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Skincare

Best Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizers

Nowadays, cruelty-free face moisturizers are everywhere. That’s because we’re becoming more and more aware of the unethical practices involved in the creation and development of beauty products. As a result, we’re all on the lookout for kinder, more ethical skincare products.

The best part is, it’s so easy to find cruelty-free skincare products these days. So there’s no excuse to use old-fashioned, animal-tested cosmetics anymore.

New to all of this? No worries. Let us delve into the world of cruelty-free beauty and the best cruelty-free face moisturizer your money can buy.

What Exactly Does Cruelty-Free Mean?

Cruelty-free means that a product and its ingredients have not been tested on animals.

Did you know that half a million rabbits, mice, cats, dogs, and other animals still suffer and die for beauty testing every year?

A growing number of consumers are intentionally seeking out cruelty-free cosmetics in a bid to live a kinder, more compassionate lifestyle.

Using ethical products really is the easiest way to make a difference in the lives of animals.

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woman spreading her arms
Image by Fuu J via Unsplash

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How Do I Know a Moisturizer is Cruelty-Free?

There are several ways to determine whether or not a moisturizer is cruelty-free.

For starters, you’ll want to look for verified logos like the leaping bunny.

You can also quickly find out if a product is cruelty-free by searching apps like Cruelty Cutta and Bunny Free by PETA. You can search by brand/product and scroll their database to find the perfect one for you.

Another convenient way to distinguish ethical beauty brands is to head to websites such as Logical Harmony, Leaping Bunny, and Ethical Elephant. These websites deliver the latest cruelty-free information and you can also search their database to allocate cruelty-free brands and products.

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Skin Types and Their Different Hydration Needs

All skin types benefit from hydration – even oily and acne-prone skin. Hydrated skin feels softer, looks brighter, and is more effective at receiving skincare products applied on top. And let’s not forget, moisturized skin looks younger! However, different skin types require different levels of hydration.

Dry skin

Dry skin, for instance, needs a heavier, more nourishing moisturizer. If you’re experiencing dryness, flaking, and overall tightness, you should be seeking moisturizers with humectants and emollients like shea butter, coconut oil, hyaluronic acid, and argan oil. Those with dry skin should reapply 2-3 times each day to keep their skin healthy.

Oily skin

On the other hand, oily skin demands lighter creams and serums that won’t clog the pores. These also only need applying twice per day at most. Look for moisturizers that are oil-free and non-comedogenic so they won’t congest your pores and trigger breakouts.

Mature and Aging Skin

Mature skin needs frequent hydration and specific anti-aging ingredients such as vegan collagen and retinol to maintain skin elasticity and firmness.

Sensitive skin

Like mature and dry skin types, sensitive skin also requires daily hydration. But only natural, non-irritating ingredients should be in contact with it. In other words, retinol may not be the best choice if you have easily irritated skin.

Combination skin

A combination skin type can benefit from a thicker moisturizer intended for dry skin on drier areas and a lightweight lotion on oilier areas to prevent further greasiness.

Key Ingredients to Look for in a Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizer

Ideally, you want to be looking for nourishing ingredients that aren’t derived from animals.

Ingredients such as:

  • cocoa butter
  • shea butter
  • coconut oil
  • argan oil
  • olive oil
  • jojoba oil
  • aloe vera
  • lavender
  • hyaluronic acid.

Look for plant-based ingredients to be on the safe side. Any ingredient you haven’t heard of – google it, and decide from there whether it’s animal-friendly or not.

Animal-Derived Ingredients to Avoid

Believe it or not, many of the cosmetics you use on a daily basis, from your shampoo to your cleanser, may be loaded with animal-derived ingredients. You wouldn’t know because they have special names.

