9 Best Cruelty-Free & Vegan Soap Brands

Soap! Is it vegan?

Of course, it is, but you need to know where to look and what to look for. But fear not, as I’m here to help!

This guide will leave you feeling excited and totally guilt free for your next trip to the shower! Just like many ingredients used in food on store shelves these days, some soaps are still made using animal products. This can range from beeswax to animal fat.

Soaps which are not deemed vegan-friendly will also include health and hygiene products that are tested on animals – Yep, that horrific process still exists in our supposedly ‘civilized’ society.

But not all soaps are guilty bars of bad karma! There are some wonderful companies out there that care about their customers, the planet and the living beings that we share it with.

This soap guide will highlight some these companies and delve a little deeper into their most popular vegan soap products, giving you the insight and knowledge needed to make an informed decision on what you will be stocking in your bathroom cupboards.

We’ll talk a little about each soap individually, the ingredients that it is made of, and the main benefits that you can gain from using that particular soap. So let’s get right into it!

Quick List of Vegan Soaps

For those of you who are impatient like me, I put together a quick list of vegan soap brands that I recommend.  I also go into much greater detail on each product if you scroll down the page, or you can use the quick navigation table of contents that I've listed above, for your convenience.

Brand

Type

Best Feature

Dr. Bronner

Castile, Bar

Organic/Natural/Fair Trade

Dr. Bronner

Castile, Liquid

Multi-Purpose

Kirk’s Natural

Castile, Bar

For those on a Budget

Dr. Woods

Castile, Liquid

Moisturizing

Herban Cowboy

Bar

For men

Tom’s of Maine

Bar

For Sensitive skin

One With Nature

Bar

Acne

Kiss My Face

Bar

Naturally treats eczema

Clearly Natural

Bar, Glycerin

Hypoallergenic

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap

Natural/Organic Vegan Soap [Castile, Bar]

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap
Product Highlights
  • Doesn’t leave you with dry skin
  • Revitalizes skin
  • Clears sinuses
  • Leaves you feeling sharp and focused
  • Can be used for body, face and hair
  • Eco-conscious & Biodegradable

A popular scent option within this company’s soap range (well actually, it is the number one seller!), this peppermint bar will leave your skin tingling with freshness.

Organic peppermint oil is used to produce this soap, providing the skin with a cool rub that will reinvigorate and refresh you.

Peppermint is also known to clear the sinuses and lift away brain fog – so not only will your skin be fresh and clean, but your whole being will feel brand new.

These soap bars are made with 100% fair trade ingredients, ensuring that no ethical boundaries have been left unchecked in the crafting of this magical vegan soap.

Dr. Bronner’s has also combined the peppermint oil with hemp oil, increasing the smoothness of the soap lather that this bar creates and raising its moisturizing properties.

You won’t be left with dry, peeling skin after using this product!

This soap bar is the perfect solution for a face wash, hair wash and body wash.

If an all natural, organic vegan soap bar wasn’t enough, the good people behind Dr.Bronner’s have also ensured that the soap is completely biodegradable and has been packaged in recycled materials – 100% guilt free, 100% planet conscious!

Endorsements & Company Promises

  • Leaping Bunny Approved Logo
  • 100% Organic, Fair for Life, Fairtrade Approved
  • Approved by Non-GMO Project
  • Certified Organic by USDA’s National Organic Programme
  • Certified Vegan by Vegan Action
Ingredients

Organic palm oil, organic coconut oil, water, sodium hydroxide, menthe arvensis, organic olive oil, tocopherol, organic jojoba oil, organic hemp oil, metha piperita, citric acid and sea salt.

Liked

  • High quality organic and fair trade ingredients
  • Organic peppermint oil soothes skin and smells great
  • Gentle and versatile - cleanses face, body and hair!

