Cleansing your face in the mornings to freshen up or at the end of a tiring day is a must, especially if you’re constantly exposed to dirt and city pollution.
If you’ve decided to dip your toes in vegan skincare, we’ve rounded up some of the best vegan face washes and vegan face cleansers around. We selected a range of products for oily skin, sensitive skin, or acne-prone skin, so you can choose depending on your skin type.
We picked these brands in particular for their values and how they operate. More specifically, we chose companies that operate, source, and create transparently and sustainably.
At Puratium, we love featuring vegan products that deliver excellent results with the least environmental damage possible.
And while we did our best, we must acknowledge that not all brands perfectly fit with our definition of what is sustainable and eco friendly, but they are all worth checking out for various reasons detailed in each section. And, they are all fully vegan and cruelty-free with no exception.
Lani - UK
Lani is a completely vegan, cruelty-free, and natural skin and haircare brand that has been around since 2014. They make products that don’t cost you and the planet.
They’re an award-winning brand, making products that are always crafted with high quality and food-grade ingredients.
The Face Wash
For: Everyone’s skin type
Lani’s Blue Mint Facial Cleanser is probably in a medium you haven’t seen yet in a cleanser. It comes as a gray powder that you can activate with water to turn into a blue lather.
It is incredibly gentle and will remove light makeup, dirt, and other impurities for a clean and fresh sensation. It’s also accompanied by a mild minty effect that leaves your skin feeling extra refreshed.
It cleanses all while hydrating and soothing your face, without ever stripping your skin’s natural oils or making it feel too dry for comfort.
Plus, it’s super fun to use and easy to travel with because it doesn’t come as a traditional liquid or cream. It provides a whole new experience, even for the skincare veteran.
And it isn’t just pure novelty either. It actually works and is great for all skin types.
As a bonus, it’s plastic-free and comes in a lovely aquamarine glass bottle. All orders are also shipped without any plastic and Lani only uses cardboard, acid-free tissue, recycled paper stickers, and paper tape.
All Lani products are made with vegan, cruelty-free, and natural ingredients so they don’t contain any synthetics like parabens or silicones.
Here are some ingredients we took note of:
- Coconut Milk Powder
- Kaolin (White Clay)
- Oat Kernel Flour
- Jojoba Seed Oil
- Vanilla Oil
- Peppermint oil
The peppermint in this formula is sourced organically.
With the hydrating and soothing properties of these components, the Blue Mint Facial Cleanser will leave your skin clean, smooth, and fresh.
Lani strongly believes in leading a cruelty-free and natural lifestyle. They make their products in small batches, all made by hand to preserve quality and freshness.
They have donated to over 20 charities since founding and, in 2020, they donated to four charities against animal cruelty. As of writing this article, 5% of their profits will go to an animal sanctuary in Essex.
Overall, Lani is a really great brand to get your vegan face cleansers from. We commend the brand for its glass bottles and plastic-free shipping. If the topic is of interest, read more about zero waste skincare here.
Youth to the People - USA
Youth to the People is a family-owned business based in California. With three generations of professional skincare expertise, YTTP brings to the table products that completely vegan, cruelty-free, and sustainable.
The Face Wash
For: Normal, Dry, Oily, or Combination Skin
YTTP’s Superfood Cleanser is made with a superfood blend of kale, spinach, and green tea. It’s a green juice for everyone’s skin.
It provides gentle cleansing without stripping your skin of its natural oils. It helps with skin concerns like dullness, clogged pores, and blemishes. It comes as a rich gel that’s good for both single and double-cleansing. Use a moisturizer for the best results.
You can also get this vegan cleanser in a travel size and a bigger refill option. The packaging is made of glass and is recyclable. Waste reduction, including packaging-related matters, is a topic close to our heart at Puratium; hence, we encourage you to further read on going zero (low waste) when choosing your bathroom essentials.
The superfood cleanser is formulated without any sulfates or alcohol. Of course, it’s also fully vegan and cruelty-free.
Here are some of the special ingredients in this vegan cleanser:
- Green Tea
- Aloe Vera
- Vit. C, B5, and E
All ingredients abide by EU standards, which list more than 1,300 ingredients restricted for cosmetic use. All formulas are biodegradable.
Last note, where possible, the extracts are sourced locally in California.
YTTP is emboldened to create high-quality vegan skincare by the idea of reaching a higher – constant – standard.
One of the things we love most about their brand is that they acknowledge their part in our culture of consumption and they want to encourage more eco-conscious consumption.
They are driven by practices that are good for the planet, people, and animals. And as their name suggests, they strongly believe in the optimism and courage in youth.
