Image: Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels.
Image: Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels.
It’s a new year, and you know what that means. New trends to follow. We take a look at the biggest skincare trends to watch out for in 2023.
Since COVID-19 disrupted our lives, more people have been consciously starting to prioritise self-care with skincare being a top concern.
The ingredients of products and long-term results are all topics up for discussion.
“There’s been a move away from brands making unsubstantiated claims, with a call to support those that have been ethically and environmentally conscious from the start,” says Trevor Steyn, founder of bio-clinical skincare brand Esse.
“Consumers are questioning ingredients, they’re questioning skincare routines, and they’re questioning the profit-driven model. Because of this, we’re seeing some exciting trends extending into 2023,” he added.
While not a new trend, the notion of ‘less is more’ will definitely continue into the new year. With limited access to skincare products during the pandemic, customers started noticing the benefits of minimalist skincare routines. In 2023, evening cleansing will almost be a thing of the past with consumers opting for more effective products. People will be searching for products that provide multiple benefits without a long, synthetic ingredients list. No need to overcomplicate it!
The drive towards sustainable manufacture, packaging, and use is going beyond simply doing no harm. Support is rising for brands that positively contribute towards the environment through better business practices. Organic, vegan and ethically-sourced ingredients are imperative, but customers are looking beyond what’s inside.
Sustainable packaging is an interesting trend, with companies moving to plastic-free, recyclable materials like glass for their packaging. Consumers will be checking for brands that use 100% recycled paper products, and minimal to no branding for reuse and repurposing. There is also a growing trend in refilling products rather than having to buy new packaging per use.
Customers will be demanding proof of carbon- and plastic-neutral practices, which go further than simply recycling. Companies that are committed to sustainability will buy carbon credits to offset the carbon they emit during production, travel, and other company operations.
This sustainability extends beyond the product, with companies required to positively impact the communities in which they work, prioritising locally-sourced ingredients and labour.
Skincare brands that have sustainability at the core will be coming out on top.
There’s an interesting trend emerging in terms of the ingredients used in skincare products. The plant-based bakuchiol, extracted from the seeds of Psoralea corylifolia (a legume that grows wild in India and China) is replacing retinol. Bakuchiol is more photostable than retinol. It can be safely used during the day without the risk of instability or toxicity. It has also been show to be as effective as retinol in the treatment of ageing and acne, with fewer side effects.
Niacinamide is another key ingredient to expect in 2023. This vitamin B3 derivative has antioxidant properties that protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. It also boosts collagen production. This anti-ageing ingredient is active and gentle, and suited to all skin types.
Probiotics in skincare are gaining rapid popularity, but brands that use live probiotics are set to differentiate themselves. Probiotics contribute to a healthier microbiome, while providing moisturising benefits, protecting the skin, slowing the rate of ageing, and reducing skin sensitivity. Consumers struggling with ongoing skin conditions will benefit from incorporating probiotics into their skincare.
Another active, which only Esse has managed to gain access to in its active form, is sapienic acid. This is the most abundant fatty acid on human skin and is the ultimate skin prebiotic; feeding good microbes while protecting the skin from pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus.
Other ingredients to watch out for include plant-based squalene, a non-clogging oil that improves the microbiome; hyaluronic acid, which reduces wrinkles and speeds up healing; and ferments, which improve barrier function and hydration.
Skincare has gone beyond products and ingredients, with leading brands now developing skincare devices to address various skin conditions. One of the more interesting skincare devices, emerging in late 2023, is a light device that can transmit a specific UV wavelength to boost Vitamin D levels in the skin. This will work in combination with specific strains of Lactobacillus to reduce harmful bacteria while supporting good bacteria for a healthy skin microbiome.