5 Tips On How To Tell If Skincare Is Vegan

By Anett Rannamets. Updated: May 2023.
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When shopping for skincare, we have many preferences, factors, and features on which we make our choices based on. For example, people are often looking for labels like organic, natural, paraben-free, allergen-free, or fragrance-free. So, if we add ‘vegan’ to them, finding the right products might seem overwhelming at first.

Fortunately, it is not that difficult at all to identify vegan skincare products! And thanks to the internet, it is fairly easy. So, we put together five tips on how to know if skincare is vegan. Follow them to make an ethical decision.

Look For Certified Vegan Labels

More prominent brands often have the right to use certified vegan labels on their skincare products. Buying licensed labels mean that the brands have fulfilled the prescribed rules. So, the products are free of animal-derived ingredients, and the products or their ingredients have not been tested on animals. 

With certified and trustful signs, you can be sure that the product is really vegan. Some brands today use unofficial vegan labels that are not controlled. Therefore, you can sometimes come across greenwashing or vegan-washing. Meaning that the product is not actually vegan or does not require other vegan principles. Simply, the goal is often to make money with those trends. 

The most famous and trustful marks in the world today are the Vegan Certified mark, The Vegan Society mark, and the V-Label.

The Vegan Certified mark

Check The Packaging

Veganism is becoming more and more popular every year as people become more aware. This means that the demand for vegan products will also grow and businesses come up with more skincare products.

To meet the demand, even smaller companies are making more informed choices now and starting to produce vegan skincare products. However, buying certified vegan labels is often too expensive for them. Therefore, they use unofficial and often self-designed vegan marks on their packages.

If you notice the labels ‘vegan’, ‘100% vegan’, ‘plant-based’, or others that could refer to a vegan product, there is a high probability that the product is vegan. However, when buying, you must be aware that some strange brands produce only for profit as described in the previous point.

Therefore, they cannot always be trusted. If you see a vegan label on a product from a strange brand, check the ingredient list or research the brand online. However, such tricks are rather rare.

Read The Ingredient List

In skin care, composition is the key. And if you are looking for vegan skincare, you have to know the ropes. Although the world is becoming more conscious and brands more sustainable, a lot of companies still use non-vegan ingredients.

The most common animal-derived components in skin care are lanolin and beeswax. Among others, you can often find collagen, elastin, gelatin, honey, keratin, and even silk. Many companies also use animal-based squalene, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin instead of vegan versions.

Fortunately, vegan products can be just as effective. And some alternative ingredients are also more stable than animal-based originals. To be aware of the basic non-vegan ingredients, take a look at the list of all potential animal-derived skincare ingredients.

Familiarize Yourself With 100% Vegan Brands

Of course, the most convenient is to stay true to your favorite brands. However, skin care often needs changes and products from different providers. So, do a little background research. If you have decided to switch your skincare to vegan, take some time to surf the internet.

Look for 100% vegan brands or companies that have vegan product lines. You can also find a vegan filter on almost every website that sells skincare. No need to be afraid of the vegan term  – it has many matches! 

Also, if you have other preferences in addition to vegan composition, there is a high chance you might find them all in one. For example, if you want Korean vegan skincare, organic vegan skincare, or natural vegan skincare. Just use the right keywords when searching.

To make it easier to find your favorites, we have also put together several lists to help you. For example, a list of 100% vegan brands or a guide to the best vegan skincare brands.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

If you like shopping in drugstores instead of online, always address your questions to the service staff. Yes, their job is to sell you as many products as possible, but their job is also to know what they are selling.

When shopping online and you cannot find the necessary information, write to the manufacturer. It will take longer to get an answer, but you will know for sure about the product’s composition. With great probability, manufacturers do not usually lie because it can lead to legal problems.

FAQ About Identifying Vegan Skincare

How to know if skincare is vegan?

There are several ways to know if skincare is vegan. Firstly, look for vegan labels on packages. Or read the ingredient list to identify the vegan composition of the product. In addition, you can always do your research to find vegan brands online or ask sellers/manufacturers.


Yes, navigating the world of skincare and finding vegan products might seem difficult at first. Luckily, there are several tips to follow that make finding the right products easy. For example, look for certified vegan labels or read ingredient lists. Plus, you can always ask for help from sellers.

In addition, it is always good to know the typical non-vegan ingredients. Like lanolin or beeswax, which are surprisingly often still used in skincare. Moreover, be careful with vegan-washing. Some companies call their products vegan in order to go along with the trend to make a profit. Fortunately, there are very few of them.

So your life would be easier, we are opening the door to vegan skincare for you. For example, check out our guide to the best vegan skincare brands, best vegan skincare products, or best affordable vegan skincare brands.

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.