Almost all dermatologists agree that you should wash your face twice a day; once in the morning, and a final time before you go to bed. You should also give your face a wash after heavy sweating throughout the day.
There’s just one problem – most commercial face wash is NOT vegan!
The majority of cheap everyday face wash you’ll find on the shelf at your local supermarket is full of toxic chemicals, alcohol, parabens, plastic particles, and sometimes even animal parts.
Additionally, many of these companies cruelly test their products on animals, making them an immediate no-go for any true vegan.
Thankfully, there’s an increasing variety of non-toxic vegan face wash alternatives seeping into the market. As the demand for vegan face wash continues to grow, small businesses are creating natural plant-based cleansers for every skin type.
Vegans shouldn’t have to stress about washing their faces! So today, I’m about to show you the best vegan face wash brands that are guaranteed to have your skin feeling fresh, clean, and ready to face the day. Take a look!
- For sensitive skin
- For irritated, inflamed skin
- For treating skin discoloration
Vegan Face Wash vs. Non-Vegan Face Wash: What’s The Difference?
If you were to ask most people how long face wash has been around, they’d probably tell you that it’s a relatively recent innovation. That simply isn’t true.
People have been finding ways to cleanse and exfoliate their faces for thousands of years.
The difference is that they used natural plant-based soaps instead of cheap mass-produced chemicals. This is the main difference between vegan face wash and the other non-vegan competitors on the market.
To learn more about the evolution of skincare products and the widespread use of toxins in the industry, check out this helpful video:
However, there are a few other key differences that set these two types of face wash apart from each other.
So, to help you identify what to look for when shopping for vegan face wash here’s a quick table outlining what makes the vegan face wash different:
|Non-Vegan Face Wash||Vegan Face Wash|
|Often contains a lot of water, resulting in a larger container. This gives the illusion of “more product.” The reality is that it’s just more diluted, so you’ll have to use more of it. Other than the fact that it’s deceitful, this also contributes to more plastic waste and a larger carbon footprint (heavier items require more fuel to transport).||Although vegan face wash may contain water as part of the mixture, the ultimate product is nowhere near as diluted as most non-vegan face washes. For example, a 4 oz. container of vegan face wash will often last just as long as an 8 oz. container of a competing non-vegan brand.|
|Non-vegan face wash often contains harmful, toxic chemicals. These chemicals are cheaper than organic cleaning compounds and are easily mass-produced. The result is a “more affordable” face wash that ultimately backfires in the long run. These chemicals can cause premature aging, dry skin, and can cause your skin to become dependent on a certain brand. Some are even cancerous! These toxic chemicals can also find their way into waterways, upsetting the delicate pH balance of our streams, rivers, and lakes.||The majority of vegan face wash is 100% non-toxic. Certain brands may use chemicals, but these are almost always non-toxic chemicals that won’t harm your skin or the water. |
|The majority of the non-vegan face wash is tested on animals throughout the development process. These tests are performed against the animals’ will and can often result in skin irritation, allergies, chemical burns, rashes, and even cancer. Just imagine how scared you’d be if somebody covered you in mystery chemicals and threw you in a cage for 24 hours!||Vegan face wash, by definition, is cruelty-free. The most common certification to see branded on vegan cosmetics is the Cruelty-Free Bunny logo. This third-party company performs in-depth reviews of each company to ensure that their products and ingredients are cruelty-free.|
|Some non-vegan face wash contains small plastic microbeads. These are designed to exfoliate your skin. Since they’re plastic, they’re not biodegradable, meaning that they’ll eventually end up in our waterways, poisoning fish and plant life.||Some vegan face wash may contain exfoliating ingredients, but they’re always all-natural exfoliants like sea salt or charcoal.|
Last but not least, you may notice that vegan face wash tends to be a little bit more expensive than your average store-bought face wash. This is because they tend to use more expensive, all-natural ingredients.
As I mentioned, though, the best vegan face wash tends to be more concentrated than a non-vegan face wash, which means that a little bit goes a long way!
Is Vegan Face Wash Non-Toxic?
Unfortunately, certain vegan products (like synthetic faux leather, for example) get a bad rep for using toxic chemicals. Thankfully, it’s fairly uncommon to find toxic compounds in vegan face wash. The most vegan face wash is non-toxic and mostly plant-based.
I always recommend double-checking the label, though, as there’s an increasing number of products that are labeled “vegan” and aren’t actually vegan.
I’ve double-checked the labels of all of my vegan face wash recommendations, so you can be sure that they’re completely non-toxic!
