The Best Cruelty-Free Cleansers with Clean Ingredients

Explore our comprehensive guide to finding the best cruelty-free cleanser that suits your skin and ethics. We’ll show you the top products by skin type, product type and by skincare benefits, so you can find the cruelty-free or vegan facial cleanser that works best for YOU!

Face cleansers are a dime a dozen, but if you are committed to buying cruelty-free products, it can be hard to know whether that cleanser you pick up at the store actually meets your ethical criteria. 

To help you out, I’ve put together a roundup of all the best cruelty free cleansers for you! So whether you are looking for a vegan face wash for dry skin, a blemish clearing cleanser that is Leaping Bunny™ certified, or a luxurious, cruelty free cleansing oil – I’ve got you covered!

Rest assured that these recommended cleansers are all made with natural ingredients and without harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances. So you can say goodbye to harsh ingredients and animal testing and hello to a more compassionate skincare routine.

woman washing face with water

At Mindful Momma we only endorse products we’ve personally researched, tested, and honestly love. We may receive commissions from affiliate links in this article including Amazon Affiliates. Full Disclosure

Best Cruelty Free Cleansers by Skin Type

The most common way to shop for face cleansers is by skin type because you can ensure that the ingredients will work well for your skin, whether you have dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin or something in between.

Annmarie Phytonutrient Cleanser

Dry Skin

Annmarie Phytonutrient Cleanser

  • Product description: This herbal based, gentle cleanser delivers maximum hydration along with nutrients and brightening properties.
  • Key ingredients: mango seed butter, coconut oil, acai oil, apple extract
  • Cruelty free cred: Leaping Bunny™ certified
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other certifications: MADE SAFE® certified
Osea Ocean Cleansing Milk

Sensitive Skin

OSEA Ocean Cleansing Milk

  • Product description: A nourishing, fragrance free cleansing milk that is pH-balanced and dermatologist approved for sensitive skin.
  • Key ingredients: Skin Identical Moisturizing Complex (Saccharide Isomerate), safflower seed oil, witch hazel, glycerin
  • Cruelty free cred: Leaping Bunny™ certified, certified Vegan through PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other certifications: Climate Neutral Certified
  • Use code MINDFULMOMMA for 10% off your order
fleur & bee so clean facial cleanser

Combination Skin

Fleur & Bee So Clean

  • Product description: This gentle face wash is a great daily cleanser that also soothes skin while maintaining optimal moisture levels. 
  • Key ingredients: Rosemary Extract, Organic Aloe Vera, Glycerin, Organic Gotu Kola
  • Cruelty free cred: Leaping Bunny™ certified
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other notes: Donate 1% of sales to charity to help girls in need around the world.
beautycounter lipid defense cleansing oil

Mature Skin

Beautycounter Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil

  • Product description: A luxurious, lightweight cleansing oil that gently removes makeup and impurities while adding in nourishing vitamins and fatty acids.
  • Key ingredients: Retinatural™ Complex (which includes Bakuchiol), fatty acids, Vitamin E
  • Cruelty free cred: Leaping Bunny™ certified
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other certifications: EWG VERIFIED™
  • Sign up for the Beautycounter email for a coupon code to use on your first order

Oily Skin

Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash

  • Product description: This daily face wash is formulated with Australian Eco-Harvest® Tea Tree Oil to remove excess oil and other impurities without drying out skin.
  • Key ingredients: castile soap, tea tree oil, lavender, chamomile and calendula essential oils
  • Cruelty free cred: Leaping Bunny™ certified
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other certifications: B-Corp

Looking for more clean beauty products? We’ve got LOTS on the blog!

Best Cruelty Free Cleansers by Benefit

If you are looking for a specific skincare benefit in your face cleanser, I’ve done the research to find cruelty-free cleansers that exfoliate, cleansers to treat blemishes, a certified organic face cleanser, and the best budget cruelty free cleanser that is made with clean ingredients.

