EWG Top Rated Vegan Acne Products (safe, non-toxic)
Updated: Aug 19
I know that safety is a top concern for many people today. If history has taught us anything, it's that companies and the government cannot be counted on to properly regulate cosmetic products, nor to properly inform consumers of risks.
(Have you ever heard about radium in cosmetics?) Both the radium companies and the government lied to consumers about its safety, costing countless lives.
Thankfully, we now have non-profit, non-partisan organizations like the EWG (Environmental Working Group) that are dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.
The EWG Skin Deep database provides information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature. They give products a rating of EWG Verified-10, with 10 being the worst. The ratings indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in a product, but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility.
The EWG Verified mark on some of the below products is an indication of personal care products that meet EWG's strict health criteria, and are considered some of the best products.
When it comes to skin care especially, we have to consider the toxicity and long-term risks associated with the products we use. After all, we are putting these things on our skin, our body's largest organ, every single day.
What I've compiled is a brief list of some of the EWG's Top-Rated & Verified vegan acne products. These are the kinds of products you can feel confident purchasing, as they are less likely to harm you, your loved ones, or the environment.
When choosing products, my first priority was a high safety rating from EWG. I chose products with a rating of 2 or less (considered very good). After that, I sifted through for products that were not only safe, but also effective - with active ingredients that apply specifically to acne, and a high user rating. Below is the list that I've come up with.
*Please note that some of these are affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you purchase with my link.
A cleanser is a good way to treat your acne, as the active ingredients don't stick around too long, and therefore won't end up being too harsh for your skin to use regularly.
Simple, nourishing shea with neem, sulfur & tea tree oil, this is one of my favourite cleansers. Don't let its bar form throw you off - it IS for your face! However, it is suited best for people with oily, acne-prone skin, and may be a bit too drying for sensitive or dry skin.
All of Out Of Africa products are highly rated for safety, and this little bar comes in at a #1.
This is another great cleanser, especially for acne-prone skin. It comes with balancing, toning and acne-fighting turmeric, nourishing moringa, and clarifying neem.
Due to the mint fragrance, this comes in at a #2 for potential irritant, but is still considered very safe.
If you're looking for a simple face wash to combat oily, acne-prone skin, this is the cleanser for you. It contains castile soap and kaolin clay which gently remove impurities, and is EWG Verified so you know it's real.
Toners are a great choice when you have very oily skin and your skin needs just a little extra help. But you don't need a fancy toner to do the job.
Other toners often contain alcohol or unnecessary fragrances, but this gentle astringent will help dry up any excess oil and treat your skin and acne as gently as possible. Simple ingredients have earned this product a top spot as a #1 rating.
Another toner that is great for oily and acneic skin, this blend is a #2.
I love Ylang Ylang's aroma, and this formula is non-toxic and alcohol-free as well. It will help remove impurities and improve skin tone.
The rating reflects safety concerns of the essential oil, but is considered low risk due to its concentration.
As far as acne treatments go, you can't get much safer than simple 100% tea tree oil which comes in at #1. Compared with other common acne-fighting ingredients, like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, other acids, and retinol - tea tree oil is considered safe for long-term use.
Instead of using other treatments, you can choose a treated face wash, cleanser, or toner - and use tea tree oil (diluted) for individual spots - which is very effective.
A well-formulated, treated moisturizer is the best way to fight your acne - that way, you can feed two birds with one scone! Score!
This fragrance-free formula is also one of my favourites, and it comes in at a #2 (due to concerns as a potential allergen and enhanced skin absorption). However, as moisturizers go, this is one safe bet.
It contains soothing, gentle ingredients that will nourish your skin and zap excess oils. Panthenol, vitamin E, and aloe vera also help to improve skin tone and texture, while chamomile and calendula soothe dry, sensitive, or irritated skin.
It has a silky-smooth texture, and is pH-balanced.
For problem skin with an uneven skin tone, like its cleansing counterpart, this gentle formula will also help improve skin texture and firmness while providing plenty of hydration.
The EWG rating is a bit dated on the formulation, so it comes in around a #2 with some potential for skin irritation or allergen due to the mint fragrance.
This powerful natural formula is a fan favourite. You will be amazed at its ability to control your skin's oiliness while still providing ample hydration.
You're definitely seeing the quality of the product in the price for this small 1 oz cream, but sometimes it's worth it to splurge a little.
Once again, the pesky mint brings this little gem's rating to a #2, with potential for irritation.
Here is another EWG Verified product, and it's easy to see why. If you have oily skin, sensitive skin, or dry and cracked skin, this moisturizer is going to be your best friend. It is ultra-lightweight and gentle, so soothing, and practically melts into your skin.
It's literally the perfect moisturizer for all skin types.
Don’t discount the power of aloe to heal your skin.
Sometimes you want to add a little something else to your routine - extra antioxidants or nutrients, or maybe a little more daily or nightly protection.
Rosehip seed oil has been and always will be one of my absolute favourites. It comes in at a #1, due to its simple, safe ingredients. It is an easy way to treat acne as well as a variety of other skin issues (like wrinkles and scars!). The Vitamin A in this is great for exfoliation, and EWG-approved!
This serum contains a variety of essential oils that can help improve skin texture, appearance, and acne. The formula tones and refines the appearance of pores, while treating blemishes and soothing irritated skin.
It comes in at a #2 due to the essential oils and their potential to irritate.
The Mad Hippie line is also pretty great. The Vitamin C serum and Antioxidant serum come in at a #1 and #2 respectively.
The Vitamin C serum contains konjac, ferulic and hyaluronic acids which help to nourish and protect the skin.
The Antioxidant Face Oil contains argan and camu camu, which are great for soothing skin and fighting free radical damage.
If you’re looking to add a little oompf to your routine – that is, added antioxidants, moisture, acne and scarring treatment – these are great options.
Finding a vegan, skin-friendly SPF can be hard, especially one with a good EWG rating but here's a few to get you started.
Coming in at an astounding #1 rating, this is the SPF I have in my own skin care arsenal. This natural mineral sunscreen doesn't leave a horrible, greasy white cast, AND they have tinted versions! It has been surprisingly easy on my oily, acne-prone skin, and is easy to remove at the end of the day.
Also coming in at #1, this SPF is NOT just for men! I love it because it is super light-weight and contains SO many skin-nourishing vitamins, like aloe and hemp. Trust me, your skin will like this formula.
Another #1 top spot, I also am a big fan of DeVita products. This lightweight formula has also has hemp seed oil, and is guaranteed not to add any extra weight or extra oil to already oily skin.
These are just a few of the vegan skin care products that are highly rated by EWG Skin Deep.
There are many others that are EWG Verified or of low concern for our health and the health of the environment - check out their database here.
Have you tried any of these? Let me know!