As we all know by now, pimples and blackheads have nothing to do with poor hygiene.
There are many causes of acne which are particularly evident as a result of hormonal changes. Still, with the right skincare products, you are able to counteract the impurities.
To help you fight acne and blemishes, we have gathered the best vegan skincare for acne-prone skin. Find the right brands, products, and ingredients for your skin.
The Humane Company
Peace Out Skincare
The Inkey List
The Body Shop
Best Vegan Skincare Ingredients For Acne-Prone Skin
To recognize the best vegan acne creams and cleansers, we have put together a list of the best vegan ingredients for acne-prone skin. Some ingredients that are used to treat acne can also be used to prevent acne for acne-prone patients before acne appearance. And also for maintainence post acne.
- Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid occurs naturally in various plants and protects them from viruses, bacteria, and fungi. In skincare, salicylic acid is obtained from white willow or is synthetically produced. Salicylic acid is always vegan. Salicylic acid also has an anti-inflammatory effect. Thus, salicylic acid is great at treating blemishes.
- Willow Bark: The white willow tree extract contains salicin and is the gentler version of salicylic acid. This versatile ingredient is known to help minimize acne and reduce inflammation. White Willow Bark also helps keep the skin tighter and makes the pores look smaller.
- Niacinamide: Niacinamide or vitamin B3 has a positive effect on the skin’s ability to regenerate and help regulate sebum production. Niacinamide also has a calming effect. Thanks to these properties, vitamin B3 reduces signs of problematic skin conditions. In skincare, niacinamide is usually vegan-friendly.
- Retinol: Retinol aka vitamin A stimulates the skin’s ability to regenerate. It helps refine pores, reduce blemishes, and ensure a smoother complexion. In skincare, retinol is always vegan and synthetically derived. With more severe acne, your dermatologist can prescribe a stronger type of retinoid – retinal or retinoic acid.
- Benzoyl Peroxide: BPO is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and slightly comedolytic aka it dissolves blackheads. This makes it one of the most important active ingredients for the effective treatment of acne. Benzoyl peroxide is vegan.
- Tea Tree: Tea tree has healing properties and is considered a natural antibiotic. The reason for this is the high proportion of terpinene which is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, and supports wound healing.
- Sulfur: Sulfur dries out the skin surface reducing excess sebum and bacteria that may cause acne. The natural element makes a good vegan ingredient for spot treatment.
- Sage: Sage oil has linalyl acetate and geranyl and is known to help control excessive sebum production on the skin. It can also help prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Clay: Clay can kill bacteria and fungi, and absorb excess oil or sebum. A clay face mask is therefore particularly suitable for oily skin with acne.
What To Look For In Vegan Skincare For Acne-Prone Skin
Vegan skincare for acne-prone skin should be non-comedogenic, meaning it should not include oily pore-clogging ingredients.
Comedogenic ingredients include silicones, paraffin, and lanolin as well as some vegetable oils like coconut oil and cocoa butter. Vitamin E can also clog pores for acne-prone skin.
Other no-gos for vegan acne skincare are aggressive soaps, scrubs, or skin brushes. If possible, stay clear from artificial additives, skin-drying perfumes, and alcohol.
In addition, helpful keywords for acne-prone skin are dermatologically tested or clinically tested, non-greasy, and with balanced PH.
To make sure the vegan skincare products are safe, we also like to run them through the CosDNA database to see how they rank on the comedogenic and irritant scale.
Best Vegan Skincare Routine For Acne-Prone Skin
In the evening, clean your face and neck from makeup and all the dirt that has settled on the skin over the course of the day. Use a mild, soap-free, and fragrance-free vegan cleanser.
Alternate nights, you might want to exfoliate after cleansing when dealing with blackheads and congestion. Do not exfoliate more than three times a week.
In the morning, you can clean acne-prone skin with lukewarm water to prevent the formation of new acne. Remember, intensity is not as important as consistency.
After cleansing, use a vegan serum with blemish-reducing or acne-preventing ingredients, for example, niacinamide or retinol. Next, apply vegan sunscreen.
It is important to protect your skin from exposure to the sun. If your acne is treated with medication, your skin is particularly sensitive to the sun.
