Veganism is on the rise. There's been a 90%
increase in Google searches for the term, chefs like King Senathit are bringing their vegan feasts to the masses by way of JME and east London food markets, and supermarkets like Sainsbury's are doubling their plant-milk offerings.
One of the most exciting developments for the plant devotees among us is the boom in vegan beauty. With committed brands like Kat Von D providing bold and bright makeup without compromising the welfare of animals, and the likes of Hourglass pledging to be 100% vegan by 2020, it's a brilliant time to champion ethical and conscious beauty.
From high-tech skincare to nourishing hair products by way of popping makeup, click through to see our pick of the best vegan products and vegan brands stepping up their green game.
BRYT are a PETA-approved brand boasting exclusively plant-based formulations, designed for dry or acne-prone skin sufferers. It was launched in 2014 by Catkin Wemyss Bodmer, following a chance meeting with a medicine man on holiday in Costa Rica, where they spoke about the healing power of plants. Inspired, she created a range of skincare aimed at people between the ages of 16-25.
The formula of their calming night cream is also free from petrochemicals, sulphates, silicones, parabens, phthalates and GM ingredients. Rich in antioxidants and enriched with Vitamin E, shea butter and rose absolute, Chinese geranium, palma rose and lavender essential oils, it reduces the appearance, redness and swelling that acne can cause, while also soothing dry and irritated complexions. BRYT Night Cream, £18.50, available at BRYT
Founded by Sean Patrick Harrington, Previse DermApothecary houses a range of skincare products formulated with dermatologists. Taking a holistic approach, the brand uses plant-based ingredients, free from synthetic fragrance or essential oils to suit sensitive- and allergy-prone skin.
Our hero product? The hyaluronic moisturiser. Infused with Vitamin B5, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and marine antioxidants, it helps to plump, smooth and protect skin. Previse HydroFoam Hyaluronic Moisturiser, £46, available at Harvey Nichols
Founder Sarah Brown created Pai Skincare after her skin became irritated by products that claimed to be organic and hypoallergenic. Free from parabens, alcohol, phenoxyethanol, detergents and artificial fragrance, Pai products are formulated with sumptuous and effective natural ingredients.
The brand is setting a great example for cruelty-free beauty, too: keeping to the highest ethical standards across all aspects of the business, it never tests on animals and is approved by The Soil Association, The Vegan Society, and the Leaping Bunny. Our favourite product? Pai's Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, a potent blend of organic rosehip fruit and seed oil that's rich in skin-regenerating Omegas. Massage into skin before bed to let it work overnight, and wake up with a fresh glow. Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, £22, available at Pai
When we think of vegan skincare, we're often led to all-natural products. HealGel is here to prove that cruelty-free and PETA-approved doesn't always have to mean plant extracts. Created by renowned cosmetic and aesthetic surgeons along with
Lixir Skin founder and dermatologic biochemist Colette Haydon, HealGel ensures that vegan can equal effective. Using innovative scientific methods to produce four formulas, the brand's offering is small but packs a punch. Face tackles most skin types' common concerns – from redness to dryness, via hyperpigmentation – by creating a barrier against nasties, while the ingredients work their magic through to the dermis underneath. HealGel Face, £48, available at HealGel
This London-based skincare brand launched in 2012 and believes that "beautiful skin is achievable without the use of chemicals". Founder Richard Walker is a champion of natural ingredients – from blackcurrant seed to avocado – and follows in his father's footsteps (who first formulated elderflower-based skincare in the '60s) in producing high-quality skincare without compromising animal welfare.
Starting out with a small range of products, the brand has been making vegan products since 2016, and this year launched a totally natural range called Apothecary Natural Skincare by Dr Botanicals. Our must-have product? The antioxidant Turmeric Superfood Restoring Night Moisturiser. Evening out skin tone, the hydration hit also includes shea butter, perfect for softening skin while you sleep. Dr Botanicals Turmeric Superfood Restoring Night Moisturiser, £44, available at Dr Botanicals
Founder of Sister & Co., Sophie Thompson, discovered the benefits of coconut oil for the skin while on holiday in India. Unable to match lightness and effectiveness in oil she found in the UK, she launched the brand with ingredients cold-pressed on a small organic farm off the Sri Lankan coast.
From coconut oil to a wide variety of natural ingredients – including plant oils, nut butters, clays and waxes – the brand doesn't test on animals, and celebrates 100% natural formulas from around the world. While we're huge fans of the skin-softening Bath Soak, this soap, laden with organic oils and activated bamboo charcoal, has saved our blemished skin more than once. Sister & Co. Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleanse Detoxifying Soap Bar, £13, available at Sister & Co.
