To say that the skincare industry is ever-evolving would be an understatement. Each year, we see a new crop of ingredients and trends rise to prominence in skincare. In 2020, beauty lovers and experts endlessly raved about plant-based ingredients, upcycling, and inhalable products (to name a few). This year, we’re expecting the trends to be just as dynamic and diverse. We tapped dermatologists, brand founders, and skincare influencers to share their thoughts on the skincare trends positioned to dominate this year. And let’s just say: their insights confirm that there is a lot to look forward to in the skincare industry this year. From minimalistic regimens to the rise of microbiome-friendly products, there is bound to be an emerging trend on the list below that resonates with your personal skincare philosophy. Keep scrolling for the biggest skincare trend predictions for 2021.
At the end of 2020, Pinterest released its annual Pinterest Predicts report for 2021. Its top beauty prediction? A shift towards skinimalism. In short, this means we’ll be seeing more people embrace their skin’s natural texture and adopting minimalistic skincare routines. "Simplifying your skincare regimen is a trend I’m supportive of," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rachel Nazarian. "Whether you’re embracing less makeup, and showcasing your natural skin instead, or perhaps just using smarter products that minimize the number of steps in your regimen, this trend takes us in the right direction."
Skincare brand Klur believes that "skin wellness can be achieved with well-considered, clean products and minimal maintenance." In 2020, the brand launched Supreme Seed, a delicate purification mask made with a soothing blend of panthenol, calendula, and cacao.
Last year, many of our favorite celebrities added skincare brand founder to their resume. Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Pharrell, and Alicia Keys had us all buzzing with curiosity when they announced the release of their lines. "I expect more celebs will launch their own lines," says marketing consultant and co-founder of Face Flawless Skin Christene Carr. "With men's grooming rapidly rising in sales, there is room for another male-backed skincare launch this year. I would also like to see someone like Micheal B. Jordan in a partnership with Neutrogena, Kiehl's, or even Sheamoisture."
Fenty Skin’s Total Cleans'r Remove-It-All Cleanser is made with a skin-loving blend of ingredients–including acerola cherry, ginkgo Biloba, green tea, fig, and quince–that seamlessly remove dirt, oil, and long-wear makeup without stripping your skin.
Sustainable is the New Clean
For so long, beauty brands have employed the use of single-use plastic packaging. Understanding how harmful this is for the environment, we’ve seen a significant number of brands move towards using packaging made from eco-friendly recyclable materials. "With everyone feeling a sense of individual responsibility for their surroundings, even skincare companies have to answer for their footprint," Dr. Nazarian says. "Most skincare regimens will require a lifetime (or at least YEARS) of commitment, so sustainable packaging will make a massive impact on our environment." We expect that brands will continue to find innovative ways to make themselves more eco-conscious as 2021 continues.
Founded by longtime beauty exec and former 10-year CEO of Tweezerman Dr. Conny Wittke and Gurval Caer, Superzero creates zero-waste haircare products. They don’t use plastic or bottles to house their products, and their products don’t use water. Instead, the brand’s shampoo and conditioner bars are made with plant-based ingredients and live in recyclable, chlorine-free cardboard boxes.
Founded by former Sephora executive Tiila Abbitt, Aether Beauty is known for launching the beauty industry’s first zero-waste eyeshadow palette. Since sustainability is at the core of the brand, you’ll find that they implement eco-friendly practices such as using soy-based inks and removing magnets and mirrors from its palettes.
Dr. Nazarian says that skincare that focuses on your skin’s microbiome is "the wave of the future." When we say microbiome skincare, we’re essentially talking about probiotic-infused products that add bacteria to the skin and help it maintain its optimal balance. We predicted that the microbiome movement would go mainstream last year, and you can expect that it will gain even more traction in the coming months. "Live probiotics boost the health of your skin’s microbiome, and when your skin’s microbiome is healthy, you don’t need complicated skincare," says Dakota Biotech’s Chief Scientific Officer Maya Ivanjesku. "We have known for years how probiotics play an important role in skin health, helping to treat skin disorders, and alleviating symptoms of acne and eczema."
Biophile aims to usher in a new generation of microbiome-supporting skincare that is cleaner, more effective, and more symbiotic with our bodies. The brand’s initial lineup includes: a Root Bionic Refining Essence ($78), Bio-shroom Rejuvenating Serum ($148), and Bio Barrier Nourishing Oil ($118)
Kinship’s products are backed by scientists, made with clean ingredients, and housed in fully recyclable packaging. Some of the brand’s best-sellers include: Self Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 32 (with micronized zinc oxide), Insta Swipe Lemon Honey AHA Pads, Supermello Hydrating Gel Cream Moisturizer.
