The 11 Best Indie Skincare Products of 2021

Dramatic? Maybe. But I tried going a month without my Akar Mist and almost didn’t make it. I’ve tried a lot of indie skincare products and these are the ones I always return to. I delved into my indie skincare journey just about three years ago. At the time I knew nothing about products, routines, or skin types. As an indie business enthusiast, I dove in trying tons of products over the years until I found my perfect routine. This list contains my tried and true products from indie brands.

On to the List!

Here is my list in no particular order of my favorite indie skincare products of all time. They are products I continue to use to the last drop and repurchase time and time again. They’ve never let me down, through thick and thin, eczema and hormonal breakouts. They are truly ride-or-dies. Here we go!

French Girl Lait de Rose Vitamin C Polishing Wash

French Girl Exfoliating Wash
Because of my skin’s tendency to be dry, I steer clear of abrasive exfoliators. The Lait de Rose Vitamin C Polishing Wash is an exception. It’s a powder that you mix with a few drops of water or toner and rub on the face. Every single time I’ve used it, my complexion is so soft and smooth I can’t stop touching my face. It never leaves my skin dry or rubbed raw, just beautifully soft and exfoliated. It’s not too gritty but still does the job of removing dead skin. I use this 2-3 times a week. I’m so happy I discovered this product in the Petit Vour beauty box.

Rosen Skincare Rosewater Face Dew

Rosen Skincare Products
Rosen Skincare is an incredible black-owned and woman-owned skincare brand with a focus on clearing and healing acne. They have so many incredible products, I’ve loved every one I’ve tried, but their Rose Water Face Dew really takes the cake. There’s a layer of oil and a layer of rosewater in this mist – just shake the bottle to infuse all that rosehip oil goodness. It’s super lightweight but incredibly hydrating at the same time… what is this magic?? It has a very subtle but lovely rosewater scent. I use this morning and night before moisturizer and sunscreen, and it’s added so much moisture and bounce to my skin!

Province Apothecary Moisturizing Oil Cleanser + Makeup Remover

province apothecary cleansing oil
Dry skin, meet your match. This Oil Cleanser and Makeup Remover from Province Apothecary will remove any makeup, even the baked on concealer, thick black liner, and eyelash glue. Not only will it remove every last trace of makeup, but it will moisturize and nourish your skin while doing it. With a blend of avocado oil, raspberry seed oil, jojoba oil, and more, your skin will thank you for using this cleansing oil. It’s no surprise this is a best seller for one of the most beloved indie skincare brands out there.

Puppy Skincare Milk Peel Sleeping Mask

Dupe for Sunday Riley Good Genes
I found this brand when I was searching for an alternative to the Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid treatment at a more reasonable price. Both the Milk Peel and Good Genes contain 5% Lactic Acid. The Milk Peel also has Yogurt Filtrate that hydrates and provides nutrients to the skin. I use this once or twice a week to keep my pores clean and prevent acne. It’s a light serum unlike Good Genes, so I apply it after cleansing and before moisturizer at bedtime. I always wake up with smooth and glowy skin after using this product!

Velvette Exfoliating Mitt

indie skincare exfoliating mitt
Velvette has create a product thats equal parts satisfaction and horror, much like watching Dr. Pimple Popper. This handy exfoliating mitt activates when wet and scrapes off all the dead skin from your body. The results are visible, both in the alarming amount of dead skin it sloughs away and the glow of the softest skin you’ve ever had after. Plus, if you have chronic skin issues like me, suffer from ingrown hairs, or just get dry and dusty in the winter like the rest of us, this thing is going to change your life. Especially the first time you use it. Prepare to be both disgusted and delighted.

Juniper & Pine Papaya Fuse Cleansing Oil

I discovered this product a year ago at Indie Beauty Expo and have been a fan ever since. We even chose it as one of our favorite products from the entire expo. It removes makeup effectively and thoroughly. The best part about it: you can rinse it off with water. Most oil cleansers that are this effective require using a wet washcloth to remove it before moving on to the second cleanse. This one becomes milky with water and rinses off, taking my makeup along with it. It also smells nice.

