Cruelty-Free Skin Care

Cruelty-Free Skin Care

I’m going to start off by saying: not all these products are zero or even low waste. It’s tricky to find products that tick all the boxes of being plastic-free, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and affordable. While I tend to stick to a relatively low waste skin care routine, there are products I love and brands I want to support (because they offer a wide range of vegan-friendly options) that come in disposable packaging.

Not everyone is ready or able to commit fully to a low waste plant-based lifestyle yet we can all make more compassionate choices especially when it comes to the beauty products we buy. No one needs to buy animal tested products, and so offering up tried-and-tested cruelty-free alternatives is a good way to help others adopt a new beauty routine.

If you’re struggling to find suitable low waste skin care products, I hope my cruelty-free product recommendations are helpful. I’ve included a mix of DIY recipes, low waste products, and standard alternatives - all of them are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.


I’ve always decanted a spoonful or two of coconut oil, from a fresh jar of coconut oil destined for the kitchen cupboards, to use as a simple yet effective cleanser. But coconut oil has a tendency to clog drains if used too regularly, and can be a little heavy on the skin sometimes. Switching up the cleanser you reach for isn’t such a bad idea. In my bathroom at the moment is a trial sized version of the Dr Jackson’s Coconut Melt*, a full sized jar of Evolve Beauty Gentle Cleansing Melt* (both low waste options!) and a tube of the Tropic Skincare Smoothing Cleanser Complexion Purifier*. I can vouch for all three being wonderful and a real treat for the skin.


If you ask my opinion, toning isn’t an essential step in anyone’s skin care routine, however, it can be a gentle way of treating a variety of ailments from sensitivity to blemishes. I like to refresh my complexion with a spritz of toner after cleansing, although it can be used to help remove stubborn makeup, or even soothe inflammation or redness. I tend to mix up my own toner using an old Honest Skincare Floral Toner bottle but it is nice to have the option of a toner with a bit more of a purpose. The Tropic Skincare Vitamin Toner Pore Refining Mist* works to balance pH and reduce pore size while refreshing the complexion. I've also been trying out the West Barn Co. Mist* which helps to set makeup as well as boosting the complexion.


The final step in most skin care routines is moisturising. Unless my skin is feeling dry, I only apply moisturiser after cleansing at night. The Dr Jackson’s Night Cream* is thick and nourishing, perfect for smoothing on and leaving to sink in overnight; helping to calm and regenerate the complexion. The Tropic SkinCare Skin Feast Nourishing Cream Concentrate* is lightweight enough to be used both morning or evening, if you should need to. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a low waste option, a couple of drops of Sweet Almond Oil makes a wonderful moisturiser - for face and body. I find a 50ml bottle lasts around 6 months.

Face Mask

Always having a face mask to hand is a useful habit to get into. Congested, sore, and aggravated skin can be uncomfortable; having a product that will help remedy your concerns is a relief. For sensitive skin, a simple DIY face mask might do the trick while a more potent mask, like the Tropic Skincare Clear Skin Blemish-fighting Mask*, will help draw out toxins and calm your skin. The Nini Natura Miracle Mask sits somewhere in-between the two. It’s a mix-it-yourself powder mask that can be blended with water, milk, or yogurt, to create an anti-inflammatory paste that helps fight pollution and grime.

Cruelty-Free Skin Care


Personally, I’ve never found anything that tackles blemishes like a good serum does. I find the treatment works best overnight when it’s smoothed onto freshly cleansed skin and given time to dry before applying a moisturiser. Depending on how congested your skin is, applying a serum every other day should do the trick. I’ve been using the Evolve Beauty Rainforest Rescue Blemish Serum* and more recently the Tropic Skincare Pure Lagoon Blemish Prevention Serum*.

Healing Balm

Every bathroom cabinet should have a multi-purpose balm that can be applied as a first aid treatment. The Tropic Skincare Tamanu Healing Balm* sits in my bathroom cabinet ready to apply to any minor cuts or burns, sunburn, bug bites, dry skin, chapped lips, redness, or irritation. The centuries-old remedy uses tamanu oil to stimulate skin renewal, and a blend of soothing natural butters. I also keep the multi-purpose Studio Botanic Cold Cream* on hand, which can be used to cleanse the skin, as a hand cream, and also a lip balm.

Hand Cream

Having a reliable hand cream is a must-have skin care essential for me, particularly when the weather starts turning nasty. In my bag at the moment is the lightweight, suitable for everyday use, Studio Botanics Hand Cream* and the Big Green Tree Intensive Hand Balm for when I need a more healing balm. Both are quickly absorbed by the skin, no greasy palms or slippery fingers. A pea sized amount of either is enough to protect your hands and keep skin soft and supple.

Lip Balm

Another essential for me: a never-fails lip balm. I’ve been using Boiron Homeoplasmine for years and I rave about it to friends and family. I’m always carrying it with me and I could never be without it. It’s an all-purpose pomade that has multiple uses yet it’s best applied to sore, chapped lips. The tube is metal with a little plastic cap, and one tube lasts a whole year, making it a suitable low waste lip balm option.

What are your skin care favourites?

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Cruelty-Free Skin Care