There are so many great cruelty-free skincare brands out there that deserve your time and attention. I was shocked to discover that some of my previously favorite brands like Neutrogena and Aveeno test on animals or allow third-parties to test on animals on their behalf.
Allowing a third-party to test on animals for your company is super shady to me. It allows a company to claim they don’t test on animals while paying someone else to do it. Learning that has caused me to drop a few beauty brands I used to love and seek out alternatives whose ethics align more closely with my own.
As I went down the cruelty-free research rabbit hole I decided to put together this skincare guide for you to help you identify the brands that do test on animals (or allow testing on animals) and who truly is cruelty-free.
- Popular Brands that are NOT Cruelty-Free
- Cruelty-Free Budget Skincare Brands
- Cruelty-Free Mid-Range Skincare Brands
- Cruelty-Free High-End Skincare Brands
- My Favorite Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands
Popular Brands that are Not Cruelty-Free
Some of the brands in this list do not test on animals except when required by law. Countries such as China require testing on animals so brands test on animals (or allow testing on animals) in order to be sold in their country.
This list is not inclusive of all brands that are not cruelty-free and is accurate only as of the date of publication.
- Bobbi Brown
- Clean & Clear
- Estee Lauder
- Good Skin Labs
- La Mer
- Makeup Forever
- Max Factor
- Rimmel London
- Sephora Collection
- St. Ives
- Tom Ford
- Yves Rocher
- Yves Saint Laurent
I was crushed to discover some of the brands on that list because I’ve been loyal to them for years. There are a few brands on the list that used to be cruelty-free then expanded into countries like China where animal testing is mandatory. Policies can always change so it’s important to note that this list is only accurate as of the date of publication of this article.
I’ve broken up the brands below by budget brands and luxury brands so if you’re looking to switch to a cruelty-free skincare brand in your budget skip ahead to the section that suits you.
Cruelty-Free Budget Skincare Brands
- Abby Rose
- Acure Organics
- Alba Botanica
- Andalou Naturals
- Aubrey Organics
- Avalon Organics
- Bare Minerals
- Cover Girl
- Desert Essence
- Derma E
- Kiss My Face
- Nourish Organic
- Queen Helene
- The Ordinary
- Yes To
Cruelty-Free Mid-Range Skincare Brands
- 100% Pure
- 2nd Kind
- Herbivore Botanicals
- Indie Lee
- Juice Beauty
- Kat Von D
- Love Beauty & Planet
- Paula’s Choice
- Pixi Beauty
- Renee Rouleau
Cruelty-Free High-End Skincare Brands
- Charlotte Tilbury
- Drunk Elephant
- Kate Somerville
- Radical Skincare
- Sunday Riley
- Tata Harper
- The Body Shop
My Favorite Cruelty-Free Skincare Brands
Even though a couple of my previously favorite brands turned out not to be cruelty-free I was happy to find that most of my go-to brands actually are so I didn’t have to replace too many of my products.
I discovered Pixi Beauty through Simply Stine and absolutely love their products! Their MatteLast Liquid Lip is my go-to lip product and I can’t get enough of their Glow Tonic and Glow Tonic Cleansing Gel. I use their products every day and saw a noticeable improvement in my skin within the first few days.
Juice Beauty is one of my all-time favorites but I can never seem to find it in stores so I have to buy it online. What I love about them is their farm to beauty mission. They own a farm in California and actually grow the ingredients they use in their skincare and beauty products.
My absolute favorite Juice Beauty product is their Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer. It’s a little pricey but a tiny bit goes a long way and I find I don’t have to replace it but maybe once or twice a year.
Botanics All Bright with Hibiscus Cleansing Toner is the best toner I’ve ever used on my skin and the one product I make sure I always have stocked in my bathroom. I’ve used more expensive products and the results haven’t been as good as what I see with Botanics. In fact, this toner is so good I’m able to use far less makeup and I get tons of compliments on my skin.
Botanics is very affordable and I’ve seen it in Target so you can grab it during your next Target run or snag it on Amazon. I only use their facial oils and toner and they are fabulous!
I usually use 100% Pure for their cosmetics because I love their Pretty Naked II eye shadow palette and Ultra Lengthening Mascara. Most of the time I wear the mascara in Black Tea but the Blackberry has a very subtle purple color I sometimes wear in the evening. I tried their Anti-Acne Sheet Mask and was hooked so I’ve been trying more of their skincare products. I don’t break out often but I am prone to acne on my forehead due to the oils in my hair.
ELF is a budget brand that offers a huge selection of skincare products. Their Gentle Peeling Exfoliant is fantastic! I use it 2 – 3 times per week as part of my evening skincare routine and it works great. It gets all the makeup, dirt, and sweat out of my pores but works gently so I don’t see any skin irritation after using it.
I’ve used exfoliants by other brands that felt too harsh and left my sensitive skin feeling irritated or looking red. This exfoliant by ELF is very budget friendly (less than $10!) and works great on sensitive skin.
With so many cruelty-free skincare brands on the market, I hope you make a choice to shop cruelty-free and help protect the animals from testing.