With more and more people taking a holistic approach to their beauty-wellness regime, skincare will be a top priority for this year’s Spring shopping basket.
Hundreds of thousands will be ditching their old plastic bottles and expired creams for brand new “natural and organic” skincare products, from indie, innovative brands. I have compiled a list of the biggest skincare trends that I expect we’ll see this Spring.
Skincare brands taking a more honest, transparent approach
As a nation, we are more aware than ever about what we are putting into and onto our bodies, and similarly, we are more mindful of beauty products and what ingredients they contain. Skincare brands have a responsibility to be transparent about the contents of their products, so that consumers can make informed decisions.
There are hundreds of so-called organic and natural beauty products on the market. However, it is not unusual for big brand cosmetics to contain 50 to 100 ingredients, of which a high percentage are synthetic. Did you know the average UK man faces 85 chemicals in his daily grooming routine?
Even the term, ‘organic,’ is misleading. A label with ‘100% Organic’ signifies that a product is unsullied by chemicals like pesticides. An item ‘made with organic ingredients’ may contain only 70% organic material; the remaining 30% being synthetic. But people are opting for trendy natural, organic, vegan and clean formula skincare products – even if that means going for smaller, more expensive products with higher concentrations of natural components.
Products that encourage your skin’s natural microflora
The microbiome is the skin’s natural population of protective bacteria. We need to nurture them because they in turn look after us. They help protect us from damage caused by our polluted environments, and this keeps us looking younger for longer.
We are all familiar with good and bad gut bacteria; exactly the same is true for skin. Therefore, probiotics are increasingly being incorporated into skincare products.
Along with sun exposure and smoking, pollution can accelerate skin ageing. Petrochemicals cause oxidative stress, a process that comprises the skin’s ability to defend itself from harmful free radicals.
Creams and lotions that nourish your skin flora encourage it to repair itself and therefore slow ageing.
Further commitment to sustainability
Ideally, every skincare product should be sustainable and delivered in packaging that optimally preserves its ingredients. Mindful of this, beauty brands have started to repurpose natural by-products from food production into their creams.
Your first reaction may be negative, but consider that citrus peels are rich in restorative flavonoids, pulp from olive oil manufacture teams with nourishing polyphenols, and tomato seeds abound with antioxidants. These ingredients were all once discarded as waste.
The beauty industry is also keen to reduce its reliance on plastics. Lush is even abandoning packaging all together with its growing number of solid shampoos, deodorants and make-up.
Water use is something we would not immediately consider, but it is the Beauty industry’s main ingredient. L’Oréal has committed to a 60% reduction in water consumption by 2020 while Unilever has pledged 50% within the same time frame. Therefore, expect more dry and powdered products this year.
Interactive skincare technology
Gone are the days you were limited to high street beauty brands. Nowadays, we can easily access smaller, boutique brands online that keep their products affordable by using fewer ingredients and selling directly to the consumer. This means that you get exactly what you want, at the price you want, without loss of quality.
Big brand loyalty is becoming a thing of the past. These new innovative brands are appealing to a mobile-first generation by using a plethora of technology to lure us in. There are apps that give skin care advice, regimes and online tutorials that show how to apply the products. In addition to apps, expect to see a range of smart beauty devices hit the stores, that can be easily connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
This is not to say that the bigger brands are not getting in on the game. Neutrogena recently launched Neutrogena Skin 360. This consists of a skin-scanning device with an accompanying app that measures your pores, lines, wrinkles and level of skin moisturisation, and allows you to track their improvement over time. Think micro 3D printed face mask customised to fit your face!
Single delivery vehicles
Ideally, skincare products should come in airtight packaging. This became reality last year in the form of ampoules. These are individually packaged glass or biodegradable vials that hold exactly the amount of product your skin needs. Unlike plastic, glass is inert and endlessly recyclable.
The advantage of ampoules over tubes or bottles is that, since the product is never exposed to air, vulnerable ingredients such as Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid face little to no degradation. Therefore, your cosmetic remains ‘factory fresh’ up until the moment of application. L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Hyaluronic Acid Ampoules are a good example of these.
The new kids on the block
CBD (Cannabidiol) is finding its way into increasing numbers of skincare products. It has anti-inflammatory properties and contains vitamins A, D, and E, all of which soothe the skin. Whether it be in the form of soap, cream or oil, this is just the beginning of CBD in the skincare market.
Polyhydroxy Acids (PHAs) are steadily replacing glycolic acid (an AHA) and salicylic acid (a BHA) as the main chemical exfoliators in cosmetics. These have a larger molecular structure than AHAs, which means they are less abrasive yet just as effective. They are also humectant so moisturise as they exfoliate.
Although it is not a new discovery, Bakuchiol suddenly hit the big-time last year. It comes from the psoralea corylifolia plant and has the same restorative and rejuvenating effect as retinol without causing drying and peeling. This makes it a better choice for sensitive skin.
By Dr Gero Baiarda, Primary Care Dermatologist & Private GP at GPDQ, the UK’s first doctor-on-demand app.