Ceramides make up over 50% of our skin’s composition. They are part of a subgroup of lipids called sphingolipids that have the function of protecting our skin and retaining moisture.
With age and sun damage, the quality and quantity of ceramides in our skin reduce. Ceramide skincare can replenish the ceramides in your skin and boost the skin’s crucial barrier function (1).
See our picks for the best vegan ceramide skincare to keep your skin supple, firm, and hydrated. We’ve listed the best cruelty-free vegan alternatives to CeraVe and Cetaphil.
Best Vegan Ceramide Skincare
Looking for some great vegan CeraVe dupes? We have listed our favorite vegan ceramide skincare products that are animal-free and cruelty-free.
- Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream
- Purito Dermide Cica Barrier Sleeping Pack
- Pacifica Beauty Vegan Ceramide Barrier Cream
- Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream
- The Inkey List Ceramide Night Treatment
- Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer
- Naturium Plant Ceramide Rich Moisture Cream
Best Vegan Ceramide Moisturizers
These are the best vegan ceramide face creams in 2023. Shop vegan ceramide moisturizers to hydrate, repair, and protect your skin.
Klairs Soothing Cream is the best vegan ceramide moisturizer, especially for dry, sensitive, and acne-prone skin types. Made with ceramide 3, the cream hydrates the skin and helps restore the skin’s barrier. It also includes Centella Asiatica extract that soothes redness and irritation.
- What we like: does not irritate sensitive skin, deep moisturization, leaves a soft feeling
- What we don’t like: absorbs too fast
- What reviews say: great value for money, works great for different skin types but especially for sensitive and dry ones
Ceramide type: Ceramide 3 | Key ingredients: Portulaca oleracea, Centella Asiatica, aloe, beta-glucan | Main benefits: soothing, moisturizing, hydrating | Features: vegan, ethanol-free, steroid-free, artificial colors-free, artificial fragrance-free
Purito Sleeping Pack is a great soothing vegan ceramide night cream. Packed with calming Centella Asiatica extract and squalane, it helps repair the skin. It also strengthens and hydrates the skin by containing hyaluronic acid and ceramide 3.
- What we like: moisturizes through the night, adds glow, repairs the skin barrier
- What we don’t like: difficult to get the thick consistency out of the tube
- What reviews say: a great moisturizer for dry and sensitive skin, leaves no greasy feeling, soothes and calms the skin
Ceramide type: Ceramide 3 | Key ingredients: Centella Asiatica extract, squalane | Main benefits: moisturizing, soothing, hydrating | Features: vegan, artificial fragrance-free, essential oils-free, silicone-free, mineral oil-free
The best ceramide moisturizer to soften the skin is Pacifica Beauty Vegan Ceramide Barrier Cream. Shea butter is there to moisturize and the combination of oat kernel flour and calendula helps to calm and smooth stressed skin. This cream is also safe for sensitive skin.
- What we like: lightweight consistency, improves skin texture
- What we don’t like: not hydrating enough for dry skin
- What reviews say: works great for sensitive and acne-prone skin, repairs the skin barrier, leaves a glow
Ceramide type: ceramide 9 | Key ingredients: amino acids, calendula, shea butter, oat kernel flour, niacinamide | Main benefits: hydrating, softening, smoothing | Features: vegan, fragrance-free, mineral oil-free, dermatologist-tested, made in the USA
Lala Retro Whipped Cream is a perfect vegan ceramide moisturizer for dry and aging skin. Containing different African oils, it is a perfect moisture boost for the skin all year around. It gives immediate hydration while feeling light on the skin.
- What we like: firms fine lines, absorbs fast, plumps the skin
- What we don’t like: it’s expensive
- What reviews say: helps with small wrinkles, works great for different skin types, brightens the overall complexion
Ceramide type: ceramides 3, 6-II, 9, phytosphingosine | Key ingredients: African oil blend | Main benefits: softening, smoothing, moisturizing | Features: vegan, essential oils-free, silicone-free, fragrance-free, made in the USA
This is a great anti-aging vegan night treatment packed with different ceramides. It is affordable and easy to use. Containing three different ceramide types and hyaluronic acid, it is hydrating and soothing the skin.
It is suitable for all skin types, but we recommend this the most for dry and dull skin. This night treatment is meant to be used 2-3 times a week overnight.
- What we like: deep hydration, reduces fine lines, smooths the skin texture
- What we don’t like: makes the skin a little sticky at first
- What reviews say: great value for money, very moisturizing, works for different skin types
Ceramide type: ceramide 3, 6-II, 9| Key ingredients: multi-molecular hyaluronic acid 2.5% | Main benefits: hydrating, firming, moisturizing | Features: vegan, mineral oil-free, artificial fragrance-free, made in the USA
VaniCream Daily Facial Moisturizer is the closest vegan dupe to CeraVe moisturizers. Featuring vegan ceramides, vegan glycerin, and hyaluronic acid, this fragrance-free vegan moisturizer is great for hydrating all skin types, including sensitive skin.
