Best Vegan Serums 2022: Vegan Face Serums For Healthy Skin

By Liis Hainla. Updated: September 2022.
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Vegan Serums

Serums are a great way to pack your skin with essential active ingredients. Whatever your skin concern, you can always benefit from adding the right serum to your routine.

Looking for a serum that is vegan? We got you. We swear by these vegan serums from Youth To The People, Sunday Riley, Drunk Elephant, and other cult skincare brands.

Best Vegan Serums For 2022

These are the best vegan serums in 2022. Hydrate, nourish, soothe, or exfoliate – here are the most effective vegan face serums for every skin need.

Best Vegan Serum Overall

Youth To The People Triple Peptide + Cactus Serum

Youth To The People Triple Peptide + Cactus Vegan Serum
Courtesy of Youth To The People

This vegan peptide serum became our instant favorite. Made with skin-restoring peptides, the serum makes the skin look healthy, radiant, and plump with moisture. The serum also includes cactus – a plant that is able to bind moisture and provide long-lasting hydration.

While effective, the serum is surprisingly gentle on the skin. The fragrance-free vegan serum fits well under your moisturizer. If your skin is not too dry, you can also just follow it with SPF. We also love the fresh gel consistency that absorbs fast and does not leave a sticky film.

  • What we like: helps with fine lines, works great under makeup, a little goes a long way
  • What we don’t like: leaves a sticky feeling
  • What reviews say: skin feels more soft and tight, improves texture, hydrates

Key ingredients: 4D hyaluronic acid, triple bio-peptide blend, cactus stem, rambutan peel | Main benefits: plumping, smoothing, hydrating | Features: vegan, recyclable packaging, silicone-free, fragrance-free, made in the USA

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora

Best Organic Vegan Serum

Kora Organics Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum

Kora Organics Noni Bright Vitamin C Organic Vegan Serum
Courtesy of Kora Organics

Kora has made a beautiful organic vegan serum featuring stable vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, red pepper, and olive leaf extract. Bursting with antioxidants, this natural vegan serum makes your skin glow. It also offers good hydration and visibly reduces fine lines.

  • What we like: absorbs quickly, hydrates, skin starts to look more bright and glowy
  • What we don’t like: contains essential oils and alcohol
  • What reviews say: very gentle even for sensitive skin, helps with pigmentation and fine lines

Key ingredients: vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, olive leaf extract, red pepper | Main benefits: smoothing, brightening, firming | Features: vegan, climate neutral, artificial fragrance-free, artificial colors-free, GMO-free

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora

Best Exfoliating Vegan Serum

Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment

Sunday Riley Good Genes Vegan Lactic Acid Serum Exfoliating Vegan Serum
Courtesy of Sunday Riley

Good Genes is a high-quality vegan exfoliating serum from Sunday Riley. Made with vegan lactic acid, it buffs away dead skin cells and makes your skin much brighter and smoother as a result. The vegan serum also reduces wrinkles and dark spots.

Lactic acid is a fantastic AHA that benefits all skin types. It is especially suitable for dry and sensitive skin types because it renews the skin without irritation. Sensitive skin should nevertheless be careful and patch test before using.

  • What we like: skin feels softer and healthier, does not dry out sensitive skin 
  • What we don’t like: absorbs into the skin very slowly
  • What reviews say: makes spots and wrinkles less visible, skin starts to glow

Key ingredients: purified lactic acid, licorice, lemongrass, arnica, prickly pear extract, aloe | Main benefits: exfoliating, brightening, smoothing | Features: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, fragrance-free, made in the USA

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora

Best Affordable Vegan Serum

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum

The Ordinary Amino Acids + B5 Affordable Vegan Serum
Courtesy of The Ordinary

Most skin types can benefit from hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5. And this affordable vegan serum has combined the two in a simple yet effective formula to deliver deep hydration. It’s like a light and refreshing drink for your skin – affordable vegan skincare made right.

