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2021 is officially underway -- and, while most of us are happy to see 2020 in the rearview mirror, the reality is that the unprecedented year taught us many lessons and changed many people’s perspectives (for better and for worse).
More than anything, 2020 taught us resilience and the power of taking things into our own hands. These lessons - and more - will certainly carry over into the skincare and self care trends of 2021.
Here’s what you should expect to see this year.
The lockdown forced people to take their skincare into their own hands -- and many people have a newfound expertise in skincare products and their ingredients as a result. Vitamin C, glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid; more people know what these active ingredients are now, and they’re well-versed in the art of finding skincare products that contain enough of these actives to really work.
And there’s data to back this up. According to Vogue Business, there was a 193% increase in serums containing niacinamide, a 37% increase in those with vitamin C and a 27% increase in serums with hyaluronic acid in 2020. What’s more, it seems that expert-backed and efficacy-focused brands became more preferred, owning a market share of 32% during the first half of 2020, compared to 19% during the first half of 2019.
In 2021, expect to see these trend continue, with customers remaining interested in continued ingredient education and an increased focus on clean, effective skincare. In addition, you can expect to see more customized skincare routines as people become more in tune with what their skin needs at that moment (you can read more about situational skincare and how to respond to your skin’s needs effectively here).
2020 saw an increased interest in microbiome skincare, or skincare with ingredients that aim to support the health of your skin’s microbiome. Why? Well, in short, the microbiome (mix of good bacteria, fungi and other good microbes on the surface of your skin) on your face can:
Keeping this in tip-top shape, then, is a great idea to say the least. In 2021, expect the microbiome products to stick around in the form of “microbiome” marketing or skincare products with prebiotics and probiotics (and feel free to add these products to your routine!)
In 2020, people spent more time in front of their screens than ever before -- and they were worried about it! That’s why 2020 saw a 170% increase in salesand a 46.2% increase in searches for products with blue light claims in 2020.
Will these products actually work? That part’s unclear. While there isevidence that we’re exposed to more blue light than ever before -- and that this isn’t a great thing (you can read more about it here)-- the scientific evidence about blue light skin damage is inconclusive, and there’s not much proof that “blue light” products will be any more effective than a good old-fashioned broad spectrum sunscreen.
These days, we’re washing and sanitizing our hands more than ever -- which means that most of us are experiencing dryer handsthan ever before. Combine this with an inability to go to the nail salon in 2020, and you get an increase in body care sales -- a 65% increase, to be exact -- and a 300% increasein skin, nail and hair products.
This won’t go away in 2021. Even as the pandemic begins to diminish, the hand-washing habit is sure to stick around for at least a few more years, so expect to see more products focused on taking care of your hands in 2021.
In the same vein, expect to see an increase in barrier repair products in 2021.
Wearing a mask is certainly an indispensable part of day-to-day life in a post-coronavirus world, and it’s not going away any time soon. But it also comes with drawbacks like maskne (more on that below) and raw, reddened skin.
The answer? An increased interest in barrier repairing occlusive products (think Vaseline, butters, and other thick creams). This is to replace the natural oils that make up your skin’s barrier-- the oils that are stripped away by frequent mask-wearing.
Expect this skincare trend to stick around in 2021.
Maskne is real. Even people that never really had congestion-prone skin before are starting to see problems spring up as a result of the bacteria, debris, and constant friction that masks introduce.
And treating that maskne will remain a huge trend in 2021. Expect, specifically, to see lots of lingering interest in AHAs and BHAs that improve skin texture and tone, along with an interest in products that improve skin clarity and tackle congestion.
And keep in mind that this isn’tjust to reduce maskne -- it’s also to improve appearance on Zoom and other video calls.
If you’re in the market for this kind of product, a good place to start is with:
When it comes to plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments, expect to see a “less is more” mentality in 2021.
2020, of course, forced everyone out of the dermatologist’s office and away from the Botox, so it became all about the understated glam appearance: more natural makeup, fewer lash extensions, and super clear skin, glowing skin.
This will continue in 2021 as people continue to play it safe and do most treatments from home. And when they doget back to the Botox and fillers, it’ll be all about the natural, subtle tweaks that enhance natural features and improve the quality of skin. Goodbye, Instagram face!
According to a McKinsey report, there has been a decline in overall fragrance and cosmetic sales during the pandemic, with prestige brands seeing a 55% decrease in cosmetic purchases and a 75% decline in fragrance when compared to sales one year ago. However, this decline doesn’t seem to apply to eye-level cosmetics. In fact, Alibaba reportedly noted a 150% increasein eye-cosmetic sales month-over-month, and this trend can be expected to hold true in 2021.
Your eyes are pretty much the only thing people can see, after all, so expect a big emphasis on them with fluffy brows, bold lashes, and multitasking eye products.
It’s not just the skincare sales that saw a hike in 2020. There was also, according to Vogue Business, an increase in gadget sales, including:
This, again, makes perfect sense. People have had to take care of themselves in 2020, doing their own eyebrow shaping, their own manicures, their own at-home face peels, their own hair -- the list goes on.
In 2021, expect to see at-home cosmetic devices and a lot of DIY to become the norm (though we’re sure facials and in-office treatments will also come back with a vengeance).