3 Best Cruelty Free Moisturizers (Because Animals Are Beautiful Too)

Moisturizer is a staple in any person’s skincare routine.

No matter what your main skin concern may be, you need to moisturize. Adding this step into your routine will keep your skin looking and feeling smooth.

Unfortunately, there are so many brands out there that are not yet cruelty-free. We have no idea why as it can definitely be avoided.

The brands that are labeled cruelty-free can sometimes be new on the block. Other times, no one knows if they’re good or not.

Despite this issue, there are some amazing cruelty-free moisturizers on the market that come from some well-established brands. They may not market themselves as cruelty-free, however, if you look at the small print, you will be pleasantly surprised.

So, what are the best cruelty-free moisturizers on the market right now?

Keep reading to find out our major lineup.

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The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA 3.3 oz/ 100 mL

You have probably already heard of this brand if you are a skincare junkie. The Ordinary released a range of products in 2016 that were simple, affordable, and effective.

If you were unaware, The Ordinary is a cruelty-free brand. That means that you can enjoy any of their products, including this cult favorite. This moisturizer is an absolute must for your collection.

It is packed full of quality ingredients that protect the outer barrier of your skin. Some of the top ingredients include hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and amino acids.

All of these ingredients help to produce molecules that promote hydration.  This moisturizer is suitable for all skin types too.

This is down to the simple ingredient list and the fragrance and essential oil-free formula. This moisturizer will not irritate your skin.


  • Simple formula - this moisturizer only includes what is needed to protect your skin. It is free from alcohol, oil, silicone, nuts, and gluten.

  • Lightweight - this is a perfect moisturizer for all skin types including sensitive and oily prone skin. It is non-greasy so works well underneath makeup too.

  • Suitable for all skin types - whether you have oily, sensitive, or dry skin, this moisturizer is suitable for you.


  • Thick consistency - despite the formula being simple and effective, the consistency is a lot thicker than you may expect.

    This is not a lotion, it is a cream. However, you will not be left with a sticky feeling after it has fully sunk into your skin. 


First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Coconut Water Cream – Lightweight, Oil-Free Face Moisturizer – 1.7 oz.

The next moisturizer on our list is the First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Coconut Water Cream.

This lightweight and oil-free moisturizer is cruelty-free. The added coconut thoroughly nourishes your skin.

Due to its lightweight nature, once applied to the skin it is quickly absorbed. This makes it the perfect makeup base.

The fast absorption allows you to apply your makeup in seconds. The way that this moisturizer has been formulated, means that it is free from a lot of irritants.

This isn’t just cruelty-free, it is also free from alcohol, artificial fragrance and colorants, petrolatum, mineral oil, parabens, and many more.

If your skin is sensitive to the environment or you live somewhere with high pollution levels, this could be a good product for you.

The antioxidant booster helps to keep any environmental triggers at bay.


  • Perfect for sensitive skin - the formula is free-from many irritants and is gentle on the skin. 

  • Lightweight formula - the consistency of the moisturizer helps it to absorb much quicker than other brands.

  • Antioxidant booster - reduces the negative impact of environmental aggressors on the skin.


  • Not suitable for dry skin - this moisturizer is not thick enough to thoroughly hydrate dry skin. It is more suited to sensitive, oily, or combination skin types.


Paula's Choice DEFENSE Essential Glow Mineral Moisturizer SPF 30 w/Kiwi Extract, Vitamin C & E, Niacinamide, Argan Oil & Resveratrol, Radiant Dewy Finish, 2 Oz Tube

If you didn’t already know, Paula’s Choice is an amazing skincare brand.

They are slightly pricey but if you’re going to invest in anything, you should definitely invest in your skincare products!

This moisturizer is an anti-aging formula that includes mineral UVA/UVB sun protection, vitamin C and is packed with antioxidants.

All of these ingredients help to promote a healthy appearance to your skin. Boosting the hydration levels instantly by adding a subtle glow.

The DEFENSE line was created for skin that is exposed to environmental aggressors.

These can range from pollution, cigarette smoke, and even blue light from your mobile phones.


  • Protects against environmental stressors - ideal for sensitive skin.

  • Anti-aging ingredients - SPF, vitamin C, and antioxidants keep your skin looking youthful.

  • Sun protection included - mineral SPF 30 included in the formula to protect against UVA/UVB rays.


  • Leaves a white cast - due to the SPF content, it does sometimes leave a white cast across the skin. If you’re putting makeup on top, this won’t be an issue.


e.l.f. SKIN Happy Hydration Cream, Calming & Ultra-Hydrating Face Moisturizer, Infused with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin B5, Vegan & Cruelty-Free, 1.7 Oz

Next on our list is the e.l.f. Cosmetics Happy Hydration Cream.

This is a lightweight cream that is absorbed quickly into the skin. It is suitable for all skin types, so no need to worry if you’re interested in this moisturizer.

This cruelty-free moisturizer is infused with hemp-derived Cannabis Sativa. This ingredient is gaining popularity in the skincare market for good reason.

Hemp-derived Cannabis Sativa helps to soothe skin whilst giving a glow-from-within finish.

It is also packed with hyaluronic acid that maintains moisture deep down in the skin. This moisturizer is free from sulfates, parabens, and phthalates too.

It is great for sensitive skin!


  • Soothing properties - the addition of hemp-derived Cannabis Sativa helps to calm the skin. Ideal if you have very reactive skin.

  • Suitable for all skin types - the moisturizer has been formulated to suit oily, dry, sensitive, and combination skin. 

