We tried different potions (anyone else get carried away with the AHAs/BHAs?), battled with Zoom fatigue faces, outbreaks of maskne and watched the experts show us how to give ourselves a facial massage that we definitely made a mental note to do a few times a week (but didn’t).
Congratulations! We finally made it to the end of 2020 and what a year it has been. This time last year we couldn’t have predicted the kind of one that lay ahead and, just like us, our skincare has been through one helluva ride.
Lockdown saw us reassessing our skincare regimes with many of us left with a bit more time to give it some attention. While the experts were off limits, we dabbled with at-home treatments and gadgets, looking to replicate the professional experience at home.
So, what’s in store for our faces in 2021? Surely it can only get better from here?
Adeela Crown, The Dorchester’s resident facialist, who has a stealth of celebrity clients including Lady Gaga, Reese Witherspoon, Chrissy Teigan and Rita Ora, shares her top skincare trends that beauty lovers need to watch out for in 2021.
Ingestible collagen supplements
Beauty consumers are beginning to recognise the relationship between their diet and skin. This increased awareness has made ingestible collagen the hero ingredient of the moment. Collagen and its derivatives have become such a mainstay in our daily topical skincare products like collagen creams, serums and sheet masks.
Now thanks to its skin repair and restructuring beauty powers, brands like LQ Collagen have marine collagen in hydrolysed form (broken down molecule for easy absorption) available in functional daily dose shots and powder supplements to provide noticeable results in as little as 30 days when consumed daily.
Ingestible collagen is bio-identical, meaning our bodies recognise it as its own, as it is already naturally found inside our dermis. Therefore increasing collagen intake for several months can improve skin elasticity, (i.e., wrinkles and roughness) as well as signs of ageing.
The wrinkle-reducing effects of collagen supplements have been attributed to their ability to stimulate your body to mimic its own collagen production. Additionally, taking collagen supplements may promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin, which give the skin its bounce and elasticity.
My mantra is that ‘prevention is smarter than a cure’ – so start adding collagen supplements to your skincare routine early – ideally from your early- mid 20s – and your skin will thank you in your 30s, 40s and beyond!
The idea is that if you can’t make it to the salon/spa you bring the spa at-home.
Being home confined we are also spending more time and care to maintain and treat our own skin health which has seen a rise in skincare tools and devices sales. Where these devices were in the past bought on a whim or gifted and used to sit in a corner of the bathroom cabinet, forgotten and uncharged, mostly gathering dust have now seen a resurgence and renewed appreciation.
The technology in the field of skin tech has become more sophisticated and this has already led to a drive towards incorporating devices into our daily skincare routine. From handheld non-mechanical tools like jade rollers, Gua Sha stones to very instagrammable skin-tech devices like;
NuFace for Microcurrent muscle toning and lifting and OXYJet GO for spa-like Oxygen therapy experience at-home.
These are like professional tech shrunk into an at-home version. LED Light Therapy face masks also to rejuvenate multi-task whilst wearable when WFH.
Brands are turning to tech for advanced solutions to better cater to consumers’ ever-changing and individual needs with tailor-made beauty, without sacrificing results.
Virtual skin analysis: As the pandemic has pushed work-life into the virtual realm, we have become more accepting of virtual/ AI skin analysis tools which were there before but mostly thought of as gimmicky. Brands like Olay, Estee Lauder, Curology and have pushed their AI technology to the forefront to analyse and identify skin concerns through image processing algorithms and provide viable skincare solutions – all through the analysis of your selfie upload. Brands are pushing the capabilities of this personalised skincare system to the next level by recommending personalised products for users.
Custom Dose: Skinceuticals’ Custom D.O.S.E, which will be available at selected dermatologists from April, is the newest and most advanced take on beauty’s race to offer consumers hyper-personalised formulas. After receiving your first SkinCeuticals Custom D.O.S.E flacon at the dermatologist/aesthetician clinic, you’ll be booked in for a ‘serum adjustment’ every three months to dial up or down ingredients, depending on your skin’s response.
Based on its Dramatically Different Moisturizer lotions, Clinique has introduced ‘Clinique iD’ as a hydration system that’s centered around customisation and addressing individual skincare concerns. The system pairs previously released products and customer favourites with coloured cartridges that are designed to fit right within the moisturiser product packaging. Once fitted, consumers are able to dispense a product that’s 90% of the hydrating base of their choosing and 10% active concentrate – to treat their unique skin concern.
App-analysed smart skincare: Japanese skincare brand Shiseido is another pioneer of beauty technology. One of its most innovative examples to date is Optune, a personalised skincare system that tailors skincare to the user’s skin day-by-day, accounting for factors such as humidity and air quality, menstrual cycle, and mood.
La Roche-Posay’s My Skin Track UV is also a great example. The device – worn as a bracelet or attached to a phone – constantly tracks a person’s UV exposure (as well as weather, humidity, air quality and pollen count), before relaying the data to a smartphone. It pings a notification when those factors are at levels high enough to have a negative impact on your complexion, in an effort to curb rising melanoma rates.
DNA tailored skincare: Brands like 4.5.6 Skin and Rationale have become ‘hyper-technical’ with skin analysis and DNA research to design highly personalised, made to order products after a cheek swab. Based on DNA codes and skin’s genetic makeup the test determines accurately whether the skin is susceptible to hyperpigmentation? Or Rosacea? This takes skincare personalisation to a whole new level to access individual skin DNA codes to meet skin’s changing needs in real time.
Live probiotics are strains of good bacteria that keep your digestive system in line. These incredible microorganisms are powerful ingredients to being put to work from the outside in with amazing benefits such as wound and scar healing, skin revitalisation and help with inflammatory ailments like eczema.
And if you are worried about fine lines, this key ingredient is ideal for mature skin too. Brands such as Esse have formulated skincare with probiotics and prebiotics through organic biotechnology to create an environment on skin that restores the balance of the natural microbial diversity.
COVID-19 has been a major disruptor within the beauty and cosmetics market. The sustainability changes were coming for a long time but now for the consumers this pandemic has emphasised the importance of sustainability, the ripple of which will have a profound and lasting effect within the beauty industry and heavily influence the way we choose, buy and dispose of skincare.
The eco-movement is evolving where our buying criteria is more and more driven by sustainable choices. From non-toxic ingredient beauty subscription boxes from Vertue Box or Freedm Street to opting for original and ancient recipies like Egyptian Magic with a minimal ingredient list. We want our pots, tubes and bottles to be bio-degradable and more and more brands are phasing out plastic packaging, with brands like REN trying to offset their environmental impact through The Big Clean Up, their recycling and upcycling initiative.
Dispensing and Disposing sustainably
Consumers looking to bring more sustainability to their skincare routine can now choose skincare products with refillable options. Clé de Peau Beauté, L’Occitane, Le Labo, and Rituals are just a few of the brands that offer refillable products.
What many eco-friendly brands offer is recyclable packaging but finding a place to do it can be difficult. And at times, it’s hard to tell if something can be recycled at all.
Brands and retailers including Garnier, Kiehl’s, Lush, Origins, and Summer Fridays allow for customers to return expired and/or used beauty products to ensure that not just the packaging but the remaining formula are disposed of properly.
Though it’s difficult to close a total sustainability circle, the consumers are more aware now that the buying power is in their hands – so I the future they’ll be opting brands that share their values.