50 Indie Beauty Brands From Every Single State That You Need to Know *Now*
Buying locally sourced ingredients is usually a task that's confined to the kitchen, stockpiling fruits and veggies from the farmer's market or scanning the aisles at Whole Foods for *just* the right raw honey from hives on nearby rooftops. But what about your beauty products? With countless brands harnessing the power of natural ingredients and clean synthetics—wouldn't you like to know when these prettifying powerhouses are plucked from your own backyard, or at least made nearby?
Well, it's starting to happen. Not only are botanically-driven beauty brands doing just that all across the country, but ever since the farm-to-face awakening, you can now find these products everywhere from Urban Outfitters and Target to cold-pressed juice shops. And of course, online. Goat's milk soap from humanely raised animals on a family-run Mississippi farm? Of course. Glacial mud masks from Alaska? Indeed! Here are the best clean beauty products and companies that your state—and the other 49—have to offer. And know this: Every state has plenty to offer by way of indie beauty, so happy hunting down your new fave.
Below, the ultimate guide to the best clean beauty brands in the U.S.
The Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian Anti-Breakage & Repair Antidote Split-End Treatment Serum ($22) is one of the many standouts from this #bossbabe line that repairs hair naturally with plant-derived ingredients. Just one pump of this silicone-free serum helps disguise ragged ends, while the vitamin-packed cocktail of botanical extracts and oils tames frizz for a softer feel.
The Copper River Delta in Alaska (the Pacific coast's largest contiguous wetland) isn’t just a beautiful stop for migratory shorebirds; it's also, apparently, a gold mine for skin care. Alaska Glacial Mud Company Raw Alaska Glacial Mineral Mud Powder ($39) is a finely-ground powder that's packed with tiny clay particles that are sustainably harvested from freshwater glacial runoff and the potion boasts more than 60 minerals believed to boost skin cell regeneration.
Not only does this skin-care line sport Insta-worthy packaging (#bathroomgoals) but the products also come in celestial scents that will make you feel as if you've been transported to an alternate, ultra-chillaxed universe. Kypris Glow Philtre Mask ($88) exfoliates without irritation (due to pomegranate enzymes, sea algae, silver ear mushroom extracts, and sea fennel stem cells) and leaves skin supercharged with hydration.
This line of small batch, handmade beauty items features plenty of practical go-to products: an all-natural cleansing spray for funky yoga mats, a bug spray that repels insects with essential oils and witch hazel, and a soothing muscle rub to knead in post workout. But just as effective are its more luxurious products like the Kind Folke Devalaya Shine Spray for Hair and Body ($16), which is just as much an indulgent fragrance for the hair as it is an all-natural antidote to flyaways and frizzy ends.
The eponymous, Brentwood-based brand started by an interior designer (with an A-list clientele the likes of Taylor Swift and Reese Witherspoon) creates fragrances, candles, and chocolates that are so beautifully packaged they look to cost a small fortune, but nothing is more than $200. Eau de toilette sprays like the Tobi Tobin Crow Fragrance ($148) focus on clean ingredients and feature none of the headache-inducing synthetic ingredients found in conventional fragrances.
After starting out with clay masks and decadent body oils, this Denver-based brand then released a line of products especially created—and priced— for Target stores, making clean beauty that much more accessible. The brand new Fig+Yarrow Eyebright Coffee Bean Eye Cream ($24) taps coffee extract to boost circulation, while aloe and shea butter help hydrate without irritation.
Before building her eponymous, Westport, Connecticut-based beauty brand, Kat Burki researched the nutritional links to regional diseases around the world. Now, Burki applies a rigorous level of scientific inquiry to creating beauty innovations that are as potent as they are luxe: She was one of the first in the beauty industry to use cold pressing in skin care (instead of combining ingredients under high heat, which can dilute efficacy) and has found a gentler way with her Kat Burki Retin-C Treatment Complex ($165).
We’ve raved about Peet Rivko, the Delaware-made product line (with offices in Brooklyn, NY as well) that's all-natural and created for sensitive skin types, because we really love its no-BS approach. The brand’s collection of four fragrance-free and unisex products is kept to essentials only like the fan-fave Gentle Cleanser ($30), as well as a daily moisturizer, face oil, and body oil. The packaging strikes the perfect balance of sophistication and minimalism.
