Just about all of us depend on a daily skin care routine that involves moisturizer! It is THE cornerstone of all beauty regimes…
So, it’s pretty important to find a cruelty free moisturizer that works for both you and the environment. Which is why we’re making a list of our favorites.
All in support of positive, healthy and environmentally conscious choices which reflect our own values when it comes to buying body care products. Vegan and cruelty-free moisturizers from brands that care about sustainability!
APPROACH TO VEGAN, CRUELTY-FREE MOISTURIZERS
If this is your first time visiting, our approach to sustainable beauty is to look for brands and products that are:
- organic / natural
- palm oil free
- have ethical ingredient sourcing policies and
- use thoughtful, (ideally) zero waste/compostable packaging
We know it’s tall order and believe us, it takes a fair bit of time to find these brands to meet all or most criteria.
While we hope to provide a useful resource for you, we would also love to hear your thoughts and suggestions if we missed anything or if you have any experience with these brands, as we have not had the chance to try them all…yet.
BEST VEGAN, CRUELTY FREE MOISTURIZER FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
If your skin is prone to redness, irritation, itchiness, tenderness or is just generally sensitive, it’s often a sign of an underlying condition, like eczema, rosacea or using a product that strips the skin’s natural oils.
To give your skin the best chance of recovery, it’s best to use a natural and nourishing cruelty-free moisturizer (without fragrances, which can often irritate sensitive skin).
We’d recommend Good Juju Herbal Skin Food. Their moisturizers are made in small batches with no preservatives using ingredients that are plant-based, food-grade, organic and locally sourced when possible.
Of course, if your symptoms are severe then we’d definitely recommend a visit to a dermatologist.
BEST VEGAN, CRUELTY FREE MOISTURIZER FOR MATURE OR DRY SKIN
The Answer is Ethique.
This brand hails from New Zealand. We absolutely love them. Not just because they’re zero waste but also because their products are really effective.
And for those with mature skin or just naturally dry skin, they’ve got the perfect solution – The Perfector. It’s specifically branded as the Dreamy Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizer for Dry to Mature Skin but we’ve used it all over. It’s made with coconut oil, kokum and cupuacu butters (both of which have substantial essential fatty acids).
For more info on Ethique, scroll down the list!
BEST VEGAN, CRUELTY FREE MOISTURIZER WITH SPF
A cruelty free moisturizer with SPF is a huge time saver so you don’t have to apply sunscreen (and moisturizer)!
If you spend time outdoors, work outdoors or just live in a sun rich country like we do – Australia this is a beauty hack that more people should get onto.
We’d recommend either Acure’s Radically Rejuvenating SPF Day Cream with an SPF of 30 (a crueltyfree, vegan, palm oil free option).
For dedicated vegan cruelty-free vegan sunscreen options check out our article: Cruelty Free, Sustainable & Vegan Sunscreen: Saving Your Skin and the Planet One Tan at a Time. For those who love a swim in the sea, there’s some reef friendly products just for you.
BEST ORGANIC FACE MOISTURIZER
Since starting Sustainable Jungle back in mid 2017, we’ve tested a LOT of different ethical cosmetics and creams (and everything in between).
On this specific list, we’ve tried multiple products from each brand except Fat and the Moon and Good Juju Herbal. Both of which we’ve heard excellent things!
So, if we had to pick the best organic face moisturizer it would have to be (in no particular order):
- Dirt Hippie Cosmetics Organic Vegan Moisturizer. There are 3 different formulations to choose from depending on your skin type (oily and acne prone skin, dry and combination skin types and mature and sensitive skin types). We’re currently using the dry and combination skin types. It’s light yet moisturizing enough for a winter – this is our go-to at the moment as we live in Australia and can buy it locally.
- MuLondon Fragrance Free Moisturizer. We preferred no scent but others may want to try the variety of options (hullo white chocolate truffle!) . We used MuLondon heaps while living in London and really loved it!
ZERO WASTE LOTION
If zero waste is your schtick (and it certainly is ours!), we’ve already mentioned one brand above (Ethique) that nails it. They make a variety of vegan, palm oil free and cruelty free moisturizers that come in a bar form form.
For another impressive zero waste brand, have a look at Dirty Hippie below.
They make an assortment of skin care products like zero waste lotion, brightening serums and organic facial vegan and cruelty-free moisturizers. All the while maintaining a climate neutral status and enabling packaging returns and refills.