Founded by gastroenterologist (stomach and gut doctor) Dr. Roshini Raj, Tula was one of the first probiotic-infused skincare brands to hit the market. Some of its best-selling products include the Face Filter Blurring & Moisturizing Primer($34), The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser ($28), and Rose Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm ($30).
"We have spent years developing proprietary technology that combines prebiotics, live probiotics, and postbiotics to deliver high-performance skincare without the need of refrigeration–such as LaFlore Live Probiotic Skincare and Live P.S.– helping to improve the health of the skin’s microbiome," says Ivanjesku. Currently, LaFlore Skincare offers three signature products: a Probiotic Cleanser ($42), Probiotic Daily Defense Moisturizer ($85), and Probiotic Serum Concentrate ($140).
Who doesn’t love a product that is made just for them? Bespoke skin products trended throughout last year, and consumers’ desire to have products tailored to their specific skin type and concerns will carry through 2021. "Personalized skincare brands are useful as long as the active ingredients are scientifically-backed," board-certified Dermatologist Dr. Morgan Rabach says. "I think they will become more popular as we continue to work from home and go into stores less frequently during Covid."
Following the success of their personalized hair care and body care products, Function of Beauty stepped into the skincare arena last year. In true Function of Beauty fashion, the skincare options—which include a cleanser, serum, and moisturizer—are 100% customizable and there are over three billion unique formulation possibilities.
Rory offers prescription, customized skincare. Once you complete an online visit, a healthcare professional will curate a routine that aligns with your unique skincare needs and concerns. Your subscription also provides you with unlimited free follow up calls with your healthcare expert.
With Curology, your personal dermatology provider will create a custom skincare treatment plan based on the selfies and information you provide. Whether you’re dealing with blackheads or persistent breakouts, the brand prides itself on treating your every skin need.
Qyral leverages cutting-edge technology and top-of-the-line ingredients to create custom skincare formulas for its users. Based on your individual Skin Assessment Quiz score, you’ll receive access to a range of products designed just for you.
Everyone’s stress levels hit an all-time high in 2020 due to the pandemic, and we’re still feeling the effects now. If you’re like us, taking a moment to do your skincare routine is one self-care ritual that has helped you decompress during this unprecedented time. That’s why we foresee skincare brands that utilize destressing ingredients and center around relaxation taking center stage this year.
LOUM’s Pure Serenity Golden C Serum ($90) is designed to revive stressed, tired skin. It’s made with the brand’s Tri∙Serene Complex, which is the first skin-calming complex combining active natural ingredients scientifically-tested to dial down stress across pathways. You can also slather it on to help achieve line-lifting and skin-firming.
Strange Bird’s Inner Clarity Cleanser ($58) is a 3-in-1 product as it can also be used as a mask and exfoliator. It contains rejuvenating ingredients such as ginger, ginseng, and goji berry and the essence of clear crystal and crab apple to help cleanse your mind and soul.
Alicia Keys’ brand Keys Soulcare believes in the power of skincare and soul-nurturing rituals. The brand’s Reviving Aura Mist ($22) is made with nourishing ingredients like Rose of Jericho, which helps lock in moisture. The mist’s scent of rose also acts as a calming agent that balances and resets your consciousness.
Brands aren’t just focused on treating the skin topically these days. There’s recently been a rise in the number of oral skincare supplements hitting the market. And we’re not just talking about capsules. High-powered gummies and powders are the next wave of skincare supplements. "Supplements are suddenly sexy," says Founder of ThisThatBeauty and Co-founder of Face Flawless Skin Felicia Walker. "In pandemic-mode, the idea of a daily magical pill (or cocktail of several) makes a bit more sense. I don't see this school of thought letting up anytime soon."
Moon Juice’s SuperBeauty dietary supplements boast an antioxidant formula that protects your skin from accelerating aging while also promoting collagen production, elasticity, and cell vitality.
Bite & Co makes beauty and wellness gummies that add an element of fun to our vitamin routines. The brand makes three gummies, each targeting a different skincare need. Baby Face helps you achieve a youthful and radiant complexion, C-Food increases brightness from within, and Lighten Up focuses on achieving optimal skin and gut health.
Whimsy Official’s Glow Getter Collagen Blend is a plant-based powder made of skin-loving adaptogens and superfoods like blue pea flower, maca, and goji berry. The beauty elixir protects and brightens skin, stimulates collagen, and improves overall mood and focus. It is designed to be mixed in your drink of choice or act as the base of a beauty latte or tea.
Wallen-Russell C. The role of every-day cosmetics in altering the skin microbiome: A study using biodiversity. Cosmetics. 2018;6(1):2. doi:10.3390/cosmetics6010002