If you’re like me, then your skincare routine is a sacred ritual that helps you start the day on the right foot. But if you’re also concerned about what goes onto your skin and in turn, into your body, then finding non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free products can be a daunting task.
I am very passionate about natural skincare. My adult acne made me do it! Although my skin looked flawless and glowing in high school, my A-friend came knocking on my door later in life.
It all started with me moving to Australia. Changing climates while turning 30 was not the most helpful factor in this matter. I learned that my skin was more receptive to clean skincare. I still use a couple different products once in a while, but I can proudly say 99% of my skincare is plant-based.
It was a challenge to find natural products that worked. Lucky for you, I’ve taken the guesswork out of it all by sharing my daytime skincare routine with products that match these criteria without sacrificing effectiveness or luxury. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into my favorite picks to help give your skin some loving care every morning!
Cruelty-Free vs. Vegan skincare: the difference
When it comes to vegan and cruelty-free skincare, there are a few key differences that you should be aware of. Vegan skincare is made without any animal products, whereas cruelty-free skincare means that the products have not been animal tested.
Vegan skincare products are often also free of other common animal-based ingredients like beeswax, honey, and lanolin. However, keep in mind that just because a product is vegan doesn’t necessarily mean it’s also cruelty-free. So be sure to check the labels before you buy!
Another great way to investigate your products is to use one of these apps.
Some of my Favorite Cruelty-Free, Vegan Skincare brands and products
I have tried and tested almost every natural skincare product I could get my hands on. Here are some of my favorite products I use in my skin care routine.
From facial cleansers to moisturizers. None of them is sponsored! One more little disclaimer before we continue: I am not a dermatologist. I only speak from my own experience.
I have acne-prone combination skin with an oily t-zone and dry under the eyes. My skin gets sensitive at times, especially when I travel.
It’s a misconception that you do not need to cleanse your face in the morning. I was one of those people who thought I could just give my face a quick rinse because it did not come in contact with anything that really needed to be washed off.
I was wrong because I clearly forgot about the bacteria and sebum that can build up overnight. Tata Harper’s Purifying Cleanser is one of my favorite morning cleansers. It smells heavenly and leaves skin clean and semi-hydrated.
I use the Emma Hardie Dual Action Cleansing Cloth to wash off the product and Foreo Luna to massage or deep cleanse it once a week. Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser is another wonderful option to cleanse your face, especially when you have a sensitive skin.
Oil-based cleansers work better for me at night, when I need to remove makeup. In that case I would double cleanse my face. The Living Cleansing Balm by Then I met You gets the job done, leaving my skin squeaky clean yet hydrated. The texture of this product is everything and more.
Toners & Exfoliators
Not all Paula’s Choice’s products are vegan, but my favorite is: the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. It keeps pimples at bay and shrinks enlarged pores. I use my hands to swipe the liquid solution into my Skin. Unfortunately, non-reusable cotton pads soak up too much of the solution and are NOT very environmentally friendly.
When I don’t use the BHA liquid, I like to prep my skin with the Mario Badescu Witch Hazel & Rosewater Toner. It smells heavenly and brings back what’s been stripped during the washing process: moisture.
Face Oils & Serums
I do not always have the time, but when I do, I like to make myself a little concoction (a drop or 2) of these serums and let them soak in:
Suppose you want to slow skin aging, prevent wrinkles, and improve dark spots or acne (scars). In that case, you will genuinely enjoy using topical vitamin C. Glow up in a bottle! Perfect for every skin type.
Breakfast is served, and it’s not cereal! Instead, I bet your skin will enjoy this nutrient-rich blend of the most bioactive and powerful antioxidants: the Chebula ayurvedic fruit. This blend is hydrating and anti-aging.
Hyaluronic Acid probably affects my skin the most out of all products listed in this blog post. It’s so replenishing that love to apply it morning and night. Yes, even on oily skin days your face needs some moisture.
This face oil contains 22 active ingredients. These most nutrient-rich botanicals in the world to help maintain a radiant, even complexion. Is it super expensive but totally worth the price tag? Absolutely.
