Vegan skincare brands for building a plant-based regime
Save your skin, and the planet, with our edit of vegan skincare brands for all genders and budgets
Nourish your skin with these plant-based formulations designed to suit all skin types.
‘We have had K-Beauty and J-beauty, now it’s time for S-beauty,’ says Ellen af Petersens, co-founder of the beauty brand Colekt. That ‘S’ stands for Scandinavian, and af Petersens has certainly created a brand that is a unique expression of her native homeland, working with fellow Stockholmer Susanne Vennerstrand and the design team at Acne (which launched Byredo a decade ago).
All Colekt formulations are vegan, take their inspiration from the natural ingredients of the area – think Oak Root Face Oil and Mulberry Leaf Face Mist – and come in recyclable packaging with grey colouring that’s inspired by the Swedish archipelago.
For those still struggling with drab WFH skin, we recommend the brand’s Face Mist, which offers a refreshing spritz of natural antioxidants and hyaluronic acid. The Rosehip Seed Body Oil is another favourite, especially during the drying winter months. Its lightweight formulation instantly hydrates skin without leaving behind any of the greasy residue or drippy mess of some body oils.
Augustinus Bader’s beloved The Rich Cream has gone vegan. As the brand’s founder and stem cell scientist Professor Bader told us last year, The Rich Cream’s particular genius lies in its ability to trigger skin’s regenerative cells. Unlike most skincare, which just changes the outside surface of the skin, Bader’s skincare is designed to work from the inside out, transforming the body’s internal, cellular communication for exterior changes.
‘There’s something super, super sensitive inside of you, which are these cells that sense the microenvironment and respond to the need. So the cream, in a way, is only a toolbox, which helps your stem cells when they sense this need to interact more appropriately,’ Bader says. ‘Skin is a living organism, which has to be remodelled, meaning repaired a little bit every day. But you can accelerate this repair lead.’
The new vegan version of Bader’s ‘miracle cream’ makes it possible for a whole new audience to experience its transformative properties, evidencing that skincare brands both big and small are increasingly branching into vegan formulations.
Throughout his 16 years as Calvin Klien’s womenswear designer, Francisco Costa released collections that were distinctly his own, yet honoured the brand’s signature ‘Calvin clean’ minimalism with defined shapes, clean lines, and muted colours. In 2019, after having left the fashion house, Costa translated that same minimalist sensibility into his own beauty line, Costa Brazil.
The brand’s range of oils, bath salts, creams, and candles come in sleek monochromatic packaging with sustainable formulations sourced from Costa’s native Brazil. ‘Sustainable’ is not a word the brand uses lightly, working closely with Conservation International to ensure their production practices do not have a harmful impact on the natural environment or local communities of the Amazon. Almost all of Costa Brazil’s products are sourced from the rainforest, most notably the nutrient-rich Kaya, a superfood exclusive to the brand, Cacay, a vitamin-A rich oil, and Breu, a sweet-smelling risen believe to open the sixth Chakra.
Aesop is a brand so synonymous with quality design that just placing one of its soaps next to a sink is an instant ambiance-booster. From its instantly recognizable brown bottles to its stores designed by Snøhetta, Fernando and Humberto Campana, and more, Aesop has constructed a skincare empire on the principle that aesthetics and effective formulations are of equal importance. A lesser know tidbit is that all of the brand’s products are vegan, making them an easy and reliable go-to for those looking to build a plant-based skincare regime.
Melyon is a Swedish skincare brand ‘made with people of colour in mind’. Its vegan formulations use a combination of acids (salicylic, hydrochloric) natural ingredients (ginger root extract, papaya extract) and vitamins to that target conditions commonly found in darker skin tones while still being suitable for all.
Meylon is an expression of founder Roger Dupe’s Swedish and West African heritage. The shape of the bold brown bottles with prominent blackcaps is inspired by Baobab trees, with labels in the clean typographic style that has become synonymous with Scandinavian graphic design. For Dupe, is was important that the brand’s vegan formulations were equally as good for the earth as for skin. ‘We wanted to create products that we can be proud of and make the consumer feel good about buying,’ says Dupe.‘ [For us] using natural ingredients from Africa was super exciting, especially most of the skincare products they have been using for ages are vegan.’
Like The Ordinary, Typology seeks to offer transparent skincare formulations that contain only ingredients essential for product effectiveness, and all at an affordable price point. Yet the French-brand has a notably more eco-conscious bent than its competitors, with a range of exclusively vegan products that are produced entirely in France with ingredients from the region.
Typology offers everything from chapstick to perfumes, but the brand’s routine-based skincare sets are its most notable offerings. A free diagnostic test on the Typology website asks questions concerning three main areas–skin aging, oxidation factors, and sebum production– to judge which of 24 skin types you are, and then breaks down which products will work best for your concerns and why. We’re especially fans of the brand’s four periodic serums for those whose skin concerns are closely linked to their hormonal cycles.
Oils have been gaining a lot of traction in beauty lately, and rightly so. They can instantly brighten skin with a nutrient-packed punch, create a hydrated base for cosmetics that won’t alter the texture of your products (unlike many cream moisturisers), and are an ideal touch-up tool for a day’s worn-in makeup.
We recommend Canadian brand F. Miller to those interested in adding oils to their beauty regime. Its tight edit of products includes a face oil, oil cleanser, eye oil, shave oil, and hair oil all of which are vegan and packaged in the brand’s ultra-chic bottles.
Those who are extra eco-conscious will be glad to know that all of those bottles, and the boxes they come in, are made of recyclable material and printed in a facility powered by Bullfrog – a green energy provider dedicated to reducing the environmental footprint of production in Canada. Best of all, the vegan formulations are highly effective, transforming split ends and irritated skin within a few applications.
Founded by former VP of digital design at Barney’s, Erica Choi, Superegg is a new skincare line with a novel main ingredient- vegan eggs. In Korea, where Choi’s family hails from, eggs have been used as a skincare cure-all for centuries.
Hoping to reformat the age-old trick for a more eco-conscious audience, Choi developed a vegan egg substitute from a unique combination of vitamins, minerals, and proteins. The result is a moisturiser and cleanser that promise dewy and flawless skin.