Which 2022 Skincare Trends to Pay Attention To
As another year rolls in, so do the trends forecasted to be everywhere for the new year. But which are worth paying attention to and which should you take with a pinch of salt? Whilst this is subjective, we’re giving our thoughts. Read on to find out.
Skin Barrier Care - Where 2021 saw the rise of results-driven skincare packed with high-strength actives, this year is all about looking after that all-important skin barrier (although this should constantly be top of mind!). Healthy skin means a healthy skin barrier; one that is respected, cared for and protected. Skincare brands are now beginning to focus on products that nurture, hydrate and maintain the skin's barrier and microbiome - the good bacteria that live on the skin - with skin-repairing ingredients such as ceramides coming to the forefront. As skin sensitivity has become more prevalent throughout the pandemic, this is a trend we're thankful for.
Less is More – Now this is a trend that we can get on board with. With a huge range of new products and “must-have” ingredients released every day, it’s easy to go overboard - especially with superstar ingredients like vitamin C, retinol and glycolic acid. Despite this, the streamlining of skincare routines is set to be one of the biggest trends of the year, as many realise the negative impact that doing too much can have (hello inflamed, irritated skin!). Bidding farewell to the 10-step skincare routine, a scaled-back regime is much easier to be consistent with and less likely to lead to a compromised skin barrier. It’s also worth noting that the percentage of ingredient doesn’t indicate how effective it is. Formula is king, so worry less about the %’s and more about the product as a whole. Key takeaway: more is not more.
Fermented Skincare – Fermented foods have long been praised for their benefits to gut health. And over the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in fermented ingredients used in skincare formulations ― this trend is only expected to grow in the new year. Simply put, fermentation is a metabolic process where a substance is broken down into simpler and smaller compounds by micro-organisms like yeast or bacteria. Lactic acid, for example - a popular chemical exfoliant - is derived from fermented milk. This process is said to make ingredients more potent and easily absorbed by the skin and prolong the shelf life of formulas. However, while it's true that the skin can better absorb smaller ingredients, if you break them down too much they become inactive.
There are currently two fermented ingredients that studies have proven work well: red ginseng and soy. So, while research on fermentation in skincare is still limited, what does exist is promising. We don’t recommend slathering kimchi over your face, but we do believe this trend is one to watch.
Chlorophyll - The pigment that gives plants their identifiable green colour has gone viral and is said to be the #1 ingredient set to dominate in 2022, according to Trendalytics. Touted for its powerful benefits on social media, chlorophyll is rich in antioxidants and vitamins, with evidence suggesting that it can reduce inflammation in the body. It's also said to have anti-microbial properties and can be used as a remedy for wrinkles, acne, and wounds when applied topically. However, the reality is that there is a lack of data to support these claims, with a lot more research to be done before we start using it as the cure-all for the skin.
Waterless Beauty - There’s no doubt that we've all become more climate aware and with that awareness of water scarcity has grown. With that, waterless beauty is set to boom and is already making waves (excuse the pun) in the industry - think waterless shampoo bars, cleansers and toothpaste. Waterless beauty, as the name suggests, is dry or solid products that are activated by water. These product innovations aim to reduce water usage, shipping weights and packaging. With all of this in mind, we certainly believe this is a trend worth following.
Blue Light Protection – Despite the fact that it's yet to be scientifically proven that blue light emitted from our digital devices can damage our skin, products that claim to protect us from just that are on the up. From SPF to face mists, brands are now looking to supercharge their products with ingredients that aim to shield the skin from blue light. The greatest and most damaging source of blue light is the sun, and so the use of sunscreen and antioxidants are your best bet when it comes to protection. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that there’s still a lot of research that’s yet to be done on blue light damage from screens and so we suggest choosing your products based on skin type, concern and whether you’ll consistently use it - especially with SPF.
Postbiotics - Probiotics, prebiotics, postbiotics - it's confusing right? Before we get into it, let us clear it up for you: probiotics are the live bacteria living on the skin, prebiotics are the “food" for those bacteria and postbiotics are the by-products of probiotics consuming that “food”. Postbiotics aren't necessarily new to skincare with many of us already using them in our routine - think, lactic acid and peptides. Increasing research has found that when applied topically, postbiotics can reduce inflammation, hydrate, protect against free radical damage and promote the skin microbiome which in turn, strengthens the skin's barrier. Modern lifestyles, over-cleansing and skincare, in general, can all alter the skin microbiome and throw it out of balance. Growing research suggests that skincare products containing postbiotics can help get the microbiome back into balance, so this is certainly one to keep an eye on.
Psychodermatology – Less of a trend and more of a shift in mindset, prioritising mental health and mitigating stress is set to take a front seat. Many of us used skincare as a moment of self-care throughout the pandemic so it’s not surprising to see this grow. The link between the gut, mind and skin is proven (also known as the gut-brain-skin axis), with stress causing a spike in the hormone cortisol, which can trigger inflammation, breakouts, and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema. This emerging trend acknowledges how skin concerns can affect the mind and vice versa. Take this as a sign to prioritise de-stressing for the long term, not only for your mental health but for your skin too.
Cosmetotextiles: Skincare meets Apparel – It’s a well-known fact that fabrics such as wool can exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema. However, it’s predicted that fabric delivering skincare benefits is an emerging innovation for 2022, with brands encapsulating and embedding ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, probiotics and peptides into textiles. While this sounds undoubtedly inventive, the jury is still out on just how much of an impact they can have on the skin. Particularly with frequent washing and the fact that it would require large amounts of the ingredient to be transferred to the skin for it to have a tangible effect. With greater investigation and efficacy testing to be done, we’d wait for more research on this one.
WGSN Forecast 2022 – The Future of Skincare
Discovering Cosmetic Science, Royal Society of Chemistry