Fender, a holistic esthetician with more than 20 years in the game, loads her organic formulations with healing intentions, conjured while mixing products. (Talk about high vibes.) And though you can’t exactly measure how positive-energy-in-a-jar affects skin, save the eye roll: These babies perform. Tammy Fender Purifying Luculent Masque | Formula No. M-558 ($215) executes a deep clean without leaving skin parched, and the line’s moisturizers are among the best-selling at Blue Mercury. They're also worth the investment.
This brand is just one of many natural-beauty companies from the Peach State. One Love creates multi-tasking certified organic products that are also kind to sensitive skin. And even the coconut-averse will dig the One Love Organics Skin Dew Coconut Water Cream ($58), which packs major hydration without the greasiness.
This brand is so lofty it's even built an “aim high” affirmation into the name. Using the AIM Hi Happiness Aromatherapy Rollerball ($24) is like having the scent of island life bottled up—that elusive hit of blooming flowers and salty air that you usually get to smell only when you're oceanside is right there in this essential oil blend. All of this Oahu-based company's products are made in small-batches using local ingredients like coffee and black lava sea salt.
Like many botanical-driven beauty brands, this derm-issued line out of Idaho is free of parabens, sulfates, fragrances, and gluten—but its bonafides extend far beyond weeding out dicey ingredients. In-house clinical studies show that this retinoid replacement moisturizer, called Epionce Lytic TX ($54), which uses herbal extracts and lytic acids, surpasses prescription counterparts by balancing positive and negative bacteria and yeasts.
The super-cute packaging of this TSA-friendly skin-care line is what may draw you in, but it's the science behind it that should really turn you on. First of all, its signature coconut oil is not cold pressed but instead extracted using a heat-, solvent-, bleach- and deodorizer-free process aimed at retaining essential nutrients and enzymes. The result is a product that boasts a higher concentration of the anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial lauric acid, as is present in Cocovit Coconut Charcoal Face Mask ($38).
Grueling workouts have their rewards, but achy muscles aren't one of them. Enter this soothing muscle rub, named Bitchstix Quit Your Bitchin’ Muscle Rub ($20), which leaves behind petroleum, palm oil, and GMO-ingredients for Fair Trade Certified organic cocoa butter, arnica, and organic menthol crystals. Toss the oversized lip balm tube in your gym bag for an on-the-spot warming effect after your next big push and rest easy knowing your purchase will help support survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
Little-known fact: one of the country’s leading Ayurvedic retreats can be found on 100 lush, green acres in Iowa. For many Americans, VPK by Maharishi Ayurveda, the wellness getaways signature line of beauty products, serves as a closer-to-home resource for balancing vata, pitta, and kapha doshas. Some items are made in state, like VPK by Maharishi Ayurveda Organic Clear & Soothe Nasal Spray ($9) made to help clear your nasal pathways.
Sure, Native Atlas has high-performing cleansing and moisturizing oils that help balance skin and smell crazy good. But the esthetician-made line really excels in producing less-expected products like Native Atlas Verdis Toning Mist ($52). The blend of floral waters (including rose, neroli, and radish root) not only deliver a delightful, non-burning tingle, but it also provides a base for makeup, resulting in a more dewy look. Pro move: Keep it on your desk for a quick mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
This Louisville-based skin-care line may be new to the beauty game—it launched in August, 2017—but it already has the makings of a cult favorite. The Beargrass Coldblast Serum ($25) is made with locally sourced ingredients, like the Kentucky-grown goldenrod and cold-pressed hemp seed oil, and the company donates 10 percent of annual net profits to local orgs like the Kentucky Waterways Alliance and the Beargrass Creek Alliance.
This Smoke Artisan Perfume Co. Smoke Perfume Oil ($60) is so subtle it somehow manages to smells fresh. (Think: the scent of your favorite hoodie if it happened to be laid atop a bed of roses three days after you wore it near a campfire.) This is just one in a collection of unisex essential oil blends handmade in New Orleans that tickle the nose in a very under-the-radar and uniquely cool way.
