cruelty free vegan skincare routine drugstore

My Current Cruelty-Free Drugstore Skincare Routine

I was so sad to say goodbye to my beloved Philosophy Purity Cleanser, but I knew I could find an awesome alternative that didn’t involve animal testing. My sensitive skin reacts negatively to anything with harsh chemicals or sketchy ingredients, so I was surprised to find an amazing cleanser and toner at the drugstore of all places!

My current skincare routine consists of only four products, with mostly natural ingredients. I have been using this combination of products for about a month, and am surprised by how clear my skin has become! Before this, I was using a high-end cleanser from Sephora. I’m so happy to find one just as gentle from the drugstore.

For reference, I have dry to combination skin with occasional breakouts. My skin is fairly sensitive but I don’t have a huge problem with acne, just small whiteheads around my nose and chin (hormonal).

Step 1: Cleanse

The cleanser I have been using is Yes to Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser, and I am in love! It is made for sensitive skin and has 97% natural ingredients. I wouldn’t say it is a dupe for the Philosophy cleanser, but it is just as gentle. The cucumber and green tea extract are super calming in the morning!

At first I was a little worried because the packaging says MILK, but it actually is made of soy milk! I find that this cleanser takes off most of my makeup (I don’t usually use waterproof) and doesn’t dry out my skin at all. I have been using this cleanser twice a day.

Step 2: Tone

I’ve never been a big fan of toner but wanted to try one after watching Caitlin Shoemaker‘s skincare routine video. Her skin is amazing! The one I picked up is Natural Acnedote from Alba Botanica. Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t have a huge acne problem but wanted a product that would completely wipe out all of my little breakouts acne scars. So far this product has been amazing–my skin is so clear and I can tell that it has evened out my skin tone and reduced scarring.

The main ingredient in this product is salicylic acid for acne, which can be drying. I have been using it morning and night and after about a month I’ve noticed a bit of dryness, so I may experiment by using it only in the morning. All of the ingredients are derived from plants, including the salicylic acid from Willow Bark Extract!

Step 3: Moisturize 

One of the biggest game changers I have discovered for my skin is rosehip seed oil. For awhile I was using it in place of my moisturizer, but lately I have just been adding a couple drops to my Simple Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturizer. I have been using this combo for a while now and really liking it. I only add a drop of rosehip oil to my moisturizer during the day, but I add about three at night. The brand I use is Life-flo.

The Simple moisturizer is formulated for sensitive skin and doesn’t contain fragrance or harsh chemicals. I will also add that although Simple itself doesn’t test on animals, their parent company, Unilever, does. I am okay with this because it increases demand for cruelty-free products, but avoid this product if you disagree.

I have included links to all of these products, although they can be found at most drugstores or large grocery chains. I’m excited to have found an awesome cruelty-free and mostly natural skincare set that doesn’t break the bank! What are your favorite skincare products? Leave a comment below!

This post contains affiliate links.


  • Reply Alison March 25, 2017 at 3:03 am

    I recently been starting back up on the double cleanse (I follow the 12-step Korean skincare) and I highly recommend their double cleanse product or their nourishing cleansing balm. I have both and it’s a game changer to your skin. They have some really interesting products so I look forward to trying them out more in the summer! Great post!

    • Reply Ciara March 27, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation, Alison! I have been getting really interested in skincare lately so I will look into it! 🙂 I’ve heard that Korean products are great.

  • Reply Alison March 25, 2017 at 3:05 am

    Pixi is the brand I’m talking about. I don’t know why I left it out! Highly recommend it!

  • Reply Deimile October 10, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Sorry to break it to u. I know it may seem like it because of the name but simply is not cruelty free and they have always been testing on thoes poor bunnies.

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