When It Comes to Grooming, Think Small

Best men's independent grooming products

When It
Comes to Grooming,
Think Small

These indie brands offer the grooming tools you need in your arsenal

A real man knows that self-care is sexy. Just ask Alexander Atkins. Follow his Instagram, @mressentialist, for more grooming inspiration.

Even the most well-meaning guy could drive himself crazy trying to keep up with all the new grooming gear dropping. The market is booming but it can be confusing. The bigger brands are constantly putting out new products and claiming new innovations that may or may not be worth your time and money. Because of that, a lot of men stick to the tried-and-true bathroom staples. If that sounds familiar, you could be missing out. Because the truth is, utilizing the right products can undo years of abuse from hard weather and harder living. Here are seven products from our favorite small, independent brands that you might be ignoring at the moment. They're guaranteed to improve the way you look and feel.


The Best Men’s Indie
Grooming Products of 2019

The All-in-One
Face Wash

Honestly, we weren't sold on this until we tried it. You pour a dash of the powder into your hand, add some water and then rub your hands together. The cleanser becomes a light, citrus-scented foam which feels really good when massaged into your face at the end of a long night. Using natural fruit enzymes (instead of harsh scrubbers), it melts away grime and oil, leaving behind smoother skin that looks brighter and feels refreshed.

Shake and Wake,
$34 by Jaxon Lane

Miracle Cream
for Workaholics

Say you spend too much time working and not enough time sleeping. Or eating properly and getting in your eight glasses of water each day. Perhaps you're staring at digital screens a bit too much. This unique cream, from a brand inspired by the serene quietness of the desert, is formulated with potent antioxidants that help protect skin from the skin-damaging effects of blue light and pollution. This cream smoothes on and absorbs quickly, hydrating and brightening tired skin without feeling greasy.

Taos blue day cream,
$110 by Ayond

An Easy,
Effective Toner

With roots in Hawaii and a mindful approach to the environment, Koa uses recycled materials to lessen their carbon footprint. Their balancing toner pads make easy work out of adding a toner to your nightly regimen. A natural acid blend, it gently exfoliates the skin and refines the look of pores, while naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal zinc helps control breakouts. Plus one of their recycle-friendly tubs will last you about two months.

Balancing toner,
$22 by Koa

A UV-Blocking

We all know by now that we should be using SPF daily, even during the colder months, but gloppy and heavy sunblocks make that a drag. Cardon's new hydrator comes with broad-spectrum SPF 30, developed using advanced Korean skincare technology so you don't have to worry about any sticky, greasy, or chalky residue. And the inclusion of cactus extract helps soothe and calm redness and irritation, which means it makes for a great post-shave lotion too.

SPF+ moisturizer,
$20 by Cardon


The Secret to
Smoother Skin

Toss this tube in your shower and everybody wins. Your skin will be smoother and anyone who touches you will notice. The other win? It feels so good. Two methods of exfoliation—chemical and physical—work together to help renew skin: a gentle but effective trio of glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids helps to remove dead skin cells, while crushed pumice and bamboo charcoal soften skin without irritating it. It also lathers up nicely making the whole experience indulgent and satisfying.

The body exfoliator,
$30 by Nécessaire

An Eye-Brightening Cream

Even if you're not worried about fine lines or crow's feet, an eye cream can also help combat other eye-area problems that make you look tired and run-down, like puffiness, bags and dark circles. A little of this all-natural cream goes a long way. One pump on the tip of finger gets tapped all around the eye. The result? Smoother, more healthy-looking skin and less creases when you smile. If you're worried about puffiness or dark circles? This visibly reduces both ... and fast.

Age-repair eye cream,
$80 by Grown Alchemist

Manliest Mask

Want an easy and effective way to revitalize your skin? Apply a restorative face mask, pour yourself a drink and sit back with a good book or the latest episode of Succession. West Skincare's mask is packed with mineral-rich black mud, which conditions skin, and activated coconut charcoal to draw out all the gunk clogging your pores. Sunflower and safflower oil helps skin retain its moisture. What we really appreciated was how easily it went on, and more importantly, washed off without leaving skin feeling tight or irritated.

Facial Mask,
$45 by West Skincare

Zit Blaster

This all-natural brand has a cult following of Gen Z cool kids. And their signature product is a potion that's like a hippie spot treatment for zits. Made from a blend of natural botanicals and essential oils (black cumin seed, rosehip, tea tree and chamomile), it not only shrinks angry zits, but calms redness by soothing irritation and repairing skin. You know how much zit fighters dry out your skin and sometimes make it worse? This pretty much does the opposite. Dab it on before bed and wake up impressed with the results.

Meltdown acne treatment,
$26 by Blume


What are the products that you've discovered lately?
We want to know. Hit us up at editorial@valetmag.com or @valetmag.

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