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Best Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup Removers

At the end of your day, the last thing you want to think about is removing your makeup, but you know it’s vitally important to your skin. A splash of water in the shower won’t do the job that a powerful makeup remover will, but if you check the ingredients label of the products you have, you might decide to just skip face washing altogether. What are all these ingredients you can’t even pronounce?

A better solution than skipping your makeup removal routine is to use a vegan product with clean, effective ingredients. Tag along, and we’ll talk about the (seriously creepy) animal-based ingredients in traditional makeup removers and how you can avoid them. 

Why is it important to use vegan products?

Animal ingredients find their way into so many of our everyday products that it’s practically impossible to keep track. Aside from the obvious factor of not wanting to endanger animals or subject them to cruel testing methods, vegan products are just an overall better choice. 

  • No animal ingredient or byproduct is ever cruelty-free, even if the company claims it is. Animals raised for their byproducts are treated inhumanely and often kept in deplorable conditions. 

The decision to use vegan products is just a no-brainer. It’s safest for animals, safer for your skin and body, and typically easier on the environment. 

Are vegan products cruelty-free?

They should be, but they don’t have to be, which is why it’s so important to be informed. According to PETA, just because a company or brand says they are vegan doesn’t mean they are also cruelty-free. This means they can still allow animal testing on their products.  

On the flip side, cruelty-free doesn’t necessarily mean vegan, either. We know—shady

According to the Humane Society, cruelty-free just means there’s no animal involvement for testing during any part of the development or manufacturing of the product.  

Shop our curated collection of vegan and cruelty-free beauty products.

How do I know if my makeup remover is vegan?

Hands down, the best option is to shop with brands and companies you trust. Most brands that offer vegan and cruelty-free beauty products have their brand standards easily accessible on their website. 

Kinder Beauty makes it easy. We never offer brands that aren’t 100-percent vegan and 100-percent cruelty-free. Our standards are some of the strictest in the industry, and we make zero exceptions. When you receive a product in our monthly beauty box, you can know for sure there are no animal parts, byproducts, or testing involved. 

Here are a few other ways you can double-check to make sure your makeup remover is vegan. 

Five simple ways to green your beauty routine, by Kinder Beauty

Look for tell-tale ingredients

Animal ingredients like to hide out in product labels under code names. Here are some of the most common you’ll find in a makeup remover that’s derived from animals. 

  • Stearic Acid. Derived from pig stomachs or even euthanized animals, this fatty acid is used to soften the skin. Thankfully, stearic acid can also be plant-derived. Coconut oil is rich in stearic acid. 
  • Glycerin. Glycerin is a fat that is also used to soften and smooth the skin. It’s often taken from deceased animals (ew) but is also available from plant-based sources (yay!).  
  • Fragrance. You’d better sit down for this one. In the United States, fragrance is proprietary. That’s a good and a bad thing. A company probably doesn’t want to disclose the secret ingredients that make up their product’s signature scent. However, because they don’t have to disclose them, a company can essentially put any ingredient in your products without you knowing, including animal ingredients. 

    If your makeup remover includes castoreum (beaver anal sac excretion), ambergris (whale poop), or hyraceum (petrified hyrax poop), you should probably empty the contents and recycle that bottle. There’s zero need to put these ingredients on your face. 
  • Lactic acid. This is another ingredient popular in makeup removers that can be animal-derived. This is often used as a chemical exfoliant. 

Do your research

The more you learn about how animal ingredients are used in products, the easier they’ll be to spot. The Kinder Beauty Blog can help by giving you information about clean ingredients and vegan and cruelty-free brands. 

You can also utilize PETA’s search engine to find out if a brand is cruelty-free or vegan. 

Find a certification you trust

Certifications can be tricky because they don’t always mean what you think they mean. 

For instance, PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies certification only certifies that a product doesn’t test on animals. If the product is vegan and cruelty-free, the certification will say “vegan and cruelty-free” under the bunny logo. 

Other certifications

The CCIC Leaping Bunny program certifies products as cruelty-free but does not ensure they’re vegan. Leaping Bunny International also ensures cruelty-free products but doesn’t require the product to be vegan. 

BeVeg offers certification for vegan makeup and toiletry products. 

Ultimately, you’ll be looking for two certifications on a product to ensure they don’t contain animal parts or byproducts, and that the product wasn’t tested on animals.

Should I double cleanse to help remove makeup?

Double cleansing refers to cleansing your skin twice. Usually, the first cleanse will be with an oil-based cleanser, and the second will be with a water-based cleanser. 

You may have heard of “oil cleansing” and thought it sounded a little strange. Oil cleansing is based on the scientific property that “like dissolves like,” and it can be incredibly effective for oily skin types. Dry skin can also benefit from oil cleansing because it nourishes and hydrates better than standard cleansing alone.  

When you double cleanse, you’ll use an oil-based cleanser to remove surface dirt, impurities, makeup, and excess sebum. Oil cleansing can even remove tough waterproof mascara and sunscreen. Follow up with a water-based cleanser to dig deeper into pores and tackle blemish-causing bacteria. 

Here are two of our favorite vegan, cruelty-free oil-based cleansers:

  • Tropicgyal Naturals Guava and Watermelon Seed Oil Cleanser. A luscious blend of pumpkin, guava, watermelon seed, and cranberry oils make up a cleanser that melts away your makeup and hydrates your skin. 

    Bonus feature: This cleanser works to improve your skin’s elasticity, fade dark spots, and even help banish blemishes.  
  • Earth Harbor AHOY LOVE Nourishing Cream Cleanser. Radiance ahoy! This nonfoaming, softening, and brightening cleanser contains nourishing ingredients like seaweed extract, hibiscus flower, aloe, and coconut oil to give you that year-round sunshine glow. Perfect for a morning cleanse for all skin types, and excellent for nighttime too for dry, sensitive, or mature skin.

Once you’ve oil cleansed, you can move on to a water-based cleanse.

These Vegan Makeup Brushes Are Amazing

What is the best vegan makeup remover?

If you’re ready to deep-dive into your pores and wipe away every trace of makeup, here’s an innovative way to take it all off with just a single product. 


GLOV makeup remover gloves are little mitts you place over your hand and use to cleanse your face. The best part is that they only require water. 

The specially designed fabric (which, by the way, doesn’t contain any traces of animal ingredients and is never tested on animals) easily removes makeup, excess oil, and dirt to leave your skin as clean as possible. 

GLOVs are long-lasting and can replace up to five products on your shelf. They even remove waterproof makeup. Plus, you won’t even have to scrub your skin to get off stubborn makeup. GLOVs are meant to be used gently and don’t cause irritation to even the most sensitive skin types. 

When it comes to vegan makeup removers, it doesn’t get any cleaner than this.  

Remove your makeup just like magic

Makeup removers can be tricky, and they’re often filled with animal ingredients that end up on your unsuspecting skin. The best way to make sure you aren’t using a makeup remover that contains animal ingredients is to be in the know and shop with brands you trust, like Kinder Beauty. 

You can trust that the products we include in The Kinder Beauty Box are always 100% vegan and cruelty-free, so take the easy way out and have our monthly beauty box sent to your door. It’s the smartest way to get personal with the best cruelty-free, vegan beauty brands you might not find on store shelves or an internet search engine. 

At the end of the day, take that makeup off and use clean, vegan beauty products so you can keep a clear conscience and rest easy once you do. 

Sign up for Kinder Beauty today!



PETA's 'Global Beauty Without Bunnies' | PETA Program 

Cosmetics testing FAQ | Humane 

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