The past few years, the skincare industry has been growing rapidly. In 2018, in the US alone, skincare sales increased by 13%, leaving behind makeup, adding only 1% to its sales. “Hyaluronic acid” became a buzz word, sheet masks were hoarded and the dewy, fresh-faced look is all that.
But besides our shopping for skincare, the brands have changed, too. The launch of The Ordinary, a line of affordable building blocks to the perfect skincare routine, paved the way for many indie brands. Meet some of the brands to keep an eye on in 2020!
With names like “Baby Cheeks” and “Vacation Glow” and minimalist, pastel coloured (and ecofriendly!) packaging, it’s quite clear Versed is aimed at Millennials and Gen-Zers. The brand was created by Katherine Powers, mostly known for Who What Wear, blog-turned-online magazine-turned-empire. “Women were searching [my blog] for things like “acne” and “antiaging”,” Powers explains. “No [brand] was addressing how you combine solutions to solve skincare issues.”
All products are vegan, cruelty free and are priced under $22. Not bad!
Baby Cheeks All In One Hydrating Milk
This milky substance is a hydrating multitasker. Use it to gently cleanse the skin in the morning, to wipe away light makeup or to remove residue of hard water, post-cleanse.
Bonus points: on their website, there’s a bundle available containing the toner and a set of 16 reusable cotton pads. This is exactly what a lazy binch like me needs to finally ditch the single use cotton pads.
$17,99 at Target or versedskin.com, or £16.50 at CultBeauty
The appearance of Comme Deux at & Other Stories and Zalando Beauty is what sparked the idea for this article. This Danish brand started as a part of Goodiebox, a popular beauty box service. They surveyed customers about their preferences regarding their makeup and skincare, allowing them to co-create an expanding collection of essentials with anyone who is willing to give input! Check out the website‘s FAQ for deets on how to join their Slack page.
Comme Deux is cruelty free and all products are currently vegan.
PS: I love the size of their tube face masks – they’re about the size of your index finger. Perfect for those of us who like to switch things up!
Powernap Overnight Face Mask
It’s voluptuous, it’s pillowy soft and oh so comforting on the skin. I love me an overnight mask and this formula feels like an even softer version of the Kiehl’s Ginger Leaf and Hibiscus Overnight Firming Face Mask (what a mouthful).
€ 27, available through their website, Zalando Beauty, Urban Outfitters and & Other Stories.
Huxley is another recent addition to & Other Stories’ growing beauty collection. This K-beauty brand took some of Moroccan Royals’ best kept beauty secrets and turned it into a sleek, captivating line of products. Founder Byung Hoon Lee learned from a friend that Moroccan princesses wash their faces with cactus oil to heal their skin from the Saharan sun and drought. Specifically prickly pear oil, the base of each Huxley formula, contains up to 400 times more vitamin E than olive oil.
One note to add: some of their products, like the beautiful Essence Grab Water, have alcohol pretty high up in the ingredient list. Now Paula’s Choice is by no means an independent source, but this article makes a pretty strong case against dehydrating alcohols in skincare…
Extract It Toner
This ultra-mild formula balances the skin’s pH, promotes smoother texture and delivers long-lasting hydration. Because the toner is full of Huxley’s key ingredient prickly pear oil, the toner also has nourishing, anti-ageing and antioxidant properties.
But most of all, I want the photo on the packaging largely printed and framed on my wall.
€ 30,95 at Lookfantastic
The Inkey List
Let’s keep it real: The Inkey List is very reminiscent of The Ordinary. They’re to-the-point products in simple packaging, focused on performance, not experience. However, The Inkey List is just a tad simpler and less intimidating. If you want Vitamin C in your routine, they’ll offer you one option whereas The Ordinary will offer you like, 12. Last but not least: The Inkey List seems to get better with each drop of products. Their latest additions include an Oat Cleansing Balm that’s made its way to my wishlist.
Retinol Eye Cream
I’m turning 30 this year and Mother Nature is ? not ? playing ? around. I’ve heard really good things about their Caffeine Serum for use on the undereye, so I’d like to give the Retinol Eye Cream a try. I’m hoping it’ll help diminish those fine lines that, despite all the hydration in the world, don’t seem to go away anymore. It’s all downhill from here guys.
My back hurts.
€ 11,95 at Lookfantastic
Last but not least, there’s Bybi, a brightly coloured range of targeted skincare products, sustainably made in the UK. The brand uses ingredients that are renewable, ethically and locally sourced and/or otherwise disposed of. 97% of packaging is recyclable – the products are housed in glass or bioplastic and boxed in grasspaper. British customers can even return their empty glass jars and bottles to be sterilised and reused – for free! (The service is currently limited to the UK because shipping from overseas would negate the benefits of recycling. )
Bybi has the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny stamp of approval. All of their products are vegan.
This vitamin C and caffeine infused moisturiser is the perfect recipe to brighten dull, tired skin. This cream meant for every day use is lightweight yet nourishing, awakens the complexion and reduces morning puffiness.
(As a fastfood and savory snack loving girl I can tell you that morning puffiness is a real thing, haha.)
€ 25,95 via Zalando Beauty, £ 26 via their website.
Have you tried any of these brands’ products? Or have you spotted any other up-and-comers?