Their giving back efforts are focused on three funds with three core issues each. Poverty, youth, and the planet. You can read more about these funds here.
With a focus on carving a future of a just world by amplifying diverse voices and increasing inclusivity, this brand is totally worth checking out.
Fleur and Bee - USA
Fleur and Bee makes natural skincare products safe, affordable, and sustainable. All of their products are priced at less than $30! For skincare items that actually deliver, that’s a pretty good deal.
They only use safe and non-toxic ingredients, and they are free from GMOs, parabens, sulfates, silicones, phthalates, or artificial fragrances and dyes.
The Face Wash
For: All Skin Types
Their So Clean! Facial Cleanser is definitely work taking a look at. It removes any trace of makeup and dirt all while cleansing without drying.
Not only does it cleanse effectively, but it also promotes smoother skin and better protection. Unlike other conventional cleansers, you won’t be left with a dry feeling afterward. It’s a smooth, lightly foaming gel that’ll leave your skin feeling soothed, refreshed, and light.
We couldn’t find the exact composition of the packaging, but the brand does indicate that their packaging is up to 90% recyclable.
This vegan face wash is loaded with nourishing and hydrating botanicals to keep your skin in top shape. They protect and soothe the skin’s surface without drying it out at all.
In this cleanser, you will find:
- Organic Coconut Oil
- Organic Sunflower Oil
- Rosemary Extract
- Organic Aloe
- Organic Castor Oil
- Vegetable Glycerin
- Gotu Kola
Rest assured, there are no animal ingredients, sulfates, and other harsh ingredients you might be watching out for.
The coconut oil helps remove dirt and makeup, rosemary helps with clogged pores, while Gotu kola is an excellent anti-aging antioxidant.
With a nice mix of skin-soothing ingredients, this face wash will help purify your skin at the very start of the day or right before bed.
There are six values that anchor Fleur and Beauty in its place.
- Naturally Effective
- Clean and Non Toxic
- Vegan and Cruelty-free
- Sustainably Made
- Social Good
- Affordably Priced
We really appreciate that the brand endeavors to make vegan, cruelty-free, and natural products that actually work and are accessible to most budgets; top-notch skincare brands often have a hefty price tag.
All their skincare products are made using 100% renewable energy and they’re working towards becoming a carbon-neutral company by the end of 2021. This means that they envisage offsetting their carbon emissions completely.
They also give back by donating 1% of all sales to Days for Girls, which distributes menstrual hygiene products to girls in need.
PHB Ethical Beauty - UK
A family-run business, PHB houses a large collection of vegan, cruelty-free, natural, and alcohol-free beauty products.
They make it a mission to only use ethically sourced ingredients that don’t come at the expense of another’s life, may it be human or animal.
The Face Wash
For: All Skin Types
Their Superfood Cleanser with Pomegranate & Hyaluronic Acid removes makeup, toxins, and any traces of impurities. It is a relatively thick formula that suits all skin types, brightening the skin and holding back the effects of aging with hyaluronic acid.
The product comes housed in a 100 mL glass bottle and has an FSC-certified outer box. The bottle and box are both recyclable, but sadly, the caps and pumps are not.
There’s also another vegan face wash in their collection that we recommend and it’s their Superfood Face Wash with Vitamin C and Kojic Acid. It’s a gentle, foaming, formula suitable for any skin type.
As for all brands shortlisted in this review, all PHB products are cruelty-free and do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. They use only natural ingredients, making them free from petrochemicals, parabens, and other synthetics.
Here are some notable components:
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Safflower Seed Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Green Tea Leaf Extract
- Vitamin C
- Pomegranate Seed Oil
- Grapefruit Peel Oil
You can check the full list on their website for further information (including a detailed policy) – a practice that we can only encourage all brands to follow! Note; many of these ingredients are also sourced organically.
The hyaluronic acid in this vegan face wash is great for hydration and retaining moisture, the kaolin clay will rejuvenate the skin, and the pomegranate can help brighten skin and reduce the signs of aging.
PHB highly values using only natural and ethical ingredients in its process. This core value strongly reflects on the rest of their company practices from sourcing to giving back.
All products are handmade either in the UK or in Canada. Both facilities are audited and certified to be at par with the highest standards.
Moreover, 20% of their profits go to charities and they’re even running their own! By supporting the brand, you’re not only making your skin feel and look good, you’re also helping others out as well: animals, but also deaf and blind people.
PHB’s impressive numbers in terms of donation show their willingness to do more than ‘looking good’ typically part of a pure PR exercise.
