Dried herbs, botanicals, essential oils and moisturizers

This week, New York City hosts the second Indie Beauty Expo where lesser-known brands are given the chance to take center stage. I’ll be there with the Truth Vitality line of hair care and our FDA-cleared Lux Renew device. Truth Vitality will set up shop alongside some 150 indie brands, as well as consumers, the media, and retail buyers. As Women’s Wear Daily put it, Indies are having their day — and that’s something the Truth In Aging community has known for a few years.

When I started Truth In Aging, consumers eager for real information about beauty products and anti-aging actives were fed up with Big Beauty’s false promises and airbrushed models. We cast around for alternatives and increasingly found ourselves drawn to really small and unknown companies. It was amongst them — some of them little more than one-man or one-woman bands driven by a passionate belief in their products — where the real innovation seemed to be happening.

One of the first of these brands to reach out to me was Your Best Face. The founder, Darrell Owens, was formulating all of his products with some extraordinary, cutting edge ingredients. We started emailing and I realized that I had much to learn from him. When I tried his eye cream, Your Best Face Correct, I was blown away. It really worked. AQ Skin Solutions was another early find. While it wasn’t well known, its scientist-backed development of growth factors was truly ahead of its time. I also always think of La Vie Celeste when I think back to our early days, embodying the indie quest for natural ingredients and proven-affective anti-aging actives.

Truth In Aging’s store opened its virtual doors to give our community an opportunity to try these companies and their wonderful products. After all, you weren’t going to find our discoveries in Macy’s or your local mall. The store, curated by our community of reviewers, showcases nearly 70 brands and we are always bringing in our latest finds. Some of the most recent ones we’re excited about are Youva, Sublime Beauty, and Ao Skincare.

As co-founder of Indie Expo Nader Naeymi-Rad puts it, the indie revolution is being driven by consumers: “More and more women are looking at their purchasing decision to effect positive change. It isn’t just about whether it works, but where it’s made, how it’s made, who makes it.”

Distribution and retail still lag woefully behind this growing demand. It is incredibly challenging to get mainstream retailers to take a chance on a little known brand that doesn’t have a massive marketing budget to create awareness. Indie Expo is a really important initiative for a market that is growing 10 percent faster than mainstream beauty, and I am excited for Truth Vitality to be a part of it. Most importantly, though, I’m very proud that the Truth In Aging community has been able to support the wonderful indie brands that we have discovered, both in the US and even in the UK, Canada, and New Zealand. Go Indies!

Join us at IBE on August 24th in NYC or check back for our favorite discoveries from the expo.