If you’re looking for a cruelty-free moisturizer that will help your skin stay hydrated and moisturizer, look no further than this list of the best cruelty-free moisturizers.
These moisturizers are offered by brands that are cruelty-free, meaning that they do not test their finished products or ingredients on animals, nor do they pay others to test on their behalf. They also do not sell their products in countries where animal testing is required by law.
This post contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you. Please read my Disclosure for additional information.
Best Cruelty-Free Moisturizers
While most of these moisturizers work well for all skin types, some are better than others for specific skin concerns, so we’ve grouped them based on skin type or skin concern.
Best Cruelty-Free Moisturizers For Dry Skin:
1. Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer
Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer is formulated with fatty acids, ceramides, and antioxidants to hydrate, protect and moisturize the skin, making it an ideal cruelty-free moisturizer for dry skin. The whipped texture immediately soothes dehydrated and dry skin with its cloud-like consistency.
This cruelty-free moisturizer contains multiple plant oils and shea butter to soothe stressed and irritated skin. Antioxidants and plant extracts support a healthy skin barrier.
This fragrance-free moisturizer is Leaping Bunny certified, and free of parabens, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, sulfates SLS & SLES, triclocarban, and triclosan.
Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer Key Ingredients
- Shea Butter: A rich, emollient butter that moisturizes and protects the skin.
- Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, linseed oil hydrates and nourishes the skin.
- Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Oil: Also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, chia seed oil helps soothe and condition the skin.
- Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil: A plant oil that is rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids. It’s moisturizing and protects the skin.
- Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil: Derived from the passion fruit, this oil is rich in essential fatty acids like linoleic acid and supports a healthy skin barrier.
- Borago Officinalis Seed Oil: Also known as borage oil, this oil is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and soothes and calms the skin.
- Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil: A plant oil that helps to lock in moisture and improve the appearance of dry, flaky skin.
- Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Oleic Acid: Fatty acids that help moisturize and plump the skin.
- Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP, Ceramide NP: Lipids that help to support a healthy skin barrier and prevent moisture loss.
- Serine, Alanine, Glycine, Proline, Lysine Hcl, Threonine, and Arginine: Amino acids that moisturize the skin and help strengthen the skin barrier.
- Squalane: A plant-derived oil that is similar to sebum, the oil that our skin produces. Squalane moisturizes the skin and is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores.
- Cholesterol: A lipid that occurs naturally in the skin and helps to maintain a healthy skin barrier.
- Phytosphingosine: A lipid that supports a healthy skin barrier. It also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits which make it helpful for acne-prone skin.
- Sodium Hyaluronate: A form of hyaluronic acid that attracts and binds moisture in the skin.
2. Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream
From the Korean skincare brand Dear, Klairs, also known as simply Klairs, comes their Rich Moist Soothing Cream. This deeply replenishing moisturizer is a favorite of those with dry skin, as it contains a blend of skincare actives that help improve skin barrier function.
It leaves skin soft, smooth, and dewy, yet isn’t great or oily on your face. In addition to dehydrated and dry skin types, this moisturizer would be ideal for those with irritated and sensitive skin, as it contains multiple soothing actives to calm the skin.
Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream is both vegan and cruelty-free. It is important to note though that while Klairs is a cruelty-free brand, they are not vegan as a brand, as some of their products do contain animal-derived ingredients.
Klairs notes, however, that about 80% of their products are suitable for vegans, and they are committed to becoming a vegan brand, which is saying something since Korean brands are known for their use of animal-derived ingredients like snail mucin and honey. Klairs is actively working toward the opposite direction of becoming fully vegan.
Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream Key Ingredients
- Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter: A natural emollient that helps to moisturize and protect the skin. Shea butter contains antioxidants that protect the skin from environmental stress and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil: A plant-derived emollient that closely resembles the sebum produced by our skin. Jojoba oil is non-comedogenic and can help to control excess sebum production.
- Betaine: A humectant that helps the skin to retain moisture.
- Arginine: An amino acid that helps soothe and calm the skin.
- Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract: Also known as skullcap, this root extract has been used in traditional Chinese medicine. It’s rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for calming and soothing the skin.
- Beta-Glucan: A polysaccharide that’s derived from oats, beta-glucan is a natural moisturizer that helps keep the skin hydrated.
- Portulaca Oleracea Extract: A type of succulent, portulaca oleracea is often used in skin care products for its hydrating and nourishing properties.