Ones you’ll want to avoid include:

  • carmine
  • lanolin
  • urea
  • shellac
  • keratin
  • oleic acid
  • shark-derived squalene
  • elastin
  • beeswax
  • collagen

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hand touching lotion bottle
Image by Toa Heftiba via Unsplash

The Best Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizers and Why

Best Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizer for Oily Skin

Tatcha The Water Cream

Tatcha The Water Cream

A luxurious, bestselling moisturizer and Appeal Reader’s Option 2020 Award Front-runner, Tatcha Face Moisturizer is an excellent oil-free moisturizer. It’s targetted for oily and acne-prone skin thanks to its zero-oil content. Tatcha Face Moisturizer is also lightweight and non-greasy so you won’t feel heavy slathering your skin in it.

Its key ingredients include Japanese botanicals such as Japanese Wild Rose to help tighten pores, and Japanese Leopard Lily to control excess oil and clarify skin.

Tatcha is cruelty-free. They do not test their products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers.

Find Tatcha The Water Cream here.

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Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Moisturizer

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Moisturizer

An oil-free daily moisturizer for people dealing with daily shine and regular breakouts.

This lightweight, fast-absorbing face cream provides hydration while preventing blemishes and excessive oil production.
It is loaded with 7 Alpha Beta acids and will give your skin a clear glow without clogging the pores. As effective as this daily lotion is, it is a little on the expensive side.
Dr. Dennis Gross formulates “cruelty-free, clean skincare products using the best of science & nature to deliver clinically proven results.”

Find Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Moisturizer here.

Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer


Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer

This cruelty-free gel moisturizer uses saw palmetto to help balance sebum and deliver a matte finish. BHA botanical blend to gently exfoliate the skin and minimize pores, and Tazman pepper berry to calm irritation and bring down redness.
While its price tag is pretty steep, its results are pretty amazing.
Tata Harper is dedicated to providing extreme results without an ounce of cruelty.

Find Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer here.

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Tula Breakout Star Acne Moisturizer

Tula Breakout Star Acne Moisturizer

Loaded with naturally derived probiotic extracts and superfoods, this face cream delivers hydration while treating acne. It contains azelaic and salicylic acid to fight acne and keep your skin bright. Also probiotic extracts, aloe and watermelon to soothe. It also looks great under makeup.
Even though it’s a more expensive product, you are getting luxury and you can expect to see visible results with daily use of this cream.
Tula products are cruelty-free.

Find Tula Breakout Star Acne Moisturizer here.

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Best Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizer for Dry, Aging Skin

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First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration


First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

This repair cream uses colloidal oatmeal and shea butter to replenish moisture, lock it in, and simultaneously relieve itchiness.

In addition to using it on your face, you can use it on the rest of your body too for head-to-toe hydration!
Because of its general thickness in texture, this wouldn’t be suitable for oily, acne-prone skin as it may cause you to break out. Sensitive skin types may also benefit from this formula thanks to its soothing range of ingredients.
First Aid Beauty adores animals, which is why they are committed to being a 100% cruelty-free company!

Find First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – Intense Hydration here.

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Mineral Fusion Intense Hydration

Mineral Fusion Intense Hydration

Made with a blend of hyaluronic acid and peptides, these ingredients work together to restore moisture and firm the skin for a dewy, youthful appearance. It’s ideal for dry skin types thanks to its intensely hydrating formula. However, it is also useful for aging skin as HA and peptides can fade the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Mineral Fusion stands for quality, cruelty-free skincare. Their products are ethically sourced.

Find Mineral Fusion Intense Hydration here.

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Mad Hippie Face Cream with Anti-Wrinkle Peptide Complex

Mad Hippie Face Cream with Anti-Wrinkle Peptide Complex

Loaded with antioxidants and active ingredients like peptides, acai, and argan oil, it’s a nourishing daily formula for aging skin.

Mad Hippie had confirmed that it is 100% cruelty-free. The company does not test their products or ingredients on animals – nor do their suppliers or any third-parties.

Find Mad Hippe Face Cream here.

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Peach & Lily Matcha Pudding Anti-Oxidant Cream

Peach & Lily Matcha Pudding Anti-Oxidant Cream

For a potent anti-aging cream, try this one. It’s made with peptide complex and adenosine to help target fine lines and wrinkles. Also, niacinamide to create a visibly brighter appearance, juniper berries to clarify; panthenol to moisturize and soothe. And that’s just to name a few of its powerhouse ingredients!
On a less positive note, it may be too rich for oily skin types.
All Peach & Lily formulas are crafted with cruelty-free philosophy in mind.

