Is Suffering an Ingredient in Your Retinol Product?

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Are you supporting animal suffering with your skincare routine? Everyone wants to keep their skin looking healthy and soft, and retinol is a popular option in the skincare game. But some companies exploit animals for skin-smoothing products. Make sure that the retinol products you buy are vegan (no animal-derived ingredients) and that the companies don’t test on animals. PETA put together some cruelty-free retinol choices so you can be kind to animals while being kind to your skin.

Dr Botanicals

This retinol-infused night moisturizer from Dr Botanicals will help supercharge your skincare routine in the evening, when the skin barrier repairs itself.

Alchimie Forever

Created by a Swiss dermatologist, this PETA-approved business sells an advanced retinol serum with a proprietary time-release technology to minimize irritation. Purchase the product on the company’s website or find it on Amazon.


Handmade in Nevada, plant-based, and PETA-certified cruelty-free, Hylunia’s wrinkle-fighting retinol won’t steer you wrong. This company avoids cruelty to animals and instead tests all its products on consenting humans—its own staff!


Sustainable and developed by a dermatologist, this cruelty-free company offers a lightweight retinol serum that leaves your skin feeling velvety-smooth. Find it online from multiple retailers.


This PETA Business Friend offers a super-serum made with a popular retinol alternative called “bakuchiol” along with other vegan ingredients to help brighten and plump your skin. Get it shipped for free by ordering from the company’s website if you’re in the U.S.

Andalou Naturals

This PETA-certified animal test–free company offers a line of “age-defying” plant-based retinol alternative products that can be found at Target, Whole Foods, and other stores across the U.S.


No animals were exploited for this line of retinol products—or any other product—from Acure. Find this rejuvenating line at various stores, including Whole Foods, Target, and Ulta Beauty.


artnaturals sells a number of retinol products that are 100% cruelty-free, including a sleep mask and serum available at Target.


This widely available makeup and skincare brand has a line of phyto-retinol–based products including a lip treatment and a night concentrate that can be found at Target, Sephora, and other stores.


This humane company offers multiple retinol-based products, from an anti-wrinkle eye treatment to an anti-aging shea body lotion. Find them online or at stores such as Target and Ulta Beauty.


This compassionate company checks all the boxes, and you can easily find its products at Target, Whole Foods, and Ulta Beauty locations all across the U.S. Its retinoid line includes face masks, creams, serums, and a face wash.

Winky Lux

Available at Target and other stores, this company’s products are made with bakuchiol, a plant-based alternative to retinol, to give you the skin-renewing results you’re looking for—and you won’t have to worry about where the ingredients came from.


Possibly best known for its home and baby products, Honest also sells a pure retinyl serum that you can find at your local Target.

Josie Maran

Eye cream, serums, and body butters, oh my! Josie Maran has a retinol product for everyone. Stop in at Sephora or Ulta Beauty to get your favorite.


Dermelect has a number of options to choose from to brighten your skin and target fine lines, from its Skin Renewal Kit to a retinol alternative treatment. Find the brand online on its website or Amazon.


Made in the U.S., this skincare brand is free of animal-derived ingredients, synthetic fragrances, and artificial coloring. It offers a small collection of moisturizers that feature plant-derived retinol as a main ingredient to keep your skin looking fresh. Find it on Amazon.


Created by celebrity dermatologist Dr. Karyn Grossman, this vegan company plants a tree with every order placed on its website. You can also find the brand on Amazon.


Made in the U.S., this vegan skincare brand is dermatologist-recommended and a member of the PETA Beauty Without Bunnies program. The anti-aging serum is available for purchase on its site.


With so many items to choose from, there’s no reason to buy something that’s been tested on sentient individuals who can’t give consent. Animals aren’t test tubes—they’re thinking, feeling beings who deserve respect. If a brand isn’t certified animal test–free by PETA, it’s likely conducting painful and unnecessary experiments on rabbits, mice, and other animals. So next time you buy a skincare product, whether it’s retinol to keep your youthful glow or a simple moisturizer, remember to check the label to see if it is tested on animals or contains any animal-derived ingredients.

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