Didn't Like

  • Some users report that Bronner’s bar soap doesn't lather as well or smell as rich as their liquid castile soap
  • Other users report stinging sensations while using this soap

Dr. Bronner’s Fair Trade & Organic Castile Liquid Soap

Multi-Purpose Vegan Soap [Castile, Liquid]

Dr. Bronner's Fair Trade & Organic Castile Liquid Soap
Product Highlights
  • Cleanses body and mind
  • 100% organic, Fairtrade approved ingredients
  • Multi-puprose
  • Eco-conscious
  • Biodegradable product and packaging
  • Natural ingredients, nothing artificial

Up next is another Dr. Bronner vegan soap!

This little beauty is a lavender liquid soap that has a multitude of uses.

Dr. Bronner’s says that you can use this soap for the body, but also as a household cleaning agent.

As always, it is produced in a biodegradable, and a recycled combination of packaging material and the ingredients are both Fairtrade and organic certified.

This liquid soap is made using natural ingredients and a vegetable base, so don’t fear the presence of chemicals and nasty artificial agents, because there aren’t any here!

A core ethos behind the Dr.Bronner’s brand name is the idea of positive social change, and so the effort and movement in ethical production, manufacturing and the support of charities around the globe is also present, a noble notion in this day and age, within a consumer drove society when profits are often considered greater than the treatment of workers or the planet.

Endorsements & Company Promises

  • Leaping Bunny Approved Logo
  • Fair for Life, Fairtrade Approved
  • Approved by Non-GMO Project
  • Certified Organic by USDA’s National Organic Programme
  • Certified Vegan by Vegan Action
Ingredients

Olive fatty acids, water, coconut oil, olive oil, hemp oil (with glycerine retained), rosemary extract, lavendin oils, lavender oils.

Liked

  • Gentle enough for washing body, face or hair, but strong enough for tasks like dishwashing, mopping, and laundry
  • Lavender oil relaxes muscles and soothes skin
  • Leaves skin feeling clean and nourished

Didn't Like

  • Some users report that the soap is diluted or watered down
  • Other users report dry skin and scalp after use
  • May cause stinging sensation for those with sensitive skin

KIRKS NATURAL Original Coco Castile Soap

Low Cost Vegan Soap [Castile, Bar]

KIRKS NATURAL Original Coco Castile Soap
Product Highlights
  • Moisturises skin
  • Hypoallergenic
  • All natural ingredients
  • Not tested on animals
  • Biodegradable

Up next is Kirk’s Natural Soap!

This vegan bar soap is an original formula made using completely natural ingredients – No nasty man-made chemicals to be found here!

As a consequence, this soap would be perfect for those with sensitive skin and can be considered a hypoallergenic skin care product.

It contains neither animal by-products or harsh detergents – so put your mind to rest!

This vegan soap is made using botanical coconut oil and is very gentle on the skin, leaving no residue after use.

Kirk’s have been producing these soaps since 1839, and their experience has left them with a product that is continually a top seller in the rankings of naturally produced soaps.

Endorsements & Company Promises

  • Leaping Bunny Approved (Cruelty Free Product)
Ingredients

Water, coconut oil, coconut soap, natural fragrances, vegetable glycerine.

Liked

  • Reasonably priced and lasts a long time
  • Gently cleans sensitive skin
  • Rich, thick lather
  • Rinses clean without residue

Didn't Like

  • May cause dryness or skin irritation
  • Contains added fragrance

Dr. Woods Pure Castile Soap

Moisturizing Vegan Soap [Castile, Liquid]

Dr. Woods Pure Castile Soap
Product Highlights
  • Allows skin to retain moisture
  • Unclogs skin pores
  • Natural ingredients only
  • VeganChemical Free (No paraben or phthalate)
  • Promotes the healing of skin blemishes

This fragrant soap breaks away from the previous trend of Castile’s solid bar soaps – Lather your body with this luxurious fluid soap!

Dr.Woods pure Castile soap is made using a combination of natural tea tree oil and the infamous healing nature of olive oil to produce a bar of soap that locks in moisture while creating a breathable layer on the skin.

The natural properties of tea tree oil make this soap into an exfoliating, unclogging and skin healing experience.

Tea tree also aids the healing of skin blemishes and absorbs any excess sebum (the oil naturally produced by your skin pores).