1. FAT AND THE MOON
About Fat and Moon
Fat and the Moon offer a HUGE selection of beauty and personal care products.
Drawing inspiration from herbalists and natural healers, Fat and the Moon creates all natural, mostly organic (and they’re very clear about noting which items are organic on each product page, which we appreciate) “potions” that prioritize healing and “empowerment through self-care”.
All products are hand-made fresh to order (because “body products, like food, are not meant to last forever!”) using only “plants that are abundant, ethically harvested and organically cultivated and combine them in formulations that are radically non-toxic”.
All Fat and the Moon products are cruelty free, palm oil free and most are also vegan friendly (except for their eye coals and lip stains which contain beeswax).
All ingredients are cruelty-free and ethically sourced and every single product comes in reusable tins and are shipped without superfluous packaging. Their packaging is re-usable, and they:
“encourage customers to find fun and creative ways of reusing our jars. We design packaging to be a joy to reuse and a breeze to recycle.”
Fat and the Moon is a women owned and run business. They also support various charities and causes in their community.
“We should take as much care selecting the things we put on our bodies as we do in shopping for the foods we put in them” says founder Rachel Budde.
“The goal of Fat and the Moon is to make that a pleasure!”
2. MULONDON ORGANIC – CRUELTY-FREE MOISTURIZER
MuLondon is a skincare specialist brand that focus entirely on moisturizers and cleansers which are all made in London.
Not only are their products some of the best we’ve tried but they’re also a Leading-Edge brand, with accreditation and certifications from Choose Cruelty Free, Leaping Bunny, Soil Association, The Vegan Society, Certified B Corp and 1% For The Planet.
3. DIRTY HIPPY VEGAN MOISTURIZERS
About Dirty Hippie
Hailing from Bywong, Australia, Dirty Hippie Cosmetics are one of the most sustainable brands we’ve had the pleasure of covering. They create handmade organic and clearly top quality products (based on hundreds of super reviews).
They’re a 100% cruelty-free and vegan friendly brand. At the time of writing, their supplier of Olive and Coconut oils (aka Cetearyl and Sorbitan olivates) no longer guarantees them to be palm oil free. While Dirty Hippie is looking for a 100% Palm Oil Free alternative supplier, for the time being that change affects their moisturiser.
When it comes to sourcing they’ve covered all bases, either purchasing through fair trade channels, buying local or growing their own raw ingredients!
As for packaging, they haven’t skipped a beat, their lip balms, sunscreens, deodorants and small and large eco tubs are made using recycled paper (which can be composted!), otherwise they use tins and glass bottles which can be recycled or reused of course!
Their labels are printed with refillable veg-ink and their operations (which currently have a 50% carbon offset) will be powered with solar when they move into their new HQ. They are based in a zero waste community (read more about it here).
Their lab also makes use of naturally collected rain water! Finally, they’re involved in a number of charitable initiatives and projects from raising awareness for suicide prevention to animal rescue to support for cancer sufferers. Truly inspirational
4. CONSCIOUS SKINCARE DAILY MOISTURIZER
About Conscious Skincare
Conscious Skincare is one of the most impressive brands we’ve come across. Founded by the lovely Rebecca who so kindly took the time to write us a detailed breakdown of the brand’s ethos.
Conscious Skincare has a great range of day and night moisturizers, all of which are cruelty free and vegan friendly. They’re Leaping Bunny certified, Vegetarian society certified and none of their products contain palm oil or palm oil derivatives.
They also have put a huge amount of thought and care into their packaging to ensure it’s recyclable. Their impressive product range is award winning and definitely worth checking out.
5. ETHIQUE FACE BARS
As mentioned above, Ethique this fairly new brand (2015) originates from New Zealand, Christchurch. Thankfully their products have been made available around the world.
They specialize in all things bar related or rather they have a range of products that all come in bar form (from facial cleansers to scrubs to natural deodorants and of course moisturizing bars)!
Besides the very impressive response to their product range they’re also super focused on sustainability.
As mentioned above, they’re not only certified cruelty free and vegan, but also palm oil free, plastic free and use minimal, sustainable and biodegradable (make sure you toss this in your compost!) packaging for everything.
All Ethique’s ingredients are naturally derived, free from parabens, petroleum by-products, palm oil (and its derivatives), synthetic fragrances, formaldehyde donors. They do use some preservatives and plant derived chemicals – see the full ingredient list here.
They’re also certified climate neutral AND donate either 2% of revenue or 20% of profit (whichever is higher) to charity. How good is that?! Seriously. Check our their story here for more info.
