Are Vegan Beauty Brands More Expensive?

By Anett Rannamets. Published: December 2022.
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Vegan beauty brands are not necessarily more expensive than their competitors. However, it may seem so at first glance. This is mainly because many vegan beauty brands use organic, natural, clean, and environmentally friendly materials. 

These types of high-quality raw materials or active ingredients are often more expensive because their sourcing is pricier than, producing petroleum-based skincare ingredients for example. Still, you can find vegan beauty brands in every price range. And vegan beauty being more expensive is a misconception. 

We have put together an article to prove that vegan beauty products or brands are not necessarily more expensive than their non-vegan competitors. So, below you can find a comparison between different vegan and non-vegan beauty brands.

Vegan Beauty Brands VS Non-Vegan Beauty Brands

We have selected four beauty categories – makeup, skincare, haircare, and perfume – in which we compare the prices of the products. In three of them, we searched for three non-vegan drugstore brands and three high-end brands whose products we compared with similar vegan ones. With perfumes, we only compared high-quality perfume brands.

Before we get down to business, however, it is essential to emphasize that the non-vegan beauty brands we use in the comparison do not, by definition, offer any vegan products. Even if everything seems okay when reading the ingredient lists, they are not cruelty-free and test on animals. Therefore, not entirely vegan.

Is Vegan Makeup More Expensive?

The short answer is no. Vegan makeup is not more expensive. But first, let’s take a look at the difference between vegan drugstore makeup brands and non-vegan drugstore brands. We selected four everyday makeup products and calculated the total amount of the shopping cart to compare.

Drugstore
Makeup Brands
e.l.f. (vegan)$Barry M (vegan)$Pacifica (vegan)$Revlon (not vegan)$May-belline (not vegan)$L’Oreal (not vegan)$
MascaraLash It Out6That’s How I Roll8Stellar Gaze14So Fierce 9Sky High13Tele-scopic10
BronzerPutty7Heatwave Bronzer9Sun
Dreams
12Powder Bonzer12City10True Match Lumi15
FoundationFlawless Finish6Fresh Face Foundation13Ultra CC18Color-Stay 14Fit Me9Infallible14
LipstickSrsly Satin3Satin Lip Paint10Plush-ious10Lip-stick by Revlon8Color
Sen-sational
8Colour Riche Shine8
Total ~ ($):224054444047

Purchases of four vegan drugstore makeup products, mascara, foundation, bronzer, and lipstick, range from $20 to $50. Comparing to non-vegan drugstore make-up products they stay in the same price range.

Of course, it is important to point out that, for example, the vegan makeup brand e.l.f. offers products with a very good price-quality ratio. This means that you can get similar products from a vegan brand at half the price of what competitors offer. So, this shows that vegan makeup brands can sometimes be even cheaper.

But now, let’s jump to luxury brands. Similar to the previous comparison, we chose three high-end vegan beauty brands and non-vegan makeup brands. The product categories remained the same, and at the end, we calculated the shopping cart amount.

Luxury Makeup BrandsMERIT Beauty (vegan)$EMANI (vegan)$Deliliah (vegan)$Chanel (not vegan)$Dior (not vegan)$Estee Lauder (not vegan)$
MascaraClean Lash26Double Lash28Definitive23Le Volume Revo-lution50Iconic Over-curl41Sump-tuous Extreme30
BronzerBronze Balm30Feeling Loved28Matte Compact29Soleil Tan 78Mineral Nude48Bronze Goddess 43
FoundationThe Minimalist38Hydra-Wear34Alibi45Vita-lumiere Aqua74Forever Under-cover71Double Wear Stay-in-Place42
LipstickSignature262-Tone Prismatic15Intense Cream 32Hydrating Creme61Couture Colour 20Pure Color30
Total ~ ($):120105129262180145

So, vegan luxury makeup brand shopping carts start at $100. Meanwhile, non-vegan luxury brands start at $140 and go as high as $260 (look at the table above). Although these are high-end brands both above and below, the brands in the non-vegan table are more familiar to most people.

Chanel, Dior, and Estee Lauder are one of the most prestigious names in the beauty world although they are not cruelty-free or vegan. In addition, the name of the brands seemingly also affects the price. So, if you are looking for luxurious experiences, we recommend sticking to vegan beauty brands, for all the reasons.

Is Vegan Skincare More Expensive?