So have no fear because Dr.Woods is here to clean up your skin and leave you feeling refreshed! As another Castile product, Dr.Woods soap is not tested on animals and only contains natural ingredients.

This soap is also free of chemicals such as paraben and phthalate – ingredients that are as great for your skin as they are to read!

You can use Dr.Woods as a facial cleanser; body wash, laundry detergent, and shampoo; it is a truly versatile product that will not let you down.

Endorsements & Company Promises

Ingredients

Olive oil, hemp oil, tea tree oil, water, retained glycerine, sea salt, vitamin e oil, citric acid, extract from rosemary

Liked

  • Locks in moisture
  • Leaves skin feeling smooth and clean
  • Cheaper than leading brand liquid castile soap

Didn't Like

  • Does not foam up well
  • May cause mild irritation on sensitive skin types

Herban Cowboy Dusk Bar Soap (for Men)

Vegan Soap for Men [Bar]

Dr. Woods Pure Castile Soap
Product Highlights
  • Eco-conscious
  • Biodegradable product & packaging
  • Exfoliates & Conditions
  • Natural masculine scent (Aimed at men)
  • Long lasting
  • All natural ingredients (no artificial colors or chemicals)

Herban Cowboy is up next!

This masterfully crafted vegan soap product is an eye opener on so many levels.

And guess what gentleman, it is a bathroom product created specifically for you!

Herban Cowboy’s ‘Dusk Deodorant’ is a soap bar that is 100% vegan and crafted using a natural vegetable base along with the natural skin conditioning properties of seaweed.

The use of black walnut provides deodorizing properties meaning that this soap is a 2 in 1 product!

This soap bar emanates a natural masculine scent and is a long lasting soap bar that will keep you on top of your ‘cleaning up well’ game.

It also contains deep cleansing and exfoliating pumice – ensuring that your skin is given a solid depth of reinvigoration.

No stone is left unturned with Herban Cowboy’s Dusk Bar!

And if all of those beautiful pros were not enough to win you over, just wait till you see the sleek, debonair packaging – printing of course on biodegradable, recycled materials with nothing other than soy ink.

A product that is beneficial for the environment as well as the person that it is aimed for, top marks!

This soap bar is free from artificial dyes, colorings, and chemical ingredients, so stock it up gentleman and welcome in the night with new freshness!

Endorsements & Company Promises

  • PETA Approved (Does not test on animals)
Ingredients

Water, sodium cocate, sodium palmate, rosemary leaf extract, pumice, black walnut, organic iron oxide, glycerin, parfum (fragrance), macrocystis pyrifera extract.

Liked

  • Works well as aftershave, deodorant, and cologne
  • Strong masculine scent
  • Lathers well

Didn't Like

  • May dry out skin
  • Disappears quicker than most bar soaps
  • Contains unknown “fragrance” (I’m not sure what ingredients were used to enhance this product’s scent!)
  • Some users report that the scent is overpowering

Tom’s of Maine Natural Beauty Bar (Sensitive)

Vegan Soap for Sensitive Skin [Bar]

Dr. Woods Pure Castile Soap
Product Highlights
  • Keeps skin moist and breathing
  • Soothes skin
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Hypoallergenic

The next bar on our vegan and cruelty-free soap tour is made up of two incredibly powerful natural ingredients when it comes to skin soothing and cleansing – Chamomile and olive oil.

This bar takes full command of these natural ingredients rather than relying on complex and harsh chemicals that are found in many other corporately owned beauty products.

The olive oil provides the perfect moisturizing agent for the skin, allowing it to breathe but keeping in the moisture at the same time. Olive oil is also high in vitamin E, essential for radiant and healthy skin.

This cruelty-free soap bar has been trialed clinically for its degree of effect in being gentle on sensitive skin.

Tom’s of Maine also have the awesome ethos that you shouldn’t use chemicals on your skin today that you’d want to be put out into your world tomorrow – Kudos to them for such a positive and earth conscious attitude!

If you want a company who is looking out for you and the planet, then Tom has you covered! Trust in Tom’s!