Nature's Alchemist is a fun brand with a serious purpose at its core. The collection is tailored to meet specific skincare needs, with each product containing multiple active ingredients. Describing itself as 'a superior blend of nature and science', it's vegan, gluten and paraben free and doesn't test on animals.
Formulated with coconut probiotics, avocado and lingonberry oil, agave extract and dragon fruit extract, this hand cream is both soothing and hydrating. Nature's Alchemist Multi-Tasking Hand Therapy, £2.95, available at Superdrug
Rawgaia's Jessica Michael is the formulator behind the brand's vegan, cold-pressed, organic and natural skincare. Made in a Brighton factory, Rawgaia blends high-quality raw botanical ingredients and boasts a strict zero-nasties, no-animal-testing policy.
Certified by The Soil Association, Cruelty-Free International and The Vegan Society, to add to your guilt-free purchase, all packaging is recyclable too. Suitable for all skin types, star products include the Hemp Glow Cleanser, Moroccan Lava Clay Face Pack, and Revitalising Eye Oil. The Organic Goji Goddess Superfood Cleanser leaves skin fresh and nourished thanks to its witch hazel floral water and vitamin E. Rawgaia Organic Goji Goddess Superfood Cleanser, £25, available at Rawgaia
Susie Willis founded the all natural British luxury line Romilly Wilde in 2005, following five years of research. Her aim was to produce formulas that were completely transparent in order to change the perception of the effectiveness of natural products in the skincare industry.
The active ingredients in their products are exclusively from supplies that prove a full data package proving their efficacy and safety. Their Night Duty Face Cream enhances collagen, using plant cells sourced from the Mexican Poppy and Japanese Knotweed to accelerate the anti-aging effect and intensify the renewal and metabolism of each skin cell. Romilly Wilde Night Duty Face Cream, £125, available at Romilly Wilde
You may recognise Tropic's founder Susan Ma from the BBC show The Apprentice, but her love for developing natural beauty recipes began early on when she was growing up in Cairns, North Queensland in Australia where she was surrounded by botanicals that have inspired many of Tropic's formulas today.
She started off selling her homemade soaps at Greenwich Market whilst still at school, having expanded her love of natural beauty into one of the fastest growing beauty brands in the UK. One of our favourite products is the Good Skin Day serum which contains exfoliating willow bark BHA exfoliator and AHA fruit complexes, to sweep away dead skin cells and tighten pores. Tropic Skincare Good Skin Day Resurfacing Serum, £42, available at Tropic Skincare
Sainsbury's is championing natural brands by bringing Burt's Bees and Balance Me to stores this month, but the most exciting news is that the supermarket chain is launching its own skincare range. Totally vegan, it's sulfate-, paraben-, and toxins-free, all while being at least 95% natural.
The other great news? All the products are all under £4.50. Don't think this means lack of effectiveness though -the formulas include premium ingredients like white and green tea extracts, jojoba oil, tropical almond and elderflower extracts. Source of Nature Facial Wash, £2, available at Sainsbury's in-store from November 2017.
Tata Harper has changed the skincare game, thanks to the founder's dedication to natural beauty that really works. With sumptuous formulations that are extremely effective, most ingredients are grown on Tata's farm and blended with her Estate Grown Beauty Complex, made up of arnica, borage, alfalfa, meadowsweet and calendula.
While not everything in Tata Harper's offering is vegan, as she sometimes uses honey or beeswax, the vast majority is – just check the ingredients list to make sure. The brand is, however, PETA-, Leaping Bunny- and American Vegetarian Association-approved. This luxurious concoction brings together vitamins A, B, C, D and E to maintain glowing, fresh skin, while rose geranium and calendula keep cells regenerating. Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex, £43, available at Cult Beauty
This 100% natural skincare brand comes from the founders of the Clean Beauty Co. BYBI, meaning By Beauty Insiders, produces all-vegan skincare from the freshest botanical ingredients, packaged up in the sweetest bottles and tubes our bathroom shelf has seen for some time.
