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7 skin-care trends that will dominate 2022

Image: @loriharvey/Instagram
Image: @loriharvey/Instagram

We might not fancy ourselves psychics, but we sure know a trend when we see one. We'll admit that 2021 did do a fabulous job of keeping us guessing: After a year of intense shifts in priorities, new skin-care concerns, and supply chain issues all due to COVID-19, the beauty world looks as different as we all feel.

But through it all, some major trends have emerged for the new year. They speak to who we've become this year (more intelligent consumers with healthy microbiomes and clean hands) and what we hope to be in 2022: more planet-conscious, back acne-free, and just a little bit closer to our celebrity beauty muses. Read on for a glimpse into your skin's future in 2022 — these are skin-care trends will predict will be big next year.

1. Beauty Bars Are Back

At Mount Olympus's peak, I can only assume that Zeus is scrubbing away his wine lips and petty divine grievances with a Dove Beauty Bar. Alright, bar soaps might not be as old as the gods, but they're at least as ancient as the Great Pyramid of Giza: about 4,500 years, give or take. Between then and now, bacteria was discovered, so our bars have obviously come a long way functionality-wise, and thanks to the ever-present need for more planet-conscious packaging, bars are back in style. There's a solid option for nearly need now: shampoo, exfoliators, lotions, and the like.

"I think the next big boom in skincare will be the resurgence of bar soaps, due to their eco-friendly and water preserving nature," says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Shereene Idriss, M.D. This means decades-old classics are having a renaissance, and they're getting the 2022 treatment. Consider Erno Laszlo's famed purifying, mineral-rich Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar, which relaunched with entirely paper packaging last year. And while bar soaps are perfect in their simplicity, Dr. Idriss points out that user error can take away from the ease of using one.

"Soap sitting in a moist environment can harness bacteria that can spread to other parts of the body easily," she explains. "If you are going to jump on the bar soap wagon, please make sure to give your soap a rigorous rinse after each use!"

Proper use permitting, there are, of course, some new additions to the beauty bar pantheon: Megababe's paper-wrapped Space Underarm Bar deploys activated charcoal and glycolic acid to battle pit-specific stink, and Pharrell's Humanrace Reenergizing Whiteclay Body Bar is packed with moisturizing snow mushroom extract to nourish skin while it scrubs away the day (it's so popular that it's sold out at the moment.)

Peach's Moisturizing Hand and Body Bar is formulated with coconut oil to lock in moisture while you're in the shower, but the handheld hydration doesn't stop when you hop out and grab a towel. The Payot Face and Body Massage Bar is infused with Corsican rosemary essential oil and cocoa seed butter for a past-bathing ritual fit for even the most high-maintenance deities.

2. The At-Home Cryo-Boom

If you've ever swiped ice cubes underneath your eyes to take down some A.M. puffiness, then congratulations, you were experimenting with cryotherapy — kinda. It turns out that turning the temperature down on your routine can actually up its ante, and lately, there are more and more tools and formulas harnessing these chilly benefits.

"The idea behind cryotherapy is that cold temperatures cause the blood vessels to contract and pores to tighten, causing skin to look firmer and more rejuvenated," explains New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D. "It's a great way to keep skin looking, feeling, and functioning healthily," she says, noting that she's seen an uptick in at-home products and devices inspired by in-office cryo treatments that tighten and tone the body.

Rather than spend cash on a few minutes in a clinic cryo chamber, use the Stacked Skincare's sculpting roller to chill out your limbs, or Georgia Louise's icy orbs to contour your face. And using skin-care products formulated with cryo-tech can actually make the rest of your routine that much more effective. "Cryotherapy can also temporarily improve the absorption of topical products," Dr. Engelman says.

111Skin's hyaluronic acid-infused helps prep the skin for the rest of your products, and Charlotte Tilbury's latest eye serum helps depuff tired lids with caffeine, Swiss ice wine essence, and a metal applicator for an extra boost of coolness.

3. Major Lip Service

If you're like me, your lips aren't in their best, most pampered state. While maskne and perioral dermatitis have gotten most of my attention for the past two years, my lips were left to crack, flake, and shrivel with dehydration, which might become my villain origin story if the situation isn't rectified.

According to Dr. Engelman, I’m not the only one with happier lips on the brain. "I think people will definitely want to show off their lips at every opportunity now. Keeping lips healthy and hydrated is an essential starting point," she says. Thankfully, some of our favourite brands have dropped some major lip care in the past few months — and will continue to do so for the rest of the year.

We're not just talking balms, though. The first step to more supple lips is sloughing off all those dead, dry flakes. That's why Mario Dedivanovic, Kim Kardashian's longtime makeup artist, just added the vitamin E and sugar-infused Perfecting Lip Scrub to his own line Makeup by Mario. Another favourite: the sugar-based Milk Makeup Kush Lip Scrub, which comes in a twist-up bullet so you can use it anywhere.

After that, the real intervention begins with a hydration-rich balm or salve, and it's vital to pick a workhorse. "It's like drinking a soda to quench thirst," Connecticut-based board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, M.D., has previously told Allure. "You drink something that appeals to senses with no nutritional value, and shortly thereafter, you are still thirsty. Same thing goes for balms loaded with flavour, fragrance, and menthol."

That's not to say all the tasty, aesthetically-pleasing options aren't worthy of your investment. In the case of the Tatcha Limited Edition Kissu Lip Mask, it's quite the contrary: this thick, glossy formula gets its restorative powers from Japanese peach extract, squalane, and the mega-hydrating Japanese camellia oil. (Its cute hue, inspired by the camellia tree's red blooms, is just an added perk.) If tinted balm isn't your thing, try the high-shine LYS Beauty Speak Love Glossy Lip Treatment Oil or splurge on the oh-so-luxe Augustinus Bader The Lip Balm, which contains candelilla wax to prevent moisture loss.

