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 beholden to for the better part of your adult life, you won't go wrong with any of these.
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.