  • What we like: hydrates, absorbs quickly, skin looks brighter
  • What we don’t like: leaves a sticky feeling
  • What reviews say: helps with acne and scarring, good value for the price

Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, panthenol | Main benefits: hydrating, smoothing, plumping | Features: vegan, water-based, alcohol-free, gluten-free, oil-free, silicone-free, fragrance-free, made in Canada

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora

Best Anti-Aging Vegan Serum

Skyn Iceland Icelandic Youth Serum

Skyn Iceland Icelandic Youth Anti-Aging Vegan Serum
Courtesy of Skyn Iceland

Icelandic Youth Serum uses red microalgae called astaxanthin – an antioxidant 6000 times more powerful than vitamin C. This anti-aging vegan serum can really transform the skin tone and texture. It reduces fine lines, age spots, dryness, and dullness.

The vegan serum has also other impressive age-defying ingredients like Nobel-winning fullerene that fights free radical damage. While powerful, the serum is safe for sensitive skin. It is free of fragrance, parabens, silicones, PEGs, and artificial dyes.

  • What we like: leaves a nice refreshed feeling, improves skin texture, has a calming effect
  • What we don’t like: specific smell
  • What reviews say: cleans up pores, absorbs quickly, fine lines are less visible

Key ingredients: zinc PCA, fullerene, ergothioneine, camelina oil, astaxanthin, Icelandic complex | Main benefits: brightening, hydrating, balancing | Features: vegan, silicone-free, artificial fragrance-free, artificial color-free

Shop on: Amazon, Official Site

Best Vegan Serum For Dry Skin

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Vegan Serum For Dry Skin
Courtesy of Drunk Elephant

Dry skin will love this fragrance-free vegan face serum. Featuring vitamin B5, pineapple ceramides, and hyaluronic acid, the serum gives deep hydration and boosts the skin’s ability to retain moisture. We love how smooth and bouncy dry skin feels after using this.

  • What we like: works well with makeup, skin feels softer
  • What we don’t like: absorbs very slowly
  • What reviews say: skin feels dewier and plumped, lightweight consistency that can be easily worked with

Key ingredients: pineapple ceramide, pro-vitamin b5, hyaluronic acid, watermelon rind/apple/lentil complex, barberry extract | Main benefits: hydrating, brightening, nourishing | Features: vegan, essential oils-free, silicone-free, fragrance-free, made in the USA

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora

Best Vegan Serum For Oily Skin

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Serum

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Vegan Serum For Oily Skin
Courtesy of Dr. Dennis Gross

This bestselling vegan serum for oily skin clears congested pores with a powerful duo of salicylic acid and farnesol. We are impressed with how the serum controls sebum production and prevents future breakouts. What’s best, it also reduces blackheads and the look of pores.

  • What we like: helps with large pores, skin feels fresher
  • What we don’t like: takes a long time to see results, contains artificial fragrances
  • What reviews say: clears up pores, fine lines are less visible, helps with hormonal acne

Key ingredients: alpha beta acids, farnesol, phytic acid & pentasodium pentetate | Main benefits: pore perfecting, smoothing, oil balancing | Features: vegan, silicone-free, made in the USA

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora

Best Vegan Serum For Combination Skin

Bliss Glow & Hydrate Day Serum

Bliss Glow & Hydrate Vegan Serum For Combination Skin
Courtesy of Bliss

Glow & Hydrate vegan serum is ideal for combination skin. It hydrates dry areas while balancing oily areas with niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. We like how lightweight and refreshing the serum is. It also fits well under makeup and gives the skin a poreless look.

  • What we like: works great with makeup, great consistency
  • What we don’t like: contains artificial fragrances
  • What reviews say: leaves a glowy and silky touch on the skin, absorbs quickly

Key ingredients: special-grade niacinamide, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, aloe leaf juice | Main benefits: hydrating, smoothing, refreshing | Features: vegan, planet friendly, mineral oil-free

Shop on: Amazon, Ulta

Best Vegan Serum For Sensitive Skin

Pai Skincare Instant Kalmer Serum

Pai Skincare Instant Kalmer Vegan Serum For Sensitive Skin
Courtesy of Pai Skincare

This organic vegan serum is made for sensitive skin. Using ceramides and sea aster, the serum soothes and repairs sensitive and reactive skin. It also reduces redness. Vegan skincare from Pai is always free of fragrance, parabens, phthalates, and other potential irritants.