- Centella Asiatica Extract: Also known as Gotu kola, this herb has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and is popular in Korean skincare products. It’s rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for calming and soothing the skin.
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract: Aloe vera is a popular ingredient in skincare products for its hydrating and healing properties.
- Sodium Hyaluronate: A derivative of hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate is a powerful humectant that helps to keep the skin hydrated.
- Ceramide NP: Ceramides are a type of lipid that occur naturally in the skin. They help to keep the skin hydrated and protect it from environmental damage.
- Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a type of antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from environmental stress from aggressors like pollution and the sun’s UV rays.
In addition to the key ingredients above, this cruelty-free Korean moisturizer contains multiple plant extracts that work together to soothe and nourish the skin.
Best Cruelty-Free Moisturizers For Wrinkles and Aging Skin:
3. Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Overnight Retinoid Cream
Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Overnight Retinoid Cream is a nighttime moisturizer that is formulated with Pacifica’s RestLab Complex to address the signs of aging. Granactive retinoid targets fine lines and wrinkles while melatonin offers antioxidant benefits.
Wake to smoother skin with improved clarity. The cream is super lightweight on the skin and leaves your skin soft and smooth.
Not only is it cruelty-free and vegan, but it is also formulated without parabens, phthalates, SLS, or mineral oil.
Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Overnight Retinoid Cream Key Ingredients
- Sunflower Seed Oil: A natural emollient that helps to moisturize and protect the skin. Sunflower oil is rich in fatty acids, particularly linoleic acid, which can be beneficial for acne-prone skin. Also, it’s non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores and cause breakouts and acne.
- Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate: Also known as Granactive Retinoid, or HPR, this is a retinoid that is gentler on the skin than retinol. HPR targets fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin texture, and skin tone.
- Mushroom Extract: This plant extract helps to keep the skin hydrated, reduces puffiness, and is also a good source of antioxidants.
- Melatonin: A hormone that is produced by the pineal gland, melatonin is involved in regulating sleep. It’s also an antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from environmental stressors.
- Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Oil: A plant oil that is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants. Quinoa seed oil helps to moisturize and protect the skin. It’s rich in lysine, an amino acid that supports collagen production.
- Vitamin E: A fat-soluble vitamin that is an antioxidant. Vitamin E helps protect the skin from environmental aggressors, like pollution and the sun’s UV rays.
Please note that this cruelty-free and vegan moisturizer contains rose essential oil and flower extracts, which impart a light herbal scent.
4. Derma E Advanced Peptides & Collagen Moisturizer
Derma E Advanced Peptides & Collagen Moisturizer is a deep wrinkle moisturizer that softens the look of the deep wrinkles and other signs of aging. The cream contains the peptides Matrixyl Synthe’6 and Argireline along with antioxidant Pycnogenol to support collagen formation and skin elasticity.
This facial moisturizer is supplemented with green tea for additional antioxidant and anti-aging benefits. It hydrates and moisturizes the skin with a gentle formula.
It is cruelty-free and vegan, and it’s also made without parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, lanolin, gluten, and GMOs. Plus, it’s Leaping Bunny certified.
Derma E Advanced Peptides & Collagen Moisturizer Key Ingredients
- Macadamia Seed Oil: A nut oil that is similar to sebum, the oil that our skin produces. Macadamia seed oil helps to moisturize the skin and is ideal for dry skin types.
- Panthenol: A form of vitamin B5 that is known for its ability to attract and hold moisture.
- Matrixyl® synthe’6®: This multi-peptide helps boost the 6 main components of the skin matrix (hyaluronic acid, collagen I, III, IV, fibronectin, and laminin 5) for a reduction in wrinkles.
- Acacia Seyal Gum Extract (Plant Derived Collagen): Moisturizes and supports a youthful appearance.
- Ascorbyl Palmitate: This vitamin C ester helps brighten the skin and reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines.
- Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract: Green tea is a powerhouse when it comes to skin-protective antioxidants. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Argireline: This peptide helps to relax facial muscles and minimize the appearance of wrinkles.
- Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract: Also known as Pycnogenol, this plant extract is an antioxidant that helps to support hydration and skin elasticity.
- Jojoba Seed Oil: A plant oil that is similar to sebum, the oil that our skin produces. Jojoba oil helps to moisturize the skin and leave skin feeling soft and smooth.
Please note that is cream contains a natural fragrance oil that imparts an herbal scent reminiscent of lavender.
