In its most natural state, our skin should always be naturally moisturized. Healthy skin produces its own oils and proteins designed to keep it smooth, healthy, and hydrated. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to use any extra moisturizer.
However, the world isn’t perfect. We’re exposed to mineral-heavy water every time we shower or wash our hands with tap water.
Most of the soaps and hair products we use (even the expensive ones) also contain synthetic detergents and cleaners that can dry your skin and strip it of all moisture.
Not to mention the fact that global warming is at an all-time high and our skin is being exposed to more UV radiation than it was in the past.
Simply put, if you want to keep your skin in optimal health, then you need to moisturize it. The only problem is that the majority of mainstream lotion brands aren’t vegan. They often contain animal by-products or are cruelly tested on animals. Thankfully, there are some alternatives.
In today’s post, I’m going to show you the best vegan lotion brands on the market. Whether you have dry skin, eczema, or you’re looking for a dermatologist-recommended vegan lotion, I’ve got you covered.
Isn’t it time that you got your skin back to looking healthy and happy?
- Sensitive skin
- Dry hands, knees, elbows, and other spots prone to cracking
- Eczema, topical skin irritation
Vegan Lotion vs. Non-Vegan Moisturizers: What’s Different?
If you’re new to the vegan lifestyle, then you’re probably starting to discover that going vegan isn’t just a diet.
It’s a whole lifestyle that involves abstaining from any and all animal products. On the surface, it means swapping out meat for plant-based protein.
Deeper than that, it means using products that don’t contain animal by-products and aren’t tested on animals either.
The best vegan lotions typically pair all-natural ingredients with vegan, dermatologist-tested compounds designed to provide your skin with healthy, mostly-natural moisturization.
So, before I give you my recommendations for the best vegan lotion, here’s a little bit more information about what makes vegan lotion different from the majority of the non-vegan options sold by mainstream retailers.
Vegan Lotion Is 100% Cruelty-Free
The biggest reason to buy vegan lotion is that it’s cruelty-free. This means that neither the product nor any of its ingredients were tested on animals while the company was developing the lotion.
At first, you might think, “Is it really that cruel to test the lotion on animals?”
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Animal testing involves far more than simply testing the finished product on a happy, healthy animal. The animals used for testing are kept captive in small cages all day and have a lifespan that’s far shorter than animals in the wild.
They’re typically fed the bare minimum and many of them are left to starve or compete with others out of sheer hunger. Every day, they’re subjected to chemical tests. These often include:
- Injecting concentrated chemicals into the eyes, ears, mouth, and skin of the animal.
- Mixing potentially deadly chemicals into a cocktail and applying it to the animal.
- Force feeding the chemical to the animals to see its digestive effects.
Sounds pretty messed up, right? It’s all so the company can put a disclaimer on the bottle that says “Avoid contact with your eyes and mouth.” If only people knew how many thousands of animals were tortured and killed for that one tiny statement…
This video literally made me cry for a solid half-hour:
Cruelty-free products such as vegan lotion are never, ever tested on animals. Instead, the companies use past data to determine the efficacy of a product or use alternative tests that don’t involve cruelty to captive animals.
Common Non-Vegan Ingredients In Lotion
Below, I’ve listed some of my favorite vegan lotion brands. However, you shouldn’t just take my word alone for it. If you’re ever out shopping on your own or trying to figure out whether or not a certain brand of lotion is vegan, it helps to know your labels.
These are some of the most common non-vegan ingredients that are found in mainstream lotion:
|Non-Vegan Ingredients In Lotion||Where They Come From|
|Collagen||Collagen is a popular additive in modern skincare products. Although our bodies naturally produce it, our collagen production slows as we age, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin. While collagen may have some skin-lifting benefits, it’s not vegan and is derived from animal skin, bones, and tissues. Instead, try all-natural collagen boosters which help you build your own collagen!|
|Casein||Casein is a form of milk protein that’s a by-product of cheese making (after it’s separated from whey protein). Although it has some moisturizing benefits, it’s not vegan and should be avoided.|
|Keratin||Keratin is a common ingredient added to moisturizers and hair care products. It’s a protein that can provide deep hydration and moisturization. However, it’s not vegan. Like collagen, keratin is derived from animal bones, horns, feathers, and skin.|
|Animal-Derived Glycerine||Glycerine is an ancient form of soap and it’s commonly found in moisturizers to prevent the skin from getting too oily. While vegetable glycerine is vegan, watch out for animal-derived glycerine that comes from animal fat.|
|Shellac||Shellac is often added to moisturizers and cosmetics (such as mascara) to provide added sheen. Shellac comes from crushed-up beetle exoskeletons and should be avoided. Not only is the slaughter of thousands of bugs cruel, but who wants beetles on their skin?|
|Honey & Bee Products||There is some debate on this, but the majority of vegans agree that commercial bee farming is animal cruelty, as the bees need the products they produce for survival. Bee products like honey, beeswax, and propolis are common non-vegan additives in moisturizers and should be avoided.|
Is There Plant-Based Collagen Lotion?