This product replaced my foundation (most of the time). It brings my skin back to life time after time. I genuinely enjoy the calming natural scent, and I can immediately see the plumping effect. It feels divine to have this anti-aging hydrator, especially for those cold winter days that cause dry skin.
My under-eye area is usually dry and sensitive, so most eye creams are too irritating for me. My current favorite eye cream is Biossance’s Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream. Still, I have to admit I am always looking for new, even more, moisturizing options.
When it comes to moisturizers, I try to change them depending on the season.
- Sonya Dakar’s Blue Butterfly Balm is my favorite fall/winter or night cream. The consistency of this balm is SO unique. The substance becomes a luxurious oil after you warm it in your hands.
- Dr. Barbara Sturm’s face cream is a delightfully soothing dream. It was love on the first try. I love everything about this cream, including the light texture and the fact that it’s unscented.
Is there anything more relaxing than pampering your skin with a beautiful face mask? If you’re looking for an all-natural way to improve your skin, face masks are a great option! Made from ingredients like clay, fruits, and spices, these masks can help to detoxify, exfoliate, and soothe your skin.
These face masks are some of my favorite options:
Eminence Organics Firm Skin Acai Masque: This mask is yoghurt for your face. It’s natural, hydrating and smells like forest fruit. I keep this one in my fridge so it’s nice and cool on the face.
Biossance Squalane and Glycolic Renewal Mask will make your skin silky smooth without irritating it. The squalene used in this maks is vegan, of course.
You can, of course, take a look inside your fridge and DIY some amazing recipes. Natural masks can be customized to your specific skin type and needs, making them more effective than store-bought options.
SPF & Sunscreen
Is wearing sunscreen indoors absolutely necessary? The answer is YES unless you always stay far away from the windows or sunlight, which in my case is never. One of my favorites is the CC Screen from Supergoop. It is reef safe (crucial), but it is also 100% mineral and color correcting.
The other brand I swear by is Colorscience. It’s an SPF50 on a brush. It works mattifying and pore refining. Simply reapply your sunscreen over your makeup with a simple swipe and you’re good to go.
Diet, Supplements & Superfoods
HYDRATION & GUT HEALTH
As we all know, staying hydrated is vital for overall health and wellness. But did you know that it’s also important for keeping your skin looking its best? That’s because proper hydration helps to keep your skin cells plump and elastic, which in turn helps to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. But it’s not just about drinking enough water.
Especially in the summer time, I’ll add a scoop of Rejuvenated H3O Hydration Powder to my water. This extra step makes a world of difference. What you eat can also impact your skin’s hydration levels. That’s why it’s important to include foods in your diet that are rich in water and other nutrients that help to keep your skin healthy.
Water-rich fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelons, and grapes are great choices. And if you want an extra boost of hydration, consider adding a vegan-friendly hyaluronic acid supplement to your daily routine.
Cut the coffee
I try to limit my coffee consumption to 2 cups a day and keep my dairy and refined sugar consumption to an absolute minimum. I have noticed a massive difference in my skin. Cows are often fed artificial hormones that get into their milk and can eventually mess with human hormones (and, therefore, your skin).
Sugar, on the other hand, spikes your blood sugar levels and releases a hormone called insulin. Excess insulin can cause your oil glands to produce more oil – we do not want that! Instead of refined sugar, I prefer to use monk fruit or stevia.
Gut health plays a significant, if not THE most essential, role in your overall health and skin. However, to maintain a happy gut, you need to balance it. This is where pre and probiotics come into play. Every morning I dissolve a tablespoon of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar in lukewarm water and take a probiotic supplement.
I also recommend reading Dr. Nigma Talib’s book Younger Skin Starts in the Gut, if you want to learn more about this topic.
And finally, my favorite supplement and true game changer in my skincare routine, drum roll… Vitex Angus (also called chaste berry). If you want to put an end to to monthly zit stress, Hum’s Moody Bird is the supplement for you.
Switching to vegan and cruelty-free skincare
Switching to vegan and cruelty-free skincare can be a great way to look after your skin while still looking after the environment. With the number of companies creating high quality, sustainable, and ethical formulas growing every day, it’s never been easier to make conscious choices when it comes to your beauty routine. So try out some new vegan skincare items today – not only will you be doing something good for yourself, but also for animals everywhere!