Indie Lee brightening cleanser


Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

  • Product description: This antioxidant rich cleanser doubles as a makeup remover and face mask. Bonus: it has a yummy strawberry scent to help brighten your day!
  • Key ingredients: Strawberry Seed Oil, hydrolyzed Wheat Protein and Tomato extracts
  • Cruelty free cred: Leaping Bunny™ certified
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other notes: Partners with Cloverly for carbon neutral shipping
MyChelle fruit enzyme cleanser


MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Cleanser

  • Product description: A gentle but deep cleanser infused with fruit-actives, AHAs and antioxidants to exfoliate dead skin cells and boost healthy cell renewal.
  • Key ingredients: orange stem cells, lemon fruit extract, bilberry fruit, turmeric
  • Cruelty free cred: PETA cruelty free and vegan
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other certifications: EWG VERIFIED™
  • Other notes: Partners with The Plastic Collective, SEArcular by Greencore and Terracycle

juice beauty blemish clearing cleanser

Blemish Treatment

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser

  • Product description: Formulated for those with acne-prone skin to deeply cleanse, detoxify skin and remove impurities. 100% of participants saw definite blemish clearing improvement within 2 weeks of use.
  • Key ingredients: organic aloe vera juice, organic cherry, sage leaf and lemon
  • Cruelty free cred: Leaping Bunny™ certified, Vegan certified by the American Vegetarian Association
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other certifications: Organic ingredients come from USDA approved certified organic farms

Nourish organic face cleanser

Certified Organic

Nourish Organic Moisturizing Face Cleanser

  • Product description: A gentle, non-drying cleanser made with plant oils and active superfoods to help detoxify and cleanse while keeping skin hydrated, nourished and protected.
  • Key ingredients: coconut oil, watercress extract, cucumber extract, neem leaf oil
  • Cruelty free cred: Leaping Bunny™ certified
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other certifications: USDA Certified Organic

Alaffia everyday coconut face cleanser

Budget Friendly

Alaffia Everyday Coconut Face Cleanser

  • Product description: An affordable vegan face cleanser that gently cleanses while maintaining skin’s moisture level.
  • Key ingredients: Ethically Traded virgin coconut oil, neem leaf extract, papaya leaf extract, lavender oil
  • Cruelty free cred: Leaping Bunny™ certified
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other certifications: Fair Trade ingredients are certified by ECOCERT.

Find even more natural face cleansers here!

Best Cruelty Free Cleansers by Product Type

Sometimes you’re just looking for a basic type of cleanser – like a foaming face wash or a creamy cleanser. Or maybe you prefer a cleansing oil or a cleansing balm. If you are looking for a plastic-free face cleanser, we’ve got that too. 

Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash

Vegan Face Wash

Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash

  • Product description: This gel cleanser lathers up into a soft foam and cleanses without stripping skin of moisture and provides gentle but effective AHA exfoliation. The invigorating, nature-inspired scent includes cedar, lime and spearmint essential oils. Great for everyday use for the whole family.
  • Key ingredients: coconut-derived surfactants, bilberry, sugarcane, sugar maple, orange, and lemon
  • Cruelty free cred: Leaping Bunny™ certified
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other certifications: B-corp
Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser

Creamy Cleanser

Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser

  • Product description: This non-foaming, creamy cleanser leaves skin feeling clean and hydrated at the same time.
  • Key ingredients: organic jojoba oil, organic macadamia oil, sodium hyaluronate, orchid extract, algae extract
  • Cruelty free cred: Leaping Bunny™ certified
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other certifications: certified vegan by PETA

one love organics enzyme cleansing oil

Cleansing Oil

One Love Organics Botanical B Enzyme Cleansing Oil

  • Product description: A nourishing cleansing oil that lifts away impurities and makeup and gently exfoliates, while supporting skin’s pH balance. Note: apply cleansing oil to dry face. Add warm water and massage into skin. Formula rinses clean and leaves skin feeling soft and smooth.
  • Key ingredients: papain and papaya (fruit enzymes), pumpkin and sunflower oils, pineapple and citrus scent
  • Cruelty free cred: certified cruelty-free through PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program
  • Is this product vegan? No (contains beeswax)
  • Other certifications: manufactures in an ECOCERT/COSMOS® licensed facility