Here’s a quick list of the most common toxic chemicals you should watch out for in face wash and any other cosmetics or soap you use:
- Propylene glycol
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Sodium laureth sulfate
- Diethanolamine (DEA)
- Triethanolamine (TEA)
- Monoethanolamine (MEA)
- Synthetic dyes
The Best Non-Toxic Vegan Face Wash Listed
By definition, all vegan face wash is cruelty-free and isn’t tested on animals, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that. Although toxins aren’t very common in vegan face wash, there are still a few vegan-labeled face wash brands that use toxic compounds.
So, to help you pick the best vegan face wash for your skin, here’s a list of the best non-toxic vegan face wash that I’ve used over the past couple of years!
1) Christina Moss Naturals Original Vegan Face Wash (link)
Best For: Sensitive skin
Christina Moss Naturals is a great company and I’ve used several of their products over the past few years. The Christina Moss’ Original Vegan Face Wash is an excellent all-around face wash that’s great for all skin types.
It’s simple, clean, cruelty-free, and non-toxic. It also doesn’t have any overpowering smells, other than a faint hint of natural rosemary extract.
Remember how I mentioned that vegan face wash tends to be more concentrated than mainstream brands of face wash? Well, a single 4 oz. tube of this is equivalent to an 8 oz. tube of your typical non-vegan alternative.
So, while the tube may look small, I assure you that it lasts just as long!
What makes this face wash stand out are the all-natural ingredients used to create an ultra-soothing soap designed to gently cleanse your skin and remove unwanted dirt and oils:
- Aloe vera juice
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Rosemary extract
The aloe vera is both soothing and calming. It can reduce discomfort from sun exposure, heal blemishes, and reduce areas of inflammation.
At the same time, the rosemary extract is designed to deeply cleanse your pores and protect your skin cells from free radicals that cause premature aging.
Last but not least, the olive and coconut oil work together to ensure that your skin is hydrated and moisturized!
Oh, and most of the ingredients are organic, which means that you don’t have to worry about any unwanted chemical by-products from the farming process.
What I Like About It:
- Uses organic, all-natural ingredients like aloe, olive oil, coconut oil, and rosemary.
- It’s a concentrated face wash, so a little bit goes a long way.
- Christina Moss sells other facial cleansing, toning, and exfoliating products so you can use the everyday cleanser as part of a complete skincare regimen.
- It doesn’t have a strong fragrance.
- It’s pretty expensive.
2) Youth To The People Kale + Green Tea Superfood Face Cleanser (link)
Best For: Irritated, inflamed skin
Before trying this particular vegan face wash, I had never once considered that kale, green tea, and spinach could be used to wash your face. Sure, I used them in my smoothies all the time, but I’d never used them on my face before!
Youth To The People’s Kale + Green Tea Superfood Face Cleanser is one of the most refreshing plant-based vegan face washes I’ve ever used. You can tell it has plant extract in it by the light green tint leftover from residual plant juice.
So, what’s so good about using superfood on your face? Well, for starters these superfoods (especially green tea) are well known for their antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants are great for the face, as they help protect your skin cells from free radicals which can cause wrinkles, discoloration, and scaly skin.
In addition to the main superfoods, Youth To The People’s Superfood Cleanser contains chamomile flower extract, which is supposed to soothe inflammation. So, if you have an irritated breakout on your face, the chamomile can help reduce redness and swelling.
It’s also loaded with skin-healthy vitamins, including B5, C, and E, all of which can keep your skin looking fresh and youthful.
The only bad thing that I have to say about this product is that it does contain several chemical ingredients. Although they’re all non-toxic ingredients and the product is certified vegan/cruelty-free, I generally tend to prefer vegan face wash that uses 90% to 100% all-natural ingredients.
What I Like About It:
- Contains cold-pressed superfood extracts that act as strong antioxidants for your skin.
- Has a mild scent of fresh vegetables.
- Contains Vitamins B5, C, and E for healthy, vibrant skin.
- Lathers well, and can even be used as a makeup remover.
- pH balanced, so it’s good for all skin types.
- Contains several non-organic compounds.
3) Authentic By Nature Vegan Glycolic Acid Face Wash With Cucumber + Seaweed Extract (link)
Best For: Treating skin discoloration
Although the term “Glycolic Acid Face Wash” may sound a bit chemically, the main ingredient is actually naturally derived! Glycolic acid is a natural by-product of sugar cane juice and is known for its ability to exfoliate dead skin cells.
During this process, it also targets old, discolored skin cells and removes them as well! So, if you have some sun spots or old blemish scars, this is a wonderful vegan face wash to try.