When it comes to Made-in-Maine fare, lobster rolls may get all the glory, but seaweed is the star of this mother-daughter brand. The sea plant is used as a rescue remedy for everything from sunburns to breakouts. One of the brand’s cofounders, a licensed Maine seaweed harvester, collects the stuff for her Dulse & Rugosa Seaweed Packs for Sunburn and Stress ($5) by hand at low tide from a remote island near Acadia National Park. Her tools? Scissors and a couple of buckets.
Beyoncé's vacay lip vibe? Pairing this heritage balm with her pigment de jour. She also reaches for these sweet little tins of Rosebud Perfume Co. Smith's Rosebud Salve ($6) when conditioning lashes as it helps them better hold curl and leaves a glossy sheen. As Queen Bey knows, there are a million uses for this 100-plus-year-old salve with a cult following. And the fact that the brand has never tested on animals and that many of its formulas are vegan? Well, icing on the cake.
It’s not enough that this natural beauty brand helped pioneer the clean and cruelty-free makeup and skin-care industry long before it was fashionable. The Berkshires-based brand ups its cool quotient by serving the community at a weekly farmer's market, and its employees even built a playground in the area called Giggle Park. This in addition to making some of the most wearable and prettiest palettes like the Jane Iredale Eyeshadow Kit ($59) around.
Dirty Girl Farm is known for its hydrosol versions of your favorite woo-woo energy clearers (White Sage Smokeless Smudge Spray and Palo Santo Smokeless Smudge Spray) but this breakfast-inspired, superfood-based face wash called Dirty Girl Farm Green Smoothie Kale Facial Wash ($13) is the real game changer.
What did the founder of Aveda do for a stellar second act? Created an American-made beauty line designed to reduce its environmental footprint. Each product contains at least 80 percent naturally-derived ingredients from plants, has total transparency in its ingredient lists, and the highest organic concentrations possible to support performance and price, including this Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Invigorating Shampoo ($28).
Some of our favorite clean-beauty gurus reach for goat milk soap when nourishing skin and no wonder: It’s said to contain plenty of lactic acid (to help exfoliate) and healthy fats (to moisturize). But scoring a soap made from farm-fresh goat milk—one that’s not diluted or powdered—requires a bit of a hunt and that's why this Jackson, Mississippi-based soap AKA Land of Milk and Honey Simply Goat Milk Soap ($7), which is made in small batches using milk from a lovingly-tended herd of Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goats, is special. The bars are free of synthetic preservatives as well as artificial colors and fragrances.
The best-seller from this Kansas City brand is Flower Water Toner, a refreshing alchemy of flower hydrosols infused with lavender buds, comfrey, and plantain. But the Wild Wash Soap Co. Summer Mylk Lightweight Vegan Moisturizer ($28)—which is so light it must be dispensed by dropper—is packed with colloidal silver to help boost collagen structure. Wow.
Packets of mineral-rich powders from Medicine Springs turn your boring bath into a makeshift mineral spring. Each formula is developed with a particular mineral spring in mind: Medicine Springs Skin Formula Mineral Therapy ($15) riffs off of the mineral content found in the famous Blue Lagoon of Iceland, where eczema patients flock for relief.
Pacha Soap Co. stands out for its use of stunning colors, marbling, and herbs to make gift-worthy, beautiful bars of soap. And Pacha Soap Co. Charcoal Lemongrass Whipped Soap + Scrub, ($12) doesn’t just give a good Instagram—it also counts fresh-smelling botanicals (like lemongrass) and activated charcoal as ingredients.
This Reno-based brand makes a wide range of skin care products—including this detoxifying Pantry Products Organic Facial Steam ($12)—the majority of which sell for $12 to $14. Not that anyone will ever know: the amber glass bottles, streamlined labels, and hand-written batch numbers make each product look pricey AF. (No wonder West Elm has stocked the line.)
There’s a reason why many mineral sunscreens get a bad rap: some leave behind a chalky residue, others a sticky grease bomb on the skin’s surface. But the folks at New Hampshire-based Badger have long flipped the script, managing to make certified organic sunscreens like Badger Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30 Unscented Cream ($16) feel good on the skin and your conscious. In addition to sidestepping the ingredients known to harm coral reefs, many of its formulations are tested to be biodegradable and are packaged in BPA- and phthalate-free recyclable tubes. This version doubles as a BB cream.
