Is one moisturizer, serum or toner all that different from the next? Of course, because while they might promise the same results, their formulas, aromas and active ingredient levels could be completely different. That makes picking the right product particularly hard, especially if you’re a newcomer looking for starting point.
Plus, with the growing number of brands entering the skincare market nowadays, it’s getting harder and harder to know which brand is really better. Sure, you could stick with your standard moisturizer from a staple like Dove or CeraVe, but there are newer, better brands out there begging to be tried. Big brands are definitely becoming more conscious of the ingredients they’re using — and what they’re excluding; like parabens, SLSs and phthalates — but they’ll never switch to all-natural, additive-free formulas at their scale.
With these brands below, you’ll find their products are gentler, more impactful and, although this is a subjective metric, packaged in better-looking bottles and boxes. After all, they’ll be taking up precious space on your countertop or in your Dopp kit — they should be presentable.
That being said, they aren’t all about looks. Some are tackling emerging categories (like tinted moisturizers), while others are rethinking a pillar category (like body wash). Either way, whether you’re looking for something that didn’t exist a few years ago or are simply eager to replace the bottle you’ve been helden to for the better part of your adult life, you won’t go wrong with any of thesis.
Of course this list is not definitive; I could name dozens of new skincare brands I like. Consider it a start that’ll surprise even skincare experts.
5 New Skincare Brands You Should Know
What You Should Buy from Each of Them:
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Apricus Skincare Tinted Moisturizer
Founded by men’s fashion and lifestyle influencer Alex Costa, Apricus Skincare is a brand based on tons of competitive research. Costa is well versed in the industry, its most used ingredients and what makes good packaging, well, good. Best of all, his brand is approaching categories other men’s brands haven’t touched yet — like tinted moisturizers. It’s the label’s best product, in my opinion, even though the face wash and exfoliating scrub follow close behind.
I will say, though, that it’d be nice to see a broader array of tones represented. Right now, the tinted moisturizer only comes in two shades, light and medium, which leave out millions of others.
Everyone gets acne — even the skincare expert founders behind Balm Labs. Sarah Waldock, a long-time stress acne sufferer, worked with Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Robin Schaffran to create a line of products that could treat acne without damaging the skin. Most acne solutions are harsh enough to do damage themselves, but not Balm Labs’ products. They’re potent without being overpowered. The Power Elixir is a perfect example. It hydrates, refines your pores and rejuvenates acne-prone skin.
New Matter Exfoliating Wash
New Matter is a comprehensive line of made-in-USA skin and hair products by David Moore. The brand focuses on simple yet effective formulas housed in attractive, new-age bottles. They’re easy to open in the shower, and they look way different than your sterile standard soaps. The Exfoliate Wash is a favorite because of its subtle granularity, which offers a deep cleanse without the pain some exfoliants cause.
Everyday Humans Ease Up Watery PHA Oil Cleanser
Everyday Humans is a self-funded skincare startup from Australia founded by Charlotte Chen Pienaar. She founded the brand in 2018 under a different name, entered an entrepreneurial incubator in 2019 and emerged with a new name and a (re)newed focus in 2020. Everyday Humans initially only sold sunscreen, but now its comprehensive line — oil cleansers, hand sanitizer and sunscreen — is in over 700 Target stores.
While the SPFs are what they’re known best for, it’s the Oil Cleanser I was most impressed by. It was effective, astringent and a little tingly (but in a good way). Plus, the bottle is a nice pop of color compared to your dull blue and basic white Dove bottles.
Margin The Active Moisturizer
Margin is by far the smallest brand on this list. Right now, the Canadian label only sells two products: its Active Moisturizer and some incense. The Active Moisturizer is obviously my favorite — because it’s all they make — but it isn’t just because it’s new. The formula, a mix of hydrating ingredients, protective antioxidants, and rejuvenating acids, keeps the skin balanced and healthy without clogging the pores or altering its pH.
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