There are many key performers in the orchestra that is skincare (you know, the names you see at every beauty counter at the mall and every shelf at Sephora).
But, just like you remember an encore-bravo-applause-driving show, so is the case with skincare brands that are exceptional — result-driven formulas that visibly make your skin look and feel better.
Kendra Kolb Butler is the founder behind the show-stopping, wild-crafted skincare brand Alpyn Beauty. She’s the playwright authoring the mission-focused script of protecting nature’s forests and resources.
“One percent of every sale goes toward re-wilding our nation’s national parks,” Butler told the New York Post in an exclusive interview. “We believe in national park restoration as a brand and there has been a lot of damage done to our national parks by humans that we are trying to correct, rectify and fix.”
Better yet, the hand-picked ingredients take center stage (and receive a standing ovation from me, over and over again).
There are so many impressive characteristics of Alpyn Beauty that form it into what I’ll say is my favorite skincare brand, but let’s cut right to the chase: out of all the brands I test, try and review, I always come back to Alpyn Beauty’s nurturing, consciously crafted formulations.
Click to jump to our Alpyn Beauty review:
Alpyn Beauty’s origin story: skincare with a mission
Butler founded Alpyn Beauty in 2019 after the products and potions populating skincare shelves across the county weren’t working for the extreme climate of Jackson Hole, where she opened up two local beauty stores.
“I think necessity is the mother of invention and that is how all of this came to be,” she explains. “Skin in the mountain environment is different from skin I have ever seen in my 20 years of living in New York City: it’s very dry and dehydrated because we are in a very extreme climate with no humidity and I was seeing tons of hyperpigmentation with my clients in the stores because we’re at 6,200 ft. elevation.”
Sadly, no skincare product that Butler was selling truly worked, which led to a bounty of returns on moisturizers and brightening serums. “Everybody was saying ‘this isn’t doing anything for my skin, Kendra. In the mountains, we have different needs.‘”
One day changed everything, though. Butler distinctly remembers sitting in her backyard and thinking how am I going to keep these beauty stores open with all of these returns?
Because plants in the wild adapt and change so they can acclimate to the climate, Butler began infusing these wild-crafted ingredients into clinically tested formulations, enhancing what all the competitors were producing already — but with a rectifying solution toward extreme climates.
How Alpyn Beauty products are consciously wild-crafted
Much like foresters have developed naturally sourced medicinals, so is the case with Butler and her “medicine for the skin,” as she likes to call it.
“We have a process called wild-crafting, and the word is synonymous with foraging,” she explains. “I’m not the first person to wild-craft or forage; it has been done for hundreds of years by our ancestors for medicine and food.” However, she is the first person in the U.S. to put these wild plants into skincare formulas because — of course — skincare is a form of medicine.
The process is called no-harm harvesting. “We never kill the plant,” she says. “It’s like we’re taking trimmings — similar to if I was going to trim your hair and give you a haircut void of split ends — since we’re not removing the root from the ground; we’re keeping the plant intact to revive and thrive and regenerate.”
So, when Butler and the Alpyn Beauty team at large wild-crafts, they take little pieces of the plant and infuse them into the skincare formula.
“We’re not clearing anything out of the ground, so the environment has the chance to grow back,” she adds. “It’s the same thing when the animals forage or eat off the land. They nibble on the bushes and the shrubs. You’ve never seen a deer pick a bush out of the ground and walk around with its root system hanging out; that’s not how it’s done.”
A closer look at Alpyn Beauty’s ingredients
Though Butler has a stringent focus on all things natural and forest-sourced, the impressive part of her brand is its keen eye toward formulating with clinical formulas first.
For instance, if Butler is trying to smooth lines and wrinkles, she’ll include vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant. She also loves bakuchiol, a retinol alternative, that has been clinically tested against retinol.
The secret sauce boils down to her wild plant additives. “This pushes the performance of that clinical ingredient even further, and that’s how we’re getting into a new realm of results,” she says.
Some wild-crafted ingredients Butler has been loving lately (and are found in Alpyn Beauty’s products) include arnica, huckleberry (which is very potent in vitamin C), chokecherry, chamomile, calendula and borage.
The forest-preserving mission of Alpyn Beauty
If you’re already hooked on the passion and purpose behind Alpyn Beauty, Butler takes it one step further with an intentional, nature-preserving approach — the crux of her brand.
