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, a great deal of us are 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.


woman spreading her arms
Image by Fuu J via Unsplash


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 Cutter and Bunny Free by PETA. You can search by brand/product and scroll through 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 that 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 to be applied 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 in 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.

If you are concerned about using products without any animal-derived ingredients, you’ll want to avoid these ingredients:


hand touching lotion bottle
Image by Toa Heftiba via Unsplash


The 19 Best Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizers for Different Skin Types

Best Cruelty-Free Moisturizers for Oily Skin

Tatcha The Water Cream

A luxurious, best-selling 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.

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.

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.”

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.

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 brighten skin. Also, probiotic extracts, aloe, and watermelon to soothe. It looks great under makeup, too.
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.

Youth to the People Superfood Airwhip Moisture Cream

This lightweight gel cream contains a slew of anti-oxidants to help nourish your skin and provide all the hydration your oily skin desires.
Speaking of oily skin, did I mention this is perfect for your oily skin? Being incredibly lightweight and quick-absorbing, YTTP delivers again on quality and does not sacrifice certain ethical baddies for the sake of their products.


Best Cruelty-Free Moisturizers for Dry Skin

white tube of facial cream

Mineral Infusion 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.

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 its products or ingredients on animals – nor do their suppliers or any third-parties.

Peach & Lily Matcha Pudding AntiOxidant 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 creates a visibly brighter appearance; juniper berries to clarify; panthenol moisturizes and soothes. And that’s 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 a cruelty-free philosophy in mind.

e.l.f. Skin Holy Hydration Face Cream

Not only great value for money, e.l.f. once again provides an affordable product worth more than it’s weight in gold in hydration as well.
Filled with vitamins and goodies for your skin, it’s also packed with panthenol and peptides and is suited to a tea for your dry skin.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter

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


Best Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin

Pacifica Dreamy Youth Day and Night Face Cream

This daily (and nightly!) moisturizer is formulated with concentrated peptides, antioxidants, floral stem cells, and advanced extracts to moisturize the skin and enhance your natural glow deeply. 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.

Paula’s Choice Rescue and Repair INtensive Moisturizer

With a new and improved formula, Paula’s Choice Rescue and Repair Intensive Repair is a great choice for you if you are especially sensitive and are looking for a rich cream to strengthen your skin.
This moisturizer will also target the underlying cause of your skin’s redness.

Andalou 1000 Roses Biome Balancing Day Cream

Containing no artificial fragrance or harsh chemicals, this day cream is ideal for skin that is 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.

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 the skin while strengthening the skin’s barrier to reduce stress-induced damage.

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

L’Occitane Ultra Thirst Quenching Cream

This classic French cream is perfect for your extra-sensitive skin. With hydration to last for 24hrs, Ultra Thirst Quenching Cream is also leaping bunny certified.



Best Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizers for Combination Skin

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!

Mario Badescu Buttermilk Moisturizer

What I love about Mario Badescu is that it’s a little bit no frills in the packaging, a no nonsense brand that say to me – “it’s whats on the inside that counts.”
And the Buttermilk is one of my favorite moisturizers of theirs. Lightweight, silky smooth (and delicious to smell, I’ll be honest) it will replenish and rejuvenate your tired, dull looking skin without causing it to break out.
The ingredients make it the perfect choice for your combination skin.


Best Cruelty-Free Face Moisturizer for All Skin Types

Biossance Squalane and Omega Repair Cream

If you know me, you’ve no doubt heard me talk about this moisturizer – maybe even on my podcast.

How could I NOT include it in this list? One of my favorite skincare brands, and undoubtedly my favorite moisturizers, also happens to come from a cruelty-free company.

Yep, Biossance is cruelty-free.

If you’re still uncertain about which moisturizer to choose, regardless of your skin type, age, condition, or whatever, this is a genuinely healing, hydrating, and nourishing cream that I will never stop singing praises about.

Paula’s Choice

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, or right below by clicking the link inside the green button.

As you can see, you have a pretty huge choice in 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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