Is Vegan Skincare Better For Your Skin?

By Liis Hainla. Updated: February 2023.
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We get often asked whether vegan skincare is better for your skin than non-vegan skincare. And have a simple answer to that question.

No. Vegan skincare is not better nor worse for your skin. Veganism is not a skincare benefit, veganism is an ethical and environmental choice.

I’m a vegan and I prefer vegan skincare because it does not hurt animals. But unlike with vegan food, noone can claim that there are additional benefits of vegan skincare.

That being said, the vegan skincare movement coincides with some other skincare trends that make vegan skincare better than some traditional brands.

Potential Skincare Benefits Of Vegan Skincare

Here are some benefits that vegan skincare may have over non-vegan brands. But remember, most of these are correlations, not direct causations.

New Is Always Better (Most Of The Times)

The science of skincare evolves fast, so new skincare products tend to be better than old drugstore favorites. That is also the reason old formulas get updated all the time.

Since vegan skincare brands are usually newer, they also utilize the newest technologies. Thanks to innovation, new vegan skincare brands can be better than old non-vegan ones.

In turn, when a new good skincare brand launches, they usually want to also attract the vegan customer. So many new brands choose to make their products vegan.

Skipping Some Animal Ingredients Can Be Good

Vegan skincare may be beneficial for your skin simply by avoiding certain animal ingredients.

For instance, lanolin and cholesterol are comedogenic. The absence of these animal-derived ingredients in vegan skincare can be good for oily and acne-prone skin.

Also, intake of cow’s milk has been associated with acne. However, no studies have found skincare products containing milk to cause acne.

Keep in mind though that some vegan ingredients can also be comedogenic (cocoa butter) or irritate your skin (alcohol, essential oils) – vegan skincare is not irritant-free.

Vegan Skincare Brands Are Generally Cleaner

The vegan skincare movement has a lot of overlap with clean skincare movement. For example, the majority of Sephora’s Clean products are also vegan-friendly.

Clean vegan brands tend to avoid harsh additives, silicones, and fragrances in their products. That way, clean vegan skincare can be safer and less irritative for your skin.

What ‘natural’ or ‘clean’ mean though is often arbitrary in skincare. Vegan skincare is not automatically natural or clean. And 100% natural skincare is not always a good thing.

FAQ About Vegan Skincare Benefits

Is vegan skincare better?

Vegan skincare is not necessarily better than non-vegan skincare. It does not have additional skincare benefits. Vegan skincare is simply more ethical and eco-friendly.

Is vegan skincare worse for your skin?

No. Vegan skincare is not worse than animal-derived skincare. Most important skincare ingredients (glycerin, hyaluronic acid, retinol) can be either plant-based or lab-made. Also, there are a lot of plant oils and botanical extracts that are great for your skin.

Are animal ingredients bad for your skin?

Animal ingredients are not necessarily bad for your skin. Some animal ingredients are comedogenic (lanolin, cholesterol) and not suitable for acne-prone or sensitive skin.

Is vegan skincare natural?

Vegan skincare does not have to be natural. There are plenty of vegan skincare ingredients that are made synthetically. Oftentimes, natural skincare and vegan skincare go together.


Choose vegan skincare if you are against animal testing and animal exploitation of any kind. Choose vegan skincare if you want to make environmentally-healthier choices.

Do know, however, expect that vegan skincare is a miracle food for your skin. While often cleaner and more effective by novelty, veganism is not a skincare benefit on its own.

The science of skincare is a lot more complicated than labels like clean or toxin-free. We hope your find vegan skincare that is smartly formulated and tailored to your unique needs.

See also: Best Vegan Skincare, List Of 100% Vegan Skincare Brands, Animal-Derived Skincare Ingredients

Update on February 19 (2023): Added a reference

My name is Liis. I have been a vegan for a long time and I advocate for the vegan lifestyle. Through Vegan Avenue, I aim to provide quality information about vegan products and bring attention to amazing vegan companies.