When your skin is prone to dryness, irritation, redness, or itchiness, it helps to be extra careful about the products you use. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to find animal-friendly ones that are great for sensitive skin. In your search, opt for nourishing ingredients that come from plants and aren’t derived from speciesist and selfish cruelty to animals.
Bees are killed for their beeswax and honey, which they work hard to produce in order to support their communities. Many skincare products contain ingredients—including lanolin, collagen, squalene made from shark liver, and carmine—that are derived from harming animals.
As you navigate your skincare journey, it’s essential to prioritize animal-friendly options and be mindful of potential irritants. To ensure your sensitive skin receives the gentle care it deserves, steer clear of harsh fragrances, exfoliants, sulfates, and alcohol.
Here are some vegan skincare options across all price points that you can incorporate into your routine:
Vegan Cleansers for Sensitive Skin
ACURE Seriously Soothing Cleansing Cream
Peony extract and chamomile leave your face clean, calm, and ready for the day.
Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser
If your skin is red, itchy, and irritated, this nonfoaming cooling cleanser could be just what you need.
e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Daily Cleanser
Your skin and wallet will love e.l.f.’s gentle, gel-based cleanser. Pair it with the Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm for a cleansing duo.
Paula’s Choice Ultra-Gentle Cleanser
Protect your skin barrier—the outermost layer of skin that protects the body from environmental stress—with this ultra-gentle product.
Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Superfood Cleanser
There’s a reason this cleanser went viral on TikTok—it’s gentle, nourishing, and great for all sensitive skin types.
Cruelty-Free Moisturizers for Dry Skin
Alchimie Forever Kantic Calming Cream
Natural antioxidants help rejuvenate the skin. This mid-weight formula is perfect for all skin types, including acne-prone ones, that experience irritation and redness.
DERMA E Sensitive Skin Soothing Moisturizer
The calming aloe vera and vitamin E in this moisturizing cream help soothe and hydrate skin.
Pacifica Vegan Ceramide Barrier Cream
Itchiness, redness, and dryness could indicate issues with your skin barrier. This product from Pacifica provides protective care to that crucial area.
REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream
This day cream helps prevent dehydration and protects skin from pollutants.
skyn ICELAND Arctic Repair Cream
Super-dry, sensitive skin needs some powerfully hydrating ingredients. Arctic algae is rich in minerals for long-lasting protection from environmental stress.
Gentle Serums and Skin Treatments
ACURE Seriously Soothing Solid Serum 3in1
We love a versatile product, and this one from ACURE can be used as a makeup remover, a chapped skin reliever, or a hydrating facial treatment.
Botanical Republic Regenerate Reviving Serum
Vitamin C serums can irritate sensitive skin types, but this product contains pomegranate seed oil for a hydrating, skin-brightening delivery.
Dr Botanicals Organic & Botanic Facial Serum
When your skin is feeling unbalanced, reach for this facial serum to help even things out.
OSEA Hyaluronic Sea Serum
The seaweed and hyaluronic acid in this serum can help give you a hydration boost while smoothing out you skin’s appearance.
Paula’s Choice 1% BHA Sensitive Skin Exfoliant
Those with sensitive skin need to be careful about incorporating exfoliants into their routine, and they should choose chemical options over manual ones. If you select an exfoliant that’s too harsh or use it too often, it can do more harm than good—but this gentle chemical product with 1% salicylic acid is perfect for balancing sensitive skin and unclogging pores. To reduce the chance of additional irritation, start by using it once a week on a day you aren’t using a retinol.
Alchimie Forever Advanced Retinol Serum With Time-Release Technology
This powerful serum combines antioxidant ingredients and retinol with Alchimie Forever’s proprietary time-release technology, which helps minimize irritation.
Hylunia Retinol Nightly Renewal Serum
Hylunia’s retinol comes from beta-carotene (not fish livers) and helps regenerate cells and protect skin from free radicals.
MDSolarSciences MD Revitalize Retinol Serum
The chamomile, aloe, and seaweed extract in this retinol serum will leave your skin feeling soft while the retinol helps even it out.
Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Retinoid Serum
Traditional retinol can be harsh on sensitive skin types, but the Granactive Retinoid in this serum is a gentler option.
Pro tip: Sun care is an essential part of any skincare routine—especially if you use any sort of retinol product—so check out our cruelty-free sunscreen list for the best mineral SPF options.
Whatever your sensitive skincare routine looks like, be sure to choose products that aren’t tested on animals or made with cruelly derived ingredients. Our cruelty-free database can help you find out whether your favorite brands and products are animal-friendly.
Search PETA’s Cruelty-Free Database