Pacifica - USA
Pacifica is 100% vegan and cruelty-free, and they’ve been so since day one. They created a company that wanted to be beneficial for the planet, the animals, and you!
This company has an incredibly wide range of products from lotion and body wash to shampoo and serums, they’re a one-stop-shop for everything personal care.
The Face Wash
For: Acne-prone skin and oily skin
Our face wash pick (among many others, the choice took us time!) is their Acne Defense Face Wash. It’s great for brightening, cleansing, and clearing your skin—especially if you have acne-prone skin.
It contains salicylic acid to help clean clogged pores and reduce blemishes. The product foams up nicely and has a faint cucumber smell. However, it has the tendency to dry your skin out, so it’s not the best option if you’re already suffering from sensitive or dehydrated skin. But those with oily and combination skin will find this product just fine.
If it’s your first time using it, don’t immediately go for a twice-daily application. Try it out once a day first to get a feel for what it’s like on your skin and gradually increase your use.
If you have dry and sensitive skin, Pacifica also has vegan face cleansers/face washes for all skin types. Check out Sea Foam Complete Face Wash for a balancing and brightening cleanser that works well even with mature skin.
The best vegan face wash for you will always be one that matches your skin type – hence take sufficient time to review the entire list of vegan cleansers until spotting the right catch.
This face cleanser is not formulated with any parabens, phthalates, SLS, or mineral oil. It has:
- Cucumber Extract
- Aloe Vera Leaf Juice
- Mint (Peppermint Oil)
- 2% salicylic acid
- Lavender Extract
- White Tea Leaf Extract
As expected, the full list is available under each product description. These ingredients are sourced globally and many of them are sourced organically. The product is then processed and made in the USA.
Lastly, note that there is a fragrance in this product consisting of the brand’s blend of natural and essential oils.
Pacifica products are made with compassion for the planet and all that’s in it—including you. They are vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and don’t use any toxins in their formulations.
The products usually come packaged in recyclable plastic packaging. While we don’t think plastic, recyclable or otherwise, is a good thing, the brand is still worth looking into.
They offer a recycling program where you can send back your empties in exchange for credit. We like it because it encourages additional producer responsibility for the waste their products generate.
However, do remember that recycling isn’t some magical solution. It takes up energy and resources and it’s not a blanket solution for every trash issue. Read this article for more information on what to do before even thinking about recycling.
But looking for top-notch skin care for problematic skin can be (very) challenging. And if you find that Pacifica’s products work perfectly for you, do your best to be part of the eco-warrior community and recycle responsibly.
Sweet Chef - USA
Sweet Chef cooks up vegan products filled with nourishing ingredients to refresh and boost your skin’s vitality.
They are leaping bunny certified and they are heavily inspired by everything natural, healthy, and fresh-pressed.
The Face Wash
For: All skin types, including sensitive skin
Their Oat Milk Latte Cleanser removes all makeup and impurities while gently cleansing your skin in a soothing and nourishing fashion. It’s suitable even for sensitive skin and is synthetic fragrance-free.
The product starts off as a gel then foams up as you apply it. It’s a soft, gentle formula that’s super hydrating and doesn’t leave your skin tight or dry.
Sadly, only the cap of their packaging is recyclable, the main body is not. But they are working on improving this aspect of the product.
This product is made without any animal products, sulfates, synthetics fragrances, or parabens. The key ingredients are the following:
- Oat Milk
- Vitamin B12
- Coffee Seed
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Oat Kernel Flour
There is a fragrance in this cleanser labeled as ‘made from completely natural ingredients.’ Fragrance and perfume in general in beauty products is a complex topic: make sure to read the label with a critical eye as explained here.
Sweet Chef’s entire supply chain is free of all animal testing, all part of their commitment to stay vegan and cruelty-free at all stages of production.
On the sustainability front, they’re taking tiny steps towards becoming a slow beauty ambassador. Their carton packaging is FSC-certified and all their glass jars and bottles are recyclable.
They still use post-consumer recycled plastic for shipping – all recyclable as well. As we’ve said before, recycling isn’t the answer to everything. But it’s a good thing that they’re conscious of their actions and constantly looking for more earth-friendly solutions.
They also plan to be Climate Neutral Certified in the near future.
Human + Kind - USA
With a focus on providing simplified and ethical skincare, Human + Kind creates products that are consciously vegan and are suitable even for the most sensitive and dry skin types.
Skincare with a conscience is a motto that fits the brand perfectly thanks to their all vegan and cruelty-free policy. You will not find any animal products nor animal-derived products in their collection.
