Indie Lee Squalane Facial Serum

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Julia Rosher
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When purchasing Indie Lee, you can be confident that every ingredient in the formula has been ethically-sourced and transparently disclosed for your knowledge and sustainable consumption empowerment.

As someone who personally struggled with acne for years, and was looking for a safe and gentle solution for my dry skin after coming off a round of Accutane, this Indie Lee Facial Serum was my saving grace and has been a part of my daily skin routine since. Indie Lee keeps the health of the user and the preservation of its natural resource supplier, the environment, in mind with every ingredient, product, and process they perform as transparently documented within their website, social media, and overall company mission. This begins by only sourcing the most high quality, ethically sourced, and paraben free ingredients. Following this, the company works under multiple partnerships to ensure their processes are friendly to all aspects of the environment, including particular packaging. Lastly, they complete their consumption cycle through recycling programs to ensure they are taking care of both the users and the products they put out into the market.

What it's made of:


This serum’s main ingredient, Squalane, is derived from the olive plant, and is use to boost moisture retention and help diminish the appearance uneven skin markings. This oil occurs naturally in mammals but is known to diminish over time leading to many of the dry, uneven skin issues. I used it after my Accutane, as it is also believed to have a positive effect on the appearance of uneven skin pigmentation scars and spots.

As mentioned previously, this serum, among all of Indie Lee’s products are made from ethically sourced ingredients, and without any of the over 1,300 banned ingredients the company has identified including: Parabens, Mineral Oil, Sulfate-based Detergents, Synthetic Fragrance, Petroleum-based Ingredients, Phthalates, Phenoxyethanol, Formaldehyde and GMO Ingredients. Beyond this, the company ensures their products are never tested on animals and always come without additive fragrances to include more sensitive user needs.

How it's made:


Indie Lee proves their commitment to nontoxic and eco-friendly practices through multiple partnerships and certifications. Through their Leaping Bunny certification they only use FSG (Forest Stewardship Guild) paper in all outer packaging. These foldable cartons promote responsible management of the world’s forests, while their use of recyclable and reusable glass bottles encourages full product lifecycles.

Their most impressive certification with COSMOS ensures future adaptability and their ability to move with market and environmental changes. While currently only having 9 products COSMOS certified, this certification provides a tangible goal for the company moving forward, and will help encourage other products to reach these similar standards. COSMOS is one of the leading third-party global certification processes regulated by leaders in biodiversity safety and sustainability. It’s guidelines regulate sustainable production and consumption such as promoting the use of products that come from organic, natural agriculture, and respecting biodiversity. A big component is integrating and developing the concept of "Green Chemistry”, meaning ‘greener’ chemical processes to more traditional forms, which spurs research and development by encouraging companies to seek more sustainable options in product formulation. As an ever-changing certification, Indie Lee will be held to COSMOS continued standards, as well as encouraged to hold their partners, manufacturers, and formulators accountable to the same standards as they evolve.

Who makes it:


Through it’s sourcing and production processes, Indie Lee already stands out as a stellar model for sustainability within the health and beauty industry. The company continues to go encourage a full closed loop of their products through their recycling program. With this program, they offer three different options for recycling their products by waste. One can either recycle through local retailers who participate in same program, ship back to Indie Lee to get rewarded with points to be used on future purchase, or Indie Lee has an entire section on their website here ( about tips and education for how to properly recycle their packaging at home with your curbside recycling system.

While all these partnerships, certifications, and initiatives have helped Indie Lee stand out as a model in the industry, they recognize a lot of work is still to be done with further improving packaging and lessening its overall impact with waste. Therefore, Indie Lee has set stronger commitments, or rather working goals, to encourage the company with continuous change and evolution. These include increasing use of PCR (post-consumer recycled) glass, plastic, and paper containers, as well as striving to introduce refillable packaging solutions by 2022.

While Indie Lee offers carbon neutral offsetting for shipping through a partnership with Cloverly, I would love to see Indie Lee opt to remove the option for rush shipping as this causes increased carbon emissions and supports a lifestyle of overconsumption. Furthermore, as an majority online distribution company, this creates further increased waste in distribution, packaging, and shipping with both deliveries and higher refunds. By supplying and supporting further integration into retailers, this could be one solution to decrease their waste production and impact.

While a role model for all current and future companies within the health and beauty industry, I believe there are further steps Indie Lee can take to further improve its waste production and continue to support the full product lifecycle and encourage positive user habits through company actions. That being said, I fully support this company, and recommend their Squalane Facial Serum as they demonstrate its quality sourced ingredients and sustainable production process through total product transparency.