The 6 Best Cruelty-Free Moisturizers
With the demand for conscious beauty products being higher than ever, there are tons of great options out there for quality, cruelty-free products. In this article, the focus is face creams: ahead, you'll find a curated selection of the best cruelty-free moisturizers on the market, from night creams to cooling lotions to formulas with SPF.
Chances are, if you're interested in a cruelty-free moisturizer, you care about the environment, too: that's why every product on this list is also vegan (yes, there is a difference between being cruelty-free and vegan) and made with clean ingredients. Products that leave out common chemical irritants, like fragrance, alcohol, parabens, and glycols, are typically gentler, so if you have sensitive skin, you should be able to use any of the moisturizers listed ahead without worry.
After you've picked out your new animal-friendly moisturizer, overhaul the rest of your routine with these cruelty-free sunscreens, deodorants, and shampoos. You can also check out this list of cruelty-free beauty brands so you're better informed for the future.
1. Best Cruelty-Free Daily Moisturizer For Dry Skin
Quench your dry skin's thirst with Pacifica's Beauty Coconut Probiotic Water Rehab Cream. Enriched with a blend of soothing and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe, coconut water, and allantoin, plus vegan probiotics, this face cream works to deeply hydrate dry, stressed-out skin. Water is literally the first ingredient in the formula, which is always a good sign, and in addition to being cruelty-free and vegan, it's free of parabens, phthalates, and propylene glycol. Since it's oil-free, it won't clog your pores or leave your face feeling greasy, which makes it safe for use on all skin types.
"This cream is hands-down the best thing I have ever tried to combat my adult acne," one reviewer raved, while another wrote, "This stuff is liquid gold. I honestly didn’t believe a single product could transform my struggling skin overnight, but this lotion can!! This stuff is a game changer. Not to mention, the coconut scent is amazing."
2. Best Cruelty-Free Daily Moisturizer For Oily Skin
This unique cooling moisturizer from skyn Iceland was formulated with both oily and irritation-prone skin in mind. Using a blend of botanicals like white willow bark, kelp, mint, and meadowsweet, the formula works to calm inflammation, soothe irritation, and regulate oil production, in addition to providing skin with the hydration it needs to stay balanced. White willow bark, a natural form of salicylic acid, also helps unclog pores and prevent breakouts, making this a great choice for oily skin types dealing with acne. Made of over 93 percent natural ingredients, it's also cruelty-free, vegan, and doesn't contain any parabens, silicones, or dyes.
"I love this moisturizer. It is lightweight, works for my combination skin without making me breakout, and helps calm down irritation and redness from having sensitive skin as well," one reviewer shared. "I love the cooling menthol feeling too, which makes it feel even more soothing as it helps with cell turnover while preventing my face from drying out or getting too greasy at the same time."
3. Best Cruelty-Free Daily Moisturizer With SPF
THRIVE's new Natural Face Moisturizer & Mineral Facial Sunscreen SPF 30 is like the unicorn of the beauty world. It's hard enough to find any sort of sunscreen product that's vegan and cruelty-free, but this isn't just a sunscreen; it's a moisturizer, too. It uses non-nano zinc oxide as a natural form of sun protection, so it's reef-safe, and the formula leaves behind a clear, matte (never greasy, never white) finish.
Loaded with antioxidant-rich botanical sourced from Costa Rica, Thrive's moisturizer with SPF 30 helps keep skin protected not only from the sun, but also from environmental aggressors (like pollution). Arabica coffee oil is used to restore hydration and strengthen the skin's natural protective barrier, while glycerin, a humectant that attracts moisture, balances out the multi-tasking formula.
In addition to being kind to animals and marine life, this sunscreen is also free of parabens, gluten, synthetic dyes, and other common irritants.
4. Best Cruelty-Free Night Cream For Dry Skin
Though technically formulated for all skin types, its rich consistency and blend of hydrating ingredients makes this night cream perfect for dry skin. The formula contains a blend of nourishing, plant-based oils — jojoba, sweet almond, evening primrose, and borage — plus hyaluronic acid to keep skin moisturized and soft. Then, skin-soothers like lavender and arnica help reduce inflammation and redness, which also makes this a great choice for those with sensitive skin. Finally, the brand's own Lipo-Filling Complex works to improve clarity and even out skin tone for generally healthier, more radiant-looking skin.
The Avalon Organics Brilliant Balance Ultimate Night Cream is cruelty-free, vegan, and made with clean, non-GMO ingredients. It's even NSF-certified, which means it meets the strictest standards in terms of manufacturing and ingredients.
"This is a very moisturizing cream that nourishes the skin. It has an excellent, smooth texture. I used it as a night cream during the winter and it was wonderfully soothing to my dry skin. I also used it after a mild sunburn and it was very healing. The lavender essential oil makes it smell heavenly," reported one reviewer.
5. Best Cruelty-Free Night Cream For Oily Skin
If you have oily and/or acne-prone skin, tea tree is an ingredient to look out for. This Tea Tree Night Lotion (lotions are less heavy than creams, which is another reason this product is so great for oily skin) from The Body Shop hydrates your skin while you sleep, but it also helps regulate oil production and keep breakouts at bay. It's also gluten- and paraben-free, and the tea tree in the formula is hand-harvested by local farmers in Kenya.
Though not all of The Body Shop's products are vegan, this one is; but all of their products are cruelty-free. While you can use this moisturizer during the day, it's worth checking out the brand's Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion, which works overtime at preventing mid-day shine.
6. Best Cruelty-Free Korean Moisturizer
For all the K-beauty lovers out there, this one's for you. Klairs is a cruelty-free brand, and this moisturizer is vegan. Packed with soothing and hydrating ingredients, any skin type can benefit from using this cream — especially those with highly sensitive faces. Not only does it work to restore your skin's natural barrier (which tends to be compromised in sensitive skin types), but it also helps soothe irritation and calm redness and inflammation; that's why it's such a go-to choice for people with acne and rosacea. If you're looking for a moisturizer that you can use day and night, all year round, this is an excellent choice.
"I love how soothing this moisturizer is for my skin. I have rosacea and this does a great job at calming that down. It is a thick consistency, but doesn't feel heavy at all and doesn't feel greasy," shared one reviewer.
Another wrote, "My skin loves this. It saved my dry winter skin but never aggravates or causes acne ... I get a nice fresh glow with this on but I don't get oily throughout the day."
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