“One percent of every sale goes toward re-wilding our nation’s national parks,” she highlights. “We believe in national park restoration as a brand and there has been a lot of damage done to our national parks by humans that we are trying to correct, rectify and fix.”
Butler’s local national park, the Grand Teton National Park, is where she’s starting. “Five thousand acres of our national park was damaged by the settlers,” she explains. “They ripped up all the trees, shrubs and wildflowers to plant grass for their cows, so five thousand acres of our local national park looks like a football field; it just has grass that’s not supposed to be there.”
Remarkably, since the brand’s fruition in 2019, Alpyn Beauty has restored more than 1,000 acres out of the 5,000 acres destroyed. “We believe as a brand that these national parks are like this fragile piece of glass,” she adds. “They are the last remaining intact ecosystem in our country that anchors the health of every tree that grows. All of the trees are connected underneath the earth, so national parks have to stay balanced and intact for a tree in the suburb of New Jersey to grow happily.”
Alpyn Beauty Review
As you can tell before even diving into the nine intentionally formulated products, Alypn Beauty is exceptional at elevating skincare ingredients to meet your skin’s needs. Therefore, its products receive my stamp of approval time and again.
As a professional product-tester (of sorts), I’ve tested nearly every skincare brand. Seriously, I walk into Sephora and think to myself what haven’t I tried? But, without fail, I always resort back to Alpyn Beauty, as it was the first brand that contributed a tangible, skin-nourishing result to my sensitive and dry skin.
I can’t recommend each product enough (yes, I’ve tried every single one) and it’s a beauty that takes the notion of clean beauty to new heights — I’m talking tippy-top of Wyoming mountain heights! Even when used daily, the products will last you for months on end. And, they’re offered at Sephora alongside its direct-to-consumer site.
The Alpyn Beauty review ahead outlines my personal notes after years of using them, along with Butler’s formulation notes for a crystal-clear view on what went into the making of each one. The bottom line: add these to your cart.
Use promo code NYP10 for 10% off at alpynbeauty.com.
1. Juneberry & Collagen Hydrating Cream Cleanser, $39
The formulation: A superberry and collagen cold cream cleanser that removes dirt and oil, exfoliates dryness and leaves skin visibly soft and smooth. Skin experiences a flash of cool followed by a deep, purifying cleanse. Circular jojoba beads—embedded in a dreamy, cold cream texture—gently buff away dry skin and dissolve skin-dulling impurities. Plant-based collagen supports healthy hydration and balance of the skin’s moisture barrier, while juneberry antioxidants smooth and soften.
Our review: This cleanser — the brand’s most recent launch — is marshmallow-soft and like whipped cream in a jar. It’s the perfect nourishment for your skin and is exceptional in quality.
2. Melt Moisturizer with Bakuchiol and Squalane, $60
The formulation: A “melts-right-in” moisturizer with a velvety, makeup-ready finish that supports dry, dehydrated skin. This rich, velvety moisturizer delivers weightless, lasting hydration with a velvety, soft-focus finish. Hyaluronic acid, squalane, ceramides and wild plants provide essential hydration and support skin’s moisture barrier. Bakuchiol, a plant-based retinol alternative, softens the look of lines and wrinkles while vitamin C brings visibly brightening benefits.
Our review: This moisturizer was the first product Butler formulated (and also had everyone in her small Wyoming town ask, ‘what’s in that pot?’ It’s silky smooth and lightweight, so it’s ideal to have your skin feeling fresh all day.
3. Line-Filling Eye Balm with Bakuchiol and Caffeine, $62
The formulation: A hydrating eye cream that rapidly smooths while targeting the look of dark circles, fine lines, and puffiness with vitamin C and bakuchiol. This innovative eye cream applies like a cream but behaves like a balm, quickly improving the appearance of fine lines for a visibly smoother under-eye area. Vitamin C, licorice root and bearberry leaf brighten the look of dark circles while bakuchiol, a plant-based retinol alternative, visibly smooths and firms for a more youthful-looking texture. Caffeine kicks in by reducing the appearance of puffiness for a well-rested look.
Our review: Your under-eye area is one of the most sensitive, and this formulation is well-equipped with its gentle consistency. It visibly brightens and smooths and is one of the most delicate I’ve ever used.