Last but not least, go for a hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic vegan moisturizer. If you also use vegan night cream, make sure it is made for acne-prone skin.
Do not nibble or squeeze the spots. We have a lot of bacteria on our hands that can make the condition worse. In the case of severe acne, please do not hesitate to consult a dermatologist.
Best Vegan Skincare Brands For Acne-Prone Skin
Here are our favorite brands that carry vegan skincare for acne-prone skin. Not all these brands are fully vegan but they nevertheless have great vegan skincare lines.
The collection has regular and extra-strength products depending on the severity of your acne. The Extra Strength line is especially praised in the skincare community.
We love the Clear moisturizer because it is oil-free and gives just enough hydration for blemish-prone skin. It also includes ceramides to calm redness.
Combine the moisturizer with a pore-normalizing vegan cleanser and liquid exfoliator with 2% salicylic acid. The brand also carries a wonderful vegan retinol serum.
Also, if you have stubborn body acne, Paula’s award-winning Clear Acne Body Spray is amazing. It clarifies problematic areas quickly and calms the skin.
- Clear Oil-Free Moisturizer: Amazon, Official Site
- Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser: Amazon, Official Site
- Clear Extra Strength Exfoliating Solution: Amazon, Official Site
- Clear Acne Body Spray: Amazon, Official Site
- Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment: Amazon, Official Site
The Humane Company
The Humane Company specializes in vegan acne treatments. They use only clean and non-toxic ingredients and everything is dermatologically tested.
Their Maximum-Strength acne wash with 10% benzoyl peroxide has become a hit vegan cleanser. For mild acne, the cleanser is also available as Regular Strength with 5% BPO.
We suggest you pair the acne wash with Humane’s oil-free vegan moisturizer and clarifying toner for a wholesome skincare routine. Their acne treatment gel is also really good.
- Maximum-Strength Acne Wash: Amazon, Walmart
- Oil-Free Moisturizer: Amazon, Walmart
- Clarifying Toner: Amazon, Walmart
- Acne Spot Treatment Gel: Amazon, Walmart
Peace Out Skincare
Peace Out is a fun brand that makes amazing spot-treating skincare products. Its acne dots and pore strips are even patented. Peace Out is also a PETA-certified vegan company.
We can’t get over their healing dots and treatment strips that offer a quick solution for blemishes and enlarged pores. The brand uses salicylic acid and retinol as active ingredients.
In addition to skincare stickers, the vegan brand has an excellent serum for daily use with niacinamide and vitamin c. The serum is both healing and acne-preventing.
They also carry an ultra-concentrated vegan retinol stick that targets pores, wrinkles, and fine lines. The stick goes well with the rest of the acne-prone skin routine.
- Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Dots: Sephora, Official Site
- Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Serum: Official Site
- Oil-Absorbing Pore Treatment Strips: Sephora, Official Site
- Retinol Face Stick: Sephora, Official Site
Acure is a vegan brand that mainly uses organic ingredients and ignores over 100 shady ingredients. Acne-prone skin will love the clean ingredient list.
Acure Incredibly Clear collection includes the best ingredients for acne and acne scars. Acure uses salicylic acid, white willow bark, aloe, clay, and so many other great actives.
Its mattifying moisturizer is the best for acne-prone skin. It nourishes the skin leaving it smooth and clear. Lilac extract and chlorella help with face tone and texture.
Other products we love are the acne spot treatment that fights spots with salicylic acid, and cleansing clay that cleans deeply with charcoal and volcanic lava ash.
- Incredibly Clear Mattifying Moisturizer: Amazon, Target
- Incredibly Clear Charcoal Lemonade Cleansing Clay: Amazon, Target
- Incredibly Clear Acne Spot Treatment Gel: Amazon
The Inkey List
British skincare brand The Inkey List creates affordable products from tested and true ingredients. They have many bestselling vegan products for acne-prone skin.
When struggling with breakouts, we recommend The Inkey List blemish treatment because it has succinic acid. The treatment works best with the brand’s salicylic acid cleanser.
If you are looking for a trustworthy vegan face mask for blemish-prone skin, we like the kaolin clay mask. It’s not heavy but strong enough to cleanse and clarify the skin.