Most Affordable Anti-Aging Cruelty-Free Moisturizer:
5. The Inkey List Peptide Moisturizer
Who says cruelty-free anti-aging creams have to be expensive to work? The Inkey List Peptide Moisturizer is formulated with a dual peptide formula that works to reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines while balancing your skin’s natural oil levels.
Peptides are short chains of amino acids that help to stimulate collagen production and increase skin elasticity.
While this moisturizer is suitable for sensitive, dry, normal, and combination skin types, it is especially good for dry skin thanks to its hydrating active ingredients.
It’s not only cruelty-free but also certified vegan by The Vegan Society.
The Inkey List Peptide Moisturizer Key Ingredients
- 2% Royal Epigen (Pentapeptide-48, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Maltodextrin, and Aqua/Water): This dual peptide increases the speed of skin renewal for smoother skin and more even skin tone.
- Acetyl Hexapeptide-37: A 1% hexapeptide concentration is comprised of the amino acids alanine, proline, serine, and glycine. It acts as a humectant and balances skin hydration between the different layers of the skin’s surface.
This is an excellent anti-aging cruelty-free moisturizer for those on a budget! If you have dry skin and are concerned about fine lines and wrinkles, this affordable cruelty-free peptide cream is a great option.
Best Cruelty-Free Moisturizers For Normal Skin:
6. e.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream
E.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream is e.l.f.’s best-selling lightweight moisturizer that not only hydrates and moisturizes the skin but also evens skin tone and brightens your complexion.
The cream sinks into your skin quickly leaving it feeling bouncy and firm. It can be used in both your morning and evening skincare routines and is suitable for all skin types.
It contains multiple actives that you would typically find in a much more expensive skincare product.
e.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream Key Ingredients
- Niacinamide: This multi-benefit skincare ingredient helps to even out skin tone and brighten the complexion. Niacinamide also can help balance oil production, strengthen the skin barrier and reduce the look of hyperpigmentation and wrinkles.
- Squalane: A plant-derived oil that is similar to sebum, the oil that our skin produces. Squalane helps to moisturize the skin and is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores and worsen acne and breakouts.
- Sodium Hyaluronate: A salt form of hydrating superstar hyaluronic acid that attracts and holds moisture in the skin.
- Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7: Also known under the brand name Matrixyl 3000, these peptides help to stimulate collagen production and increase skin elasticity and reduce the look of wrinkles and skin roughness.
- Panthenol: Also known as pro-vitamin B5, this active helps soothe and moisturize the skin.
The original cream has a fragrance, but it is also available in a fragrance-free version, which is great for sensitive skin.
E.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream is cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny certified), vegan, and free from phthalates, parabens, sulfates, nonylphenol ethoxylates, triclosan, triclocarban, and hydroquinone.
7. Good Molecules Oil-Free Priming Moisturizer
An excellent 2-in-1-skincare product, Good Molecules Oil-Free Priming Moisturizer acts like both a primer and moisturizer that hydrates, smoothes, and prep your skin for makeup application.
It is enriched with emollients and a silicone alternative to condition and protect your skin barrier, all while creating the perfect canvas for color cosmetics.
This cruelty-free moisturizer is ideal for all skin types and helps smooth out the look of fine lines, skin texture, and dryness.
Good Molecules is incredibly transparent when it comes to their ingredient lists and active ingredient concentrations. You’ll see the percentage of each ingredient listed below.
It’s cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny certified) and vegan and made without silicones, fragrance, alcohol, mineral oil, or PEG.
Good Molecules Oil-Free Priming Moisturizer Key Ingredients
- Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (3%): Shea butter is a rich, emollient butter that helps to moisturize and protect the skin. It contains antioxidants like vitamin A and vitamin E that protect the skin from environmental damage.
- Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil (1.5%): Macadamia oil is a plant oil rich in fatty acids like oleic acid and palmitoleic acid that help to moisturize and soften dehydrated and dry skin.
- Sodium Hyaluronate (0.1%): This salt version of hyaluronic acid helps the skin to retain moisture by binding water molecules to the skin. (It is found naturally in the skin but its levels decline with age.)
Related Post: Is Good Molecules Cruelty-Free And Vegan?
Best Cruelty-Free Moisturizers For Combination, Oily and Acne-Prone Skin:
8. Honest Beauty Hydrogel Cream
Honest Beauty Hydrogel Cream is a water-based gel moisturizer that is perfect for oily and acne-prone skin. The light, refreshing formula contains two different types of hyaluronic acid to draw moisture into the skin and lock it in and reduce the look of fine lines.
