellac
  • guanine
  • lanolin
  • albumen

Although you might be familiar with these ingredients, here’s a bit more detail that might make you change your mind about purchasing products that contain them.


Carmine is a red dye that comes from crushing a certain South American beetle. Yes, you read that correctly. The intense red makes it a popular dye in commercial red lipsticks.

Cornu aspersum glycoconjugates

This is a popular ingredient in the world of anti-aging. It’s actually snail slime, the substance that oozes out of snails when they move. It’s frequently used in anti-aging creams and face masks to reduce the appearance of lines and to also restore skin damage.


Shellac comes from a secretion of a female lac bug. Most non-vegan hair sprays, eyeliners, and mascaras contain shellac because it hydrates and moisturizes too.

However, the list doesn’t end with these insect-based products. It also includes animal products such as:

  • Guanine — This product comes from fish scales. You’ll usually find it in cosmetics that shimmer.
  • Lanolin — A secretion from sheepskin. Lanolin softens and smooths skin. Skincare products and moisturizers frequently contain this substance.
  • Albumen — Aka, egg white, is a fixture in anti-aging skincare products due to its skin-smoothing properties.

Can beauty products be vegan?

Yes, they can. Thankfully, vegan beauty brands mimic these attributes with plant-based products and synthetic materials instead.

Vegan beauty brands use plant-based alternatives in their cosmetics.
Vegan beauty brands use natural plant-based alternatives.

So, who’s leading the way in this animal-free beauty revolution?

Top vegan cosmetic brands

Here is the ultimate list of vegan-friendly beauty brands. By choosing their products, you support a brand that’s trying to change the beauty industry. You will feel good on the inside and beautiful on the outside.

  • ELF cosmetics

E.l.f. has always been a favorite among vegans. They have a huge variety of 100% animal-product-free and cruelty-free cosmetics that won’t break the bank. This vegan brand really has it all: makeup products, brushes, hydrating creams, and exfoliants.

  • Kat Von D beauty

TV celebrity Kat Von D has come a long way from tattoo artist to beauty mogul. A long-term vegan herself, she has always made sure that her makeup products are cruelty-free and free from animal byproducts. She also believes that vegan makeup should be available to all, so her prices are reasonable. These are strong, high-quality products guaranteed to pass the test of time.


With its minimalistic look and high-performance products, COVER FX is an award-winning vegan beauty brand that provides makeup products that are worth the price. In addition, their color palette is so varied that you’ll easily find the right product to match your skin tone.

  • Milk makeup

Revolutionary skincare products and artistically-packaged makeup make Milk a brand to watch out for. It’s been fully vegan since 2018, showing other beauty brands that joining the vegan-friendly world is totally worth it too.

  • Beauty Without Cruelty

Beauty Without Cruelty is the original vegan beauty brand and has led the way in cruelty-free beauty for over 60 years. They are one of the most successful products for sensitive skin because they are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.

Vegan beauty brands

  • INIKA organic

INIKA provides all-natural vegan makeup, skincare products, and brushes. This brand values clean, additive-free beauty above all else. Product prices vary but they are never too expensive. This proves that everyone can enjoy their high-quality organic products.

  • Pacifica

Pacifica is another brand that does it all. As a matter of fact, every item is 100% animal-free. This includes skincare, makeup, bath products, hair care, and supplements too. Their vegan aromatherapy line is also truly a gem for any self-care enthusiast, and the accessible price tag will make sure you’ll keep coming for more!


Canadian beauty brand BKIND strives for being kind to the environment as well as animals. They provide beautifully-packaged and environmentally-friendly products covering a wide range of prices, with product variety spanning from bamboo toothbrushes to nail polish and body scrubs.

Specific vegan beauty products

  • HURRAW! Lip balm

Can lip balms be beeswax free? Yes, they certainly can, and HURRAW! is the perfect example of a vegan beauty brand that has perfectioned the craft of turning plant waxes into something magical. If you’re in need of treating your chapped lips during this cold winter, look no further than this incredible brand.

  • Arctic Fox

This hair dye and hair care brand is a favorite among cruelty-free hairdressers. Arctic Fox’s colors are unique, vibrant, and delicate on your hair. Their bleach is also a game-changer and 15% of the brand’s profits are donated to animal protection charities. You’ll feel good because you’ve made a difference too.

How to transform your beauty regime to vegan

We know that to transform your life to 100% plant-based can be tricky and expensive. However, you don’t have to do a complete overhaul all at one go. In truth, you just need to change one product at a time by choosing a vegan brand instead of your usual commercial product.

The next time you need high-quality beauty products, keep an eye out for these brands. Their vegan products are good for your body and are light on your conscience too.

All in all, you are sure to glow on the inside and out.