The face wash
For: Sensitive Skin
Our choice of face cleanser from this brand is their Wash Off Facial Cleanser. It is a natural double cleanser that gently exfoliates, getting rid of dead skin cells without drying your skin.
It is dermatologically tested and will leave your skin feeling nourished, hydrated, and ready to conquer the day (or turn in for the night).
It’ll help with revealing a much brighter and more refined complexion. It has anti-bacterial properties that will help expel acne-causing bacteria even for the most sensitive faces.
Lastly, we like that it comes with a lusciously soft deep cleansing cloth to assist you with makeup removal.
This face cleanser is formulated with the following ingredients:
- Cocoa seed butter
- Centella Asicatica Extract
- Rosehip Oil
- Aloe Gel
- Calendula Extract
The full list is available on their website: the ingredients are carefully selected for their strength and purity, and some are even organic.
For example, the Centella extract is excellent at protecting your face from the effects of aging. If you want to hold back fine lines and wrinkles, you’ll definitely want to invest in anti-aging components. The rosehip is full of vitamins and is often used to treat skin conditions like acne and eczema.
This powerful blend of natural components helps acts as a powerful cleanser packed in a non-irritating formula.
Human + Kind started with a love of natural products and a healthy lifestyle. With a firm belief in the power of vegan skincare, they use natural and ethically sourced ingredients to craft their products.
They give back to the community through various charities like the Cancer Fund for Children and City of Hope. Read more about their efforts here.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find information on packaging or the steps they’re taking to be more sustainable – hence giving the American brand a lower score for this section.
Boscia - USA
Plant powered and fun, Boscia aims to make products with ingredients that are rooted in nature. Plants have always been the core of their success.
Their vegan skincare products are made without any animal-derived ingredients, chemical preservatives, or artificial colors and dyes.
The face wash
For: Combination skin/oily skin
Their Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser is a warming gel cleanser with exfoliating properties. It removes excess oil and helps smoothen your skin’s texture.
It contains Boscia’s signature botanical blend of jojoba for nourishment, and willowherb to help reduce inflammation and reduce redness.
It will give your skin a mild warming sensation and can gently exfoliate and detoxify, removing dead skin cells and impurities. With activated charcoal, vitamin C, and other botanicals, this vegan face wash is great to use for your AM and PM routine.
The following are some of the notable ingredients in this product:
- Activated Charcoal
- Artichoke Leaf Extract
- Vitamin P
- Jojoba Seed Extract
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
There are no chemical preservatives in this vegan cleanser. However, that does make the shelf life shorter. They recommend using up within 6 months of opening.
At their core, Boscia means botanical science. They’re highly reliant on the power of plants and the natural instincts of the ingredients. They love creating innovative product designs for those with even the most sensitive skin with formulas that are meant to soothe and calm without any of the bad stuff.
All of their formulas adhere to strict EU standards with a no-list spanning more than 1,600 ingredients.
Face Wash Vs. Cleanser
Face wash and cleanser are often used interchangeably, so it can be difficult to tell the precise difference between the two.
Just like many product subcategories, the two aren’t really mutually exclusive. After all, both must share a lot of similarities to be interchanged so much in casual language.
The biggest similarity is that they both cleanse your face, only at varying degrees. Facial cleansers are often much gentler on your skin and you can use them more often, some even twice a day.
Face washes, on the other hand, focus more on deep cleansing and can act as substitutes for soap. But, that also means it’s more drying. They usually come in formulas that foam up and lather nicely.
The best vegan face wash or cleanser highly depends on what your skin type is. Normal skin to dry skin might benefit more from using cleansers as opposed to regular face wash use.
On the flip side, oily or combination skin might need more of a deep cleanse to get rid of the excess oil.
Generally speaking. make sure to test any new product on a small part of your skin prior to using it on larger surfaces. Our skin sometimes has its secrets (and reactions!) that even all-natural, vegan, and organic products cannot decipher. Lastly, always consult with your dermatologist in case of doubts.
Finding the vegan cleansers or face washes that fit your skin type perfectly is a bit of a challenging process. You could be searching for the right product for a while before finding the right pick for your skin and that is OK.
It gets even more complicated when you factor in certain skin conditions like acne. Nevertheless, we hope that this review gave you sufficient details and tips to help you choose the right vegan option for your skincare routine.
Lastly, whether you are a convinced vegan from a dietary angle or not, we encourage you to hit the search button for similar slow beauty and fashion-related reviews: vegan deodorants, vegan haircare, or more generally vegan fashion brands.