A guide to better cruelty-free, animal friendly, and vegan body washes to keep you clean and conscientious from the moment you wake up.
When you jump in the shower, the story behind your body wash probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But as with other cosmetics, skincare products, and bathroom essentials, it’s the issues behind the scenes which matter most if you’re looking to buy better in a holistic and meaningful way.
Choosing a vegan body wash or cruelty-free shower gel is one way in which you can ensure you’re not doing harm every time you take a shower. The good news is that there are now more choices than ever when it comes to finding a vegan body wash that’s right for you. The even better news is that in this guide to the best vegan body wash and cruelty-free shower gels, we’ve broken down our top choices for a conscientious morning wash routine so you can focus on what really matters.
Why choose a cruelty-free or vegan body wash?
Put simply, cruelty-free and/or vegan body washes are better for animals.
If your goal is to do no harm in the products you purchase as a consumer, then one of the best things you can do is to intentionally support products that cause as little harm as possible. For consumables such as skincare and bathroom products that we use everyday of the year, this small change can have a major long-term impact.
Choosing a cruelty-free or vegan body wash is a great example of one of the ways that you can make a significant change in your everyday habits while causing minimal harm to animals.
What makes a body wash vegan or cruelty-free?
A vegan body wash does not contain any ingredients derived from animals or animal biproducts at any point in the manufacturing process. This includes things like beeswax, or ingredients derived from an animal’s coat such as wool. A good rule of thumb and question to ask when it comes to thinking about what makes a product vegan (other than official certification of course!) is this: “was something taken from an animal to create this product?”
For a product to be considered cruelty-free, it must not have had any element of testing carried out on animals at any point during production – this includes all ingredients and of course, the final product.
If you want to minimize the footprint of your purchase entirely, the ultimate option is of course, to opt for a body wash that’s vegan and cruelty-free, ensuring that the product you use is as animal friendly as possible.
Given the major criteria of each of these two animal friendly causes, it’s probably somewhat unsurprising that you’ll often find products that offer both of these if they’re offering one of them in the first place – after all, it would be unusual to see a company that only uses vegan ingredients while supporting the practice of animal testing!
Nevertheless, it’s still good practice to check for both of these when making your next buying decision. The next section will tell you how to find out this information quickly.
How to tell if your body wash is vegan or cruelty-free
When it comes to determining whether a body wash is better for animals, the main thing you want to keep an eye out for are the official certifications that let you know a product is vegan or cruelty-free.
For cruelty-free products, there are three main organizations that will let you know your body wash adheres to cruelty-free standards: PETA, Leaping Bunny, and Choose Cruelty Free. A good at-a-glance tip for determining whether a product is officially certified by one of these cruelty-free organizations is to look out for the bunny logo which you’ll tend to see on one of the product’s labels or on the back or side of the bottle.
One important thing to remember here is that the term “cruelty-free” is unregulated which means some companies may claim to be cruelty-free without actually adhering to official cruelty-free standards so, if you don’t see any affiliation with one of the organizations mentioned above, it’s always a good idea to do your own research and if you can’t find anything definitive, contacting the company directly to ask about their practices before buying.
Best cruelty-free and vegan body washes
The best cruelty-free and vegan body washes bring the convenience of an everyday body wash while allowing you to keep both body and soul clean during your regular wash routine.
Whether you’re looking for a shower gel to throw in your bag to wash with after an exercise or yoga session, or simply want an everyday workhorse for your daily routine, the best vegan body washes are formulated to keep you clean without causing unnecessary harm to animals.
Nubian Heritage Abyssinian Oil & Chia Seed Body Wash
Why we love it | Moisturizing and anti-aging properties combined with cruelty-free credentials and ethically sourced ingredients
If you’re looking for a cruelty-free body wash that keeps your skin feeling soft and looking young then this option from Nubian Heritage is a great choice. Containing Abyssinian oil which softens and hydrates skin, alongside chia seeds, amaranth extract, and ginseng, this body wash is the perfect way to achieve a conscious approach to maintaining healthy looking skin every time you wash. In addition to being cruelty-free, Nubian Heritage use fair trade ingredients and maintain a sustainable production approach.
Method Moisturizing Body Wash
Why we love it | A vegan body wash from a brand that’s built a reputation on being cruelty-free and environmentally responsible
Method have become well known as a leader in the eco-cleaning industry for products that are friendly to animals, friendly to the environment, and friendly to the people who use them. Available in multiple fragrances, Method’s vegan body washes have been formulated with naturally derived, non-toxic ingredients and abiding by the company’s policy of minimal impact. The end result is a shower-ready body wash that’s both cruelty-free while also softening your skin, leaving it hydrated and clean after every wash.