From the unclogging, anti-pollution Detox Dust Powder Face Mask, to the enzyme-packed Prime Time Facial Polish, the brand's products are affordable with impact. The Multi-Purpose Beauty Balm is our go-to hard-worker: we use as a highlighter, to pile on top of eyeshadow for glossy lids, and to soothe chapped lips and damaged cuticles. Keep this wonder in your bag at all times. BYBI Beauty Babe Balm Vegan Multi-Purpose Beauty Balm, £18-£28, available at Clean Beauty Co
Founded by Sue Y. Nabi and Nicolas Vu, Orveda is a new brand with a fresh take on products. With over 20 years in the industry, the brains behind the brand have fused nature and science to create a fully vegan brand that delivers results.
Champions of green bamboo, moringa seeds, clover and pink lilac, among many other natural ingredients, Orveda prides itself on its "anti-anti-ageing" approach, opting instead to embrace skin and help it reach its glowiest potential. Our pick? The Deep-Cleansing Oil, offering 4.5% actives, 20% botanical glycerin and 68% botanical oils derivatives. Use with the accompanying kabuki for the freshest wipe-away-the-day cleanse. Orveda Deep-Cleansing Botanical & Enzymatic Oil, £89, available at Harvey Nichols
While The Body Shop uses honey or beeswax in its non-vegan products, the brand is 100% vegetarian and world-renowned for its ethical practices regarding animal welfare.
The brand does offer some vegan products, though, so don't discount it on first viewing. We love the Skin Reviver, which uses vitamin C-rich camu camu from the Amazon rainforest in Peru to target dull, grey skin. The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Reviver, £17, available at The Body Shop
PETA Cruelty Free- and Vegan-approved, Skyn Iceland is not only free of mineral oil, parabens and sulphates, but animal-derived products or byproducts, too.
As the name would suggest, Skyn Iceland's products are inspired by nature, specifically the unspoiled resources of Iceland. Chronic stress led founder Sarah to start the brand, which tackles everything from accelerated ageing and adult acne to dryness and dullness. Our favourite from the line (and makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes-approved) is the Nordic Skin Peel, double-duty pads that use an alpha-beta complex, jojoba seed extract and white willow bark to buff away dead skin cells and reveal the smooth, youthful skin lying beneath. Skyn Iceland Nordic Skin Peel, £38, available at Cult Beauty
Born in Melbourne back in 2007, Sukin spotted a gap in the market for environmentally sustainable skin and haircare. Utilising botanics and essential oils to restore and nourish hair, the brand's range is extensive and tackles a whole host of issues, from dehydration to sun damage via curl-enhancing shampoo.
You can trust Sukin to stay 100% vegan, as it's one of their founding principles: it refrains from using animal derivatives (like lanolin) alongside animal byproducts like honey and beeswax. As a bonus, all the packaging is 100% recyclable and BPA-free! One of our top hits from the brand is the moisture-surge shampoo, which uses aloe vera and chamomile to restore tresses and repair your scalp. Sukin Moisture Restoring Shampoo, £9.95, available at Look Fantastic
Dr Bronner's was founded in 1948 by Emanuel Bronner, a third- generation soapmaker, from Germany, and has quite the tragic past. Emanuel's parents died in Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz and Theriesenstadt, and after emigrating to the US, he was institutionalised at Elgine State Insane Asylum before escaping in 1945 and adopting the honorific 'Dr' before setting up Dr' Bronner's liquid peppermint soap company.
The brand was founded on a commitment to spreading the message of unity across religious & ethnic divides through the soap's labelling. Still family-owned and run, Dr Bronner's vision of manufacturing products that are socially and environmentally responsible has continued to thrive. Using an organic source of hair growth, shikakai, which comes from the South Asian tree, Concinna, this hair rinse is a gentle conditioner for both skin and hair with the coconut and live oils providing a silky smooth texture. Dr Bronner's Organic Hair Rinse, £10.49, available at Dr Bronner's
Maria Nila has been one of our favourite haircare brands for some time, in large part thanks to its gorgeous formulas and rich toner colours. Developed and produced in Sweden, it takes a modern approach: high quality ingredients that care for your hair without harming animals in the process.
100% vegan and cruelty-free certified, the brand believes that "animals fill our lives with joy and laughter, and should therefore never be part of a beauty product". As well as making climate-compensating packaging, for every product you buy, you contribute to the planting of new trees in South America. A thoroughly guilt-free purchase that's kind to our follicles, it's hard to pick a favourite product. The Structure Repair Shampoo and Conditioner is best for frazzled tresses and has algae extract to keep them smooth. Maria Nila Structure Repair Conditioner, £12.99, available at 123 Hair and Beauty
As one of the longest-standing vegan-friendly beauty brands, Shea Moisture came from humble beginnings in 1912 with Sofi Tucker, who sold Shea Nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone. By the age of 19, she was widowed with four children and was selling Shea Butter, African Black Soap all over the countryside and her grandchildren have carried on her legacy.
