I get a lot of questions about vegan skin care & makeup! I am personally not vegan, but I respect everyone who is & always try to find options for those who need them.
The truth is, it’s quite difficult to find brands (whether skin care or makeup) that carry vegan products. Here’s one brand that is 99% vegan (except for their lip mask) & 100% cruelty free. That brand is Complex Beauty – @complexbeautyco on Instagram, & http://www.complexbeauty.co. According to Complex’s about page, “a Complex babe knows that her skincare should be like her personality– toxin free.”
Complex certainly provides the toxin-free skin care that many are looking for. I’ve tried three of their masks, so first I’ll give a quick run-down on each of the ones I’ve tried, as well as their lip mask.
- Thirst Quencher Hydra Mask – this was the one I probably liked the least. Honestly…there was only one reason for that. I liked the way the mask worked just fine! The texture is very cool – kind of like a jello – & it’s very soothing, especially on hot days. It has extremely hydrating ingredients, like aloe, blue tansy, hyaluronic acid, oat extract, amino acids, and horsetail extract. However…for whatever reason, the scent just did not sit right with me. I wish I liked the scent more, because I truly would love this otherwise! I’m sorry, Complex!!! For whatever reason, something about the scent made my nose feel a bit queasy. Most smells don’t bother me at all…that’s why I was so surprised to be bothered by this one! Still – I’d recommend giving it a try if you have dry, sensitive skin. Just read the product description & the reviews, which are overwhelmingly positive. It might just be me. Everyone’s different, remember!
- The Godmother Enzyme Mask – a retexturizing, exfoliating mask that contains AHAs & fruit enzymes – mainly pumpkin. It’s a cheaper (& cruelty free!) dupe for the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. Keep in mind – this is a retexturizing mask & contains AHAs, which can be powerful (see my acids post here) so tread carefully if you have sensitive skin! However, I’ve used it many times with no problems. It tingles slightly, which is normal for an AHA mask – but it smells amazing (like pumpkin pie), & really brightens, clarifies, & resurfaces my skin. I really like this one!
- Pout Protector Lip Mask – vegans, beware! This lip mask is cruelty free but is not vegan, just so you know (the lip mask is the only non-vegan product in Complex’s collection). This smells amazing – like vanilla birthday cake, & is more of a lip oil than a balm, which makes sense, as its especially meant to be worn overnight. However, it can definitely be worn as a balm throughout the day – just know it’ll be more of a glossy finish! The one thing I don’t like about this is that it’s in a pump dispenser – so you have to use your fingers to apply it no matter what. That doesn’t bother me, since I don’t use it during the day – just at night – but I’d hesitate to apply it in public if my hands hadn’t just been washed (keep in mind I’m immunosuppressed & take extra care of things like this, so it might not be that big of a deal to some other people…which is fine!). The product’s main ingredients are organic castor seed oil, organic coconut oil, a peptide blend, plant stem cells, & an amino acid blend. Together, these hydrate, promote regeneration, reduce lip lines, heal damaged skin, & plump the lips. An amazing cocktail! Plus…it truly does smell amazing.
- Ocean Potion Mineral Mask – This is The One – the one I absolutely adore & would recommend to anyone (vegan or not). The formulation of this mask is somewhat baffling to me – it’s a clay mask, so it’s definitely purifying – but it’s also extremely soft & soothing. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it’s the most soothing clay mask I’ve tried so far. When my face is feeling too tight or dry, but I still have some blemishes I want to take care of, I immediately reach for Ocean Potion. Its key ingredients are kelp (which moisturizes, smoothes, reduces toxins, & reduces skin irritation), irish moss (attracts moisture, nourishes, & heals), safflower seed oil (I know! Oil..in a clay mask? This oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties), MSM (an organic sulfur-containing compound that’s used to improve immune function, lower inflammation and help restore healthy body tissue, as well as hydrates & smoothes skin), spirulina (protects from premature aging, prevents acne causing bacteria, wards off free radicals, and detoxes), & Ocean Mineral Complex (a unique blend of 92 (!!) ocean minerals that replenish, protect, and activate enzymes necessary for proper cellular function).
Complex is super, super transparent about all of the ingredients that go into their products – I’ve just listed the key ingredients of Ocean Potion, but every single ingredient is proudly listed on Ocean Potion’s product page – same goes for every other Complex product. There’s no hiding here!
If you’re not willing to shell out around $35 for a face mask without knowing that it’ll actually work for you, Complex has a really nice “Free Sample Program” (you just have to pay shipping & handling. Click here to do it – you just need to select your skin type and sensitivity level, and then Complex picks the mask they feel will best suit you. You’ll receive one .5oz sample, & can only get one order per customer – but you can do that several times if you feel one didn’t work well enough for you! I think it’s a great way to test out products, & wish other companies would do the same.
Overall…I really like Complex’s products. I really, really like their Ocean Potion – I feel like that’s a mask every single person can benefit from using! & I like finding brands that are 100% cruelty free – & 99% vegan – to help some of my vegan readers out. I know it’s not easy to find products that line up with your ideals, & I want to help you find ones that do do that.