As each new year rolls around, so too does a whole wave of new skincare trends, products, and ingredients which promise to revolutionise our beauty routines. While many trend roundups cater to the wacky and weird, my preferred approach is to step back from the hype and controversy in order to guide you (and your skin) towards the innovation worth investing your time and money in.
Whether you enjoy experimenting with newness or prefer to stick to what you know, being aware of the latest skincare trends can help you to adapt and evolve your routine in a way that works for you. Indeed, personalisation and customisation itself is set to be a big trend for 2024 (more on that below). It’s part of a wider movement which has dominated the past few years—a merging of the beauty and tech worlds which felt disjointed at first, but in 2024 will finally feel more finessed. Now, more than ever, brands are utilising innovations in technology to create skincare solutions that feel less complex and more accessible. I for one am very excited to see what 2024 has in store for the world of skincare.
So, what do the experts think is going to be trending in 2024? We consulted trend forecasters WGSN and culture and trends analyst Alex Bee to break down and share the whole new wave of skincare trends rolling in for 2024.
“Over the past few years we’ve been understanding more about the relationship between our skin and our menstrual cycle,” explains Bee. “From this point, we’re now beginning to think more about the interconnectedness of our bodies, health, skin and internal systems.” You may have already seen skincare products specifically formulated to address the skin concerns that arise as a result of hormonal acne flare-ups during menstruation, but in 2024 this trend is set to evolve even further.
“An increased understanding of the impact of hormonal changes on beauty and wellbeing during menstrual, pregnancy and menopausal life stages is expanding opportunities for hormonal beauty support,” says a recent WGSN report. In addition to supporting skin during menstruation, expect to see products that support skin throughout the rest of the hormonal cycle, and through hormone-related experiences such as pregnancy and menopause.
Developed in collaboration with over 7000 menopausal women, No7’s Menopause Skincare range helps to target the visual signs of reduced oestrogen and collagen in the skin.
If you find your usually calm and clear skin flares up with the onset of your period, keep this mask on hand to deal with hormonal breakouts.
The changes in hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle do far more than just trigger breakouts when our period starts. At other times in the month, you may find your skin looking dull or feeling more dry than usual. This set contains four serums, one for each week of your menstrual cycle.
Outside of the beauty industry there’s a growing awareness of the impact of stress and anxiety upon the body. Indeed, Google Trends searches for ‘how to reduce stress and anxiety’ have increased 150% in the past year, as mental health has become a more open topic of conversation.
We all know that our skin can be impacted by things like our diet, environment, and hormones, but did you know that stress can be a significant contributing factor, too? Studies show that stress can manifest on the skin via increased inflammation, breakouts, redness, fluctuations in dryness and oiliness, and even flare-ups of dormant conditions like eczema and psoriasis. So, if you’ve ever noticed changes in your skin but not been able to quite figure out the cause, stress could well be the culprit.
In 2024 this will combine with our growing awareness of skin sensitivity—so expect to see a lot more products marketed at ‘stressed skin’. According to WGSN, soothing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and products intentionally scented with calming ingredients like lavender and jasmine will grow in popularity.
Whichever way stress manifests in your skin, there’s a serum in this set to deal with it. Think of these serums as your skincare first aid kit.
Combining sebum-clearing ingredients with their signature soothing formula, Curél’s new Skin Balancing range will help to keep imbalanced skin in check.
Designed for the skin and the mind, each of Aromatherapy Associates’ skincare products lists its emotional benefits alongside its skin benefits. This hydrating gel mask contains an essential oil blend that helps to soothe and reassure.
By now we all know and are familiar with the likes of spot patches and under-eye patches, but in 2024, skincare patches are set to evolve further. According to a recent WGSN report, our skincare shelves will soon be stocked with suncare patches, wellness patches, aromatherapy patches, and even wrinkle patches, too.
“Initially popularised in South Korea, transdermal beauty patches promise quick, cost-effective solutions,” says the report. “Patches are a supplemental form of self-care or skincare that maximise or ‘hack’ an existing routine.” This explains why skincare patches are particularly popular with a younger audience of skincare shoppers—they’re simple and accessible. Plus, in a world where tweakments are on the rise, patches provide a low stakes and instant results option for those not yet ready to commit to costly aesthetic treatments.
These brightly-coloured pimple patches don’t just look cute—they help to draw out congestion and reduce inflammation in record time.
Apply these patches to forehead lines, crow’s feet, and 11 lines, and they’ll infuse skin with a blend of retinol, peptides, and vitamin C.
For days when you don’t have time to reapply your SPF, wear these patches to protect the delicate eye area from UV damage.
“Hyper-personalisation has been at the forefront of the conversation in skincare for the past two to five years,” says Bee. “Why would we pick something ‘for all skin types’ when we could customise a treatment specifically for us?” It’s true—custom formulas that are tailored to our individual skin types and concerns allow us to reap the results of skincare innovation without having to go through a time-consuming process of research, trial, and error.