Gleamin Vitamin C Clay Mask

This is a new addition to my arsenal, I just reviewed my first impression of the mask. I loved it so much that it made it to this list, too. This clay mask is paired with aloe vera, grapeseed oil, and vitamin E so it’s safe for even the driest skin types. It contains turmeric to ease inflammation and boost your complexion’s natural glow. The clay provides a gentle exfoliant. The Vitamin C derived from Kakadu Plum also brightens the skin naturally. This mask is a welcome new member of my indie skincare holy grail club!

Double Down Cosmetics Rose Hydrosol

Double Down Rose Hydrosol Mist
This is my go-to face mist to use throughout the day. It’s incredibly simple, it’s literally just rosewater. The mist is cooling, hydrating, and smells beautiful. I keep mine in the fridge for an extra cooling boost. You can even use it as a toner or to set makeup. All around, it’s a useful and refreshing skincare product I like to keep at arms length at all times! On top of making incredible clean beauty and skincare products, Doubledown Cosmetics is also a black owned brand and donates a portion of their proceeds to domestic violence related causes. We interviewed the brand owners here if you’re interested!

Earth Harbor Aqua Aura Reparative Eye Cream

eye cream from Earth Harbor
This refreshing eye cream is unlike any other I’ve tried. It’s both reparative and hydrating, with ocean-derived ingredients like Seaweed Collagen. At first, I was iffy about this product, because its texture and consistency are much different than any other eye cream I’ve tried. It’s not heavy or creamy, and it has a cooling feeling that is unusual for an eye product. I’ve been using it for over a month and I see a huge difference in my under-eye area. I’m prone to dry skin and dark circles, and this eye cream has relieved both. My under-eyes are much lighter and hydrated to the point where setting powder creases are not a concern anymore. This is now the only eye cream I trust! Earth Harbor is an amazing cruelty-free and vegan skincare brand that donates a portion of their proceeds to the global water crisis.

Akar Balance Toner

Akar Skin Mist Toner Review
I curse Allure Beauty Box for introducing me to this product because every time I run out my wallet screams in pain. It’s earned the nickname “Holy Water” for good reason, as well as first place on this list. I’ve never been a mist gal, more of the toner on a reusable cotton round type of person. This product changed my mind and my skin. I described the product to my girlfriend as the magical water that Madam Zeroni wanted to drink at the top of the mountain in Holes. As I spritz it on my face, I sing… if only if only the woodpecker sighs, the skin on my face was as soft as the skies… the sun damage waits below, hungry and lonely, my pores cry to the moon, if only if only. What’s so good about it? I don’t freakin know! All I know is since I’ve used it, my acne has disappeared, my skin is hydrated, and my face feels pure and clean. The mist is cool, refreshing, and smells heavenly. It has white willow bark which is a natural source of salicylic acid. It contains rose and neroli waters, which hydrate and plump the skin, as well as natural probiotics to keep acne at bay. It’s not sticky or overly scented. I’m now halfway through my third bottle and have just accepted the fact that I can’t live without this mist. It’s a splurge but for me, it’s worth it.

Graydon Skincare Fullmoon Serum

Graydon Fullmoon Serum Review
I’m on my second bottle of this beautiful serum from Graydon Skincare. Packed full of gentle but effective actives, this product is a natural powerhouse. It’s advertised as a retinol alternative which is why I continue to be drawn to it, because more aggressive retinol breaks me out and dries up my skin. Their botanical retinol is gentle but still effective at reducing fine lines and plumping the skin. It’s also packed with vitamin-c, hyaluronic acid, and peptides to brighten, hydrate, and strengthen skin. Best of all, it’s extremely light, absorbent, and smells wonderful, like a lighter and fruitier version of apple cider vinegar.

What Indie Skincare Products Should I Try Next?

What are your favorites? Are there any I’m missing? Leave a comment and let us know what skincare products we need to try! This post is NOT sponsored. Some links are affiliated and we will earn a small commission if you use them – thank you for your support! Use code INDIEMOOD for 15% off both Nugg Beauty and Doubledown Cosmetics. Use code THEINDIEMOOD for 10% off Velvette If you love Indie Mood, consider joining our Patreon. Patrons get access to exclusive content, get to vote on brands to review, and more!

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