Unfortunately, collagen is never vegan. So if you see a lotion claiming that it has “plant-based collagen,” they’re lying. Instead, look for a vegan lotion that includes added vitamins and minerals designed to stimulate your own body’s natural collagen production.
Is Vegan Lotion Better For Your Skin?
Generally speaking, the vegan lotion is better for your skin. Unlike mainstream lotion brands, a vegan lotion is made with care for animals, humans, and the environment. They’re not just out to make a quick buck by using cheap, harmful chemicals.
Instead, most vegan lotion uses high-quality, all-natural (or naturally-derived) ingredients. Many of them have also been dermatologist-tested by doctors and patients in a controlled environment, so you can be sure that they’re safe to use.
How Often Should I Use Vegan Lotion?
It all depends on your skin. If your skin is relatively healthy and hydrated, then you shouldn’t need to use your vegan lotion more than once or twice a day. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with severe eczema or dry, flaky skin, then you may want to apply vegan lotion once every couple of hours.
The Best Dermatologist-Recommended Vegan Lotion For 2022
Okay, by now you should have a good understanding of what makes vegan lotion stand apart from the myriad of cheap, non-vegan lotions on the market.
If you’re looking for the best of the best, then you’ll want to buy a lotion that’s been tested by dermatologists. Here are the best dermatologist-recommended vegan lotion brands that I’ve had a chance to try!
1) Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion (link)
Best For: Sensitive skin
Okay, so the label might not be all that fancy… But in my experience, some of the highest quality products have the most basic labels! Vanicream was made under the supervision of dermatologists and is approved and recommended by the National Eczema Association.
So, if you’ve been struggling with dry, red, itchy, and irritated skin, then this might be a lifesaver.
One of the biggest causes of eczema is that the skin has an allergic reaction or sensitivity to a certain ingredient. Often, these ingredients include added fragrances, alcohols, and cheap detergents.
So, while Vanicream may not have a bunch of exotic plant oils or a perfume-like scent, that’s just what you need if you have sensitive skin.
Vanicream does have more synthetic ingredients than I’d usually prefer in a lotion, but they’re all 100% vegan and have been tested by dermatologists.
Plus, Vanicream specifically avoided using problematic ingredients that can cause irritation. So they’re perfectly safe to use on your skin.
- Dermatologist-tested and recommended by the National Eczema Association.
- No added fragrances or perfumes.
- Doesn’t include any ingredients known to trigger skin allergies.
- Provides deep hydration for sensitive skin.
- Contains mostly synthetic ingredients instead of plant-based ingredients.
2) Mademoiselle Provence Organic Almond Ultra-Rich Hand Cream (link)
Best For: Dry hands, knees, elbows, and other spots prone to cracking
Mademoiselle Provence Organic Almond Hand Cream was developed by former “Miss France,” Chlore Mortaud. She wanted to create a high-quality moisturizer that used lots of all-natural plant extracts and was free from harmful toxins, EDTA, parabens, petroleum, phthalates, and more.
The main active ingredient is almond butter, which is supposed to have a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect on the skin, along with orange blossom extract. It also has real shea butter and sunflower oil, which provide deep all-natural hydration for the skin.
Mademoiselle Provence Hand Cream was developed alongside dermatologists to ensure that it was perfectly safe for sensitive skin. To make sure that it’s as neutral as possible, the lotion is also pH balanced to match the pH of your skin.
The texture is fluffy and light, which makes for an ultra-soft feel on your skin. It’s not overly heavy and won’t leave a bunch of oily residues either, so you can use it throughout the day whenever your hands start to feel dry.
It has a very light floral scent that smells faintly like orange blossom. It’s not overwhelming, but it’s a light note that makes it better-smelling than other sensitive skin lotions I’ve tried.
- Made with real almond butter and shea butter.
- 100% cruelty-free.
- Free from parabens, sulfates, petroleum, and other toxic compounds.
- Light orange blossom scent.
- It’s a little bit expensive, considering the small size.
The Best Vegan Lotion For Eczema
I went through a brief period of time in my early twenties when I experienced eczema. It was awful. I mostly had it on my face and neck. It would get red, itchy, and always seemed dryer than the rest of the surrounding skin.