  • Absorbs quickly - lightweight cream absorbs in seconds and is perfect under makeup or worn by itself.


  • Glass packaging - although glass packaging is better for the environment, it is quite bulky to carry around or travel with.


Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer - Clinically Formulated for Oily Skin – Lightweight, Hydrating Daily Oil Control Face Cream, 1.7 Fl Oz

If you are someone who loves premium skincare, then you will be well acquainted with Kate Somerville.

This is an oil-free moisturizer that is well-suited to oily skin types.

Once you have applied this moisturizer, your skin will instantly feel more hydrated. The way that this moisturizer has been formulated means that it helps to control oil production.

This is thanks to the oil-absorbing spheres that are added to the cream. 

If you are worried about the look of fine lines and wrinkles, then this could also be a great choice for you.

The essential amino acid derivatives and red marine algae help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and keep the skin firm.


  • Suitable for oily skin - this cruelty-free moisturizer has been formulated without added oils so it will be perfect for people who have oily skin.

  • Controls oil production - the oil-free formula regulates the production of oil in the skin, keeping your skin looking matte for longer.

  • Promotes a youthful look - key ingredients are used to keep the skin firm and full of elasticity whilst reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


  • Fragrance included in the product - if you have reactive skin, this may not be the best choice for you as the product does include fragrance.

Best Cruelty Free Moisturizer Buying Guide

We hope that you have found our recommendations helpful. It can be very difficult to find a good quality moisturizer that is also cruelty-free.

Thankfully, all of the products we have written about today will not let you down.

How to Choose the Best Moisturizer for Your Skin Type

Have you loved our product reviews and now are wondering which one to get based on your skin type?

A moisturizer is an essential part of any skincare regime.

It helps to lock in moisture and keep your skin feeling great. There are so many types of moisturizers out there. You can get creams, lotions, gels, and even oils!

We’re going to run through some of the things that you should look out for if you’re looking for a new moisturizer to suit your skin’s needs.


To this day, many people who have oily skin skip moisturizing altogether.

By skipping this step, they are actually damaging their skin and believe it or not, encouraging more sebum to be produced.

If you have oily skin, you should look out for moisturizers that are:

  • Oil-free - you do not want to add excess oil to someone who has oily skin already

  • Lightweight - look for a gel or lightweight lotion

  • Non-comedogenic - this will reduce the appearance of blocked pores on the skin


People with dry skin can often suffer from itchy, flaky, and inflamed skin.

To take control of your dry skin, you’re going to want to restore that happy medium in your skin. To do this, you need to up your hydration game.

If you have dry skin, look for products that include any of the following:

  • Thick consistency - look for a moisturizer that is more like a thick cream or lotion

  • Hyaluronic acid - this is one of the best ingredients to help boost hydration levels in the skin’s barrier

  • Fragrance-free - if your skin is dry, it is probably quite reactive. Sensitive skin needs no harsh fragrances, so opt for a plain smelling moisturizer.


When it comes to combination skin, it can vary from person to person what suits them best.

The most common symptoms of combination skin are that the t-zone is oily but the cheeks and chin areas are dry.

If you have combination skin, look out for the following in a moisturizer:

  • Oil-free - this will keep your skin’s oil production slightly more regulated

  • Lightweight consistency - you will want to look for a gel or lightweight lotion


For someone with mature skin, some key ingredients will benefit your skin.

You will want to look for ingredients that will keep your skin full of elasticity and hydrated.  As you enter your 30s, your skincare routine will need to change.

If you have mature skin, look for the following to keep your skin feeling youthful and glowy:

  • Collagen - ingredients like peptides or retinol will all help to boost your skin’s firmness and elasticity

  • Hyaluronic acid - this ingredient will help to lock in moisture deep down in the skin. It will also reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles


Having sensitive skin means that you could be prone to redness and irritation.

You are going to want to look for products that not only protect your skin but also nourish and add moisture back into your skin’s barrier.

If you have sensitive skin, look for any of the following to up your skincare game:

  • Lightweight formula - check out light lotions or gels to softly protect your skin

  • Hyaluronic acid - this will work wonders on your skin, especially as it works deep down in the skin’s barrier

  • Niacinamide - this ingredient was made for sensitive skin. It helps to protect skin against environmental triggers such as pollution or sunlight but also helps to treat acne.


Is vegan moisturizer cruelty-free?

If your moisturizer is branded as vegan, it doesn’t mean it is cruelty-free.

Many vegan products are accidentally created vegan and would have already been tested on animals. Whether you choose to purchase these products are completely up to you.

However, if you are vegan, you may want to consider buying a moisturizer that is both vegan and cruelty-free. If you already own moisturizers that aren’t branded as cruelty-free, feel free to use them up or donate to charity.

Is Cetaphil cruelty-free?

The popular skincare brand, Cetaphil, is unfortunately not cruelty-free.

Cetaphil is owned by their parent company, Galderma Laboratories. This company is not cruelty-free.

However, if you check their website they outline that they do not test on animals. But, this doesn’t take into consideration the fact that they sell in mainland China.

As Cetaphil is sold in mainland China, it is required to test on animals before being introduced to the market.

Are Aveeno products cruelty-free?

Another popular skincare company, Aveeno, is not cruelty-free.

Aveeno is owned by its parent company Johnson & Johnson. Unfortunately, this company continues to test its products on animals. Aveeno also sells its products in mainland China. This means that the products would have had to be tested on animals as a requirement.

Last update on 2024-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API