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12 Best Cruelty-Free Moisturizers (For Every Skin Type!)

by Sara Kelley

May 9, 2024

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Welcome to our Must-Have series, where we dive into our top cruelty-free recommendations for your everyday products. Today's Must-Have? Cruelty-Free Moisturizers.

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Facial moisturizers are a beauty staple, regardless of your skin type (yes, oily skin needs moisture too!). If you're new to cruelty-free beauty, you'll find tons of exciting options. And if you're a veteran at this, no worries; you're sure to discover plenty of unique moisturizers you haven't tried yet.

First, it's important to consider your skin type. Do you have oily, dry, sensitive, or combination skin? Are you acne-prone, or does your skin tend to flake? Keep these questions in mind as you navigate this article. For each skin type and concern, you'll see three options based on your budget: an affordable option, a mid-range option, and a high-end option. You'll also see where you can easily purchase each of these products, online or in-store. Let's get started!

Cruelty-Free Moisturizers for Oily or Acne-Prone Skin

These picks are for those with oily skin or acne-prone skin.

Cruelty-Free Moisturizers for Oily Acne Prone Skin

BYOMA Gel Cream Moisturizer | Peace Out Daily Blemish Repairing Moisturizer | KORRES Santorini Grape Poreless Skin Cream

1. BYOMA Gel Cream Moisturizer

We love this affordable, cruelty-free moisturizer because it's perfect for oily or acne-prone beauties on a budget. The hybrid gel-cream texture melts right into your skin without feeling heavy or greasy. It's also packed with ingredients that balance oil production and combat acne, like Niacinamide and Green Tea Extract.

Where to buy: Target - Amazon - Ulta

2. Peace Out Daily Blemish Repairing Moisturizer

Say "Peace out!" to stubborn acne. This mid-range moisturizer contains unique acne-fighting ingredients like Bakuchiol, which is a natural and less-aggressive alternative to retinol. This calming ingredient also helps to minimize enlarged pores. We love that this moisturizer is lightweight, which makes it easy to blend into oily and acne-prone skin.

Where to buy: Sephora - Amazon - Ulta

3. KORRES Santorini Grape Poreless Skin Cream

The KORRES Poreless Skin Cream is a true luxury for oily and acne-prone skin. This fast-absorbing gel formula mattifies shine while zapping zits with ingredients like Santorini Grape Extract and BHA. If your skin needs a boost, this refreshing and buttery-soft option is one of our favorite higher-end moisturizers available.

Where to buy: Sephora - Amazon - Ulta

Cruelty-Free Moisturizers for Dry and Very Dry Skin

These options will work best for those with dry and very dry skin. If you have problems with dry patches or cracking skin, here are some solutions.

Cruelty-Free Moisturizers for Dry Very Dry Skin

e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Face Cream | Earth Harbor Nymph Nectar Superfruit Radiance Balm | Juice Beauty STEM CELLULAR Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer

1. e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Face Cream

Holy hydration is right! This creamy and thick moisturizer is a total drugstore dream. Hyaluronic Acid, vegan Squalane, Peptides, and Vitamin B5 all work together to nourish and plump dry skin. For those looking to add sun protection during the day, there's also an SPF 30 version available at the same price point.

Where to buy: Amazon - Target

2. Earth Harbor Nymph Nectar Superfruit Radiance Balm

If you have extra dry skin, then a balm moisturizer is the answer to your prayers! Oil-based products feed the skin with moisture while sealing in all the goodness to prevent dryness throughout the day. Use this balm as a stand-alone moisturizer (a pea-sized amount is all you need!), or lock in your favorite everyday face cream by applying a thin layer on top. Trust us: this one is a game-changer.

Where to buy: Amazon - Ulta

3. Juice Beauty STEM CELLULAR Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer

Pro tip: Moisturizers labeled as "anti-wrinkle" are usually amazing options for dry skin! Why? Because dry skin is more likely to experience signs of aging. This vegan and cruelty-free moisturizer is packed with super hydrating ingredients like Jojoba Oil and Shea Butter, two ingredients that moisturize skin while locking in long-term hydration.

