There’s no denying that the past few years have been huge for skin care. However, according to our sources, 2020 is bound to be bigger, better, and more innovative than ever. Here, Allure breaks down the ingredients, tools, and trends that you need to know. And don’t forget to check out our monthly reports on the latest and greatest skin-care launches.
Look around you — on social and digital media, drugstore shelves and in your own medicine cabinet — and it’s clear that skin care, in general, is having quite a moment. Consumers are more interested in and educated about what they are putting on their skin than ever before, and the industry is taking note. While 2019 brought us an increase in personalized products, a lot of CBD, and the introduction of plant-based retinol alternatives like bakuchiol, 2020, in our opinion, is poised for even more excitement.
And that’s just what we know so far. From innovative new delivery and packaging systems to products and ingredients you never even knew you needed, here’s what we’re predicting will be big — like really big — in the year 2020.
1. Aluminum-Free Deodorant
We saw the start of this much-welcome trend throughout 2019, with a few very notable, very large personal-care brands announcing their first foray into aluminum-free deodorant. Secret launched its own rosewater-scented version, as did Dove, which rolled out Dove 0% Aluminum Deodorant in early 2019.
If our radar is even halfway accurate, something tells us that there will be plenty of other big-name brands to follow suit in 2020. And all of this is to say nothing about the dozens of other natural deodorant brands that continue to pop up left and right, including indie and even Justin Bieber-inspired options.
Why the surge? Despite the lack of concrete evidence linking aluminum to breast cancer and other health problems, it’s very clear that many consumers are interested in body odor-fighting products that don’t contain the ingredient. This consumer interest is what’s fueling brands, both large and small, to offer aluminum-free options.
To clarify, removing aluminum from the formula also removes a product’s antiperspirant (re: sweat limiting) powers, since the aluminum salts form a plug inside sweat glands, thereby limiting sweat production, David Bank, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, previously told Allure. Conversely, deodorants rely on other ingredients (like glycerin and fragrance) to mask the smell of body odor — so you still sweat naturally, but your pits won’t stink.
Another very welcome shift in the skin care world that we feel coming on strong: eco-friendliness. If consumer demand is at all indicative of forthcoming trends, both drugstore and prestige beauty brands will be hopping on the sustainability bandwagon in 2020.
First off, packaging will continue to become a larger part of the conversation, with minimized and more sustainable versions on the way. Larger brands will continue to re-think their approach — a trend we’ve already seen gaining ground, most notably with Dove’s move to 100-percent recycled plastic bottles by the end of 2019. Olay also tested out a refillable version of its popular Regenerist Whip Moisturizer back in October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Sustainable packaging will no longer be a point of difference for indie brands, either. Rather, we think it will (and should) become standard for all up-and-comers. Take Kinship, a new sustainable skin-care brand launched by two industry veterans. All of the brand’s packaging is both minimal (many products don’t come boxed), fully recyclable and made from recycled materials (like Ocean Waste Plastic).
Products themselves are also sure to become eco-friendlier, as well. Case in point: compostable facial wipes. We know that facial wipes are not so great for the planet, with the traditional versions taking years to break down in a landfill. And yet, some of us just can’t seem to give them up entirely — instead, we want better options. Simple, Almay, and Yes to Cucumbers already launched biodegradable versions, and we’d venture to bet that many more are on the way.
Likewise, sheet masks will also experience an eco-friendly shift. Some brands have already started packaging sheet masks in facial wipe form, rather than in single-use plastic, which is another win-win that we’d love to see continue.
3. Ingredient Spotlight: Electrolytes
No longer reserved for sports drinks, in 2020 you’ll also find electrolytes in your skin-care products. Namely, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which “work together to help maintain skin’s optimal function, especially in maintaining hydration levels,” explains cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson.
Quick science lesson: Electrolytes “are minerals that carry an electric charge,” explains New York City-based dermatologist Dendy Engelman, who cites magnesium as the most beneficial electrolyte for skin, specifically.
“Magnesium helps with overall cell function and blood flow, helping the skin and muscles be more supple. [It] also helps acne and other skin disorders by reducing stress and cortisol levels, stabilizing hormonal imbalances, [and] improving cellular processes,” she tells Allure.
Both Paula’s Choice and Rodan + Fields launched electrolyte-infused products at the tail end of 2019, and Drunk Elephant’s first 2020 offering, an overnight hydrating mask called F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial, launches on New Year’s Day. Given that electrolytes are just as beneficial on the outside as they are in, we’ve got a feeling that many more electrolyte-packed products are on the horizon.
4. Lip Treatments
Just like skin care extended upward to the scalp in year’s past, in 2020 it will reach another under-served area: Your lips. After all, lips are skin, too — actually some of the thinnest skin on the entire face. As such, the skin on the lips doesn’t contain as many oil glands as elsewhere on the face, which is likely why many brands will claim that this area needs extra nourishment.
One of the top lip treatments in Japan, the UZ 38°C/99°F Lip Treatment, just launched in the U.S. in December and quickly became a beauty-editor favorite. Throughout 2019, we’ve also noticed lip masks of just about every variety — masks, sheets, balms, gels, patches — come across our desks, many from brands (like Henné and Sarah Happ) that are entirely devoted to lip care.
So yeah, get ready to pamper your lips in the new year, because we anticipate that there’s only more lip-love to come.
5. Ampoules + Encapsulated Skin Care
Single-dose skin-care capsules, technically known as ampoules, are beloved (and in every pharmacy) in Europe, and they’re another trend we predict will come stateside in 2020. Why? Encapsulating certain ingredients into ampoules, such as retinol and vitamin C, helps prevent exposure to air and sunlight, thereby preserving potency. “They help to provide the perfect amount of serum to be used, giving you better results over time,” David. E. Bank, a dermatologist in Westchester, New York, previously told Allure.
Brands like Elizabeth Arden, Estée Lauder, Beauty Pie, and Eve Lom already offer encapsulated skin-care products. Beauty giant L’Oréal Paris is also launching Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.9% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Ampoules in March, 2020, and we’d go so far as to predict that even more will be hitting the U.S. market in the new year.
One thing that’s important for both consumers and brands to note: While facial wipes and sheet masks become eco-friendlier, we don’t want ampoules to replace them as the most environmentally damaging beauty product out there. Many ampoules are already made of glass, which is recyclable, and hopefully more sustainable options will parallel the rise of this trend.
6. Ingredient Spotlight: Niacinamide
It’s not a new ingredient, but niacinamide, or vitamin B3, has long been overshadowed by fellow antioxidant powerhouse, vitamin C. Yet, dare we say it, niacinamide touts just as many — if not more — skin-boosting benefits.
“Niacinamide is a vitamin B3 derivative that helps revitalize, firm, and smooth skin and minimize the appearance of large pores,” explains New York City dermatologist Howard Sobel, who just launched his own skin-care line, Sobel Skin Rx, which includes a niacinamide gel.
Incredibly, it also works to stimulate new tissue growth and collagen production, while simultaneously calming redness, fighting off free radicals, and evening out skin tone. Oh, and it works on all skin types — sans sensitivity.
Other brands that launched niacinamide-packed products in 2019 include The Inkey List, Cetaphil, E.L.F. and Peace Out. Drunk Elephant’s aforementioned F-Balm overnight face mask also contains a hefty dose the ingredient. Again, we think 2020 will be the year of the niacinamide renaissance.