Find Peach & Lily Matcha Pudding Anti-Oxidant Cream here.

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Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter


This luxe, oil-powered cream combined 100% pure argan oil with watermelon seed oil, shea butter, fresh cucumber extract, and aloe nectar to hydrate, replenish moisture, support skin’s elasticity, and reduce redness.
Josie Maran uses cruelty-free, ethical practices only.

Find Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter here.

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Best Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin

Pacifica Dreamy Youth Day & Night Face Cream

Pacifica Dreamy Youth Day & Night Face Cream

This daily (and nightly!) moisturizer is formulated with concentrated peptides, antioxidants, floral stem cells, and advanced extracts to deeply moisturize the skin and enhance your natural glow. It also blends in grapeseed oil for even more intense hydration. It’s the perfect formula for aging skin and equally as ideal for sensitive skin, regardless of if you use it as a day or night cream. Or both!

While it’s definitely affordable, the only downside of the product is the packaging – in that it’s hard to tell when it’s nearly empty. Other than that, reviewers can’t praise it enough.

Pacifica products are made with compassion for the planet, animals, and people. They are always clean, vegan, and cruelty-free.

Find Pacifica Dreamy Youth Day & Night Face Cream here.

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Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Beautiful Day Cream

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Beautiful Day Cream


Containing no artificial fragrance or harsh chemicals, this day cream is ideal for skin easily irritated. It’s also great for dry skin thanks to its nourishing blend of alpine rose stem cells, aloe, and olive.
Andalou is committed to cruelty-free practices.

Find Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Beautiful Day Cream here.

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Bareminerals Skinlongevity Long Life Herb Serum

BareMinerals Skinlongevity Long Life Herb Serum

A beautiful, balanced fusion of clean, vegan ingredients, this daily face cream harnesses the hydrating properties of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, to name a few.

It’s perfect for sensitive skin types as it’s fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. This formula aims to soothe skin while strengthening the skin’s barrier to reduce stress-induced damage.

BareMinerals is a brand committed to ethical, cruelty-free practices.

You’ll find BareMinerals Skinlongevity Long Life Herb Serum here.

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Best Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizers for Combination Skin

Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturizer

Yes to Tomatoes Balancing Moisturizer

If you have combination skin and you’re searching for an affordable, drugstore option, choose Yes To Tomatoes. This moisturizer balances dry and oily areas for smooth, soft, balanced skin.
It uses lycopene to banish blotchiness; watermelon and red tea to control oil and prevent breakouts; and tomatoes to balance skin.
While it’s effective for combo skin, some reviewers have claimed it is slightly irritating. So if you’ve got sensitive and combination skin, be especially careful when using this formula.
Yes To Tomatoes are proud business friends of PETA, and a certified member of the Leaping Bunny Program in the US. All their products are tested on family, friends, and employees – but never on animals!

Find Yes to Tomatoes Balancing Moisturizer here.

Best Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizer for All Skin Types

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Paula’s Choice Essential Glow Moisturizer with SPF 30

Paula’s Choice Essential Glow Moisturizer with SPF 30

An illuminating moisturizer that hydrates while protecting the skin against the effects of environmental damage. It’s packed with 12 antioxidants to visibly smooth signs of aging. And it offers a nice dewy radiance.
Paula’s Choice never tests on animals at any stage of product development.
You can purchase this face cream from Paula’s Choice online store.

Find Paula’s Choice Essential Glow Moisturizer with SPF 30 here.


As you can see, you have a pretty huge choice of finding an effective, cruelty-free face moisturizer out there. With a growing number of beauty brands embracing ethical production practices, we no longer have to compromise our values for the sake of a radiant complexion. Take your pick! There’s a cruelty-free face moisturizer out there for every skin type.

Featured Image by Drew Dizzy Graham via Unsplash.

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