Jojoba esters and squalane provide lightweight moisture without clogging pores, making this gel cream an excellent choice for those with oily skin, although it’s suitable for all skin types.
The watery gel cream feels cool upon application and leaves a lightweight layer of hydration throughout different layers of the skin.
It’s cruelty-free and vegan, and free of parabens, silicones, petrolatum, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, and dyes.
Honest Beauty Hydrogel Cream Key Ingredients
- Squalane: A plant-derived oil that is similar to sebum, the oil that our skin produces. Squalane helps to moisturize the skin and is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores.
- Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract: A natural source of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps to gently exfoliate the skin and improve the appearance of fine lines.
- Jojoba Esters: Jojoba esters are derived from the oil of the jojoba plant and give the skin a smooth, soft feel without any greasiness.
- Sodium PCA: A natural humectant that helps the skin to retain moisture.
- Tocopherol: Also known as vitamin E, tocopherol is an antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage.
- Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate & Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid): These two forms of hyaluronic acid work together to attract and hold moisture in the skin and hydrate the skin at different levels for improved surface hydration and skin elasticity.
The lightweight water cream bursts upon application to provide a refreshing dose of hydration that won’t leave your skin feeling greasy, sticky, or oily. Tatcha’s Hadasei-3 Complex moisturizes and addresses the signs of aging.
Tatcha The Water Cream Key Ingredients
- Japanese Wild Rose: A botanical that works to reduce the look of pores and smooth skin texture.
- Japanese Leopard Lily: Helps to reduce sebum production and support skin cell turnover for improved clarity.
- A Touch of 23-Karat Gold: Provides a muted glow without the shine and adds a bit of luxury to this refreshing water cream.
- Okinawa Red Algae: This type of algae is rich in polysaccharides that help the skin retain moisture.
- Uji Green Tea: Detoxifies and prevents premature signs of aging thanks to its antioxidant benefits.
- Akita Rice: Filled with proteins that nourish the skin.
- Sodium Hyaluronate: Plumps fine lines and wrinkles and helps the skin to better retain moisture for long-lasting hydration throughout the day.
The Water Cream is excellent for combination, oily, and acne-prone skin as it is non-irritating, oil-free, and non-comedogenic, which means that it won’t clog pores.
It’s both cruelty-free and vegan. The moisturizer is made without mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, sulfate detergents, parabens, urea, DEA, TEA, or phthalates.
Best Cruelty-Free Ceramide Moisturizer:
10. Pixi Rose Ceramide Cream
Pixi Rose Ceramide Cream is a nourishing cream formulated with ceramides and rose oil to improve skin suppleness and hydration. Natural botanicals contain antioxidants that help to protect the skin from free radical damage and improve skin elasticity.
The addition of probiotics protect and balance the skin while moisturizing plant oils and butters help to repair the skin barrier and improve hydration levels.
Formulated for all skin types, this cruelty-free moisturizer is ideal for dry skin. Please note there are essential oils and added fragrance in this ceramide moisturizer.
Pixi Rose Ceramide Cream Key Ingredients
- Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter: Shea butter from the nut of the African shea tree is a natural emollient that helps create a barrier on the skin to lock in moisture.
- Ceramide NP: A type of lipid that occurs naturally in the upper layers of the skin, and helps hydrate and protect the skin from environmental stressors.
- Betaine: A sugar beet-derived humectant that helps to attract and retain moisture in the skin.
- Bifida Ferment Lysate: A type of probiotic that helps to support the skin’s natural barrier function.
- Portulaca Oleracea Extract: This succulent plant extract is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and helps to soothe and calm the skin.
- Centella Asiatica Extract: Also known as Gotu kola, this medicinal herb soothes, heals wounds, and calms inflammation.
- Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables: The part of sunflower oil that is not turned into soap during the saponification process. The unsaponifiables are rich in vitamins and antioxidants and help nourish and protect the skin.
- Tocopherol: Also known as vitamin E, this potent antioxidant helps to neutralize free radicals and protect the skin from environmental stressors.
Related Post: Is Aquaphor Cruelty-Free And Vegan?
Final Thoughts on the Best Cruelty-Free Moisturizers
There are so many amazing cruelty-free moisturizers on the market that it’s hard to narrow it down to just 10, but this list includes some of our personal favorites that work for a variety of skin types and concerns.
All of these cruelty-free moisturizers are formulated with ethical standards in mind, so you can feel good about using them for more hydrated, brighter, smoother skin.