Which Vegan Ingredients Are Good for Acne Prone Skin?

Which Vegan Ingredients Are Good for Acne Prone Skin?

If you’re one who deals with acne on a regular basis, chances are you’ve tried everything under the sun to rid your face of those problematic spots.

From products with harsh chemicals that tout their acne-ridding properties to expensive dermatologist prescribed medications, there are few avenues those with acne won’t explore in search of a clear complexion.

While it’s been noted for ages that harsh chemicals are bad for skin health, many are looking to other options to fix their skin in a safe, non-toxic way. The rise of vegan ingredients in cosmetics isn’t new, and it may just be what your skin needs to thrive. Read on to learn about vegan ingredients, and why they may be the answer to all of your acne problems.

vegan ingredients for pimples

What are vegan ingredients?

Many aspects of the skincare and cosmetic industry are artificial. In the past, this rapidly growing economic sector has been like all the others: companies want to turn a profit, and they are willing to sacrifice quality and safety standards to make it happen. But that’s changed within the last five years.

There has been a push for vegan and cruelty-free skincare products, and customers have been willing to pay a little extra to know just what exactly they’re applying to their skin.

Vegan ingredients are made without material of animal origin, or made without anything associated with animals at all. There are no animal byproducts in vegan ingredients at all, so if a skincare product is labeled vegan you can rest assured that it does not include honey, beeswax, collagen, elastin, or other animal-derived ingredients.

Instead, these ingredients are replaced with materials derived from plants or minerals.

Just because a product is labeled “vegan” does not mean it won’t cause an allergic reaction, or that it is made cruelty-free. As always when buying skincare products, read the label carefully to make sure it will not cause any harm to yourself or animals.

Is Vegan Skincare Better for Fighting Acne?

Vegan skincare has many benefits when applied to the face, which means these products can go a long way when fighting acne. Vegan skincare is made with natural ingredients, so these products tend to lack harsh chemicals that can actually cause damage to the face.

Chemicals may be potent in fighting acne, but they often dry out the skin. If you’re familiar with how acne is formed, dry skin is just as bad as oily skin for acne production. The skin on our faces thrives under gentle ingredients, and vegan skincare provides just that.

Best Vegan Skincare Routine for Reducing Acne

No matter what style of skincare product you use, your skincare routine should follow the same general outline: apply the lightest and thinnest product first, and work your way up to heavier creams.

The first step in your skincare routine should always be washing your hands. There’s no point in rubbing bacteria all over your face, especially when the goal of your routine is to rid your face of bacteria.

After your hands are washed, wet your face with lukewarm water. Hot water can strip your skin of its needed oils and dry your face out, whereas cold water won’t open your pores.

Wash your face in both the morning and night with a mild, fragrance-free vegan cleanser. If you only want to wash your face once per day, wash it at night as that way you’re washing off the day’s grime before resting for the night.

After cleansing, apply any vegan acne-fighting serums that you choose to use. Serums are lightweight and should be applied early in your skincare routine.

Next, be sure to apply your daily vegan moisturizer. Remember, dryness is just as bad as having excess oil production on your skin, so it’s important to not skip this step in your skincare routine.

Lastly, always apply a vegan SPF to your face, especially when you use acne-preventing ingredients. Acne-fighting ingredients tend to be sensitive to sunlight, so it’s extra important to protect your skin from the harsh rays.

Vegan Ingredients to Fight Acne

Just because a product is “vegan” or “natural” doesn’t mean that it should be applied to your face.

It’s important that your vegan products are not comedogenic, or that they do not clog your pores. Clogged pores are one of the main ways that acne is caused, so it is important that the product you apply to your face does not play a role in continuing the cycle of acne.

tea tree oil for acne

Vegan products shouldn’t contain any ingredients that could clog your pores, and it shouldn’t be too rich or oily in texture. Common comedogenic ingredients include lanolin, silicones, or coconut oil.

Instead, look for these vegan ingredients in your skincare products:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Salicylic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Willow bark
  • Niacinamide

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is well known for its antimicrobial properties. It has healing properties and is considered to be a natural antibiotic. The oil has natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which lend a hand in the fight against acne.

Salicylic acid

This acid occurs naturally in various plants and is used to protect from bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Salicylic acid for skin care purposes is obtained from white willow, or it can be made synthetically. When doing your research on vegan products, be on the lookout for how this ingredient was derived. Like with tea tree oil, salicylic acid has an anti-inflammatory effect and calming properties that make it great at fighting acne.

Lactic acid

Lactic acid is a natural means of unclogging pores. This exfoliant removes the dead skin cells that clog pores and cause acne. Long-term application of lactic acid has been studied as a preventative treatment to acne vulgaris, the medical term for everyday acne. But be wary: this can also be made synthetically. Make sure your lactic acid is derived from sugar beet and not milk or animal tissue.

Willow Bark

Aptly named, Willow Bark comes from the bark of a willow tree and it has been used to soothe irritated skin. It contains salicin, the ingredient through which salicylic acid is derived. Willow Bark minimizes acne by reducing inflammation, and it has been known to reduce pore size and make skin feel tighter.


This gentle ingredient can be used day or night to protect your skin’s barrier. This form of vitamin B3 can be found in foods like whole grains or in certain greens. Niacinamide increases skin resiliency and improves texture, and also helps to make your pores look smaller. As a bonus, it’s good for all skin types.

Other Ways to Fight Acne

There is rarely ever one cause of acne.

While it certainly helps to switch to natural and vegan products, oftentimes more than one step needs to be taken to reduce the occurence of acne on the face.

In addition to switching to non-toxic and gentle vegan products, consider these steps to help your face fight acne:

tea tree oil for acne

Wash your face twice daily

Know your skin type

Use a proper moisturizer

Don’t use a washcloth or towel on your face

Wash your face twice daily

Washing your face in both the morning and evening is recommended for most people. Only if you have very dry skin should you skip the second wash, as drying your face out is just as detrimental to your skin’s health as having excess oil.

Wash before applying products in the morning, after intense workouts, or before bed at night. If you can only wash once per day, make sure to do it before bed as you don’t want daily bacteria to accumulate on your face as you sleep.

Know your skin type

This is incredibly important to know as you fight against acne. Your skin type determines what products you need. There are three main skin types: dry, normal, and oily.

Those with dry skin need to be weary of over-drying their skin. Vegan products can be extra beneficial to those with dry skin, as their gentle ingredients won’t cause excess dryness.

If you have normal skin, it’s important to maintain the delicate balance between dry and oily skin. Choose items that aren’t designed to dry out your excess oil production, because you likely won’t produce oil in excess. The same goes for selecting products that won’t dry your skin out too much.

know your skin type for acne problems

If your skin is oily, select products that will minimize your oil production or clear your clogged pores. Like those with dry skin, it’s important to select products with ingredients that aren’t too harsh for your skin type.

Use the correct moisturizer

Once you know your skin type, select the moisturizer that will work best for you. Your skin’s moisture level is incredibly important to its overall health, so one of the best things you can do for your face is to select the proper moisturizer.

Those with dry skin should use a heavy, non-comedogenic moisturizer that will lock in the face’s natural moisture, whereas those with oily skin should use a lighter option.

Don’t use towels on your face

Towels can hold a host of bacteria or fungi, and that isn’t something you want added to your face, especially after washing. Let your face air dry, but if you’re short on time and need to dry off, be sure to choose a fresh towel to dry your face.