An ingredient commonly used to ward off cold—echinacea—is the secret weapon behind one of the most exciting new farm-to-face launches in the past few years. By farming one of the strongest strains of the ingredient and infusing products with an antioxidant-rich acid found in its roots, Farmacy turns out some of the most elegant products geared to minimize darks spots and fight pollutants, while also supporting local farms. Even though the farms are speckled throughout the tri-state area, they're bottled in New Jersey, including this weightless moisturizer, the Farmacy Honey Drop Moisturizer ($45), which is also packed with hyaluronic acid.
Hats off to the clean cosmetic pioneers at W3ll People who managed to build a cruelty-free, plant-based mascara W3LL People Expressionist Mascara ($22) that’s aces at separating and defining every little lash—and is sold at Target, but made in Santa Fe, NM.
Sure, you love the fact that naturally derived beauty has become trendy, but the more the marketplace is flooded, the more respect you have to give to OG vegan brands. One such example: Naturopathica, which has been kicking out luxurious skin care without questionable preservatives and other ingredients that may harm the body or environment since 1995. This plant-fueled moisturizer, the Naturopathica Bio-Energy Lift Contouring Cream ($116), can stand up to the harshest of winter climates.
As far as DIY beauty lore goes, you've likely heard the one about conditioning your hair with beer. (Catherine Zeta-Jones reportedly does it.) Some say that the protein in malt and hops can strengthen hair cuticles, while the alcohol can boost shine. The only hitch? You don’t want to roll into work smelling like a frat party. Enter BRöö Moisturizing Shampoo ($6) which counts beer as a first ingredient, but has a mellow, lavender scent.
Many beauty brands that bring it in the pigment department tend to come up short when it comes to clean ingredients because colors are commonly chemically questionable or animal derived (e.g crushed beetles are typically used to mix the perfect red). But not Powder & Pandemonium Liquid Pigments ($12). They're instead made with rosa damascena, glycerine, cucumber, vitamin E, and mica (instead of parabens, dyes, and gluten).
The 10-free nail polish brand is also the maker of some of the most on-trend shades and finishes around. You can ping pong between Zoya Natural Nail Polish ($10) finishes in matte, shimmer, dual-chrome, metallic as well as nude, ultrabright, and goth hues without having to paint with the usual noxious fumes.
Inspired by a trip to a sweat lodge, brand co-founder Heidi Jenkins incorporated elements from traditional Native American medicine when making her first skin-care product in 2009. The result is a unisex, do-it-all moisturizer called Skin and Bones Luxurious Moisturizer ($96) for face, body, and even the ends of your hair. It's lauded for its ability to ward off breakouts in addition to leaving skin and strands soft AF.
This Portland-based beauty brand has racked up an astonishing list of top-ranked products (see: best mascaras, foundations, highlighters and concealers) without employing celebrity spokespeople or resorting to millennial pink. The mineral makeup company has also introduced highly-pigmented Alima Pure Lip Tint ($14), which takes clean beauty far outside the comfort zone.
Look past Jao Refresher, the haute hand sanitizer that this brand is known for, and you’ll find some pretty impressive products all made with plant-derived ingredients. The Jao Brand Face Crème ($60), for instance, packs the power of a super hydrator, but is lightweight and absorbs in an instant.
This brand started by the daughter of a seventh-generation farmer creates many beloved products but one of my latest loves is Farmaesthetics Vassar Rose Perfecting Polish ($30) which combines powdered rose petals, lactic acid-powered dried sweet milk, pore-clearing kaolin clay, and volcanic pumice powder. Everything is ground superfine so as not to tear skin cells, but is textured enough to sweep away the dead gunk.
After making her mark as a professional makeup artist, Rose Marie Swift became one of the trailblazers in clean beauty. That was a decade ago and today celebs like Miranda Kerr, Kate Bosworth, and Olivia Wilde are part of a cult following of fans. Among the brand's newest innovations: the highly pigmented RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick ($28) which packs serious staying power without drying your lips.