Vegan skincare is not necessarily more expensive. Yes, skincare products are often more expensive than make-up. But that is because they contain specific active ingredients and have much more product. However, vegan skincare can be found in every price range. Let’s take a look at vegan drugstore skincare brands first.

For comparison, we have chosen four different skincare products to make up one shopping basket. Cleanser, toner, face serum, and moisturizer. All products are selected for similar ingredients or effects. By comparing the three brands, we can see what the price range looks like.

Drugstore Skincare Brands Versed$The
Ordinary
$Derma E$CeraVe$Cetaphil$Neutrogena$
CleanserGentle Cycle15Squalane8Hydrating Gentle11Hyd-rating
Facial
16Daily Facial17Foaming Facial Cleanser10
Toner/ Makeup RemoverWeek-end Glow18Glycolic
Acid 7%
10Anti-Blemish Clarifying Bi-Phase14Hyd-rating Toner9Water-proof Makeup Remover11Oil- and Alcohol-Free Toner7
Face SerumPress Restart22Granactive Retinoid10Anti-Aging Re-generative24Anti-aging Retinol21Deep Hydration 48-Hour Activation19Hydro Boost Serum19
MoisturizerSkin Soak18Natural Moisturizing Factors6Anti-Wrinkle Renewal14Moist-urizing Cream20Daily
Oil-Free Face
16Oil-Free Moisture Daily 11
Total ~ ($):733463656346

For vegan drugstore skincare (see the table above), it looks like a basket of four products can cost between $30 and $70. For non-vegan skincare brands (see the table below), this range stays between $40 and $70. That being said, when it comes to drugstore skincare, vegan skincare brands are definitely not more expensive.

However, looking at luxury brands (below), it turns out that vegan luxury or high-end brands are still far behind non-vegan skincare brands in terms of price. As with makeup, luxury vegan skincare brands are much more wallet-friendly than their non-vegan competitors.

Luxury Skincare Brands Aesop (vegan)$Herbivore (vegan)$KYPRIS (vegan)$La Mer (not vegan)$La Prairie (not vegan)$Dior
(not vegan)
$
CleanserAmazing Face50Pink Cloud Creamy Jelly24Natural Con-centrate64The Cleansing Foam25Purifying Cream59Micro-Puri-fying Gel54
TonerParsley Seed Anti-Oxidant51Jasmine Green Tea Oil Control39Natural Clearing50The Tonic100Cellular Refining Lotion96Hydra Life Balancing Hydration40
Face SerumLightweight Hydrating75Moon Fruit60Natural Anti-oxidant Dew90The Lifting Contour350Skin Caviar Liquid Lift574Capture Totale Cell Energy Super Potent80
MoisturizerMandarin Hydrating53Pink Cloud Soft44Natural Beauty Elixir I219Crème de la Mer190Skin Caviar Luxe319Capture Youth Advanced Creme81
Total ~ ($):2291674236651047254

When shopping for high-end vegan skincare brands, in our example, you can get the four vegan skincare items in your cart between $160 and $400. However, non-vegan luxury brands tend to be very expensive.

So, in our example, a non-vegan luxury shopping cart can vary from $200 to $1,000. Of course, the price always depends on the active ingredients. La Prairie, for example, is one of the most luxurious skincare brands in the world using very expensive active ingredients. Most of them are caviar-based.

So, we would not say from these examples that vegan luxury skincare is necessarily cheaper. Overall, it all depends on the ingredients and the brand. However, it can be said that vegan high-end or luxury skincare brands are definitely not more expensive. Plus, you won’t find caviar or snail slime in vegan skincare. And that is always a plus.

Is Vegan Haircare More Expensive?

List Of Vegan Haircare Brands

Vegan haircare is not always more expensive than non-vegan haircare. However, sometimes it could be. That is because vegan haircare is usually cleaner and includes more pricey ingredients. However, it is often worth the price, because vegan haircare usually does not contain well-known unhealthy components such as sulfates.

We selected three drugstore vegan haircare manufacturers and three non-vegan brands. In order to compare their prices, we included both shampoo and conditioner in the table. It is also important to mention that all products were close to 250 ml.