Alba Botanica French Lavender Very Emollient Bath & Shower Gel
Why we love it | Cruelty-free body wash that’s both 100% vegetarian and hypoallergenic
Designed for normal to dry skin, this cruelty-free body wash is formulated with botanical emollients and aloe to hydrate, cleanse, soothe, and soften skin. Available in a variety of scents, this bath and shower gel is hypoallergenic, contains no parabens, phtalates, or harsh sulfates, and is made from 100% vegetarian ingredients.
Yes To Nourishing Body Wash
Why we love it | An affordable everyday cruelty-free body wash
This cruelty free nourishing body wash is also free from parabens, SLS, and phthalates and as with the other skincare products in the Yes To range, puts an emphasis on solutions that have minimal negative impact. Designed to naturally nourish and make skin softer, the Yes To Nourishing Body Wash is a great choice if you’re looking for a wash that will help you start your day the right way.
JĀSÖN Invigorating Rosewater Body Wash
Why we love it | High quality natural and ethical body wash from heavy hitter JĀSÖN
This vegan body wash includes Vitamin E and Pro-Vitamin B5 to revitalize and soothe, making it the perfect start (or end) to your everyday routine. Formulated with rosewater extract, this body wash is free from animal biproducts, parabens, phthalates, sulphates, GMOs, and of course, is Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free.
Love Beauty And Planet Majestic Moisture Vegan Body Wash
Why we love it | Vegan, cruelty-free and free from ingredients that you probably don’t want in your daily shower gel or body wash
Given the impressive list of ethical credentials that the Love Beauty and Planet products boast, it’s little surprise that this vegan body wash is also cruelty-free. Formulated with ethically sourced Australian sandalwood, hand-harvested shea butter, and utilizing plant-based cleansers, this body wash is good for the planet and your skin, providing moisturizing protection from dry skin throughout the day, from the moment you step foot out of the shower.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap
Why we love it | Dr. Bronner’s is the OG when it comes to natural cleaning and their iconic castile soap also happens to make an incredible vegan body wash
There’s a reason that Dr. Bronners has become a household name when it comes to natural cleaning – whether it’s keeping your dishes, home, or body clean, the pedigree of this brand has earned it a well-deserved reputation among the ethical cleaners. The classic Pure-Castile Liquid Soap is probably the best known (and most widely used) of the Dr. Bronners family and makes for an excellent vegan and organic body wash or shower soap solution that can even be diluted down for use with laundry!
If minimizing waste is also your thing, then the 100% biodegradable and 100% post-consumer recycled bottle is also a huge selling point. Add to this the fact that some stores will allow you to refill your bottles, and this body wash also gets points for 100% reusable packaging.
Puracy Natural Body Wash
Why we love it | An ecologically conscious body wash that’s cruelty-free and also uses natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable ingredients
The Puracy Body Wash uses coconut-based cleansers, clinical-grade moisturizers, and sea salt to hydrate and purify, pulling off using natural ingredients while also grabbing both PETA and Leaping Bunny certifications. If you’re looking for a vegan body wash that’s perfect for both men and women, then this non-toxic (it’s free from triclosan, sulfates, formaldehyde, parabens, phosphates, petroleum, animal biproducts, and a whole lot more), then this all-around heavy-hitting bath and shower gel is a great option.
SheaMoisture African Black Soap Body Wash
Why we love it | Cruelty-free body wash from a brand that’s long-established for producing high-quality soaps and body care products
This cruelty-free body wash from SheaMoisture is made with natural ingredients including certified organic shea butter and cocoa pod ash, as well as oats and aloe. The end result is a deeply cleansing shower experience which both calms and hydrates skin as well as providing a balancing effect. If you’re looking for an all-purpose cruelty-free body wash that balances, cleanses, and clarifies, then this soothing solution from SheaMoisture could be your key to the perfect shower.
Jack Black All-Over Wash for Face, Hair, and Body
Why we love it | The ideal ethical alternative if you’re looking for a cruelty-free men’s body wash made from better ingredients that can be relied upon
An ethical formulation that’s dermatologist tested and paraben free makes this cruelty-free hair and body wash the perfect pairing for a better shower experience. Beyond the clean credentials on the ingredient list, one of the major selling points of this cruelty-free body wash is that its pH-balanced formula has been designed to also clean hair and face – so there’s no more excuses for not keeping squeaky clean every morning.