  • What we like: helps with redness, lightweight consistency, calms the skin
  • What we don’t like: it’s not hydrating enough for dry skin
  • What reviews say: works great for sensitive skin, helps with itchiness and dry spots on cheeks

Key ingredients: sea aster, Schisandra | Main benefits: soothing, hydrating, protecting | Features: vegan, fragrance-free, gluten-free, made in the UK

Shop on: Amazon, Official UK Site

Best Vegan Serum For Acne-Prone Skin

Balance Me Congested Skin Serum

Balance Me Congested Skin Vegan Serum For Acne-Prone Skin
Courtesy of Balance Me

Congested Skin Serum is great at clarifying blemishes and reducing inflammation. The vegan serum calms acne-prone skin with a variety of antibacterial actives. Even people with cystic acne have found this vegan serum to be helpful.

  • What we like: reduces pores, clears up breakouts
  • What we don’t like: contains essential oils
  • What reviews say: helps with hormonal acne, reduces redness and fine lines

Key ingredients: kanuka, may chang, eucalyptus, moringa | Main benefits: calming, nourishing, tightening | Features: vegan, artificial fragrance-free, petroleum-free, made in the UK

Shop on: Amazon, Official Site

Best Vegan Serum For Men

Bulldog Skincare Age Defense Serum

Bulldog Skincare Age Defense Vegan Serum For Men
Courtesy of Bulldog

Bulldog has made a fantastic vegan face serum for men. It hydrates and protects the skin with an antioxidant complex of rosemary, echinacea, and vitamin E. With that many skin vitamins, it will do a great job in protecting a man’s skin from photoaging.

  • What we like: softens the skin, great price value
  • What we don’t like: specific smell
  • What reviews say: moisturizes the skin, absorbs quickly, leaves a refreshed feeling

Key ingredients: rosemary, echinacea, vitamin E | Main benefits: firming, smoothing, nourishing | Features: vegan, artificial colors-free, artificial fragrance-free, made in the UK

Shop on: Amazon, Walmart

Vegan Serums By Concern

Vegan Serums By Concern
Courtesy of Glow Recipe

The vegan face serums below are specifically formulated to alleviate certain skin issues. See vegan serums for eczema, rosacea, acne scars, dark spots, and other concerns.

Vegan Serums By Ingredient

Vegan Serums By Ingredient
Courtesy of Youth To The People

Here is our selection of vegan face serums that feature a range of beneficial active ingredients. Find the best vegan vitamin C serum or vegan retinol for your skin.

Best Vegan Serum Brands

Best Vegan Serum Brands
Courtesy of Pacifica Beauty

Some skincare brands are more serum-oriented than others. Here are the best vegan serum brands for 2022. These companies have the best selection of vegan skin serums.

The Ordinary

The Ordinary is the king of vegan serums. The Canadian brand is entirely vegan, and you can try many different serums at cheap prices. Be it niacinamide, peptides, retinol, or vitamin C – the brand uses only effective active ingredients without needless fillers.

Shop on: Sephora, Ulta, Official Site

Sweet Chef

Sweet Chef is a Korean vegan skincare brand with a fun collection of vegan face serums. They match potent actives with healthy skin food like ginger, celery, beet, and kale. We love that the serums are also available in smaller shot sizes.

Shop on: Amazon, Cult Beauty, Official Site

Glow Recipe

Glow Recipe is the sister brand of Sweet Chef. While not 100% vegan, all their serums are vegan. Above all, we love their vegan hyaluronic acid serum, niacinamide serum, and pineapple glow serum.

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora, Official Site

Derma E

If you are looking for an affordable vegan serum, look no further. This Californian brand is fully vegan with clean and natural formulas. They have vegan serums for all skin types, our favorites being their anti-aging night serum, vitamin C serum, and calming CBD serum.

Shop on: Amazon, Ulta, Official Site

Pacifica Beauty

Another affordable vegan serum brand is Pacifica Beauty. You can enjoy a wide variety of vegan face serums made with amino acids, vegan ceramides, niacinamide, and other potent actives. We especially like their new Clean Shot serum range.