4. (Even More) Celebrity Skin-Care Lines

We kicked off 2021 with JLo Beauty (I mean, what a start!) and that the rest of the year followed suit. Harry Styles' newborn Pleasing dropped an illuminating serum and dual-ended lip and eye oil, and tennis royalty Naomi Osaka launched Kinlò, a skin-care line with a focus on sun protection and recovery for melanin-rich skin. Rihanna's Fenty Skin, Pharell's Humanrace, and Alicia Keys's Keys Soulcare have expanded their lines — the latter's new body oil is even a Best of Beauty winner — and we're already hearing rumors of trademarks signaling an onslaught of celeb-centric skin care in 2022.

Cardi B has the 'Bardi Beauty' on lock, both Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner appear to be expanding the family empire with their own skin-care lines, and Hailey Bieber's Rhode could launch any day now.

5. Body Care Has Never Been Bigger

Long gone are the days of using your breakout-quelling face cream to nix body zits — the body care category exploded this year, making body acne care a main focus for 2022. Now, there's clearing acid-infused lotions like CeraVe's salicylic acid hydrator and Drunk Elephant's glycolic acid-powered option, and enzyme body washes like Kosas' to exfoliate mid-shower. We're flush with easy-to-use clearing mists now, too: Soft Services' niacinimide formula helps purify skin post-gym, Topicals' helps fade acne scars, and Versed's mist was made to target stubborn breakouts like back-ne on-the-go. Now that back acne is as normalised as the breakouts on our face, it's a hot topic at the derm's office.

"Back acne [comes from] the inconvenient and unfortunate cycle of clogged pores, inflammation, and poor skin turnover," Texas-based, board-certified dermatologist Heidi Prather, M.D., previously told Allure. This can happen all over the body — butt acne anyone? — but as annoying as body acne is, it's luckily both preventable and treatable. Prather encourages her patients to try to identify anything that might be triggering outbreaks.

"Hair products such as conditioners or leave-in products that contain silicones and oils can leave a residue on your skin, resulting in clogged pores and acne," she tells Allure. "Screen your products for ingredients that are known to be comedogenic, and when getting a massage, opt for lighter lotions in place of heavy creams and massage oils that can exacerbate acne." The new slew of body-specific products coming in 2022 is sure to fit the bill.

6. On TikTok, Trusted Ingredients Are Buzzy Again

TikTok: trend-maker, meme machine, and in 2022: skin-care time machine. Some of the popular ingredients that blew up in years past have come full circle once again, thanks to content creators and skinfluencers. These renaissances are bound to happen; beauty history always repeats itself. But the viral power of TikTok seems to have sped up the return of ingredients like bakuchiol, caffeine, and niacinamide to the spotlight — and product labs — for the coming year, and they say a lot about what consumers want for their skin in 2022.

"Bakuchiol is an ingredient I've loved for a while now, and it seems to be making its way to the mainstream with 23.5 million views on TikTok," says Dr. Engelman of the antioxidant, which stimulates collagen and cell turnover for smoother, brighter skin. And if you've got sensitive skin, bakuchiol is a gentle option for exfoliation: Beekman 1802's Bakuchiol Booster Serum actually improves redness while it works to keep tone even and skin from drying out.

"It's an excellent plant-based alternative to retinol, as it tends to be more universally well-tolerated without the common side effects of retinol, like irritation and purging," she says. Dr. Engelman also notes that with masks coming on and off as situations permit, people will be focused on the glow underneath for the coming year.

Caffeine, another antioxidant, has a similar effect that most of us are chasing, especially those filming Tiktoks on a regular basis: a perked-up gaze. "Caffeine does for your skin what it does for your soul — wakes it up a bit," Dr. Gohara previously told Allure. "It's an antioxidant that is a great vasoconstrictor, meaning it tightens up blood vessels." This classic ingredient has already popped up in late 2021 launches like L'Oréal Paris's new eye serum, and there are more on the horizon for January.

The beauty industry's obsession with niacinamide has been going strong since 2020, and TikTok has intensified it going into 2022 with over 185 million views. "Niacinamides work with your skin's natural chemistry to improve overall skin texture by rebuilding a lipid layer, minimizing the appearance of pores, and preventing UV damage and inflammation as an antioxidant," board-certified dermatologist Brandith Irwin, M.D., previously told Allure. Its near do-it-all capabilities make it an easy addition for a quick routine, and it's the star of Glow Recipe's new highlighting serum, which hydrates, protects, and brightens all in one shot.

7. More Aluminum Packaging

Ah, the never-ending discussion around beauty product packaging. It's tougher to recycle products than you'd think (you can read more about our own sustainability pledge here), but aluminum is a standout when it comes to recyclability. Brands appear to be taking its value seriously, and are utilising it more and more going into 2022: Everist's new Waterless Body Wash Concentrate — another eco-conscious choice — is housed in an aluminum tube, and Love Beauty and Planet debuted reusable aluminum bottles for its shampoos and conditioners this year.

Refills have been an opportunity for change, too: Necessaire's The Body Wash refill comes in an aluminum bottle that houses two normal-size body washes worth of product, and Allure got the scoop earlier this year on Dove's biggest environmental effort yet: refillable deodorant in an aluminum pod. If this year was any indication, 2022 is looking more metal by the minute.

This was originally published on Allure.

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