Keep in mind that The Inkey List is cruelty-free but not always vegan. Every vegan product is marked with a vegan society mark on their website.
- Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment: Sephora, Cult Beauty
- Salicylic Acid Cleanser: Sephora, Cult Beauty
- Kaolin Clay Mask: Sephora, Cult Beauty
The Body Shop
The Body Shop offers good quality skincare products at a reasonable price. Their Tea Tree series is fully vegan and works great for problematic and acne-prone skin.
The entire Tea Tree range is designed to remove excess oil and achieve a clear, matte complexion. It also reduces acne scars and prevents future breakouts.
If you like mattifying toners, then their Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner is our favorite. It leaves a pleasantly flushing feeling and makes the facial skin matte but does not dry it.
Tea Tree series products act best together. If you want to clear your complexion, we recommend adding the toner to your routine along with the facial wash, night lotion, and clay mask.
- Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash: Amazon, Official Site
- Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner: Amazon, Official Site
- Tea Tree Hydrating Night Lotion: Amazon, Official Site
- Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask: Amazon, Official Site
Vegan skincare brand Derma E has formulated Anti-Acne Treatment System to provide the best possible care for acne-prone skin. The central active ingredient is salicylic acid.
The main anti-acne ingredients for Derma E are salicylic acid and tea tree. We also love that the company utilizes antibacterial sulfur in its vegan spot treatment.
If you are looking for a moisturizer that could control the formation of oil, Derma E offers a great matte face cream. It has salicylic acid along with non-comedogenic jojoba oil.
- Anti-Acne Deep Pore Cleansing Wash: Amazon, Ulta, Official Site
- Anti-Acne Oil-Control Matte Moisturizer: Ulta, Official Site
- Anti-Blemish Sulfur Spot Treatment: Ulta, Official Site
- Anti-Blemish Clarifying Bi-Phase Toner: Amazon, Official Site
Pacifica’s Pore Warrior scrub is our favorite vegan scrub for acne-prone skin. While many face scrubs are too intense, this one exfoliates gently and hydrates with niacinamide.
We also recommend the Acne Defense face wash that is suitable for daily use. It includes niacinamide, salicylic acid, and aloe to clean, clear, and brighten the skin.
When it comes to spots, Pacifica’s Gel Spot Treatment is good for a quick fix. It is designed to get rid of the blemishes and reduce the look of a spot.
- Pore Warrior Soft Scrub: Amazon, Ulta, Official Site
- Pore Warrior Everyday Lotion: Amazon, Ulta, Official Site
- Acne Defense Face Wash: Amazon, Ulta, Official Site
- Dry It Out Acne Gel Spot Treatment: Amazon, Ulta, Official Site
Juice Beauty is an American skincare brand that creates skincare with organic botanical components. All Juice Beauty skincare products are vegan, except for lip balms.
Juice Beauty has a good Acne Blemish Treatment collection designed to both clarify and hydrate. They use ingredients like fruit acids, salicylic acid, sage, and willow bark.
Their vegan cleanser, serum, and moisturizer make the perfect everyday routine for acne-prone skin. The cleanser is thorough yet gentle prepares the skin for additional care.
The Juice Beauty oil-free moisturizer has SPF30 but we recommend using separate sunscreen in addition to ensure stronger and longer protection.
- SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer: Amazon, Official Site
- Blemish Clearing Cleanser: Amazon, Official Site
- Blemish Clearing Serum: Amazon, Official Site
- Bamboo Pore Refining Mask: Amazon, Official Site
Best Vegan Skincare Products For Acne-Prone Skin
If you would like to mix and match, here are some of our most beloved vegan acne skincare products.
Best Vegan Moisturizer For Acne-Prone Skin
This beautiful non-comedogenic vegan moisturizer hydrates acne-prone skin and leaves it looking clear and matte. In addition to salicylic acid, it includes lilac extract and chlorella to improve face tone and texture.
Shop on: Amazon
Best Vegan Night Cream For Acne Prone Skin
This overnight vegan lotion does three things: it hydrates acne-prone skin, balances sebum production, and clarifies blemishes. Even though it has a refreshing minty scent, the lotion is perfectly suitable for sensitive acne-prone skin as well.