Cleansing Balm

True Botanicals Ginger Turmeric Cleansing Balm

  • Product description: A moisturizing cleansing balm that removes makeup, sunscreen, dirt, and impurities while nourishing the skin so it’s left clean, smooth and super soft! Gentle enough for sensitive skin, yet strong enough for even the toughest mascaras.
  • Key ingredients: avocado butter, yucca extract, turmeric, lactic acid, azelaic acid, scented with ginger root, mandarin, and neroli oils.
  • Cruelty free cred: Leaping Bunny™ certified
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other certifications: MADE SAFE® certified

Pssst! If you’re into DIY, you can make your own homemade cleansing balm!

Oceanly phyto-cleanse face cleanser stick

Solid Cleanser

Oceanly Solid Face Cleanser with Peptides

  • Product description: A facial cleansing bar in a plastic-free tube that help remove impurities and dirt without leaving skin feeling dry. To use, apply cleanser to dry hands, then run hands under water. Create a lather and massage into face.
  • Key ingredients: peptides, laminaria digitata extract from algae, glycerin
  • Cruelty free cred: certified cruelty free by PETA
  • Is this product vegan? Yes
  • Other certifications: EWG VERIFIED™
  • Take $10 off your first order when you sign up for their newsletter.

Find lots more zero waste and plastic-free personal care products here.

shopping for cruelty free goods on phone

FAQs – What is a Cruelty Free Cleanser?

To avoid any confusion, let’s answer some basic questions in order to help you find the best vegan and cruelty-free brands.

What does cruelty free mean for skincare products? At its most simple, cruelty free means that a product, including all the ingredients used to make it, has not been tested on animals at any stage of development.

Is animal testing still done on cosmetics and personal care products? Unfortunately, yes. Many of the largest cosmetics companies, including L’Oréal, Gillette, Nivea, Guerlain, Clinique and Estee Lauder, all fund animal testing. (source)

Is cruelty free the same as vegan? No. A vegan skincare product is made using no animal ingredients at all. This includes animal-derived ingredients like beeswax, honey, royal jelly and more.

Is a vegan product automatically cruelty-free? Nope. Vegan products could be scented with artificial fragrances that have been tested on animals.

What drugstore face wash is cruelty-free? If you are looking for an inexpensive cruelty-free face wash that is easy to find at a drugstore, Target or Walmart, consider Acure cleansersBurt’s Bees Gentle Cream Cleanser (not vegan) or Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar. Note: popular drugstore face cleanser brands like Neutrogena, Cetaphill and Cerave are NOT cruelty free companies. 

cruelty free certifications logos

Cruelty Free Certifications to Look For

To ensure that a product is cruelty free or vegan, look for these helpful, third-party certifications.

Leaping Bunny – When you see the Leaping Bunny™ certified logo on a product you know that the company has pledged to avoid animal testing at all stages of product development, including for all ingredients used in the products. The company must be open to third party audits and must recommit to the program annually.

PETA Beauty Without Bunnies – PETA offers two types of designations. Global animal test–free means that the company has verified that they and their suppliers do not conduct, commission, or allow any tests on animals for their ingredients or finished products. Global animal test–free and vegan requires the entire product line to be free of animal-derived ingredients. 

AVA Certified Vegan – This certification from the American Vegetarian Association ensures that a product contains NO animal-sourced ingredients and is not processed with animal-sourced ingredients or animal by-products. In addition, the product owner has not conducted or commissioned animal testing on the product or its ingredients.

Do you have a favorite cruelty free or vegan cleanser? Share your thoughts in the comments!

green & healthy wishes Micaela signature

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