A return to the basics is what spurred the creation of this Beresford, South Dakota beauty brand, which creates Irish Twins Soap Company Heart of Ireland Rustic Handmade Soap with Guinness Beer + McCann's Irish Oats ($6) the old fashioned way: with no petroleum, triclosan, parabens, phthalates, sorbitates, silicones, sulfates, synthetic perfumes, or colors. You won’t find complicated serums or pricey moisturizers either, just the naturally-derived "basics."
This line may be geared toward the guys, but we consider it a unisex solution for those who don’t want flowery-scented botanical skin care. These generously-sized, Olivina Men Juniper Tonic All-In-One Cleansing Cloths ($10) refreshingly bypass the typical lavender aroma for juniper and are large enough for a full body wipe down after a particularly sweaty workout.
This line ranks among Texas’s best for its commitment to weeding out potentially sensitizing ingredients (silicones, essential oils, fragrance, dyes, chemical actives) while living up to its promises. “We make sure that all of the pH levels are ideal, the percentages of the actives we use are at clinically effective levels, and that all of our ingredients are considered low-hazard or clean and safe—and we publish that information," founder Tiffany Masterson told Well+Good. My fave is this Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream ($60) that's lightweight yet hydrates like a heavy cream.
It doesn't take acetone, petro-chemicals, and phthalates to smell good, which is why this PETA-certified fragrance company looks to flowers, fruit, herbs, and spices to create organic scents. This newest creation, A Perfume Organic Perfumed Wine-Rosé ($65) is inspired by everyone’s favorite summer wine and was made in collaboration with a sommelier.
This clean brand is fast becoming an affordable favorite thanks to formulas designed to help clear acne and regulate skin without stripping it of moisture. The Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash ($28) is sulfate free and made with a bevy of essential oils including cedar, spearmint,rosemary, lemon, vetiver, and lavender.
This Virginia Beach-based brand kicks out an affordable, fragrance-free moisturizer, Henry and June Soap Co. Naked Whipped Body Butter ($13) that’s loaded with organic shea and cocoa butters and doesn’t leave skin greasy. The trick? Adding organic arrowroot powder for a matte finish. The brand also taps locally-sourced ingredients from area farms to keep its community thriving and environmental footprint light.
This Seattle-based line became a favorite right out of the gate when it helped pioneer the minimal-packaging craze some years back. But what’s inside is just as groundbreaking. The Herbivore Moon Fruit Superfruit Night Treatment ($58) packs fruit enzymes and AHAs with vegan hyaluronic acid and a cocktail of antioxidant-rich super fruits including prickly pear, goji berry, and red raspberry seed that hydrate, exfoliate, and mend free-radical damage.
The range of grooming, baby, and body care products may have begun as one man’s quest to maintain a sweet-ass beard, but after losing his wife and mother to cancer, it became a way to achieve all his goals without the use of questionable ingredients. The result is a thoughtful line that includes botanically-driven deodorant, the star player Mountaineer Brand Granny Vicar’s Diaper Balm ($10)—and, yes, beard and shave oils—all housed in low-waste packaging adorned with the image of the founders’ great-grandma.
Like many clean beauty lines, Qēt (pronounced "keet") Botanicals ditches toxins, synthetics, chemicals, and preservatives. The formulas are geared to help those suffering from skin issues stemming from sensitivity, autoimmune disorders, and allergies. Brand founder Lisa Brill (a Wisconsin native) has managed to balance her own rosacea, sensitive skin, and thyroid issues thanks to her creations with this Qēt Botanicals Getting Started Facial Suite Kit ($28). And she’s not the only one: Check the brand’s Instagram for some seriously compelling before and after shots.
Many face oils can be a bummer: They don’t absorb quickly, can feel heavy, and don’t play well under makeup. CircCell founder Maya Crothers has created an antidote with a trio of all-natural, botanically-sourced Circcell Extraordinary Face Oil For Oily/Problematic Skin ($160) formulated for sensitive, aging, and acneic skin. Each are made through a fermentation process that reduces their molecular size—something that boosts the blends’ fatty acids and allows for better penetration into the skin.
Once you have an arsenal of beauty products you cannot live without, here's how to know if—and when—it's time to ditch them. And if you're already 100 percent organic, go even further with biodynamic beauty.
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