With an impressive line up of products covering haircare, body care and cosmetics for men, women and babies, everything in Shea Moisture's range is all organic and cruelty free, created using Fairtrade ingredients. We love this antioxidant-rich Superfruit 10-in-1 shampoo whose long list of benefits, include hydrating, colour protecting, rejuvenation and nourishment. Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Multi-Benefit Shampoo, £11, available at All Beauty
Who said vegan haircare was all about your 'do? This eyelash serum from Hairburst is 98% natural, 100% vegan and free of prostaglandin, parabens and SLS.
Packed with growth-encouraging properties, such as Myristoyl- Pentapeptide 17 (which significantly stimulates the keratin genes responsible for eyelash growth), Pumpkin Seed Extract and Myristoyl pentapeptide, the serum penetrates the skin, reaching your lash roots to start working from the inside. We've been using this for several weeks and notice a real improvement to our fair, fine and weak lashes. Put away the falsies. Hairburst Eyelash Growth Serum, £39.99, available at Hairburst.
Rahua (pronounced 'ra-wa' and named after the ungurahua nut found in the Amazon rainforest) is a conscious hair- and body-care brand. Its formulas are made up of potent oils that come from 10 Amazonian nations, providing silky smooth hair without toxic ingredients or an impact on the environment.
All of the products are cruelty-free and vegan. The brand doesn't test on animals and boasts a great working relationship with tribespeople – they source their ingredients and are paid a higher price to honour their methods of production. Our favourite buy from the brand is the Island Salt Spray, inspired by the Galápagos Islands and made with pink sea salt to give hair a textured wave without the silicon-laden crunch found in most curl enhancers. Rahua Enchanted Island Salt Spray, £32, available at Cult Beauty
Another Australian brand, [A'kin] was 15 years in the making, with parent The Purist Company creating natural but effective skin and haircare. Taking great pains to ensure all products are paraben-, sulphate- and toxin-free, it's certified vegan and animal testing is nowhere to be seen.
With avocado, bergamot and cardamom oils, plus chamomile, cornflower and ginkgo extracts at the top of its ingredients lists, you can bet the products are as hardworking as they are natural. While the skincare is something to be explored too, our hero duo are the oily hair busters. Lemongrass is used to regulate oil production without drying, and avocado hydrates the hair. [A'kin] Lemongrass Shampoo and Avocado & Calendula Conditioner, £24, available at Akinbeauty
What Bleach London has managed to do is a lesson for most cruelty-free brands: they've busted the myth that vegan equals uncool. Not that being vegan is an afterthought, of course. Bleach London has a conscience, putting animal welfare on the agenda right next to its environmental impact – packaging is made from recycled and recyclable waste materials.
Again, it's difficult to choose the best of Bleach, but if you're looking for a shade switch-up, be sure to try out the Super Cool Colours range. From tangerine to punk green, there's every tone you'd want – plus, you can apply it from the comfort of your bathroom. Bleach London Awkward Peach Super Cool Colour, £6, available at Bleach London
Taking inspiration from the age-old Ayurvedic practice of hair oiling, Alchemy Oils uses natural ingredients to stimulate hair growth, treat hair loss and encourage stronger tresses.
Using only natural and essential oils with absolutely no parabens, sulphates, silicones, mineral oil or other nasties, the brand also doesn't test on animals, instead formulating amla, argan, grapefruit, castor and lemon oils (to name a few) to make products that give your hair some TLC. The brand's Grapefruit Hair Remedy comes in a bathroom shelf-worthy apothecary bottle, and is the weekly treatment damaged hair needs. We slather ours on before shampooing, and use it to finish off a blow-dry to keep flyaways under control. Alchemy Oils Grapefruit Hair Remedy, £24, available at Wolf & Badger
Industry veteran Carisa Janes founded Hourglass back in 2004 and has created a whole host of now-cult products. While not all of Hourglass's products are vegan-friendly, a large selection are, and the brand has announced today that by 2020, its beauty offering will be 100% vegan.
