We’ve rounded up local vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable beauty brands — ethical makeup, skin and body care — that never test on critters, contain no hidden animal-product ingredients, use sustainable production and packaging, and more.
Climate change is no joke! If you’ve been looking to do your part in helping the environment, your daily skincare and beauty routine is a great place to start. By shopping locally from brands with a conscience, you’re saying “no” to animal testing and “yes” to a more eco way of living. We’ve rounded up 13 homegrown Hong Kong vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable beauty brands — so you can pamper yourself while supporting local businesses, all while giving back to the world we live in.
What Do We Mean By Vegan, Cruelty-Free And Sustainable Beauty?
Before you start adding to cart, let’s do a quick refresh on what all these buzzwords mean. In the beauty industry, “vegan” simply means there aren’t any animal-derived ingredients in your products, while “cruelty-free” refers to the testing and safety procedure — meaning these items aren’t tested on any animals. Together, this means no animals are harmed in both the making and the selling of a beauty product.
Eco-friendly brands make every effort to be “sustainable” — which means actively avoiding the destruction of our environment and, of course, helping to preserve it. An eco-conscious beauty brand might, for example, use only recyclable or recycled-material packaging, source natural and/or homegrown ingredients and materials to avoid a large carbon footprint, and only work with suppliers that have also pledged to save the environment.
Plus, these brands often help give back to the community and avoid using cheaper shortcuts when creating their products, whether that means employing people in the region or paying more for higher-quality ingredients. They’re ethical — so purchasing from these local Hong Kong brands will help you look good, feel good and do good!
Read more: 7 Ways To Live A More Sustainable Lifestyle
Local Vegan, Cruelty-Free & Sustainable Beauty Brands
Bathe to Basics
Skincare, bath and body brand Bathe to Basics is committed to making all-natural products for everyone, made right here in Hong Kong courtesy of its Tai Po workshop. Officially established in 2011, this vegan and cruelty-free brand is formulated with modern science while staying true to its organic and eco-friendly values: it only uses vegetable oils and butter in all of its products, is toxin-free and biodegradable in water, and never tests on animals.
Our pick: The bestselling cream bar soaps, mild yet moisturising and made with a special “cold process” method that keeps the product below 40 degrees to retain the nutrients and active properties of the ingredients. You can shop products online and at select locations and retailers throughout Hong Kong.
Bathe to Basics, www.bathetobasics.com
Infused with ingredients used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and made in Japanese labs, Botanic Pretti5 is the perfect blend of Eastern adaptogens and Western skincare technologies. The cruelty-free skincare brand prioritises herbal ingredients that are beneficial for our skin to create low-irritant and non-comedogenic products, with zero animal by-products and testing. Plus, its minimal packaging is completely recyclable and looks good on your shelf.
Our pick: The advanced hyaluronic serum, tailored for dry and sensitive skin but suitable for everyone — packed with 12 botanicals, vitamin B3, provitamin B5, and, of course, hyaluronic acid. You can shop its products online and at Sephora Hong Kong.
Botanic Pretti5, www.pretti5.com
Formulated by chemist Christal Leung (and sister brand of Skin Need), BYOB skincare is the newest kid on the block, stocking carefully created products that are reminiscent of those at a doctor’s office — with skin type and problems clearly marked on its packaging and packed full of skin-soothing ingredients. Standing for “blend your own beauty”, this vegan brand is all about giving you enough to-the-point items so you can truly customise a routine that suits your skin and fits your life! It’s GMP-certified, EWG-checked, and ECO-certified
Founded in 2015, nature-focused Coconut Matter uses organic, fair-trade virgin coconut oil as the core ingredient in all its products. Hand-pressed in the Solomon Islands, it provides a livelihood for local communities while also protecting their rainforests and natural habitat. And, this local sustainable brand disrupts traditional single-use plastic packaging with biodegradable cardboard or reusable glassware, which means you’re supporting sustainable production with your every buy. As a nice bonus, Coconut Matter has a neat glossary detailing the ingredients it’s free from as well as mission statements that outline the brand’s social and environmental impacts.
Our pick: The prebiotic, vegan-friendly and toxin-free deodorants, perfect for our city’s hot and humid summers. You can shop products online and at select retailers throughout Hong Kong.