6. GOOD JUJU HERBAL FACE MOISTURIZER
Note: While Good Juju Herbal’s face moisturiser is vegan, a small number of their other products contain locally sourced beeswax
About Good Juju Herbal
Good Juju Herbal hails from North Carolina, USA. The products are handmade by the wonderful Judith who started Good Juju Herbal when she discovered she was allergic to 17 common household chemicals.
Good Juju Herbal has a range of products including skincare, petcare, soaps, facemasks and scrubs.
They’re 100% natural (i.e. truly natural and free of chemical compounds found in products that irritate sensitive skin). They’re also cruelty free and most of their products are vegan friendly (including their face moisturiser), save for a few that contain locally sourced beeswax.
They’re also 100% palm oil free and focus on ethical sourcing, supporting local farmers.
They’re super impressive when it comes to waste – they’ve recently moved all their products into glass containers which are reusable and widely recyclable. They also offer package free options for some of their products (great for those striving for a zero waste lifestyle) and use all recyclable/compostable shipping supplies.
Their gift wrap is also multipurpose so all of their linen bags can double as travel bags.
They reuse almost all shipping supplies sent to them, or they separate and recycle them to make their internal office system as low waste as possible. Impressively, they’re also installing solar panels to make their workshop solar powered.
Judith is clearly also very passionate about her “Happy Skin Project”, a program to provide free and discounted soap to people currently under going chemotherapy – read more about it here.
7. P.T. PURE ORGANICS ROSEHIP + HEMP OIL FACE OIL
About P.T Pure Organics
She is passionate about making safe, natural products that work.
Their entire range is 100% cruelty-free from from supplier through to finished product and are mostly vegan (except for a few that contain organic beeswax).
They’re also 100% palm oil and palm oil derivative free and only contain 100% natural ingredients. They choose their ingredients and suppliers carefully to ensure they are ethically sourced, and environmentally responsible.
As for plastic waste: “packaging is done in glass and paperboard, with minimal plastic use. Everything can be recycled or reused and is safe for your product inside. Our labels can be removed from our glass jars to make them pretty for reusing for things like vitamins, earrings, seed saving, food storage, etc. Our shipping materials are made from post-consumer recycled materials and can be 100% recycled or reused”.
They also aim to create as minimal waste as possible, recycling and composting incoming shipping materials. Their Face Oil is clearly a much loved product with tons of great reviews on Etsy and made with some delicious ingredients like rosehip and hemp.
8. ACURE ORGANICS DAY CREAMS
About Acure Organics
Based in the USA, Acure Organics is a family owned business specialising in skincare, hair care and body care.
Their products are cruelty-free, vegan, palm oil free and use as many USDA certified organic ingredients as possible.
Interestingly, Acure also use plant stem cells across their range. The jury is still out on the effectiveness of this new biotech in beauty products.
They have a selection of creams appropriate for day use including the “Seriously Soothing” day cream (previously the Sensitive Facial Cream).
9. BOODA BUTTER ALL IN ONE PURE DAILY MOISTURIZER
About Booda Organics
Based in Bellingham, just north of Seattle, Booda Organics was founded in 2010. They’re a family business that was inspired to create healthy and effective handmade products to purify and simplify their lives.
Booda Organics has exceptional ethical and sustainable policies and initiatives. They are certified UDSA organic, Leaping Bunny certified, Vegan certified by Vegan.org. Their products are also non-GMO and gluten free.
10. PURE CHIMP NATURAL FACE OIL
About Pure Chimp
Based in the UK, Pure Chimp make a range of products, largely made from Matcha, including Matcha Tea and Natural Skincare.
Their products are all cruelty-free and vegan (certified by teh Vegan Society) and their entire range is palm oil-free. Their ingredient are all entirely natural (although not organic).
Pure Chimp are a member of 1% For The Planet and The Living Wage Foundation and they also donate 5% of their profits to charity, specifically for Chimpanzees via savethechimps.org.
Pure Chimp responded to our request for information about their policies but did not elaborate on their sourcing policies. We assume they source ethically, but this hasn’t been confirmed.
We tried this moisturizing face oil while living in London and we both loved it, super light but very nourishing and not greasy, did just as good a job, if not better than other much more expensive moisturizers we tried. And a little goes a long way.