4. Bearberry & Vitamin C Glow Serum, $59
The formulation: A multitasking serum that delivers an instant glow while fading the look of dark spots for a more even radiance over time. See your skin glow the second you smooth on this multitasking serum, then see it become visibly brighter and more even toned over time. Vitamin C and bearberry bring you visibly brightening benefits while bakuchiol—a plant-based alternative to retinol—and a gentle, plant-based AHA resurface and smooth skin for more visible luminosity.
Our review: If your skin is averse to potions and serums, try this formulation that’s infused with clinical ingredient vitamin C and wild-crafted ingredient bearberry for a subtle and enhanced balancing look to your skin. When used twice a day, your skin will fall in love.
5. Creamy Bubbling Cleanser with Fruit Enzymes & AHAs, $36
The formulation: A silky, sudsy cleanser—perfect for parched complexions and formulated with skin-friendly AHAs—that gently dissolves dirt, oil, and makeup while supporting balanced skin-pH levels. This creamy, hydrating cleanser effortlessly removes makeup, dirt, and grime, leaving skin feeling clean and comfortable (not dry or tight). It refines the look of pores, dissolves excess oil and gently exfoliates dead surface cells with papaya enzymes and AHAs while hydrating skin with hyaluronic acid for a balanced-feeling moisture barrier.
Our review: I’ve been using this cleanser for years and if I can give an award to any cleanser on the market, it would be this one. It’s the Goldilocks product of hydrating and foaming, and its fruit enzymes add a subtle glow to your skin that’s void of that ‘sticky’ feeling.
6. Wild Huckleberry 8-Acid Polishing Peel, $56
The formulation: A double-exfoliating peel powered by eight natural acids, bamboo powder and wild plants to visibly smooth and brighten skin while refining the look of pores. Give this peel five minutes and it’ll give you visibly glowing skin. Using a double-exfoliation method, the transformative formula blends bamboo powder with wild huckleberry and eight naturally derived acids to dissolve dead surface cells, minimize the appearance of pores, smooth the look of texture and brighten skin’s appearance.
Our review: If you love face masks but feel as though you aren’t seeing results, pick up this polishing peel ASAP. Its wild huckleberry has a subtle texture that isn’t harsh like many exfoliators, but it does the job of keeping your skin feel renewed and rejuvenated.
7. Wild Nettle & Niacinamide Firming Serum, $58
The formulation: A super-silky, visibly firming serum infused with wild nettle, niacinamide and rambutan for skin that feels soft, smooth and supple. This weightless, silky-soft serum elegantly slides onto skin to deliver powerful, visible firming benefits. Wild nettle, niacinamide and rambutan—a plant-based retinol alternative—work in harmony to visibly smooth, plump, and moisturize all skin types (even sensitive).
Our review: This elegant applicator and smoothing formula is everything my skin needs in the evenings. I use this at least once a week and it even doubles as a makeup primer as it creates a lovely base for you to rock n’ roll throughout the day.
8. Triple Vitamin C Brightening Bounce Cream Moisturizer, $49
The formulation: An aloe-based, hydrating gel-cream that boosts skin’s visible brightness and bounce with wild chokecherry and three forms of vitamin C. This innovative hydrator contains over 50 percent aloe—one of nature’s most powerful humectants. Aloe binds moisture to the skin, visibly boosting skin’s bounce. Additionally, three forms of clinically tested vitamin C and the polyphenol power of wild chokecherry visibly brighten, smooth and tighten the look of skin.
Our review: Yes, this moisturizer bounces, and it’s a treat for dry skin, specifically. Just shy of $50, it’s an effective formulation that not only helps brighten the skin but also splashes it with much-needed nourishment.
9. Willow & Sweet Agave Plumping Lip Mask, $28
The formulation: An everyday, anytime mask—powered by sweet agave, hyaluronic acid and smoothing willow bark—for soft, cushiony-feeling, fuller-looking lips. This silky, hydrating daily mask is at your service. Hyaluronic acid and sweet agave extract bind moisture for increased hydration, white willow bark (nature’s salicylic acid) gently softens any roughness, and wild chokecherry and vitamin E provide a layer of antioxidant protection. Lips are left looking fuller, softer, smoother and more supple.
Our review: You never realize how many fruity and tube-housed lip balms aren’t naturally made (in other words, you’re putting a cocktail of ingredients on your lips that you may not have heard of and otherwise wouldn’t experiment with on your face). I love this lip mask — it lives on my nightstand, too! — because of its naturally sourced, non-clumpy formulation.
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