Coconut Matter, www.coconutmatter.com
INUF Responsible Skincare
Mindful lifestyle concept INUF‘s in-house skincare brand INUF Responsible Skincare is homegrown, eco-friendly and 100 percent natural. Founder Olive Wong Chui is committed to creating socially-conscious vegan and cruelty-free skincare that actually works, stocking products that are free from toxins and chemicals and are never tested on animals. If you’re ever feeling crafty, head over to its Green Beauty Bar where you can make your own natural face or body scrub.
Our pick: The bestselling HYDRATION: B5 Balancing Serum with pure hyaluronic acid that delivers both immediate hydration and rehydration over time. You can shop products online and at select locations throughout Hong Kong.
I Never Use Foundation (INUF) Skincare, www.inufskincare.com
Natasha Moor Cosmetics
When award-winning Hong Kong-based makeup artist Natasha Moor found herself having to mix and match different shades of lipstick to get the perfect colours for her clients, she decided to take the plunge and make her own shades — creating Natasha Moor Cosmetics. Every product in each collection is cruelty, paraben, and sulfate-free. And, as part of its #DoMoor campaign, a percentage of sales from all lipsticks go towards supporting victims of domestic abuse around the world.
Natasha Moor Cosmetics, natashamoor.com
Fully-trained cosmetics chemist Daniela Pelonara founded Native Essentials after discovering the healing powers of essential oils and aromatherapy. The brand’s skincare products are vegan, cruelty-free, and sustainable every step of the way — from the sourcing and testing of ingredients to the formulation and packaging of its products.
Native Essentials, www.nativessentials.com
Purearth takes inspiration from Ayurvedic alternative medicine, harnessing the power of sustainably wild-harvested, organic and natural botanicals. The best-selling (but perpetually sold out) Mitti Raw Honey Masque, a brightening concoction made with raw organic honey and antioxidant cacao folded into high-performance clay, is a firm favourite of Team Sassy. Purearth began in Hong Kong but makes every effort to give back to the global community through its Pure Purpose Foundation, which includes projects like a Covid-19 relief fund and an eco-toilet initiative that provides safe sanitation spaces for women and girls in the Himalayas and in Maharashtra, India.
Our pick: This 100 percent pure seabuckthorn berry oil that’s responsibly hand-harvested by Ladakhi women at over 13,000 feet! You can shop products online and at select locations and retailers throughout Hong Kong.
Read more: Alternative Therapy In Hong Kong
Founded by Hong Kong entrepreneur Michelle Chen, RARE SkinFuel is a natural anti-ageing skincare range that aims to give women the confidence to show their bare skin without fear. All products are made from certified organic and native Australian ingredients, using a complex heat-free “cold press” blending procedure that enables the finished product to retain its nutritious goodness. Fair warning, this pick is not cheap (with cleansers starting at $835 and moisturisers upwards of $1,550), but rest assured you’ll be investing in an ethically sound company. The brand is committed to a cruelty-free process and opts for infinitely recyclable PET packaging to ensure optimum sustainability.
Our pick: Its signature Australian clay powder masks (one detoxifying, one restoring), paired with its nourishing or refreshing activator. You can shop products online and at select locations and retailers throughout Hong Kong.
RARE SkinFuel, www.rareskinfuel.com
Formulated by chemist Christal Leung (and sister brand to B.Y.O.B), Skin Need is California-made and Hong Kong-based. Focusing on botanical sources and high-tech deliveries, this vegan and clean skincare brand is for those looking for super sensitive skin who want to skip out on synthetic fragrances and denatured alcohol. And it’s cruelty-free!
Skin Need, skinneed.com
Soaper Delights makes sustainable soaps in its Fo Tan workshop using ethically sourced ingredients. Its handcrafted soaps, balms, and deodorants are personally tested to ensure quality, and the brand won’t sell anything it doesn’t believe in. Soaper Delights believes in making a green lifestyle accessible to all and is absolutely wallet-friendly (most products are between $80 and $200).