11. EARTH TU FACE FACE SERUM
*Note: Not all Earth Tu Face products are suitable for vegans (some include organic beeswax or honey)
About Earth Tu Face
Earth Tu Face was created in 2010 by Sarah Buscho and Marina Storm “in a California kitchen and herbal garden”. They are a 100% natural skincare line, free of toxins and synthetic compounds.
Earth Tu Face Products are all cruelty-free, palm oil (and derivative) free and are made from organic, wild-harvested ingredients, some of which come from their own garden.
All their products are vegan (including the face serum on this list) except for their Skin Stick, Face Balm, Honey Mask, Vanilla Peppermint Lip Balm, and Botanical Perfumes. These are the products that contain honey and/or beeswax.
Their packaging is made mostly from reusable/recyclable glass (here’s a nice article they wrote about ways to reuse their packaging) and a some of their products come in compostable card. For Zero Wasters, Earth Tu Face offer refills of handmade products upon request. They are also working on having a refillable option for every product in the line so watch this space.
For shipping, their third party fulfillment center is woman-owned and reuses packaging like peanuts and bubble wrap that comes to them with other shipments.
For us, the most impressive thing about Earth Tu Face is their approach to Ethical Sourcing, this is what they had to say: “Sustainability is an integral part of Earth Tu Face. When we formulate, we always take plant populations and farming practices into account. We will not bring a product into the world that threatens habitats or the environment. We don’t see any upside in doing so. Ensuring ethical sourcing takes research, in-depth calls with suppliers, and in some cases in-person visits. High quality ingredients and ethical sourcing also comes at a higher expense, and can alienate some customers who cannot afford or do not want to pay the price of products made to these standards. However, it’s more important to us to create ethical products we can proudly stand behind. We are a tiny company made up of 4 women, and so there is nowhere for our values to get lost down the supply chain or chain of command. We all fiercely believe in making the best choices for the environment and for ourselves — because there really is no separation between the two. We took a great deal of care choosing our sources when we began in 2010 and we’ve continued to use those sources and find others that meet our standards.“
And of course, this Face Serum looks simply delicious! Key ingredients are Blue Chamomile (for reducing inflammation and irritation) and Carrot Seed Oil (with cell-rejuvenating compounds). We’re excited to give this one a go!
12. ODYLIQUE AVOCADO 24-HOUR REPLENISHING CREAM
Odylique by Essential Care has a comprehensive range of products including makeup, skincare and hair care available.
They’re a super sustainable brand, being cruelty-free, organic, mostly vegan AND palm oil free.
They boast accreditation with PETA, Naturewatch Foundation, Soil Association and Fairtrade. And they also have an impressive list of charities they support like the Pink Ribbon Foundation, the Woodland Trust; East Anglican Air Ambulance and St Nicholas’ Hospice.
13. PHB ETHICAL BEAUTY MOISTURIZERS
About PHB Ethical Beauty
PHB Ethical Beauty, which stands for “Pure Handmade British”, is family owned business based in the United Kingdom. They have an impressive range of over 200 luxurious products on offer from cleansers to cosmetics to body lotions.
PHB Ethical Beauty are accredited by Peta and the Vegan Society UK, they donate 20% of their net profits to various charities and they’ve also been featured in The Good Shopping Guide and The Good Scrub Guide.
14. PUREPOTIONS SKIN SALVATION DAILY MOISTURIZING CREAM
About Purepotions (now know as Balmonds)
Based in the UK, Purepotions specialize in natural creams, ointments and oils.
Their products are specifically formulated to remedy dehydrated skin and are also suitable for those with eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and other dry or itchy skin conditions.
15. MIESSENCE BALANCING MOISTURISER
Based in Queensland Australia, Miessence was the world’s first certified organic cosmetic and skincare range.
All their products are organic, cruelty-free and vegan (with the exception of a few). They’re also currently phasing out palm oil which is currently found in 5 of their 75 products.
Miessence is also 110% carbon negative, they use renewable wind energy and only source ingredients from fair trade protected growers.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON CRUELTY-FREE MOISTURIZERS
There are so many “eco friendly moisturizers” on the market these days. It’s finding the truly sustainable ones that’s tricky.
A vegan and cruelty free moisturizer (and any other beauty product for that matter) is a non-negotiable. Try and tick a few more of those sustainable check-boxes (like palm oil free, zero waste and organic) with each purchase you make.
Beauty is and should be all natural and it’s packaging should be circular, as much as possible.
We hope this article has given you a few more ideas on moisturizers from sustainable, artisan and independent brands who are doing good.
As always, please reach out for questions, suggestions, or comments.