Whether you’re a beauty brand loyalist or someone who enjoys the thrill of discovering new products, chances are you’ve encountered them—those nameless, beautifully packaged concoctions formulated—not in some fancy, high-tech lab—but in a rural kitchen not too different from yours (or ours). Normally seen in farmers’ markets, specialty boutiques, niche online beauty stores and the beauty aisle of your favorite organic grocery store, these lesser-known beauty brands, also called “indie beauty brands,” have caught the attention of beauty editors and bloggers nationwide.
“Indie beauty means something different depending on who you ask,” explains Dermstore’s beauty buyer for Natural and Spa categories Ashley Vandyke. “Here at Dermstore, we believe indie beauty are items and brands that have not gone mainstream yet. They are undiscovered, untapped hero products that usually have great founder stories, great ingredient lineup and beautiful packaging.”
Ready to find a new favorite? Ashley and fellow Dermstore beauty buyer Vanessa Foote share their 12 most favorite indie beauty brands on Dermstore.com.
Founded by New York hairstylist Fabian Lliguin, Rahua products were created in partnership with indigenous communities, with the common goal of supporting the Amazon rainforest and building a sustainable, eco-friendly business to its community. Formulated with authentic Amazonian ingredients, Rahua products are dedicated to nourishing hair from roots to tips.
Vanessa recommends: Rahua Defining Hair Spray
“Not only does this hairspray keep your hairstyle in place, it’s also vegan, gluten-fee and 98% natural, which is amazing for all hair types. It also offers UV protection.”
Inspired by their grandma’s passion for beautiful skin and healthy lifestyle, cousins Greg Gonzalez and Joe Cloyes created a skin care line that is simple, natural and beneficial. Their winning formula: Best of Science + Best of Nature.
“I love Youth To The People because kale and spinach are the hero ingredients in all of their products. These ingredients are not just great for your smoothies, they are great for skin, too. This brand only has three products, and this cleanser is their hero product.”
Supergoop CEO and Founder Holly Thaggard’s mission was to raise awareness on skin protection against signs of aging and skin cancer, thus Supergoop was created with the highest quality ingredients to provide advanced daily solutions for skin protection. Formulated without parabens, petrochemicals, fragrances and phthalates, its line of lightweight, easy-to-apply sunscreens is safe for the entire family.
Vanessa recommends: Supergoop! Forever Young Hand Cream With Sea Buckthorn SPF40
“It provides SPF 40, which is great even when you’re just driving in your car (windows amplify the UV ray degree). It is also clinically tested and paraben-free.”
Through expert advances in “green chemistry,” Ursa Major aims to provide highly effective skin care solutions without sacrificing the purity of their formulas.
Ashley recommends: Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant
“Ursa Major is a natural skin care line that has a ton of problem-solution products. This deodorant, for one, is 100% natural with zero toxins. It provides 24-hour unscented protection and the smell is so invigorating. It would definitely work for men or women. My other favorite are their face wipes, I know everyone in the office loves those, too!”
Born in the Philippines and currently based in New York, Prim Botanicals features all-natural products made with lavish tropical ingredients and are prepared in small batches.
Ashley recommends: Prim Botanicals The Debauchery Detox Body Scrub
“This is one of our newest natural lines. Debauchery Detox Body Scrub is a coffee scrub that you could use in the shower or in the bath. It detoxifies the skin and helps promote circulation and blood flow to prevent cellulite. And this smells so good, smells like a freshly brewed cup of coffee.”
Tula is a skin care line founded by Dr. Roshini Raj, an associate professor of medicine in New York University and a board-certified gastroenterologist. This skin care line is formulated with an advanced and patented probiotic technology to keep skin healthy and more resistant to damage.
Vanessa recommends: TULA Hydrating Day and Night Cream
“This is a probiotic-based product, which has been proven to help with anti-aging and hydration. It also has natural antioxidants. TULA also just won an indie beauty award this year for their products.”
HUM nutrition is an oral supplement line that provides all-natural solutions to skin and body concerns.
Ashley recommends: HUM Nutrition Daily Cleanse
“Hum Nutrition offers supplements that are all natural, safe and completely vegan. It has a supplement for increasing collagen, weight loss (called Skinny Bird, which is super popular), and healthy hair and nails (Red Carpet). I love detoxing my body with the Daily Cleanse, especially around this time of the year.”
This organic skin and hair care line was born out of Jana Blankenship’s passion to create beauty products that are close to nature. Each product is made from organic ingredients, with no synthetic preservatives, parabens, sulfates or fragrance. Plus, its glass packaging is not only pretty, it’s recyclable and reusable, too.
Vanessa recommends: Captain Blankenship Ray of Light Sea Salt Sun Spray
“This is one of my favorite brands. It’s from New York. Jana—the woman who does everything behind the brand—created a line that is personal to her. She has so many great products. The Ray of Light Sea Salt Sun Spray will nourish and protect your hair as you go into the sun.”
Herbivore Botanicals was created by Julia Willis and Alex Kummerow in their Seattle kitchen, through personal research and with the belief that effective skin care can be powered from nature.
Ashley recommends: Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist
“Herbivore is one of our new natural lines. It has a lot of great products—great face oils and they have a great coconut mist for your hair as well. Its Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist is divine. Keep it at your desk or in your purse. It smells so good, and it just gives you the perfect hydration and boost throughout the day.”
Awarded “Champion” Status by the EWG/Compact for Safe Cosmetics, this sun care line uses only non-nano zinc oxide, the best-known physical block ingredient.
Vanessa recommends: Suntegrity Skincare 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF30
“It comes in 4 different shades, and you can use this as a light foundation on your face. It is all-natural and vegan-friendly, so that is also awesome.”
This Works is an award-winning British beauty brand that delivers natural solutions to a wide range of health and beauty concerns, including lack of sleep. Its products are free of sulfates, phthalates, GMOs and parabens.
Ashley recommends: This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
“This Works has a ton of awesome problem-solution products for all different parts of your body, including one of my favorites, the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. We know a ton of men and women who have trouble falling and staying asleep—this is your all-natural solution. It promotes total relaxation, a lot of aromatherapy benefits and it smells so good, like lavender.”