- What we like: deep hydration, gentle ingredients, affordable
- What we don’t like: it’s a bit greasy for oily skin
- What reviews say: great hydration, gentle on the skin
Ceramide type: ceramide 2, 3, 4, 6-II, 9 | Key ingredients: glycerin, hyaluronic acid, squalane| Main benefits: hydrating, moisturizing | Features: vegan, mineral oil-free, fragrance-free, gluten-free, noncomedogenic, dermatologist-tested, made in the USA
This vegan moisturizer is ideal for hydrating and restoring the skin barrier. It is plant-based and helps to support lipid barriers. Containing sphingolipids, the cream helps to achieve smoother and healthier skin over time.
- What we like: a little goes a long way, deep moisturization
- What we don’t like: thick consistency takes time to absorb
- What reviews say: works great in different climates, leaves a healthy glow, smooths the skin texture
Ceramide type: sphingolipids | Key ingredients: linoleic acid, glycerin | Main benefits: softening, hydrating, nourishing | Features: vegan, gluten-free, artificial fragrance-free, dermatologist-tested, essential oils-free, alcohol-free, made in the USA
Other Vegan Ceramide Skincare Products
While ceramides work best in your moisturizer, you can also use other types of vegan ceramide products. Here are our favorite vegan ceramide skincare products.
- Vegan Ceramide Serum: Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Redness Relief Serum
- Vegan Ceramide Cleanser: Pacifica Beauty Vegan Ceramide Barrier Cleanser
- Vegan Ceramide Toner: Tonymoly Wonder Ceramide Mocchi Toner
- Vegan Ceramide Face Oil: Pai The Light Fantastic Organic Ceramide Face Oil
- Vegan Ceramide Eye Cream: Paula’s Choice Ceramide-Enriched Firming Eye Cream
- Vegan Ceramide Face Mask: Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Tencel Sheet Mask
- Vegan Ceramide Sunscreen: Supergoop! Daily Dose Hydra-Ceramide Boost SPF 40
- Vegan Ceramide Body Lotion: Pyunkang Yul Intensive Ceramide Lotion
- Vegan Ceramide Skincare Set: Pacifica Vegan Ceramide Skincare Set
Are Ceramides Vegan?
Ceramides in skincare are vegan and synthetically produced without animal ingredients or byproducts.
There are two types of ceramides, natural and synthetic. Natural ceramides are found in the outer layers of skin, both human and animal skin, and in plants like soy.
Synthetic ceramides are man-made. Because they’re more stable and purer than natural ceramides, synthetic ones are usually preferred by the skincare industry.
While ceramides in skincare are vegan, they can still contain animal-based ingredients. The most common ones are beeswax, honey, animal glycerin, stearic acid, and squalane.
Ceramide skincare can also be animal tested. To ensure your ceramide skincare is vegan and cruelty-free, always look for a vegan sticker or certified vegan label.
What To Look For In Vegan Ceramide Skincare?
When choosing vegan ceramide skincare, it is essential to pay attention to the type of ceramides used. There are 12 types of ceramides, named Ceramide 1 to 12.
- Ceramides 1 (EOS), 3 (NP), and 6-II (AP) are best for hydrating and moisturizing dry skin.
- Ceramide 1( EOS) and 3 (NP) together protect the skin from harmful environmental irritants.
- Ceramide 3 (NP) helps to improve skin barrier function in acne-prone skin.
- Ceramide 6-II (AP) is the most common ceramide and it helps to keep the skin hydrated and improve skin barrier strength.
- Ceramide 9 (EOP) softens the skin. This ingredient is combined with other ceramides to hydrate and give the most benefits.
Good-quality vegan ceramide skincare also contains phytosphingosine and sphingolipids. They are ceramide precursors that help the skin’s upper layer to produce more ceramides.
Ceramide precursors allow the skin to protect itself and feel moisturized and hydrated. Usually, the two precursors are combined with ceramides 1,3 and 6-II.
Here are some more tips on how to choose the right vegan ceramide skincare for your skin:
- For dry skin, we recommend vegan ceramide skincare that includes emollients like hyaluronic acid or vegan glycerin to keep the skin properly hydrated.
- If you look to improve overall skin health, choose vegan ceramide products that include retinol, peptides, or vitamin C. Ceramides also counteract the drying effect of retinol.
- With sensitive skin, avoid ceramide skincare products that include alcohol, harsh additives, or artificial fragrances. Rather pair ceramides with soothing ingredients like Centella Asiatica or chamomile.
FAQ About Vegan Ceramide Skincare
Ceramides in skincare are vegan-friendly. Nevertheless, ceramide skincare can include other animal ingredients such as beeswax and/or be tested on animals.
You can find a variety of vegan ceramide skincare products available on Amazon, Sephora, and Ulta.
The best vegan ceramide cream is Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream.
No. CeraVe tests its products on animals so none of its products can be considered vegan.
No. Elizabeth Arden is not a vegan-friendly company, plus the capsules include cholesterol from animals.
Hope you enjoyed our collection of vegan ceramide skincare. In 2023, it is easy to drop CeraVe and choose animal-friendly ceramide skincare instead.
Our favorite vegan ceramide moisturizers come from Klairs, Purito, Pacifica Beauty, and Drunk Elephant. We also love the vegan ceramide serum from Glow Recipe.
As more people discover the benefits of using ceramides in their skincare routine, we will keep updating this list with new vegan ceramide skincare products.
See also: Vegan Retinols
Main image: courtesy of Klairs
Update on May 04 (2023): Fact checked and medically reviewed by MD Shimona Garg
Update on February 19 (2023): Added more references