Endorsements & Company Promises

  • PETA Approved Logo (No Animal Testing)
Ingredients

Sodium cocate, palm kernel oil, sodium palmate, water, sodium chloride (sea salt), glycerine, olive oil, sodium gluconate, jojoba oil, vitamin E, camomile flower oil extract.

Liked

  • Gentle on sensitive skin
  • Lathers well and doesn't leave residue or greasy film in bathtub
  • Light scent leaves you smelling fresh and clean
  • Lasts a long time

Didn't Like

  • Does not deeply moisturize
  • Some users report only receiving one bar of soap in pack of two upon shipment

One With Nature Dead Sea Mineral Mud Soap with Argan Oil & Shea Butter

Best Vegan Soap for Acne [Bar]

Dr. Woods Pure Castile Soap
Product Highlights
  • Deeply cleansing
  • Naturally exfoliates & moisturizes
  • Eco-friendly, biodegradable packaging
  • Natural ingredients, nothing artificial
  • Stops skin from becoming dry
  • Triple milled, long lasting bar

This brand has the most beautiful slogan that I’m going to throw straight in here, ‘Experience the Dead Sea difference’.

Nicely done ‘one with nature’, nicely done!

This company is built on the grounds of carefully crafting skin products which are effective and contain the very finest of ingredients.

This particular bar is made in Jordan and utilizes minerals from the Dead Sea itself.

This area of the world was muds and salts which are deeply beneficial for the skin, providing a deep and thorough cleanse.

They also have the rather beautiful and helpful property of returning the skin’s pH to normal and minimizing acne.

One with nature has created this cruelty-free bar by combining these naturally occurring gems of goodness with traditional and cultural ingredients such as shea butter and argan oil.

Shea butter is a natural, vegetable-based ingredient and makes for a smooth lather and argan oil moisturizes the skin and contains a high level of vitamin E to restore premium health into your skin pores while ensuring that your skin doesn’t go dry after washing.

The bar is ‘tripple milled’ at the source, making for a bar that is long lasting and doesn’t contain large mineral chunks that would otherwise be difficult to create a lather with.

There are no artificial nasties in this bar, and the soap is naturally free of additional fragrances.

The ethos of being earth conscious is also present as this company works with Friends of The Earth in supporting the conservation efforts around the Dead Sea – Support their company and you’ll be looking out for body and planet once again!

This soap is not animal tested, and the packaging is biodegradable plastic and recycled materials.

Endorsements & Company Promises

  • Conservation project with Friends of The Earth Middle East
  • PETA Approved (No animal testing)
  • PETA Approved Vegan Company
Ingredients

Water, saponified palm oil (sodium palmate), dead sea mud (silt), sodium palm kernelate, sea salt, glycerine, cinnamon bark, dead sea salt, argan oil, shea butter, vitamin E, citric acid.

Liked

  • Controls acne and breakouts
  • Evens out skin tone and fades acne scars
  • Great size, lasts a long time
  • Fragrance free

Didn't Like

  • Slightly abrasive and may cause scratches on skin
  • May dry out skin

Kiss My Face Naked Pure Olive Oil Soap

Vegan Soap for Eczema [Bar]

Kiss My Face Naked Pure Olive Oil Soap
Product Highlights
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Gluten free
  • Natural ingredients
  • High vitamin E content for smooth skin
  • Soothes the skin
  • Moisturizing

This natural vegan beauty bar soap is made up of 86% olive oil (pure), making it a killer soap for moisturizing your skin with.

It is also sold in a super helpful batch of 3 bars, so stock up and save your $$!

Produced in Greece, the ethos behind this soap pays homage to the natural cleansing, purifying and healing properties of olive oil.

It is an ingredient suitable for all skin types and with no nasty chemicals hidden inside, even the most sensitive skins will be left feeling smooth after a massage with these bar soaps!

The combination of antioxidant-rich olive oil and exfoliating sea salt is especially effective in treating eczema and psoriasis.

The soap bar is also free of any artificial colors, making it a pure and simple useful beauty product – Nothing complex, just pure natural goodness for your skin (this soap only contains three ingredients! Talk about simplicity at its finest!).