I later found out that it was my skin having a reaction to one of the shampoos that I was using. For others, though, it’s not as simple. Eczema can be caused by a number of things, such as your diet, a mineral deficiency, or just plain old-fashioned genetics.
One of the best things that you can do to relieve the pain and irritation caused by eczema is to keep your skin properly hydrated and protected from the sun (which will only irritate it more).
So, with that in mind, here are some of the best vegan lotions for eczema!
3) Avalon Organics Therapy Eczema Relief Body Cream (link)
Best For: Eczema, topical skin irritation
Avalon Organics Eczema Relief Cream is a rich, ultra-relieving cream that’s designed to provide your entire body with relief. It’s especially great if you have patches of skin that are more irritated than others. You can even use it on your face!
This vegan eczema cream is paraben and phthalate-free and doesn’t contain any artificial dyes or fragrances. The brand itself is a 100% vegan, cruelty-free company, so you’ll never have to worry about any questionable ingredients.
It’s made with a strong base of all-natural, plant-based ingredients. The main active ingredient is colloidal oatmeal, which is known for its ability to provide deep relief for irritated, inflamed skin.
Additionally, it contains safflower seed oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and arginine, making for a well-rounded, complete moisturizer.
The only drawback of this product is that it’s really thick. It’s perfect for treating eczema, but it will leave your skin feeling a little bit oily afterward.
- Made with real, organic ingredients.
- Contains colloidal oatmeal, a strong, all-natural soothing agent.
- Contains shea butter, coconut oil, and safflower oil.
- Hypo-allergenic and dermatologist tested.
- No artificial dyes or fragrances.
- It’s a very thick cream, so it can leave an oily residue on your skin.
4) California Baby Calendula Moisturizing Cream (link)
Best For: Eczema, chafing, topical skin irritation
California Baby Calendula Cream was originally designed for babies by a mom whose baby had eczema and dry skin. If there’s one thing you can always count on with baby products, it’s this – they’re always hypoallergenic and approved for sensitive skin.
Calendula Cream is made without any skin irritants, artificial colors, dyes, or fragrances. It’s also soy, oat, gluten, nut, and dairy-free, so you don’t have to worry about any trace allergic reactions that could negatively affect your skin.
This cream is very thick. It’s great if you have any chaffed, dry, or inflamed sections of your skin. It will keep it protected from the outside elements and will provide intense, soothing moisturization that will reduce the burning and itchy feeling.
The added aloe vera lotion also offers a light cooling effect that’s very relieving.
- Provides instant relief for burning, irritated skin.
- Soothing calendula and aloe extract help with eczema symptoms.
- No artificial solvents, parabens, or phthalates.
- Hypo-allergenic and safe for sensitive skin.
- Manufactured and distributed in Los Angeles.
- It’s very thick and may feel a little bit greasy.
The Best Vegan Lotion For Dry Skin
Almost all of us deal with dry skin from time to time, especially when the seasons and temperature start to change. If you’re looking for a great, all-around vegan lotion for dry skin, then this.
5) Human+Kind Body Souffle (link)
Best For: Everyday dry skin and mild topical irritation
Human+Kind Body Souffle is a soft, creamy “souffle” that goes on very lightly and provides deep moisturization. It’s made using 97% natural or naturally-derived ingredients, so you don’t have to deal with any of the harsh chemicals and detergents that could cause irritation.
The main ingredient is apricot kernel oil. This all-natural oil is rich in fatty acids and healthy, moisturizing oils for your skin.
It’s also absorbed very easily by the skin, which means you won’t have as much residue to worry about as you would with most eczema or dry skin creams.
Human+Kind is a little on the expensive side, given the small container. However, it’s a highly concentrated lotion, which means that you don’t have to use a whole lot. A couple of dime-sized amounts is all you’ll need to cover most of your body.
Plus, it smells amazing! The fragrance is botanical and floral, which provides a bit of uplifting aromatherapy after each application.
- Easily absorbed by your skin and doesn’t leave behind residue.
- Pleasant all-natural fragrance.
- Uses 97% natural or naturally-derived ingredients.
- Great for eczema or dry skin.
- It’s a little bit on the expensive side, but it lasts longer than some of the more watered-down lotions I’ve tried.
Conclusion – What Type of Vegan Lotion Do I Need?
Most people will do just fine with the Human+Kind Body Butter or one of the dermatologist-recommended vegan lotions I mentioned at the top of my list.
However, if you’re dealing with severely dry skin or an inflamed outbreak of eczema, then I suggest trying one of the thicker creams, as they’ll provide far more relief.
Another great way to prevent eczema and ensure that your skin remains clean, clear, and healthy is to use a good vegan face wash. Keep on reading to find out my favorite vegan face wash brands!