"At Hourglass, we believe that luxury is a combination of innovation and integrity," Janes explains. "This begins with our commitment to creating cruelty-free products." Currently, from the Veil Mineral Primer to the Ambient Lighting Powder, the brand has a huge range of cruelty-free makeup that contains no traces of animal-derived ingredients. Our favourite? The Seamless Foundation Stick. The highly pigmented creamy formula comes in plenty of shades and stays on all day, all while looking like your true skin. Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick, £42, available at Liberty
Founded by Ericka Rodriguez, Axiology serves up guilt-free lipsticks that pack a punch. All products are formulated from a blend of natural and organic ingredients, which means that the entire range is 100% vegan and palm oil-free. Plus, it donates a percentage of its annual profits to partner organisations Orangutan Foundation International and PETA.
To add to Axiology's ethical output, the packaging is sourced from a woman-owned recycled paper boutique in Bali, where paper is collected from hotels, offices and households and boiled down and pulped to create the lipstick boxes. Made of avocado oil, orange essential oil and elderberry extract, there's a whole host of shades to choose from, ranging from vibrant fuchsias to burnt reds. Axiology Lip Crayon, £23, available at Glow Organic
Tattoo artist-turned-makeup mogul Kat Von D is leading the way for vegan beauty. A vegan and animal activist, the founder is committed to creating quality makeup that's completely free of animal-derived ingredients and never tested on animals. Finding replacements for traditionally used ingredients such as beeswax and carmine (red beetle dye), her loyal fanbase have never needed to compromise their ethical values in the search for bold colours and flawless finishes.
There are so many star products from the brand, from the Shade + Light Contour Palettes to the extensive brush range, but we're loving this new drop, a palette packed full of neutral and vibrant shades. Kat Von D 'Saint + Sinner' Eye Shadow Palette, £46.80, available at Debenhams
Nailberry's brand ambition is to provide a healthier manicure. Certified vegan, cruelty-free, Halal and
12 Free, the brand began in 2012 as a luxury nail bar in Chelsea before launching premium polishes. Seeing customers with dry and damaged nails, founder Sonia patented her L’Oxygéné range, which lasts over seven days and doesn't destroy nails in the process. Our favourite new shade is this tongue-in-cheek homage to vegans everywhere. Nailberry Viva La Vegan, £14.50, available at Nailberry
While Urban Decay may not be 100% vegan-friendly, the brand has a hefty line of vegan makeup that hasn't been tested on animals and doesn't include animal-derived ingredients. If you love the brand but don't want to compromise your values, not to worry – the range is extensive.
From the Pro Brushes to the 47 shades of Cream Vice Lipstick, the rainbow-bright Razor Sharpe Liquid Eyeliners and 103 shades of Eyeshadow, you have plenty to choose from to fill that vegan makeup bag. Our favourite is the Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup: shake the bottle well, spray evenly onto pigmented and dark patches, and buff in with a kabuki brush. It's oil- and paraben-free and super lightweight. Urban Decay Naked Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup, £28.50, available at Urban Decay
Although Illamasqua can't claim to be 100% vegan-friendly, the brand is PETA-approved, makes brushes entirely out of synthetic hair and hasn't tested on animals since its launch in 2008.
It does have a really impressive selection of vegan products, from the primer pots to the cult Skin Base Foundations, via Precision Gel Liners and Nail Polishes. We're touting the Beyond Powder in Deity, though, which gives all skin shades a subtle but holographic highlight across cheekbones and Cupid's bow. Illamasqua Beyond Powder in Deity, £34, available at Illamasqua
Australian based brand, Neek, was founded by Angelique Ahearn, as a solution to the ingredient-consious, sensitive skin she suffers with. Following a career in corporate marketing, she created a range of vegan lipsticks with natural, active ingredients. The aim was to build a line up of products that didn't compromise on aesthetics.
Made on a lip balm base of Shea butter, Jojoba and Avocado oils, this cocoa brown shade is a throwback to the nineties with a hint of pink, offering a flattering wash of colour. Neek Satin Lipstick In Mystify, £15.99, available at Neek Skin Organics
Lime Crime is proud of its vegan ethics, boasting staff that actively adopt and foster animals. It's been 100% vegan, PETA- and Leaping Bunny-approved since its beginnings back in 2008.
One of the first digitally native beauty brands, founder Doe Deere refused to make beauty that compromised the welfare of animals. From Instagrammable launches to collectable palettes, the brand ensures you won't miss out on buzzworthy beauty trends as a vegan. Our favourite product is still the Velvetines collection, a velvet-smooth, long-wearing range of pigmented lip colours, which have since spawned a thousand imitations. Lime Crime Matte Velvetines in Saint, £16, available at Cult Beauty More like this These Makeup Brands Are Totally Cruelty-Free The Ethical & Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands To Buy Now The 5 Biggest Trends In Ethical Beauty