Top 6 Cruelty-Free/Vegan Face Wash Brands

A good face wash plays a vital role in any basic skin care regimen. Your cleanser is a real heavy lifter, removing dirt, sweat, excess oils produced by the skin, dead skin cells, bacteria, and any pollutants that come in contact with your skin.

They differ from soap because they are much gentler, removing the undesirable things but leaving enough sebum (the oil created by your skin) to maintain the skin’s natural moisture barrier.

However, with so many different skin types and conditions, there is rarely a one-wash-fits-all product out there for everyone, and it can be overwhelming and expensive trying to sift through aisles and aisles of face washes in search of the perfect wash that addresses your skin’s specific needs.

On top of your skin’s needs, trying to navigate the cruelty-free status of a product or brand can also be confusing.  While a product might have a “vegan” label on the packaging, this may mean that the product itself does not contain any animal ingredients, but the product or brand engages in cruel animal testing.

It would truly be upsetting to accidentally purchase a product that is rubbed into the eyes and skin of laboratory mice, rats, and rabbits, or forced into their stomachs in cruel toxicity tests.

To make finding your perfect face wash as easy, successful, and cruelty-free as possible, we’ve compiled a quick at-a-glance table and buying a guide of some favorite animal-friendly face washes based on a variety of skin needs. Read more below!

List of Vegan Face Washes

Alba Botanica Acnedote, Deep Pore Wash
Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash
Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash
Thesis Facial Wash Daily Harmony
Alba Botanica Acnedote, Deep Pore Wash


Christina Moss

Desert Essence



Alba Botanica

For acne prone skin

For oily skin

For dry skin

For sensitive skin

Natural/Organic Ingredients


1. Best Vegan Face Wash for Sensitive Skin

Christina Moss Organic Face Wash (Top Pick Overall)

Christina Moss Naturals Organic Face Wash copy

While it can be hard to find a one-product-fits-all face wash, if we had to pick one, Christina Moss Organic Face Wash might fit the bill.

The all organic, all natural formula is especially suited for people with very sensitive skin, as it does not rely on harsh chemicals that dry out or prematurely age skin.

The company uses decyl glucoside, a plant-derived, biodegradable, and gentle surfactant in other gentle products like baby shampoo.

Reviewers with sensitive skin of all types, from very dry to very oily, sing the praises of this facial wash, touting it as an effective makeup remover, treatment for adult acne, and non-irritating cleanser that leaves skin feeling firm and fresh.

Users especially love how the product leaves their sensitive skin feeling clean, but not dried out.

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2. Best Vegan Face Wash for Combination Skin

Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean

Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash

Combination skin can be a fickle type to care for. For some people, the difference can be so drastic that on one area of the skin can be dry and flaky while another area produces enough oil to see a reflection in.

This difference can make it hard to find the perfect product for the entire face, but Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean is by far that product!

Thoroughly Clean uses rich desert botanicals like jojoba, aloe, and tea tree for maximum natural effectiveness without the use of harsh, drying chemicals.

Many reviewers note how helpful this has been with their troublesome combination skin, that the cleanser has been reducing blackheads and breakouts and noticeably decreasing the amount of oil.

While the tea tree oil is super effective and leaves a pleasant “tingle” after application, users should be very careful not to get the cleanser in their eyes, as it can cause intense burning. Some reviewers have had success avoiding this by transferring the cleanser to a liquid-to-foam bottle.

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3. Best Scented Vegan Face Wash

Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash

Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash

After a long day, a nighttime skincare regimen can signal the body that it’s time to relax and rest.

Plenty of products boast pleasant and beautiful scents, and Pacifica’s Sea Foam Complete Face Wash is the perfect way to add a little aromatherapy to your routine.

With refreshing sea algae extract, coconut water, and papaya extracts, the delicate, coconutty scent will whisk you off to a tropical island as you remove makeup, dirt, and pollutants from the day.

Many reviewers note looking forward to washing their face for the scent alone.

The Sea Foam Face Wash is free of sulfates, petrolatum, parabens, SLS, and phthalates, and foams to gently remove dirt and makeup and keep skin cleansed, balanced, and refreshed.

Users rave about the scent and effectiveness of the cleanser, but those with soft skin should use small amounts a few times a week to prevent irritation and dryness.

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4. Best Vegan Face Wash for Oily Skin

Thesis Daily Face Wash for Combination/Oily/Problem Skin

Thesis Facial Wash Daily Harmony

Like the Desert Essence cleanser, Thesis Daily Face Wash is marketed toward people with combination/problem skin, but it shines when used on oily skin that is prone to blemish formation.

A completely organic vegan face wash, Thesis uses natural ingredients and the product is free of detergents, artificial fragrances, preservatives, and toxic irritants.

The cleanser is a mild foaming gel that has deep yet gentle cleansing power that forms the foundation of a skincare regimen for overactive skin.

Thesis uses tea tree, geranium, petitgrain, peppermint, and eucalyptus extracts to promote balance in combination and oily skin, while lavender and aloe vera moisturize and soothe.

Reviewers love that a product made from 100% natural and organic ingredients is so effective at reducing skin’s oil production.

Just a tiny dot is needed to treat the whole face, and users rave about how light, pleasant, and refreshing the formula is upon application.

While the product is suggested for combination skin, some people with combination skin found the formula to be a little too strong, so it is best suited to those who struggle with very oily skin.

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5. Best Vegan Face Wash for Acne

Alba Botanica Acnedote, Deep Pore Wash

Alba Botanica Acnedote, Deep Pore Wash

Specially formulated for skin that is prone to breakouts and blackheads, Alba Botanica’s Acnedote is a foaming scrub that uses ground walnut shell to exfoliate skin, while oil-free salicylic acid sloughs away dead skin and leaves it squeaky clean.

This vegan acne wash is free of parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances.

This formula is tough enough to use on stubborn acne on the back but gentle enough for everyday facial cleansing thanks to calming aloe and chamomile.

Users of this product with stubborn cystic acne report significant results and note that this product’s fragrance is pleasant and dissipates quickly after application.

Reviewers note that they achieve best results with gentle scrubbing once per day, every other day - otherwise, the walnut shell and anti-acne agents can cause redness and irritation.

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Facial Wash as Part of a Vegan Beauty Routine

To combat the dirt and pollutants encountered during the day, it’s important that people with all skin types find the perfect facial cleanser that leaves their skin feeling clean, soft, and balanced.

With such a variety of options from 100% animal-friendly, cruelty-free brands, one does not have to make the choice between quality skincare products and the well-being of the animals and the Earth.

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
ninaframbuesa - September 5, 2016

The more ingredients we use the more irritated and sensitive our skin gets. A simple olive soap does the job without harming the skin.


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