Cruelty-Free Skin Care from the Drugstore

walgreens aisle

Hi friends! I’ve been meaning to do a post about cruelty-free skin care available right from your local Walgreens, CVS or Duane Reader and when Kimberlee tweeted me that her cousin was looking for cruelty free skin care I thought well, no better time than the present.

All the products in this post are cruelty free, paraben free and made in the USA annnnnd you can probably find them at a drugstore near you!

My Cruelty Free Face Routine

my face routine

Some notes about my skin. Again everyone’s skin is a bit different and your experience will be different if you have very different skin than me. My skin is sensitive and joy of all joys it is also combination, which means it gets dry and oily.

Yes to Carrots, Daily Cream Facial Cleanser: $8.79 

I use this nearly every day. I LOVE this cleanser. Most cleansers really dry my skin out and this definitely does not. I’ve been using this for nearly a year and I have definitely noticed an improvement in the quality of my skin.

Yes to Cucumbers, Soothing Eye Gel: $15.49

I’m a little on the fence with this product. I’ve been using it for about 1 month. Pros: It is so soothing and cooling when you put this on and I have noticed a reduction in the darkness around my eyes. Cons: I don’t think it really improves fine lines. Also it doesn’t get the best reviews on Makeup Alley, lots of people have not had the best experience and over more time it doesn’t look like it’s been effective, so take a look at the reviews and the skin types, this might not be for you. Honestly, I feel there must be something better out there so will probably try something new once I’m thru with this bottle.

Yes to Carrots, Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15: $15.49

What’s great about this moisturizer is that a little goes a long way, and I find that hasn’t been true for me with most moisturizers. Again I have combination skin so my skin gets very dry in places and this moisturizer manages to deeply moisturize the bits of my face that need extra care. I’m interested to see how it performs in the warmer months when my skin isn’t as dry and more on the oily side.

Éclos, Instant Radiance Facial Scrub: $12.99

I LOVE THIS! My favorite exfoliating face wash. It’s really important to exfoliate your skin to sloth off dead skin and stimulate new cells, for me I like to exfoliate no more than twice a week.

Éclos’ scrub smells wonderful and kind of feels like you’re exfoliating with little grains of sand. My skin always feels super clean and smooth after exfoliating with this and it has reduced the visibility of a few blemishes. LOVE!

Éclos, Facial Cleanser Skin Prep: $15.99

I got this little sample with my Éclos Facial Scrub and have been interchanging it with my Yes to Carrots Facial Cleanser about once a week. I don’t think this is the right product for me during winter since my skin is naturally so dry during this season I need something that is a bit more moisturizing, but I may switch to this in the summer when my skin is on the oily side. The Éclos cleanser is way more refreshing than my Yes to Carrots Cleanser which I would say is more nourishing and is probably a better fit in winter for me.

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner: CHEAP or FREE

THIS IS THE JAM! Seriously!!! I have never EVER used toner before because it dried out my skin so bad and I never saw improvements in the texture of my skin. BUT THIS IS AMAZING, I’ve been using this concoction for a few months and I am convinced I will never stop.

My homemade apple cider toner is about 1 part organic apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water, and 3 drops of grapefruit essential oil (optional). I happened to have all these ingredients at home, so the best toner ever was FREE for me and I can’t believe how good this toner works. It makes a huge difference in my skin and it felt so immediate! My pores definitely minimized and my skin is smoother and softer over a bit of time. You can adjust the solution to your own needs, I dilute mine quite a bit because of my sensitive skin. More info on the recipe here.


Now there are also some cruelty free brands available at the drugstore that I haven’t been able to try yet. But I wanted to give them a shout because they do look great and are getting great reviews!

Nuance Skin Line by Salma Hayek

nuance by salme hayek(image source)

Why I Want to Try This: The Reviews are great for Nuance’s anti-age serums and treatments on both Makeup Alley and CVS. Also who does not want to have skin like Salma Hayek?!?!

Price Point: $14-$20 for anti-age serums at CVS

Alba Bontanica

alba face-content(image source)

Why I Want to Try This: Another set of stellar reviews for this whole product line on and Makeup Alley.

Price Point: $9-$16 at, but also available at Walgreens

Jason Natural Cosmetics

Jason-skin-smaller-cat(image source)

Why I Want to Try This: Jason Natural Cosmetics has been around since 1959 and that says quite a bit about a product if you ask me. Plus the reviews on Makeup Alley and are really stellar.

Price Point: $10-$21 at but also available at Walgreens

I no doubt will try some new things and will definitely update you with any new skin care  goodies I try, but till then I’d love to hear your favorite cruelty-free brands and don’t be shy with asking any questions!

Thanks Kimberlee for the great request! I hope this is helpful!