Where to buy: Amazon - Ulta

Cruelty-Free Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin

The following picks are good options for those with sensitive skin that's easily irritated, prone to redness, or to other skin conditions.

Cruelty-Free Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin

Tower 28 Beauty SOS Daily Redness Recovery Moisturizer | Kinship Supermello Gel Cream Moisturizer | Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream

1. Tower 28 Beauty SOS Daily Skin Barrier Redness Recovery Moisturizer

This affordable, cruelty-free moisturizer received the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance™. In other words, it's amazing for super sensitive skin. And while most sensitive skin products are designed for dry skin, this moisturizer tackles any skin type it meets. So whether you have oily, combo, dry, or normal skin, your SOS days will be over real soon.

Where to buy: Sephora - Credo

2. Kinship Supermello Gel Cream Moisturizer

A sensitive skin moisturizer that smells like marshmallows? Sign us up! This soft and fluffy moisturizer is perfect for beauty lovers who can't seem to find the right product for their delicate skin. It's formulated with Marshmallow root extract, a hydrating antioxidant that contains anti-inflammatory properties. Wait, did we mention it smells like marshmallows?

Where to buy: Amazon - Ulta - Credo

3. Skinfix Barrier+ Refillable Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream

For sensitive skin beauties looking for an extra dose of calming hydration, Skinfix is the right brand for you. This deeply moisturizing cream contains a blend of Nutripeptides to help calm redness and irritation in the skin. The entire Skinfix brand is specifically designed to cater to sensitive skin. We also love that it's a refillable skincare product!

Where to buy: Sephora - Amazon

Cruelty-Free Moisturizers for Normal and Combination Skin

If you have combination skin, these moisturizers aim to balance everything out. They're also great choices for normal or in-between skin.

cruelty-free moisturizers for normal or combination skin

Pacifica Vegan Ceramide Barrier Face Lotion | Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer | OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream

1. Pacifica Vegan Ceramide Barrier Face Lotion

We love a no-fuss formula, and Pacifica's moisturizers do just the trick. For normal and combo skin babes, their Vegan Ceramide Barrier Face Lotion is an affordable match made in heaven. Ceramides promote youthful skin by providing hydration in this lightweight yet moisturizing formula.

Where to buy: Amazon - Ulta - Pacifica Website

2. Glow Recipe Plum Plump Refillable Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer

This refillable, bestselling moisturizer is a great option for this skin type. The gel-cream hybrid formula blends effortlessly into normal or combo skin without feeling greasy. Polyglutamic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid help give skin a youthful bounce while appearing to glow from within. Really, it's a win-win.

Where to buy: Sephora - Amazon

3. OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream

We're literally obsessed with everything OSEA, and the Atmosphere Protection Cream is no exception. This light yet hydrating lotion is perfect for both normal and combo skin types. It soaks into the skin and provides tons of anti-aging benefits with ingredients like Clary Sage and Chamomile. We also love that OSEA makes sustainable products powered by the earth.

Psst: Use our promo code KITTY10 for 10% off your first order on OSEA's website!

Where to buy: OSEA Website - Ulta - Credo

Moisturizers With SPF

If you're looking for a moisturizer with SPF, go check out my post about facial sunscreens here.

What are your faves?

Do you have any holy grail moisturizers? Comment your favorites below, and don't forget to mention your skin type!

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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+ Show Comments (34) - Hide Comments (34)
  • Debbie says:

    I have been using Elizabeth Arden but would like to go cruelty free. I’m 70 years young and need a non sticky good moisturizer for dry skin. What would you recommend?

  • Jeaneen Andretta says:

    St. Ives hydrating avocado moisturizer is really good for mature skin.

  • Darlene Bronson says:

    You have two First Aid Beauty moisturizers listed here. The first one is crossed out because they are no longer cruelty-free. But the second one isn’t. ??

  • Cindy C says:

    I’m having issues seeing your lists on my cell(samsung galaxy 10)
    Maybe I’m the only one but it makes it hard to figure out the cruelty free items when I’m in a store. ????

