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Best face forward: 5 trends show beauty is looking ahead

AB Amelia Bell

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Experts predict trends to tap into for 2021, from the new CBD to streamlining skincare…


Ready to leave 2020 behind? Us too. The beauty trends predicted to take over the industry are a reflection of the change, challenges and upheaval that consumers have faced on account of Covid-19 and living under lockdown. Forecasters say we will seek out new stress remedies, think more mindfully about our purchases and put slow beauty before hype in the new year.  Here, everything from hyper-personalised beauty to the new CBD inspire us to look ahead.

1Jeck masks

The term ‘jeck’ is lingo (in the beauty landscape) for our jaw and neck area. Working from home, using chin-down devices in our makeshift offices, and more time spent on our phones connected virtually to the world mean that the jeck has suffered the consequences. “In 2021, this will spill into home-use alternatives with beauty consumers seeking products and devices that deliver salon-grade results,” says Clare Varga, Head of Beauty at WGSN. “Hydrating sheet masks, such as 111Skin’s Celestial Black Diamond which extends beyond the face to treat the neck and décolletage, and area-specific masks, including The Light Salon’s Hydrogel Décolletage Mask, will increase in popularity.” She adds that digital LED masks are set to soar for 2021, too.

2Slow beauty

Forget hyped launches and instant product sellouts, as lockdown living has taught consumers to consider necessity over what is simply superfluous. So a slower approach to beauty might be on the horizon for 2021. Anna Brightman, co-founder of UpCircle explains: “Slow beauty will take over with thoughtfully crafted products that encourage consumers to pare back their routines. Also, simplification of ingredients lists and access to information and supply chains will be needed in order to meet the demands of an informed consumer.” 

Similarly, this trend comes out of the necessity to think more mindfully about how we consume beauty and the impact it has on the environment. “It is becoming more important than ever that companies are moving away from plastic,” says Suzie Gillespie, founder of Moo & Yoo. “As only 10 per cent of plastic is ever recycled, the pressure of how to deal with this mountain of waste that never degrades is driving a movement away from plastic to more sustainable materials like glass and aluminium.” Suzie cites David Attenborough’s reflective documentary, A Life On Our Planet, as a key driver for this shift in priorities when it comes to beauty.

3CBN is the new CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant, was still big this year, as an aid to relaxation and reducing anxiety. Now the new name set to take over in 2021 is CBN. “It’s no wonder with the increased stress of daily life that the interest in cannabinoids continues to grow. In 2021 we will see new compounds come to the fore,” says Clare Varga. 

So what exactly is CBN and how is it different to the increasingly popular CBD? Varga explains: “It’s another derivative of the cannabis plant, but CBN has stronger sedative qualities, making it particularly relevant during this post-pandemic era where ‘Covid-somnia’ and anxiety are part of the new norm. As sleep is vital to a strong immune system, brands such as California-based Kikoko and Colorado-based Slumber CBN, are creating night-time tinctures and gummies, with CBN, to aid restorative sleep and boost overall health and wellbeing.”

4Polyglutamic acid

Hyaluronic acid has been hailed as the gold standard when it comes to hydration given its ability to hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water, but polyglutamic acid might be about to change all that. How does it work? Polyglutamic acid has larger molecules than hyaluronic acid, and it helps to form a thin film on the skin’s surface to lock in moisture, prevent water loss and keep the skin nourished. A handful of brands, including Charlotte Tilbury and The Inkey List, has already harnessed the power of this hydrating powerhouse, with many more to follow in the new year. 

Clare Varga says: “‘Covid face’ – the phenomenon of dull, sagging skin caused by more time indoors, in front of screens and wearing masks – is on the rise. So consumers are seeking new science-backed solutions that deliver deep hydration and polyglutamic acid ticks all the boxes.”

5Hybrids and streamline skincare

With makeup sales in decline and skincare on the rise, it makes sense that we might start to see many more hybrids replacing heavy foundations and concealers. Typology and Trinny London are among brands already ahead of the game, launching tinted serums containing a host of skincare benefits. They include hyaluronic acid and neurophroline (an active plant extract which works to block cortisol production in the skin), while others are set to follow suit. 

Consultant dermatologist, Dr Anjali Mahto, agrees that multipurpose products and a more simplified routine will be at the fore of 2021’s beauty trends. “Following on from reducing the need for a multi-step skincare routine, consumers are going to start making wiser choices about which products they truly need to use. One way of minimising the products we need is to choose ingredients or skincare which are multi-purpose in nature. For example, why use an AHA toner and then a retinol if you have a product which incorporates both, such as Alpha-H Midnight Gold Reboot Serum? Why use a separate azelaic acid and niacinamide product when Dr Sam’s Brightly serum has both. Likewise, if you’re keen on retinol and bakuchiol, why use them separately in multiple layers if Paula’s Choice 0.3% retinol and 2% bakuchiol has them formulated together. “ 

Anjali adds: “Using one product rather than multiple ones to achieve the same endpoint cuts on waste and also reduces the risk of irritation and sensitivity to the skin. This is the future of streamlined skincare.”

The views expressed on these pages are the views of the cited experts only and do not necessarily represent the views of Wellness Edit. Please always get a second opinion where specific medical advice is required.

All Content © Copyright Wellness Edit 2020. All rights reserved

Best face forward: 5 trends show beauty is looking ahead

AB Amelia Bell

The Article Edit

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