It’s even easier to see the appeal when you consider how overwhelming shopping for skincare can be these days. There are literally thousands of products and ingredients to choose from and in a cost of living crisis, shoppers are having to be more considered about what they purchase. For those conscious of the environmental impact of their skincare routine, made-to-order skincare also offers a more sustainable solution—it reduces waste for both users and brands.
You may already have spotted brands such as Skin + Me and Dermatica, which utilise the expertise of dermatologists and pharmacists to ensure that their custom serums are unique and appropriate to each individual customer. But moving forwards, WGSN predicts that we’ll soon begin to see AI technology use to design formulations, and to take the guesswork out of skincare.
Skin + Me’s Daily Doser contains a made-to-order blend of ingredients, chosen by a dermatologist after an in-depth online skin consultation. What’s more, the aluminium packaging is totally recyclable.
Vitamin C is a notoriously unstable ingredient which easily degrades (and becomes ineffective) if exposed to extreme heat, sunlight, and air. Dermatica’s solution is a vitamin C subscription service, which sees a fresh bottle delivered to your doorstep every month.
Building on the success of their haircare products, Function of Beauty now allows you to customise your entire skincare routine, from cleanser to moisturiser.
In recent years, serums have taken centre stage in skincare innovation, but WGSN predicts that in 2024 we’re set to see a cleanser revolution. “Consumers are reconsidering this fundamental step and giving it a higher priority in their skincare regimen,” says one report. “They’re seeking hardworking and results-driven cleansers that use active ingredients and hybrid solutions to save time, money and effort.”
Cleansers arguably are the cornerstone of any good skincare routine, but rather than picking a one-size-fits-all option, it does make sense to choose a formula that’s tailored to your skin concerns. In 2024, expect to have a cleanser wardrobe that allows you to cater to a broad range of needs and concerns. And if that sounds too excessive, don’t worry, WGSN predicts that “hybrid cleansers will streamline skincare routines, eliminating the double cleanse.” Basically, cleansing as we know it is all about to change.
Inspired by the co-washes of the haircare world, this cleanser aims to remove makeup and impurities while leaving skin feeling calm and moisturised.
This multitasking cleanser combines multiple steps of your skincare routine. If you’re experiencing breakouts, leave it on skin for a few minutes (like a mask), the rinse it off and skip your serum. It contains benzoyl peroxide, an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.
For skin in need of a moisture boost, leave this cream cleanser on skin for up to a minute to help calm skin and prevent dehydration.
“Increasingly educated around the effects external aggressors have on skin health, consumers are seeking climate-adaptive formulations and on-the-go solutions with skin nurturing benefits,” says WGSN. Indeed, the growing awareness of the importance of daily sunscreen wear has already shaken up the skincare industry. Gone are the days of thick, chalky SPFs that left skin with an ashy cast and clogged pores. These days, sunscreens boast lightweight formulas that are invisible, kind to skin, and actually enjoyable to wear.
With global skin cancer rates expected to increase by 11% by 2050 (due to the climate emergency leading to a rise in harmful UV rays), it only makes sense that this category will be a huge area of focus for brands in years to come. Aside from the threat of skin cancer, the majority of signs of skin ageing are caused by sun exposure, so if you’re using retinoids and vitamin C and not already wearing SPF daily, those ingredients are pretty much redundant.
WGSN predicts the growth of sunscreen hybrids—serums, mists, and makeup which (unlike previous attempts) will provide safe and effective suncare solutions.
Topping up SPF isn’t always easy, especially if you’re wearing a full face of makeup. This spray-on SPF was designed exactly with that predicament in mind.
The lips are thin, delicate, and highly prone to sun damage. Thanks to this SPF-infused lip balm, you can keep them protected and nourished simultaneously.
Not having time for SPF is no longer a worthy excuse. This swipe-on sunscreen stick is perfect for those who have low maintenance or on-the-go skincare routines.
Every year seems to bring with it a new host of trending skincare ingredients, and in 2024, adaptogens are set to be the next big thing. Long since used in traditional medicines, adaptogens help the body to adjust to the impact of stressors—and in skincare, they help to repair stress-induced skin damage.
This ties in with the growing trend for stressed skin solutions, but also, according to Bee, with a return to heritage and traditional skincare therapies. “The world of skincare has become increasingly scientific, complex and, in some spaces, culturally less accessible and somewhat cold,” she explains. “In adjacent categories like food and health, we are seeing a return to ancient wisdom, looking back to discover our core needs and strip back any unnecessary complications. This movement is present in skincare too, perhaps most tangibly with products that draw from Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic ingredients.” So, expect to see the likes of ashwagandha, neem, and reishi mushrooms, ginseng, and moringa popping up in your skincare formulas over the next year.
Ahead of the trend, Youth to the People’s rich moisturiser contains a blend of ashwagandha and fermented reishi mushroom to support skin experiencing dryness, irritation, and redness.
Thanks to adaptogenic astragalus (plus a host of other anti-ageing ingredients), this moisturiser claims to leave skin looking firmer and more lifted in just one week.
Adaptogens are at the heart of all the products in Herbar’s small (but growing) range. This face oil is my personal favourite—it contains a potent blend of mushroom extracts to calm inflammation.