Best Vegan Serum For Acne-Prone Skin
The calming vegan gel serum fights acne and reduces inflammation without irritation or dryness. It includes Kanuka and Moringa to clear congestion and puffiness. We also appreciate the eucalyptus which offers freshness with a soothing effect.
Best Vegan Cleanser For Acne-Prone Skin
The vegan cleanser is the best for acne-prone skin. It gets rid of dead skin cells and leaves the skin clean but not dry. The cleanser includes benzoyl peroxide – a clarifying ingredient we swear by. The face wash also comes in Regular Strength.
Best Vegan Toner For Acne-Prone Skin
Our favorite vegan toner for acne-prone skin has triple power with salicylic acid, tea tree, and niacinamide. It clears acne while softening and hydrating the skin. Its most interesting ingredient is colloidal silver which has great antibacterial properties.
Best Vegan Exfoliator For Acne-Prone Skin
This leave-on salicylic acid exfoliant is our favorite vegan exfoliator for acne-prone skin. The liquid formula clears blemishes and cleans pores, even for cystic acne. With mild acne, you can also try the Regular Strength version.
Best Vegan Scrub For Acne-Prone Skin
Pore Warrior scrub exfoliates, brightens, and cleanses acne-prone skin. It gets rid of daily dirt and dead skin cells. The gentle vegan scrub includes high-powered niacinamide as well as papaya, mint, and cucumber making it smell heavenly.
Best Vegan Spot Treatment For Acne-Prone Skin
The vegan acne treatment gel treats blemishes and clears skin with prescription-grade salicylic acid. It clears pores from bacteria, congestion, and prevents future breakouts. The product feels super light and refreshing yet it can clear up the skin in a day or two.
Shop on: Amazon
Best Vegan Face Mask For Acne-Prone Skin
When used a few to three times a week, this vegan clay mask helps fight acne, reduce breakouts, and clear the skin. The best thing is its versatility. The vegan face mask includes natural herbs to nourish, aloe vera to soothe, and avocado to hydrate.
Shop on: Amazon
Best Vegan Sunscreen For Acne-Prone Skin
This lightweight vegan sunscreen features a zinc oxide blend that absorbs UVB rays and reflects UVA. We appreciate the triple protection as added winter cherry and blueberry extracts protect the skin from pollution. It’s great for acne-prone and sensitive skin.
Best Vegan Skincare Kit For Acne-Prone Skin
Acne-prone skin should definitely try the Paula’s Choice Extra Strength Kit. The vegan kit is designed to stop the breakout cycle. It fights bacteria and blemishes, reduces redness, and refines pores with effective ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
FAQ About Vegan Skincare For Acne-Prone Skin
Yes, vegans can also get acne. While the vegan diet removes some potential acne-inducing ingredients like dairy, vegans can still get acne for a variety of other reasons such as hormonal changes or stress.
Vegan skincare is not necessarily better or worse for acne. Today, you can simply find many great skincare lines for acne-prone skin that happen to be vegan-friendly.
The best vegan-friendly ingredients for acne-prone skin include salicylic acid, niacinamide, retinol, tea tree, benzoyl peroxide, and clay.
You can find the best selection of vegan skincare for acne-prone skin from Paula’s Choice, The Inkey List, The Body Shop, Derma E, Pacifica, Acure, Juice Beauty, and Peace out.
The best vegan moisturizer for acne-prone skin is Acure Incredibly Clear Mattifying Moisturizer.
The best vegan cleanser for acne-prone skin is Humane Maximum-Strength Acne Wash (also available as Regular-Strength).
You will find the best selection of vegan skincare for acne-prone skin online – especially on Amazon, Sephora, and Ulta.
The key skincare ingredients for acne-prone skin, be it salicylic acid, retinol, or benzoyl peroxide, are vegan-friendly. So vegan skincare works well in reducing acne and blemishes.
For acne-prone skin, it is most important to stick to a consistent vegan skincare routine.
Clean daily, exfoliate from time to time, apply only hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested products, and do not forget the sunscreen.
If you have a serious skin problem, it is always a good idea to see a dermatologist who can give you the most accurate instructions for creating the right skincare routine.
Article update on May 02 (2023): Fact checked and medically reviewed by MD Shimona Garg
Article update on February 17 (2023): Added more references