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Find The Best Cruelty-Free Cleanser for Your Skin Concern

Cruelty-free products assaulted the skincare world, and for fair reasons.
Brand courtesy / Then I Met You
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As the animal lover that you are, the first step to inspiring brands to stop animal testing is to swap to cruelty-free products, and starting with one of the best cruelty-free cleansers is a brilliant idea. However, sadly, the “cruelty-free” label can get thrown around loosely due to the vague regulations, so you have to do the research and make sure what you’re planning to purchase doesn’t harm animals. 

Some brands can state they are cruelty-free, but it is only their final product that wasn’t tested on animals, meaning the ingredients could have been tested on animals through a third party. As such, to be sure you’re using skincare that hasn’t been tested on animals at all, you should look for certifications like Leaping BunnyPETA, or CCF.

The best cruelty-free cleansers

Rest assured, all cleansers featured below are genuine cruelty-free products that have been certified by specialized organizations and are committed to never testing on animals.


Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm
Best overall

Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm

  • Leaping Bunny Certified
  • Vegan
  • Winner of seven awards, K-beauty

As the best cruelty-free face wash, Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm addresses all skin types with a clean formula that removes makeup and junk while infusing skin with myriad benefits. You’re probably no stranger to the formula as it went viral and everybody lauds it for its ability to cleanse and take care of the skin at the same time. The balm-to-oil texture feels as pampering as will make cleansing the favorite step of your skincare ritual.


Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Cleanser
Best for mature skin

Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Cleanser

  • PETA-certified
  • Sustainable packaging
  • Parabens- and alcohol-free

Once rubbed into wet hands, this gel cleanser becomes a gentle foam that washes away pollution and impurities, leaving skin bright and glowy. We like it because besides being cruelty-free, it fusions a complex of antioxidants to prevent skin damage and skin-soothing elements to hinder dryness. It is exactly what mature skins need. Plus, the fresh orange scent it leaves is an added bonus.


REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk
Best for dry skin

REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk

  • PETA-approved
  • Made with recycled plastic
  • Clean formula

REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk is a real treat for dehydrated, tight skin. Most cleansers contain surfactants to trap dirt and remove it, and they can be too harsh for dry skin, but this face wash skips these compounds. The milk texture feels nourishing and hydrating while effectively dissolving makeup and debris, leaving you with the softest canvas for the rest of your skincare. Plus, it’s loaded with a handful of soothing natural compounds, such as shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and chamomile extract.


Paula's Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser
Best for oily skin

Paula’s Choice Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser

  • Certified by Leaping Bunny & Peta
  • 100% Recyclable
  • Paraben & Fragrance-free

As an oily skin type, you need a foaming cleanser that traps excess sebum and junk without disrupting the barrier, and Paula’s Choice Perfectly Balanced Cleanser does just that. Plus, it packs a mix of hyaluronic acid and ceramides to prevent dehydration, which, in the long run, helps balance oil production.


E.l.f. Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm
Best affordable

E.l.f. Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm

  • Certified by Leaping Bunny & Peta
  • 100% Recyclable
  • Paraben & Fragrance-free

You don’t need to spend a fortune on the best face wash that is also cruelty-free. E.l.f created a gentle cleansing balm that melts into an oil texture, instantly dissolving waterproof makeup and sunscreen. The formula boasts skin-loving ingredients, like peptides, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid, ensuring it never leaves skin dry. Despite how oily the texture becomes, it doesn’t clog pores but cleanses them in-depth.


Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil
Best for acne and blackheads

Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil

  • PETA-certified
  • Clean formula
  • Alcohol- and fragrance-free

From the K-beauty aisle, there’s this gentle cleansing oil that targets pimples, blackheads, and clogged pores. It does it helped by salicylic acid, while the mix of naturally-derived oils wraps the complexion in a splash of moisture. Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil never leaves skin dry as it skips potentially drying agents and detergents and washes away without leaving a trace — awesome news if you fancy cleansing oils.


Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser
Best for sensitive skin

Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser

  • PETA-certified
  • Fully recyclable
  • Free of fragrance and drying alcohol

If a weakened barrier or reactive skin bothers you, start your beauty routine with Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser. The formula vows to lift away makeup and residues while being gentle and softening. Its whipped creamy gel texture is as fluffy as the clouds, and that’s how it leaves the skin: baby-soft. Have a look at the reviews, and you’ll know it lives up to the hype.


100% Pure Fermented Rice Water Cleanser
Best organic

100% Pure Fermented Rice Water Cleanser

  • Certified by Leaping Bunny & PETA
  • Fully recyclable
  • Natural, organic, vegan

If you’re hunting for a cruelty-free face wash with an organic and gentle formula that instantly leaves your skin feeling clean, soft, and hydrated, I’ve got great news: you just found it. It’s a water-based cleanser that loads tons of moisturizing and restorative botanical extracts to nourish and balance, while the addition of niacinamide and vitamin C makes your complexion look juicier than ever. Plus, bonus points for the gel-like texture that doesn’t feel greasy at all nor strips the skin out of moisture.


Boscia Cleanser
Best for clogged pores

Boscia Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser

  • Certified by Leaping Bunny
  • Free of artificial fragrances
  • 100% vegan

Any congested skin needs a detoxifying product to fight clogged pores and excess sebum, and this is exactly what this cleanser does. As it’s formulated with black charcoal, it acts like a magnet to absorb the dirt and oil from pores, while glycolic acid exfoliates and eliminates the buildup of dead cells from the skin’s surface. Definitely, the best cruelty-free face wash if you’re dealing with congested pores.

Who wrote this?
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana is a sociologist and feminist with a shared passion for literature, psychology, and skincare, the combo that made her determined to start Women's Concepts. With over five years of experience in dermatological research, she has now become a certified skincare consultant keen to convince others of the importance of a diligent routine. Her close relationships with dermatologists around the globe, along with years of researching, analyzing studies, and hand-testing products on a daily basis, made Ana one of the best persons you can get advice from.
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Women's Concepts relies on the latest scientific research to provide accurate, complete, and fact-based information in skincare, on which we're willing to stake our reputation. Our team includes skincare experts who are highly regarded in their fields and committed to upholding the best standards of research. We spend quality time vetting every single product we recommend and double-checking all the facts shared on Women's Concepts. We always stand on the side of inclusivity, and our mission is to help everyone fix their skin issues as they arise and leverage the products they buy to achieve their goals. You can view our expert review board and everything about our editorial guidelines here.
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