The 2018 Indie Beauty Awards: Skincare Winners
After our smartphone and Netflix, these cleansers, creams, serums and masks are the items we don’t want to do life without.
The Best Cleanser: Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser
"Intoxicating fruit scent aside, this cleanser didn’t leave my skin tight and dry," said our executive assistant Samantha Glowacki of the the strawberry seed oil-infused face wash. "After I used it every day for a couple of weeks, my complexion looked more radiant and red marks from old breakouts had faded."
The Best Toner: Grown Alchemist Balancing Toner
One of the great skin care debates is whether or not you really need to use a toner. We were on the fence until we tried this one. The silky fluid calms, softens and protects skin with olive and chamomile extracts, aloe and vitamin C.
The Best Moisturizer: Tata Harper Crème Riche
Free of toxins and so natural, if Mother Nature had a favorite face cream, this would be it. The whipped texture feels almost too rich at first, but when massaged into skin, it melts in like butter (organic grass-fed butter, of course).
The Best Face Exfoliator: Too Cool for School Egg-zyme Whipped Foaming Cleanser
Quick nerd-out: This contains an enzyme found in egg whites that’s naturally antibacterial and exfoliating. So. Cool. Science-y stuff aside, this face wash lathers into a cushy foam that unclogged our pores so well, we forgot we even had them in the first place.
The Best Eye Cream: One Love Organics Vitamin E Eye Balm
Vitamin E and ginseng brighten and lift the under-eye area while softening lines. Because it’s a viscous, oil-based balm, we especially love it for nighttime.
The Best Facial Mist: Saturday Skin Daily Dew Hydrating Essence Mist
Packed with fruit extracts and skin-plumping peptides, this mist is perfect to apply before makeup, after makeup or when your complexion needs a midday refresh. P.S. How freakin’ chic is the packaging?
The Best Classic Face Mask: Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask
The cream mask acts as a chill pill for stressed-out skin by bathing it in nourishing, anti-inflammatory ingredients. “This cooling formula felt like something that would be applied during a fancy facial,” said our editorial intern Camille Baer. “After about ten minutes, I wiped it off with a tissue and my skin looked less red and puffy.”
The Best Sheet Mask: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask
Fine, we’ll admit it: The cute AF watermelon slice packaging is what attracted us in the first place. Then we tried it and learned that the translucent jelly is made of fermented watermelon (that doesn’t slip down our face) and the formula is incredibly soothing and moisturizing. It’s not just a crush. We’re in it for the long haul.
The Best Pimple Zapper: Peace Out Acne Healing Dots
Press one of these clear patches over a zit before bed to hit it with a hefty dose of healing salicylic acid. “When I peeled this off in the morning, it had absorbed the gunk from a whitehead and my skin looked way less inflamed,” said Mary D’Alessio, our senior audience development strategist. Almost as satisfying as watching zit-popping videos on YouTube, but way less icky.
The Best Anti-Aging Treatment: Dr Loretta Anti-Aging Repair Serum
Vitamin C, plant stem cells and marine extracts work together in this lush serum to soften fine lines, stimulate collagen, and fight off free radicals and UV rays. “I’m approaching my thirties, and I’ve noticed some creasing near the corners of my eyes. After using the serum for a few weeks, they’ve definitely faded a bit,” said our commerce editor, Brianna Lapolla. “Some anti-aging products are too heavy for my skin, but this texture is just right.”
The Best Brightening Serum: Sunday Riley CEO Rapid Flash Brightening Serum
Fifteen percent vitamin C is a lot of vitamin C, so it makes sense that this formula dissolves dark marks and hyperpigmentation like it’s its job (well, it kinda is) and makes skin luminous and bouncy. “Vitamin C is strong, and it can sometimes bother my finicky skin,” explained our associate design director, Yuna Park. “This product is so gentle I could use it day and night.”
The Best Antioxidant Serum: Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops
We’d never tried a tinted serum before, but this one, with its bronzy sheen, is good. It’s also chock-full of antioxidants that fight off what you probably don’t even realize is harmful to skin, like pollution. “It’s like a nutritious green juice for my face,” said Brynn Conway, our senior account manager. “Because it has a bit of color to it, I’ve even been skipping foundation.”
The Best Treatment Serum: Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum
It’s simple to list everything this serum can do. The hard part is trying to think of something it can’t. It contains an impressive list of botanicals, oils and antioxidants that heal, clarify and nourish essentially all skin types, from dry and irritated to oily and acne-prone.
The Best Overall Oil: Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil
The magic behind this oil (and its gorgeous azure color) is blue tansy, which reduces shine, clears breakouts and locks in moisture all at the same time. “After a few weeks of using a few drops twice a day, I noticed fewer spots and less oil and redness,” said our senior beauty editor Jenny Jin. “I’m hooked!”
The Best Facial Sunscreen: Coola Organic SPF 30 Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops
You know the drill: Sunscreen every single day to avoid UV damage. But this SPF also protects skin from “digital rays,” aka the light from your cell phone, computer and TV (yikes). Use the dropper to mix it into your morning lotion or foundation, or smooth it onto your skin on its own. “This sunk into my skin so quickly,” explained Jennifer Meehan, our director of sales and marketing. “It felt like a really light fluid, not at all thick and goopy.”