The soap itself is unscented and is loaded with naturally occurring vitamin E for premium skin health (found within the olives).

Endorsements & Company Promises

  • Approved by Non-GMO Project
  • Leaping Bunny Approved (Cruelty Free Product)
  • No parabens, phthalates, or SLS
  • Free of artificial colours
  • Contains no GMO ingredients
Ingredients

Water, Sodium Olivate (Olive Oil, Saponified), Sea Salt (Sodium Choride).

Liked

  • Treats eczema and psoriasis without use of harsh chemicals
  • Soothes acne and breakouts
  • Simple and natural ingredients
  • No added fragrances - safe for people with allergies

Didn't Like

  • May cause irritation/itchy skin/skin rash
  • Some users report having a strong aversion to the smell of this soap

Clearly Natural Glycerine Bar Soap Unscented

Hypoallergenic Vegan Soap [Bar]

Clearly Natural Glycerine Bar Soap
Product Highlights
  • Hypoallergenic
  • No artificial dyes or colours
  • Moisturizes skin
  • Unclogs skin pores

Up next on our vegan soap tour is this wonderful (pack of three) soap from ‘Clearly Natural’.

This bar is naturally free from fragrances and is also hypoallergenic.

It contains no artificial dyes or colors either!

This bar, in particular, is a moisturizing soap that doesn’t dry out the skin and is also hypoallergenic (smile sensitive skin types, this one’s for you!).

The bar is also recommended by dermatologists and creates a lather that is easy to rinse off.

Due to the high content of glycerine in these soap bars, the skin is encouraged to retain its natural moisture, and the skin pores are not clogged.

Clearly Natural has also partnered with the project ‘soap saves lives’ – a worldwide mission to aid those in developing countries with hygiene and health products.

By purchasing this bar, a portion of your money goes towards this fantastic cause. This soap can be used all over the body and simply needs to be lathered, rubbed on and rinsed off – nothing complicated about it!

Endorsements & Company Promises

Ingredients

Saponified coconut, glycerine, humectants, palm kernel, sodium citrate, vegetable-derived surfactants.

Liked

  • Safe for people with skin allergies and irritations
  • Gently cleanses without causing dryness or agitating skin
  • Perfect for people who cannot tolerate scented soaps

Didn't Like

  • Doesn’t lather well
  • Some users have reported this soap has little cleaning power

Vegan Soap vs. Regular Soap: What’s The Difference?

A major distinction between vegan soap and non-vegan soap is the oil used to make the product.

While vegan products are made with vegetable oils, such as olive and coconut oil, regular soaps are made with oil from animal fat, milk, and sometimes, honey.

Although there is not a significant difference in the quality of these soaps, there is a lot to be said about the focus and attention that vegan-based companies give to their products.

Are Big Soap Brands (Like Dove) Considered Vegan?

Discovering whether a product is vegan and cruelty-free can be difficult, especially when you’re researching a big name brand like Dove or Irish Spring.

These companies may not test on animals in their labs; however, they could very possibly source ingredients from sources that do.

This means they can rightfully say that they are not responsible for animal testing on the “final product,” while hiding information on the testing done for each ingredient.

The Verdict

As far as the debate of whether or not Dove soaps are vegan or not, I’ve concluded that they are in fact, non-vegan.

According to PETA’s glossary of brands that DO test on animals, Dove, Ivory, Irish Springs, and Old Spice all fall under the “guilty as charged” list.

What Makes These Brands Non-Vegan?

Dove, Ivory, Zest, and Dial make soap bars that contain Sodium Tallowate; this substance is created when the fatty acid from animal tissue is combined with some lye.

Irish Springs bar soap not only contains Sodium Tallowate but is also comprised of Hydrogenated Tallow Acid, which is derived from animals (usually rendered beef fat) and is known to cause eczema and blackheads.

Not only do these brands contain products derived from animal fat, but they also contain a large host of chemical-based ingredients that can potentially be harmful to your skin.

