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The Best High-End Skincare Brands (Which Ones Are Cruelty-Free?)

by Katie Muirhead

Jun 8, 2021

While an effective skincare routine can indeed be simple and affordable, there is no doubt that luxury brands carry a certain allure. The weighty packaging and sumptuous branding are designed to catch our eye when we stroll through the cosmetics section of a department store, and the promise of an elevated experience is how we justify the high prices.

Spread the word.

However, luxury skincare brands are often infamously less transparent about their formulations and ingredients. The brands are often marketed using glamour rather than science, leaving a large grey area surrounding what is in the products and how they are manufactured.

In an effort to make shopping cruelty-free, luxury skincare brands easier, here is a round up of some of the biggest luxury brands on the market. While many can be classified into cruelty-free or not, you will notice that there are also many brands floating in the grey area; these brands have either not been fully vetted by Cruelty-Free Kitty, or there is not enough information available online. Here is a general round up of the most popular luxury skincare brands:


Not Cruelty Free

  • Guerlain
  • La Mer
  • Shu Uemura
  • SK-II
  • Shiseido
  • Cle de Peau
  • Estée Lauder
  • Sisley
  • Elizabeth Arden
  • Lancôme
  • Dior
  • Clarins
  • Caudalie
  • Biologique Recherche

Grey Area or Not In Our CFK Database

  • Sulwashoo (not in database)
  • Augustinus Bader (claim they are)
  • Dr Lara Devgan
  • Melanie Simon Skincare
  • Mutha
  • Georgia Louise
  • Macrene Actives
  • Joanna Vargas
  • Susanne Kaufmann
  • La Prairie
  • 111 Skin (they claim to be - do not sell in China)
  • RéVive

5 Best High-End, Cruelty-Free Brands

Now the official cruelty-free brands have been narrowed down, which ones are worth splashing the cash on? If an elevated skincare experience is your thing, here are the cruelty-free brands that are really worth the splurge:

Dr Barbara Sturm

A staple of every celebrity skincare video, Dr Barbara Sturm products are at the intersection of luxury and science. Developed by and named after the German aesthetics doctor, the Sturm line takes a supportive role in nurturing skin health. By working with the skin's natural function, this line promises moisturized, glowy, healthy-looking skin.

The hyaluronic serum and face cream are simple favorites... and for that price point, you'd hope so!

Tata Harper

The recognizable, chic packaging of Tata Harper isn't all this luxury skincare brand has going for it. Known for their targetted masks, this brand uses natural ingredients to promote cleaar, glowing skin. With products to target concerns such as congestion, ageing, redness or sensitivity, there is likely a Tata Harper product that will become your new luxury staple.

Vintner's Daughter

This sustainable skincare line has made its way into the top luxury brands list with only two products... that's impressive. The treatment essence and botanical serum have become cult favorites for boosting skin hydration and brightness, and delivering overall healthier-looking skin.

Luxury skincare with fewer steps? Sounds like a winner.


Hailing from Budapest, this luxury skincare brand harnesses the healing powers of Budapest's thermal waters to deliver beneficial minerals to the skin. With a vast array of products, this skincare brand delivers a targetted product for all sorts of skin concerns, including fine lines, redness, or blemishes.

If you can't get to the baths in Budapest, this luxury skincare line is the next best thing.

Sunday Riley

While potentially teetering on the edge of being considered truly luxury, Sunday Riley still delivers an effective and elevated experience. With products that harness active ingredients, their serums and oils have become fan favorites in the search for glowing skin. From lactic acid, to retinol, to vitamin C, there is a Sunday Riley product for most os us looking to level up our skin's appearance.

If a blue face oil piques your interest, then look no further than Sunday Riley!

Final Thoughts

We all know that skincare is more than just looking good, it's about feeling it too. Luxury brands have the ability to elevate our skincare routine and encourage a moment of me-time every day. When shopping high-end skincare, cruelty-free doesn't have to be forfeited.

Go on, treat yourself (without compromising your kindness in the process).

Which Brands Are Cruelty-Free?

Download our list of 600+ verified cruelty-free brands straight to your device. Bring it with you everywhere you go, and never worry about supporting animal testing again. Click here to download

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