It’s no secret 2020 was a big year for skin care. With working from home and staying in the new norm, our morning makeup routines of tinted moisturiser and lengthening mascara were left in the dust as we turned all our attention to our naked complexions.
Sales soared for sheet masks and jade rollers, as our evening rituals became just as much about self-care as skin care. And with salons shut for some time, the rise of at-home microcurrent devices and LED light therapy masks were the tech tools of choice.
So what does 2021 have in store? These are the skin care trends to look forward to.
The ‘midi’ skin care routine
One year, it was all about the Korean 10-step routine. The next, we were all for skip care and keeping it minimal. But for 2021, we’re looking towards a middle ground that’s catered to skin types rather than hitting a certain high or low number. Just like the dress of the same name, the midi skin care routine will prove popular thanks to its versatility and adaptability. Start with the non-negotiables ie. cleanser, moisturiser and SPF. After that, it’s just about adding in what your skin needs in between, whether that be a hydrating serum or a pore-refining acid.
Speaking of acids, boy are we obsessed. Among the biggest beauty search terms for the year were queries about AHAs , lactic acid and glycolic acid. And after we all spent lockdown researching the benefits of each, most of our routines are no longer complete without one of these exfoliating heroes applied every 2-3 days. If you’re still unsure which one is right for you, here’s our guide to face acids.
All for hybrids
With our skin care steps more streamlined and targeted, new and improved 2-in-1 products are increasing in popularity. Whether it be a toning serum, oil-infused moisturiser or lightweight SPF serum, we’re all for combining benefits (as long as it works!).
Every skin care expert will wax lyrical about how important daily SPF is, but if you’ve nailed that one down already, it’s lesser known partner in protection is finally getting some limelight.
Antioxidants similarly act like a shield for your skin, helping to protect against damage caused by free radicals and environmental aggressors like UV and pollution.
So how can you tell if you’ve got antioxidants in your routine? Vitamin C, vitamin E, retinol, ferulic acid and niacinamide are all rich in the stuff.
It also explains why vitamin C and niacinamide were two highly searched ingredients this year.
Top tip: Apply vitamin C as part of your morning routine for protection throughout the day and keep retinol (which can cause sun sensitivity) for night, where its antioxidants will be used to repair the skin.
If you’re clued up on collagen, you’ll know it’s an essential factor for plump and juicy skin. The bad news is, it depletes pretty quickly from our 20s and beyond. It’s also something our body naturally produces, which makes it pretty hard to replace topically via creams and lotions. The solution? Ingestible collagen. Beauty powders have been around for a while, but the science behind them has greatly improved of late. And while the jury is still out as to whether they provide truly transformative results – we say it can’t hurt to try!
Customisable skin care
What encompasses all of the above and beyond is our want for hyper-personalised products. After all, skin care is not one-size-fits-all. Whether this be as simple as mix-your-own peels (so you control the strength) or as high tech as using a swab of your DNA to customise a specific routine (yep, it’s a thing), we’re craving customisation more than ever before and brands are listening. Although, of course, the most classic form of this is to book in an appointment with a dermatologist and have your skin assessed. But where’s the trend in that?
What do you think of these 2021 skin care trends? What’s the best skin discovery you made in the last year?