In the long-run, it makes sense to buy from vegan brands because their ingredients are much gentler and effective in treating skin disorders and living a healthy lifestyle.

The Benefits Of Buying Vegan Soap

Most companies that strive to be vegan and cruelty-free also put that same amount of care and concern into the ingredients that they use in their products.

This is not to say that every single animal-loving brand out there uses 100% organic ingredients sourced from the Himalayas.

However, as the list on this page illustrates, these companies make a huge effort to create products that are free of GMOs, gluten, parabens, synthetics, silicones, and really, anything considered artificial.

Don’t blindly buy vegan products without reading the ingredient list first.

But, take comfort in the fact that the majority of vegan brands are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint, implement fairtrade practices, and hand-select ingredients that don’t hurt their consumers (or the earth).

Vegan Soap Ingredients: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

A decent majority of non-vegan, conventional soaps are primarily petroleum and detergent bars.

They are made with harsh abrasives, chemicals, and artificial ingredients.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

One of the most common ingredients that a lot of vegan soap brands are trying to avoid is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), which is a foaming agent and suspected carcinogen.

Although SLS is considered vegan, it’s known to be corrosive and harmful to skin tissue and is linked to skin irritation.

No wonder vegan soap brands are going above and beyond to eliminate SLS from their ingredient lists!

Artificial fragrances

Artificial fragrances are another point of interest in vegan and cruelty-free soaps.

While tons of cruelty-free brands are bringing fun and invigorating natural scents to the market, others default to “parfum (fragrance)” as a listed ingredient in their soaps.

Using vague terms like “fragrance” or “parfum” typically indicates that this ingredient is not something pure and organic like an essential oil.

It’s a good indicator that sensitive skin types or people with allergies should probably opt for an alternative product because the fragrance is most likely from an artificial source.

Added fragrances are especially common in even the most upstanding vegan soaps and can even be found in some of my all time favorite products listed above!

But Wait, There’s More!

Although there are some ingredients you do need to watch out for, vegan soaps are typically packed with nutrient-rich ingredients that leave your skin feeling rejuvenated.

Plant-based oils like olive oil and coconut oil are loaded with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that will help sooth irritated skin and fight infection and inflammation.

These gifts from Mother Nature deeply cleanse and moisturize the skin, while nourishing the skin with the minerals and vitamins that it craves.

What’s The Deal With Palm Oil?

Palm oil and palm kernel oil (PKO) are used in soapmaking as secondary lathering agents and also contribute to a hard bar of soap.

Palm oil is derived from plants and makes an excellent base oil for a long-lasting bar of soap.

So, what’s so bad about palm oil?

The striking reality is that although this is a plant derived ingredient, it’s not exactly being produced in a sustainable and animal-friendly way.

Acres upon acres of the rainforest and other ecosystems are being stripped away to make room for rows upon rows of neatly planted palm trees.

In the process of tearing down the rainforest, thousands of animals are being killed, and some are even endangered.

Likewise, this process gives poachers and other hunters access to land that was once considered to be remote.

The environmental impacts of palm oil are sad, to say the least.

However, by simply buying a bar of soap that contains one of the many alternatives to palm oil (such as olive oil, shea butter, or cocoa butter) you can take one baby step in the right direction to purchasing a more environmentally-friendly product.

In Summary…

That rounds up our tour of top notch, earth conscious, vegan soap products! We hope you’ve got a solid idea of what it takes to earn the label ‘vegan-friendly’ and that you know what to look out for when shopping for vegan bath & body products in the future.

New vegan health care and beauty products are constantly being marketed and thrown out into the consumer market, so keep your eyes peeled and remember the key principles behind a vegan-friendly soap: free from animal and animal-tested ingredients, environmentally friendly, and ethically produced.

If you’re looking for social change, be sure to purchase a product that has a partnership with a social justice, welfare, or conservation program.

Read the labels before making a purchase because your money is your voting power for what you want to see in your world tomorrow – use it wisely and vote for a greener planet, a fairer and more compassionate world for all, and a healthier sense of self in body, mind, and spirit.

Happy bathing!

 

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