The thing that I like most about this vegan face wash is that it’s 100% all-natural.
It’s made from a proprietary blend of soothing and cleansing plant extracts, including cucumber extract, citrus extract, seaweed extract, tea tree oil, sunflower seed oil, chamomile flower, rosehip seed oil, and eriobotrya japonica (Japanese plum) extract.
It’s designed to be used as a light, soothing everyday cleanser and is compatible with all skin types. It also doesn’t have any added fragrances (natural or artificial), so if you’re sensitive to scents, then this is a great option.
What I Like About It:
- Uses natural glycolic acid as an exfoliating agent.
- Contains several organic plant and herb extracts.
- Hydration from chamomile flower, rosehip, and sunflower seed oil.
- No artificial or natural scents.
- It’s a little on the expensive side.
The Best Vegan Face Wash For Every Skin Type
The last five face washes are the go-to favorites that I’ve used again and again over the past couple of years. However, if you’re looking for a great runner-up, these are a couple of new vegan face washes that I’ve tried and liked.
4) THRIVE Natural Face Wash Gel for Men & Women (link)
Best For: All skin types
If you’re tired of having to buy separate face wash for both you and your partner, then THRIVE Natural Face Wash Gel is a great solution. It’s designed for both men’s and women’s skin, so it’s perfect whether you’re single or taken.
Thrive Natural’s products are 100% free from parabens, synthetic dyes, formaldehyde, GMOs, or any other toxic chemicals. Instead, it’s made using natural herbs like juanilama, coralillo, fierrillo.
These herbs are known for their soothing, anti-inflammatory properties. Most of them are grown and harvested in Costa Rica by small farms, which are directly supported by your purchase.
Additionally, high-quality argan oil and coco-glucoside (a by-product of coconut oil) are added to ensure that your skin isn’t over-dried and stays fresh and hydrated.
Although Thrive Natural does offer a special face wash for sensitive skin, this particular face wash is designed for all skin types.
I also really enjoy the scent. Unlike most face wash companies that use artificial fragrances, this vegan face wash uses naturally-derived oils such as cedarwood, peppermint, orange, and clove oil to create a bright, woody fragrance that appeals to both men and women.
Last but not least, the tube is made from 100% recycled plastic. As long as you recycle the tube when you’re finished, you’ll complete the cycle, making for a completely sustainable product.
What I Like About It:
- All of the ingredients come from the US, Costa Rica, or Europe.
- Contains anti-inflammatory herbs grown by small Costa Rican farmers.
- Container is made from 100% recycled plastic.
- Fresh, citrus-wood scent that’s not overpowering.
- Made with hydrating coconut oil and argan oil.
- It’s one of the more affordable vegan face washes.
- It contains xanthan gum, a common (and debatable) food additive.
5) Pacifica Cosmic Hemp Balancing Face Wash (link)
Best For: All skin types
If you’re looking for an affordable vegan face wash that is perfect for everyday use, then Pacifica Cosmic’s Hemp Balancing Face Wash is worth a shot.
Unlike most of the other vegan face washes I’ve reviewed, this option contains a number of chemicals. Don’t worry, though, they’re all non-toxic.
What makes this face wash different from other vegan cleansers I’ve used is that it contains hemp seed extract, which is a well-known natural moisturizer. It also contains melia azedarach extract, which is an ancient ayurvedic herb used to treat skin conditions.
Last but not least, it does contain several plant-based amino acids designed to purify your skin and protect skin cells from free radicals and degeneration.
The main selling point of this product is that it’s an affordable vegan face wash, and it’s definitely cheaper than some of the other all-organic vegan face washes I’ve tried.
What I Like About It:
- It’s affordable.
- Contains hemp seed oil, which is a great moisturizer.
- Contains melia azedarach, an ayurvedic herb used to treat skin conditions.
- Although they’re non-toxic, this face wash contains a lot of chemicals.
Conclusion – Where’s The Best Place To Buy Vegan Face Wash?
After going vegan (just over seven years ago) I started my search for a high-quality vegan face wash.
At the time, the only place to find anything worthwhile was from expensive specialty retailers. Thankfully, times have changed, though, and there are a lot more options online.
The best vegan face wash brands that I’ve tried are ALL available on Amazon. The nice thing about buying them online is that you’ll be able to read real-life reviews and compare different brands side-by-side. Plus, some brands even offer satisfaction guarantees and free returns.
If you enjoyed this post and want to learn more about cruelty-free skincare, then check out my post on whether or not cosmetic mega-brand Olay is cruelty-free or not next!