Drugstore Haircare BrandsLove, Beauty & Planet (vegan)$Pacifica (vegan)$Ethique (vegan)$Pantene (not vegan)$L’Oreal (not vegan)$Head & Shoulders (not vegan)$
ShampooCoconut Water & Mimosa Flower 7Coconut Power Strong & Long10Wombar for Normal Hair15Daily Moisture Renewal9Ever Pure9Classic Clean7
ConditionerCoconut Water & Mimosa Flower7Coconut Power Strong & Long10Too Delicious for Dry Hair18Daily Moisture Renewal10Ever Pure9Classic Clean7
Total ~ ($):142033191814

As it turns out, the prices for drugstore brands (see the table above) are pretty much in the same range of 14-20 dollars. However, you can see that the vegan brand Ethique is a little more expensive.

Ethique is a very popular vegan haircare brand you can find on the shelves of quite a few stores. Their niche lies in creating vegan shampoo and conditioner bars. In other words, Ethique makes package-free and zero-waste haircare. Therefore, the price of the two products is a bit higher.

Salon
Haircare Brands
Aveda (vegan)$Curl-smith (vegan)$Olaplex (vegan)$Kérastase (not vegan)$Wella (not vegan)$Mizani (not vegan)$
ShampooRosemary Mint22Wash & Scrub Detox 28No. 4 Bond Maintenance30Resistance Bain Force Architecte26Fusion Intense Repair25Press Agent 22
ConditionerRosemary Mint22Post-Wash Calming28No. 5 Bond Maintenance30Resistance Ciment Anti-Usure40Fusion Intense Repair25Press Agent 24
Total ~ ($):445660665046

Looking at salon-quality haircare, we see the same tendency. Salon haircare or luxury haircare is about twice as expensive as drugstore products, but both vegan and non-vegan salon products stay in the same price range. It is somewhere around $40-$60 for two products. By the way, one of the most popular salon haircare manufacturers, Olaplex, is 100% vegan.

So no, vegan products in the haircare world are not necessarily more expensive. As with most other things, the final price still depends on the brand you buy from and what you are expecting from your product.

Are Vegan Perfumes More expensive?

Vegan Perfumes

As with everything above, vegan perfume does not have to be more expensive than its competitors. But sometimes it happens. In order to compare the perfumes, we found three vegan manufacturers and three non-vegan brands whose eau de parfum products we placed on the table next to each other.

Perfume BrandKierin NYC (vegan)Le Labo (vegan)Heretic (vegan)Chanel (not vegan)Gucci (not vegan)Dior (not vegan)
Perfume Sunday BrunchSantal 33 Dirty CoconutChânél No.5BloomJ’Adore
Total ~ ($):110228165155118120

The prices of a 50 ml high-quality fragrance bottle remain pretty much the same for both vegan and non-vegan manufacturers. That means around 100-200 dollars. A keen eye will notice that one vegan perfume is slightly more expensive than the others. Le Labo is a niche manufacturer known as a luxury vegan perfume brand whose price lies in craftsmanship.

However, the prices of both vegan brands and non-vegan brands still remain in a similar range. Therefore, why not choose something that does not contain, for example, glandular secretions from musk deer as your next scent?

FAQ About Vegan Beauty Brands And Their Price

Are vegan beauty brands more expensive?

No. Vegan beauty brands being more expensive is a misconception. 

Is vegan skincare more expensive?

No. Vegan skincare is not necessarily more expensive.

Is vegan makeup more expensive?

No. Vegan makeup is not more expensive than its competitors.

Is vegan haircare more expensive?

No. Vegan haircare is not necessarily more expensive.

Is vegan perfume more expensive?

No. Vegan perfume is not necessarily more expensive than non-vegan perfume.

Summary

Using the example of two extremes — drugstore and luxury beauty brands — we can say that vegan beauty brands are not necessarily more expensive than their non-vegan competitors. However, the beauty world offers a wide variety of vegan beauty brands. So, you can find them in every price range.

This means that 100% vegan beauty brands can also be very pricy. Of course, it depends on who you compare them to. In general, however, the word “vegan” does not add value to a beauty brand or its product. And this is the main thing that people usually fear.

Fortunately, it is possible to be animal and environmentally friendly in every beauty category and price range. If your budget is small, you can easily find a wide range of affordable vegan skincare as well as affordable vegan makeup. Moreover, with a good quality and price ratio. The same applies to other beauty categories such as vegan skincare, vegan haircare, or even vegan perfumes.

Anett is a passionate journalist, writer, and magazine editor with almost 7 years of experience. Through engaging articles, she brings kinder and more environmentally-friendly choices closer to everybody.