The best vegan beauty products for your hair, skin, nails and more

Our definitive guide to the best vegan beauty products on the market - with no compromises on effectiveness

Selection of green vegan natural beauty products
(Image credit: Getty images)

Whether you are a lifelong vegan or just dip your toe in for veganuary, finding the best vegan beauty products - from the best foundation, to haircare and moisturisers - has never been easier. 

Going vegan is no longer the niche lifestyle choice it once was. Since 2014, when the Veganuary phenomenon started, over 1million people have taken part, giving up animal products for the month of January. The rising is popularity of veganism across the board comes down to growing awareness of animal-cruelty, carbon emissions and people generally wanting to live a healthier lifestyle.

With this in mind, vegan beauty is seeing a surge in popularity too, making the search for the best vegan beauty products more fruitful than ever. Animal testing and products containing animal-derived ingredients are being shunned by the public in favour of vegan alternatives. 

According to Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, it’s clear that vegan beauty is way overdue. “Consumers everywhere want this to stop once and for all, especially with the growth in veganism and sustainability awareness. In 2019, together with The Body Shop, we collected eight million signatures, many from the UK, in support of a global end to cosmetics animal testing.” 

 “Many countries do not explicitly outlaw the practice, and it’s still the case that regulators around the world require animal tests for ingredients used in cosmetics. And that’s despite the fact that it’s possible to produce products using ingredients already found to be safe...”

So, how can you adopt a vegan beauty routine? Remember to look out for great products that don’t compromise on quality and hold the PETA, The Vegan Society or Leaping Bunny symbols. Small changes can make a huge difference and there is  wealth of vegan beauty products available, from the best mascara to 12-free nail polish - which should help you to make the switch. 

Read on to discover our edit of the best vegan beauty products on the market now

Best vegan hair care

Authentic Beauty Concept Airy Texture Spray,


(Image credit: Authentic Beauty Concept )

Authentic Beauty Concept Airy Texture Spray

Best for easy volume


RRP: $25 (US) £24.90, (UK)

Styling products can contain skin-irritating ingredients that are often tested on animals before reaching the shops. But, there are a select few places where vegan hair care is available. The Vegan Society approved brand Authentic Beauty Concept has pioneered the way to producing all-vegan products and their latest launch, Airy Texture Spray, is fantastic for boosting volume in fine, flat hair. Free from artificial waxes, silicones and colourants, the dry texture spray is laden with body enhancing bamboo cellulose. It’s styling that’s kind to hair and nature.

Best vegan makeup brushes

Real Techniques Artists Essentials Brush Set

(Image credit: Real Techniques Artists )

Real Techniques Artists Essentials Brush Set

Best for professional make-up application


RRP: $19.99 (US) £20 (UK)

Many makeup brushes contain bristles derived from horse, rabbit or goat hair and unfortunately, these can’t exist without an element of cruelty to animals. Make the change to synthetic brushes and you won’t be compromising on quality as synthetic bristles are actually a longer lasting, more useful alternative. They can be thoroughly cleaned over and over without deteriorating and blend cream and powder products fantastically. 

Best vegan skincare

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

(Image credit: Drunk Elephant )

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

Best for deep hydration


RRP: : $60 (UK) £50 (UK)

Some skincare products contain ingredients that are actually derived from animals. But, you can find great skincare that’s completely vegan. Moisturisers almost always contain glycerin, a highly moisturising ingredient that brings hydration to the skin and this ingredient is manufactured from animal fats. However, you can find glycerin that has been created using plant and vegetable fats. Not all Drunk Elephant products are vegan (look online to be sure) but the hydrating, smoothing LaLa Retro Whipped Cream certainly is.

Best vegan nail polish

Nailberry Nail Polish in Harmony

(Image credit: Nailberry)

Nailberry Nail Polish in Harmony

Best for a kind-to-nails manicure


RRP: $20 (US) £15 (UK)

You might not know this but, the colour red actually came into existence through the crushing of cochineal bugs and extracting carmine (the red colouring inside them.) Gross, right? It’s been used in nail polishes, lipsticks and blush for centuries but vegan alternatives are widely available now. We love Nailberry’s long wearing polishes that coat each nail with a sumptuous pigmented colour while remaining permeable to oxygen (your nails can breathe while wearing this!)

Best vegan lipstick

Inika Organic Certified Vegan Lipstick in Naked Kiss

(Image credit: Inika)

Inika Organic Certified Vegan Lipstick in Nude pink

Best for creamy lip colour


RRP: $29 (US) £19.50 (UK)

From lanolin to beeswax there are a number of animal-derived ingredients that go into lip products and after discovering that, according to a study by the University of Chicago, the average woman will eat between 1-3 tubes of lipstick per year, it’s no wonder we’re looking for vegan alternatives. Some vegan substitutes are just as great at delivering creamy, pigmented colour too and we love the nourishing feeling of Inika Organic’s shade range. 

With such an amazing selection of the best vegan beauty products out there, it's easier than ever to  make the change. 

Emma North

Emma North is a Beauty Writer who works for digital titles including woman&home, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own, Chat and GoodtoKnow. Emma’s career in beauty journalism began with internships at publications including Vogue, Elle, The Telegraph and Glamour. She was then taken under the wing of Funmi Fetto, Contributing Beauty Editor at Vogue where Emma assisted with Funmi’s debut beauty book, Palette.