Soaper Delights, www.soaperdelights.com
Woke Up Like This
Founded by influencers Jenn Lam and Tawnia Lai, Woke Up Like This (or WULT Beauty!) promises vegan and cruelty-free beauty products that are beginner-friendly, multi-purpose and a joy to use. This homegrown brand is based in Hong Kong, with cosmetics made in California, and features super cute packaging
Our pick: The squalane-infused liquid blushers, available in five to eight stunning shades and are safe to use all over the face. You can shop products online and at its branches throughout Hong Kong.
Woke Up Like This (Central Flagship), 19/F, Stanley 11, 11 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong, 6229 5555
Woke Up Like This (Causeway Bay Branch), B245, Basement, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, wokeuplikethisbeauty.com
Zero Yet 100
Founded by Anita Patel and Sheetal Avlani, Zero Yet 100 specialises in gender-neutral, toxin-free beauty products. On a mission to provide a healthy alternative to the chemicals ingested when using commercial brands, this Hong Kong-based pick formulates its products with a range of natural ingredients, including shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera. As a bonus, Zero Yet 100 also uses recyclable packaging, making it the perfect low-waste beauty and skincare solution.
Our pick: The super cute non-sticky and long-lasting all-natural deodorants! You can shop products online and at select retailers across Hong Kong.
Zero Yet 100, www.zeroyet100.com
And you can always shop global vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable beauty brands that make every effort to be eco-conscious and friendly, and ethical. To make that tiny difference where you can, try to browse in-person to avoid an additional shipping-produced carbon footprint.
- All Aesop products are vegan cruelty-free, not testing both its formulations or ingredients on animals. The company is Leaping Bunny approved and a Certified B Corporation, meaning it meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance.
- BEYORG stocks natural and organic beauty products and brands, including AORskincare and more.
- The vast majority of Caudalie products are vegan, save for those containing beeswax or honey.
- Chantecaille has a 20-year-long commitment to environmental philanthropy, with plenty of collections that partner with non-profit impact organisations worldwide that focus on animal protection and environmental conservation.
- iHerb is home to a few eco-friendly beauty brands, including 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free brands e.l.f. Cosmetics and EcoTools.
- LUSH is a Sassy favourite, with fresh handmade cosmetics that range from shower jellies to bath bombs, creams and scrubs, toothpaste tablets, lip oils and more — all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free and packed up in little to no packaging.
- Italian brand KIKO Milano is cruelty-free.
- Lane Crawford stocks cruelty-free brands Tatcha and Charlotte Tilbury, both of which carry vegan options.
- Sephora Hong Kong is home to many, many vegan and cruelty-free brands, including AMUSE (vegan and cruelty-free), bareMinerals (cruelty-free), Biossance (vegan and cruelty-free), Drunk Elephant (cruelty-free), Fenty Skin (cruelty-free), Herbivore Botanicals (vegan and cruelty-free), Hourglass (vegan and cruelty-free), Sunday Riley (cruelty-free), and The Ordinary (vegan and cruelty-free) to name a few(!).
- Zero-waste store Slowood stocks sustainable and cruelty-free brands like AROMATICA, SALT & STONE, AOTEA, and Davines.
- You can find cruelty-free New Zealand brand Antipodes at larger/cosmetic-focused Watsons throughout Hong Kong
- 10/10 HOPE stocks, in its own words, “niche and ingenious brands from all over the world”, so you’re bound to find tons of nature-focused cruelty-free and vegan beauty here!
Editor’s Note: “Local Ethical Beauty Brands We Love” was originally written and published in August 2018 by Inés Fung, and was most recently updated in May 2022 by Sakina Abidi.
Hero image courtesy of Purearth via Instagram, image 1 courtesy of Ron Lach via Pexels, image 2 courtesy of Karolina Grabowska via Pexels, image 3 courtesy of Bathe to Basics, image 4 courtesy of Botanic Pretti5, image 5 courtesy of BYOB, image 6 courtesy of Coconut Matter, image 7 courtesy of INUF Responsible Skincare via Instagram, image 8 courtesy of Natasha Moor Cosmetics via Instagram, image 9 courtesy of Native Essentials via Instagram, image 10 courtesy of Purearth via Instagram, image 11 courtesy of RARE SkinFuel via Instagram, image 12 courtesy of Skin Need via Instagram, image 13 courtesy of Soaper Delights, image 14 courtesy of Woke Up Like This via Instagram, image 15 courtesy of Zero Yet 100 via Instagram