Shop on: Amazon, Ulta, Official Site

What Makes A Serum Vegan

What Makes A Serum Vegan
Courtesy of Glow Recipe

A vegan serum is a serum that is free from animal ingredients commonly used in skincare. Vegan serums are also never tested on animals.

The most common non-vegan ingredients in serums include beeswax, collagen, honey, and acetyl glucosamine as well as animal-based stearic acid, glycerin, pearl, and silk.

While serums are typically free of animal ingredients like lanolin and cholesterol, they often still include animal emollients, proteins, and different extracts.

When shopping for vegan skincare, prefer serums with a vegan label. You can also pick a serum from fully vegan brands like The Ordinary or Pacifica Beauty.

What To Look For In Vegan Serums

A vegan serum should always match your skin type. Otherwise, it cannot achieve what it was designed for, or worse – do more harm than good to your skin.

With dry skin, look for a hydrating vegan serum made with peptides, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, or ceramides. Plant seed oils are also good for dry and sensitive skin.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, steer clear of pore-clogging oil-based vegan serums. Good actives for oily skin are sebum-balancing retinol and niacinamide.

We also love exfoliating vegan serums. Dry skin can benefit greatly from vegan serums made with AHAs like lactic or glycolic acid. Oily skin loves BHA vegan serums (e.g. salicylic acid).

How We Review Vegan Serums

How We Review Vegan Serums
Courtesy of Kora Organics

In 2022, the selection of vegan serums is far and wide. To select the best options for our readers, we review vegan face serums based on these criteria:

  • Active ingredients – When it comes to serums, quality active ingredients are everything. We favor vegan serums that use at least one ingredient with a science-backed benefit. Some of the good options are vitamin C, retinol, peptides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid.
  • Use of chemicals – We prefer vegan serums with the least amount of chemicals to avoid potential skin irritation. We try to avoid sulfates, parabens, perfume, synthetic dyes, and mineral oils.
  • Consistency & Texture – For a vegan serum to work, it should be able to absorb deep into the skin and not linger on the surface. That only doesn’t apply to oil-based vegan serums and ceramide serums that have the goal of fixing or protecting the skin barrier.
  • Benefit over time – When using a vegan face serum regularly, you should see some changes in your skin. Be it more hydration, lightened dark spots, or reduced wrinkles – a serum should deliver at least one of its promises.

Why Trust Us

At Vegan Avenue, our team stays up-to-date with the latest vegan serums. We try out new vegan serums on a monthly basis and jot down our personal experiences.

Having reviewed vegan skincare for a few years now, we have a good overview of what distinguishes a good vegan serum from its competitors.

We also take into account the experience of other people. For that, we read hundreds of face serum reviews on Amazon, Sephora, Ulta, and other large online beauty sellers.

FAQ About Vegan Serums

Are serums vegan?

Not necessarily. Serums may include a variety of animal ingredients such as beeswax, collagen, or glucosamine. Serums can also be animal tested which makes them not vegan.

What makes a serum vegan?

Vegan serums use only plant extracts, plant oils, and vegetable glycerin. Vegan serums also use only vegan actives such as vegan peptides, ceramides, retinol, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. Vegan serums are never tested on animals.

Are The Ordinary serums vegan?

Yes. The Ordinary is a 100% vegan brand, so you will find only vegan serums in their selection.

Is Drunk Elephant C-Firma serum vegan?

No. C-Firma serum includes acetyl glucosamine from seashells.

Summary

What better way to pamper your skin than with a vegan serum. Vegan serums can pack your skin with the right plant-based nutrients to boost hydration, glow, and balance.

We love vegan serums from The Ordinary, Sunday Riley, Sweet Chef, Youth To The People, and many other cruelty-free and vegan brands. Hope you liked our selection.

As we find new vegan serums and vegan serums brands, we will add them to this list.

See also: Vegan Vitamin C Serums

Article updated on July 23 (2022): We redesigned the article to include only one best vegan serum for each skin type. New vegan serums were also added based on their key ingredients and the skin concerns they target. We also added a section on how we select the best vegan serums.

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.