Serums are a great way to pack your skin with essential active ingredients. Whatever your skin concern, you can 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.
All products below are vegan and cruelty-free, meaning they are free of animal-derived ingredients and have not been tested on animals. 💚
Vegan Serums By Concern
Vegan Serums By Ingredient
Vegan Serum Brands
Best Vegan Serums For 2023
These are the best vegan serums in 2023. Hydrate, nourish, soothe, or exfoliate – here are the most effective vegan face serums for every skin need.
- Best Overall: Youth To The People Triple Peptide + Cactus Serum
- Best Organic: Kora Organics Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum
- Best Exfoliating: Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment
- Best Affordable: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum
- Best Anti-Aging: Paula’s Choice Clinical Retinol + Bakuchiol Treatment
- Best For Dry Skin: Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum
- Best For Oily Skin: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Serum
- Best For Combination Skin: Bliss Glow & Hydrate Day Serum
- Best For Sensitive Skin: Pai Skincare Instant Kalmer Serum
- Best For Acne-Prone Skin: Balance Me Congested Skin Serum
- Best For Men: Bulldog Skincare Age Defense Serum
Best Vegan Serum Overall
1. Youth To The People Triple Peptide + Cactus Serum
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. Read our full review here.
- What we like: helps with fine lines, works great under makeup, a little goes a long way
- What we don’t like: sticky texture
- 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
Best Organic Vegan Serum
2. Kora Organics Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum
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
Best Exfoliating Vegan Serum
3. Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment
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
Best Affordable Vegan Serum
4. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum
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, panthenol (B5) | Main benefits: hydrating, smoothing, plumping | Features: vegan, water-based, alcohol-free, gluten-free, oil-free, silicone-free, fragrance-free, made in Canada
Best Anti-Aging Vegan Serum
5. Paula’s Choice Clinical 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment
Paula’s Choice has created the best vegan anti-aging serum. It’s a fantastic vegan serum for mature skin as it visibly reduces wrinkles and fine lines and evens the skin tone. I love how it refreshes my skin in the evening and the skin feels so smooth by morning.
This vegan face treatment is a powerful anti-aging cocktail of retinol, bakuchiol, peptides, and vitamin C. While the retinol concentration is moderate, bakuchiol amplifies the retinol’s wrinkle-fighting effects without any irritation. Read our full review here.
- What we like: reduces wrinkles and dark spots, a little goes a long way
- What we don’t like: it’s expensive
- What reviews say: skin is brighter and smoother by morning, hydrates and firms the skin effectively, a non-irritating retinol product
Key ingredients: retinol, bakuchiol, peptides, vitamin C, ceramides, hyaluronic acid | Main benefits: firming, smoothing, hydrating | Features: vegan, clean, airtight packaging, fragrance-free, made in the USA
Best Vegan Serum For Dry Skin
6. Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum
Dry skin will love this fragrance-free vegan serum for face. 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
Best Vegan Serum For Oily Skin
7. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Serum
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
- 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, artificial fragrance-free, made in the USA
Best Vegan Serum For Combination Skin
8. Bliss Glow & Hydrate Day Serum
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
Best Vegan Serum For Sensitive Skin
9. Pai Skincare Instant Kalmer Serum
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
10. Balance Me Congested Skin Serum
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
11. Bulldog Skincare Age Defense Serum
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 of 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
Vegan Serums By Concern
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.
- Best For Eczema: Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum
- Best For Rosacea: Ren Evercalm Redness Relief Serum
- Best For Irritation: Purito Centella Unscented Serum
- Best For Acne: Peace Out Skincare Acne Serum
- Best For Scars: Murad Invisiscar Resurfacing Treatment
- Best For Dark Spots: Eminence Bright Skin Licorice Root Booster Serum
- Best For Pores: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Serum
- Best For Wrinkles: Juice Beauty Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Overnight Serum
Vegan Serums By Ingredient
Here is our selection of vegan serums for face featuring a range of beneficial active ingredients. Find the best vegan vitamin C serum or vegan retinol for your skin.
- With Vitamin C: Youth To The People 15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum
- With Retinol: Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment
- With Bakuchiol: Acure Radically Rejuvenating Dual Phase Bakuchiol Serum
- With Ceramides: Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum
- With Peptides: Biossance Squalane + Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum
- With Glycolic Acid: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Night Serum
- With Lactic Acid: Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment
- With Azelaic Acid: Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster
- With Salicylic Acid: The Inkey List Beta Hydroxy Acid Serum
- With Hyaluronic Acid: Dermalogica Circular Hydration Serum
- With Niacinamide: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
- With Vegan Collagen: Derma E Advanced Peptides & Flora-Collagen Serum
- With SPF: Everyday Humans Resting Beach Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Serum
Best Vegan Serum Brands
Some skincare brands are more serum-oriented than others. Here are the best vegan serum brands for 2023. These companies have the best selection of vegan skin serums.
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 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 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
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
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
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
In 2023, 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 serum for face 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.
Vegan Serum Comparison
|Brand||Product||Type||Key Ingredients||Main Benefits|
|Youth To The People||Triple Peptide + Cactus Serum||Overall||4D Hyaluronic Acid, Peptides||Hydrating, Plumping, Smoothing|
|Kora Organics||Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum||Overall||Vitamin C||Smoothing, Brightening, Firming|
|Sunday Riley||Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment||Exfoliating||Lactic Acid||Exfoliating, Brightening|
|The Ordinary||Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum||Affordable||Hyaluronic Acid, B5||Hydrating, Smoothing|
|Paula’s Choice||Clinical 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment||Anti-Aging||Retinol, Bakuchiol, Peptides, Vitamin C||Firming, Smoothing|
|Drunk Elephant||B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum||For Dry Skin||Pineapple Ceramide, Pro-Vitamin B5||Hydrating, Brightening|
|Dr. Dennis Gross||Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Serum||For Oily Skin||Alpha Beta Acids, Farnesol||Pore Perfecting, Smoothing|
|Bliss||Glow & Hydrate Day Serum||For Combination Skin||Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid||Hydrating, Smoothing|
|Pai Skincare||Instant Kalmer Serum||For Sensitive Skin||Sea Aster, Schisandra||Soothing, Hydrating|
|Balance Me||Congested Skin Serum||For Acne-Prone Skin||Kanuka, May Chang||Calming, Nourishing|
|Bulldog Skincare||Age Defense Serum||For Men||Rosemary, Echinacea||Firming, Smoothing|
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
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.
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.
Yes. The Ordinary is a 100% vegan brand, so you will find only vegan serums in their selection.
No. C-Firma serum includes acetyl glucosamine from seashells.
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: Best Vegan Skincare Products, Vegan Vitamin C Serums
Article update on May 05 (2023): Fact checked and medically reviewed by MD Shimona Garg.
Article update on February 18 (2023): Added a reference to support serum benefits.
Update on February 10 (2023): Replaced Skyn Iceland Icelandic Youth Serum (which is discontinued) with Paula’s Choice Clinical Retinol + Bakuchiol Treatment as the best anti-aging vegan serum.
Update on November 26 (2022): Added a comparison table.
Update 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.