  • Max says:

    I struggle to find good cruelty free options for fragrance free (zero fragrance chemical and natural) sensitive skincare.

  • Nice lists! Count Celeteque too!

  • Christine says:

    Looking for a “mature” face moisturizer for this lady in the reasonable $range

  • Emilie says:

    I like Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Age defying moisturizer. Great for dry skin or as a night time moisturizer.

  • Susan says:

    Does Andalou’s 1000 Roses really have roses in it? Rose is supposed to be good for sensitive skin, but I’m extremely allergic to roses.

  • shekhav says:

    Thanks so much for this – but I’m really concerned about the use of hydrogenated palm glycerides in some of these and their effect on the environment. Would you ever consider doing a piece on whether these are harmful and how to avoid?

  • Kail says:

    The Ordinary makes an amazing moisturizer, it is super cheap too. I have extremely dry flakey skin and it does wonders! It doesn’t have a fancy smell but it does work! I swear by it.

  • s durham says:

    My first time trying the Made from Earth Rosehip Serum so far, I enjoy the results on my skin, been a combination skin it can be tricky to find a great serum to adjust to your skin, this serum absorbs well into my skin leaving my skin , well hydrate, moist and healthy glow in which I have have one in a while since my teens, Looking forward to what magic it would as an anti-aging looking forward to that

  • Adonis Diaz says:

    I’ve been using Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula all of my life and from what I’ve seen on their site it’s totally cruelty free! It’s a thick and luscious formula that I can swear by!

  • Molly says:

    The Body Shop?? nooooooooooo.

  • Faryn says:

    Please update this list. Perricone MD now sells their products in China where animal testing is required.

  • Ellen Ko says:

    Trader Joe’s has two I really like (“Nourish”). The oil free version is great for summer, and the intense one is better for winter. I have sensitive combination skin, and they are cruelty free, fragrance free, and a great value!

  • Susy says:

    What about for (dry, oily, comb)mature, aging skin, to fight wrinkles and loss of firmness?

  • Zoe Belucci says:

    If anyone has any suggestions of a non-comodegenic (non pore clogging) cruelty free and natural moisturiser I would be so grateful to hear them! 🙂

    • Laurie Mecca says:

      I am now getting into Tatcha. Love it. Also try Paula’s Choice.

    • limor markovzki says:

      I think they are owned by a medical company. I know I called them years ago and they said They were cruelty free. Some companies are cruelty free but don’t want to pay for the logo. It’s alot of money. Apparently some companies lie. They pay to be on the Peta list and are still not cruelty free. That is what a friend of mine told me who is a cosmetician. I know there are companies like Body Shop that are owned by L’Oreal. L’Oreal sells in China. They test on animals there but not in Canada or USA. Sadly, these companies make good products but I won’t buy knowing they sell in China. Have a great day.

  • Ginger says:

    I love the CeraVe AM moisturizer with SPF 30 but I cannot find definitive info on CeraVe as to whether it is CF or not.

    • Andy Diamond says:

      If they’re not on the PETA or Leaping Bunny list, then that says a lot about the company already and I would opt for another one.

    • Lanie Tunnell says:

      The CeraVe brand is NOT cruelty free ):

    • Judith says:

      Cerave doesn’t test on animals but there is a cholesterol ingredient in it that is derived from animals. So not tested on animals, but not vegan.

  • Ericka says:

    Hi, I’ve posted this question before but I received no reply 🙁 do you know if Arcona tests on animals? It’s sold in Sephora.

  • Jen says:

    I’m SO excited for this series, especially after this post! Great idea Suzi and thank you for all of the options above!

  • Oooh plenty of choice here, thanks 🙂

  • Katie Shearer says:

    I use Lush’s Imperialis and Celestial for my dry skin and love it!

  • Caitlin M. says:

    i’m obsessed with the entire andalou 1000 roses line.

  • Elizabeth Mauney David says:

    I love (LOVE) Paula’s Choice moisturizers too. All are cruelty free and they all work! Thanks for all the great info on new brands (and listing the prices). 🙂

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