  1. kimberlee March 8, 2013 / 11:34 am

    Thanks for the tips! We are shopping today so hopefully she csn try some of these goodies. Totally forgot about DIY! Will try to get her to make her own products 🙂

  2. Heather Fonseca March 9, 2013 / 10:52 am

    Great post! I love drugstore beauty products and use quite a few in my daily routine. Yes to carrots daily moisturizer with SPF has become my favorite winter sunblock facial lotion. It’s creamy, hydrating and affordable! Like you I really want to try salma’s line of products too.
    Heather Fonseca recently posted..Emerald green earrings and a giveawayMy Profile

  3. Casee Marie March 9, 2013 / 11:53 am

    J, THANK YOU! Seriously so grateful for this post. I think a lot of people (or maybe it’s just me) don’t expect to be able to find cruelty-free products at the drug store, and this is a very welcome eye-opener. I was so excited when Drew Barrymore launched her cosmetics line Flower at Walmart last month because I’d been hoping to find a cruelty-free beauty brand that also fit my budget. Next on my list has been focusing on skin care – I’ll definitely be trying some of these. Thanks for reading my mind! xo

    • Jamillah March 10, 2013 / 11:51 am

      Oh fantastic!!! I’m so happy it was helpful. But I think you’re totally right, lots of people assume that you have to get all fancy schmancy to find cruelty free skin care products but that’s not true at all. It’s a little harder for makeup to be honest, but skin care and hair care are both easily found at your local drugstore :D. Hair care is going to be next!

  4. Jillian March 11, 2013 / 7:56 am

    I love the Yes To line. I find them to be the more affordable natural skincare.

    I love this list you made here. I’ve been looking up some cruelty-free makeup and was really shocked to learn that some of my favorite products don’t fall in that category! I’m not sure if you’ve done it already, but you should totally do a post on cruelty-free drugstore makeup.
    Jillian recently posted..janey’s birthday brunchMy Profile

  5. Toma K. July 29, 2013 / 11:26 am

    Jamilla, you are perfect and thank you so much for creating this blog<3 you have really helped me out!

  6. Macoe December 4, 2013 / 12:32 am

    Thanks for this! I’m definitely going to try the Yes to Carrots face wash. It sounds like we have similar skin types. I really like Alba Good & Clean Daily Detox Foaming Cleanser for sensitive skin in the summer, but right now it’s starting to dry out my skin. The exfoliating scrub sounds good too. Like you, I can only exfoliate twice a week or so; I used to like Avalon Organics scrub but they changed the formula and it’s not as good. I do like using a Wonder Cloth when I wash my face at night and it’s helped and is very gentle and of course, vegan. 😉

    • Jamillah December 4, 2013 / 9:27 am

      Oooooo! I have to check that Wonder Cloth out! Thanks a million for sharing!

  7. corinne December 25, 2013 / 10:26 am

    Hi! I came across this page looking for cruelty free face “stuff”. Based on this article, i checked out yes to’s website and picked out 2 products that I felt would be good for my skin and received great reviews. Just to be sure, I googled if yes to tests on animals and I found that they started to.
    A lot of companies that didnt test on animals are now starting to in order to sell their products in China. There is a law in China that requires all products (when applicable) to be tested on animals. I just wanted to let you know. If you check on PETA’s website, it’s there too. I know PETA has a bit of a bad rep but I trust them when it comes to cruelty free products. I was so upset when i found this out. I really loved your reviews!
    corinne recently posted..Flower Beauty May No Longer Be Vegan FriendlyMy Profile

  8. corinne December 26, 2013 / 12:14 am

    Hi, sorry, update!! I did more research, checked on the the yes to carrots site and found a seperate article on peta’s website saying that they DO NOT test on animals! Sorry for the above comment and thanks again so much for your helpful review!!
    corinne recently posted..Flower Beauty May No Longer Be Vegan FriendlyMy Profile

    • corinne December 26, 2013 / 12:40 am

      Also, the website i listed-it isnt mine and im not the author…and as i clicked on the link just now, I realize its not even the right one! I am so sorry for any confusion! Again, thanks for your review..i ordered a few products from today 🙂

      • Jamillah December 27, 2013 / 3:08 pm

        Hi Corinne!!

        No worries! I’m super glad you looked everything up. You should always be double checking for yourself and I love that kind of diligence! I usually use the Leaping Bunny website, but PETA is also a great resource for checking out cruelty free products. Also! You’re right China has had a mandatory animal testing for cosmetics forever…BUT come June 2014 they are going to lift that ban, which is great! Hopefully this means more products will be cruelty free (article: Have a wonderful new year!!!

        • Corinne December 28, 2013 / 2:41 pm

          Thank you for the article!! It’s just a shame that some companies lost their integrity to greed by joining the Chinese market (like Urban Decay who I used to buy then once I heard they sold out, I switched to Physician’s Formula-inexpensive and I find it doesnt smudge like Urban Decay). It really bums me out. I am currently revamping all of my health & beauty, cleaning products and medications–I want it all cruelty free!! I’m about to read up in your blog. I’m doing extensive research and am feeling super positive about this change I am making. I really hope to influence my friends and family by my actions, not with annoying lectures (because A-I feel “live and let live” and B-I don’t like it when meat eaters lecture me, why would I go and do that to someone else?). So thank you again and have a great new year as well 🙂

        • Molly January 28, 2015 / 6:21 pm

          China has taken a first step toward ending the animal testing requirement however it is a limited step. It applies only to some personal care products and only to products produced inside China. Imported products must still be tested on animals. Overall, any step toward reducing/eliminating animal testing is a good one. Still – many companies that were once cruelty-free are still being forced to test if they choose to enter the Chinese market. So be careful and keep checking before buying. In any case, thanks for your great post. The info is much appreciated.

  9. Prerna December 20, 2014 / 1:23 am

    Great list of some of the best cleansers. I would love to try most of these since I with sensitive skin always prefer to go with gentle cleansers.
    Prerna recently posted..Best Face Washes for Oily Acne Prone SkinMy Profile

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