To say that the skincare industry is ever-evolving would be an understatement. Each year, we see a new crop of ingredients and trends rise to prominence in skincare. In 2020, beauty lovers and experts endlessly raved about plant-based ingredients, upcycling, and inhalable products (to name a few). This year, we’re expecting the trends to be just as dynamic and diverse. We tapped dermatologists, brand founders, and skincare influencers to share their thoughts on the skincare trends positioned to dominate this year.
And let’s just say: their insights confirm that there is a lot to look forward to in the skincare industry this year. From minimalistic regimens to the rise of microbiome-friendly products, there is bound to be an emerging trend on the list below that resonates with your personal skincare philosophy. Keep scrolling for the biggest skincare trend predictions for 2021.

Skinimalism

At the end of 2020, Pinterest released its annual Pinterest Predicts report for 2021. Its top beauty prediction? A shift towards skinimalism. In short, this means we’ll be seeing more people embrace their skin’s natural texture and adopting minimalistic skincare routines. “Simplifying your skincare regimen is a trend I’m supportive of,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rachel Nazarian. “Whether you’re embracing less makeup, and showcasing your natural skin instead, or perhaps just using smarter products that minimize the number of steps in your regimen, this trend takes us in the right direction.”
Skincare brand Klur believes that “skin wellness can be achieved with well-considered, clean products and minimal maintenance.” In 2020, the brand launched Supreme Seed, a delicate purification mask made with a soothing blend of panthenol, calendula, and cacao.

Celebrity Skincare

Last year, many of our favorite celebrities added skincare brand founder to their resume. Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Pharrell, and Alicia Keys had us all buzzing with curiosity when they announced the release of their lines. “I expect more celebs will launch their own lines,” says marketing consultant and co-founder of Face Flawless Skin Christene Carr. “With men’s grooming rapidly rising in sales, there is room for another male-backed skincare launch this year. I would also like to see someone like Micheal B. Jordan in a partnership with Neutrogena, Kiehl’s, or even Sheamoisture.”
Fenty Skin’s Total Cleans’r Remove-It-All Cleanser is made with a skin-loving blend of ingredients–including acerola cherry, ginkgo Biloba, green tea, fig, and quince–that seamlessly remove dirt, oil, and long-wear makeup without stripping your skin.
Sustainable is the New Clean

For so long, beauty brands have employed the use of single-use plastic packaging. Understanding how harmful this is for the environment, we’ve seen a significant number of brands move towards using packaging made from eco-friendly recyclable materials. “With everyone feeling a sense of individual responsibility for their surroundings, even skincare companies have to answer for their footprint,” Dr. Nazarian says. “Most skincare regimens will require a lifetime (or at least YEARS) of commitment, so sustainable packaging will make a massive impact on our environment.” We expect that brands will continue to find innovative ways to make themselves more eco-conscious as 2021 continues.
Founded by longtime beauty exec and former 10-year CEO of Tweezerman Dr. Conny Wittke and Gurval Caer, Superzero creates zero-waste haircare products. They don’t use plastic or bottles to house their products, and their products don’t use water. Instead, the brand’s shampoo and conditioner bars are made with plant-based ingredients and live in recyclable, chlorine-free cardboard boxes.
Founded by former Sephora executive Tiila Abbitt, Aether Beauty is known for launching the beauty industry’s first zero-waste eyeshadow palette. Since sustainability is at the core of the brand, you’ll find that they implement eco-friendly practices such as using soy-based inks and removing magnets and mirrors from its palettes.

Microbiome-Friendly Skincare

Dr. Nazarian says that skincare that focuses on your skin’s microbiome is “the wave of the future.” When we say microbiome skincare, we’re essentially talking about probiotic-infused products that add bacteria to the skin and help it maintain its optimal balance. We predicted that the microbiome movement would go mainstream last year, and you can expect that it will gain even more traction in the coming months. “Live probiotics boost the health of your skin’s microbiome, and when your skin’s microbiome is healthy, you don’t need complicated skincare,” says Dakota Biotech’s Chief Scientific Officer Maya Ivanjesku. “We have known for years how probiotics play an important role in skin health, helping to treat skin disorders, and alleviating symptoms of acne and eczema.”

Personalized Skincare

Who doesn’t love a product that is made just for them? Bespoke skin products trended throughout last year, and consumers’ desire to have products tailored to their specific skin type and concerns will carry through 2021. “Personalized skincare brands are useful as long as the active ingredients are scientifically-backed,” board-certified Dermatologist Dr. Morgan Rabach says. “I think they will become more popular as we continue to work from home and go into stores less frequently during Covid.”

De-stressing Skincare
Everyone’s stress levels hit an all-time high in 2020 due to the pandemic, and we’re still feeling the effects now. If you’re like us, taking a moment to do your skincare routine is one self-care ritual that has helped you decompress during this unprecedented time. That’s why we foresee skincare brands that utilize destressing ingredients and center around relaxation taking center stage this year.

Next-Gen Supplements

Brands aren’t just focused on treating the skin topically these days. There’s recently been a rise in the number of oral skincare supplements hitting the market. And we’re not just talking about capsules. High-powered gummies and powders are the next wave of skincare supplements. “Supplements are suddenly sexy,” says Founder of ThisThatBeauty and Co-founder of Face Flawless Skin Felicia Walker. “In pandemic-mode, the idea of a daily magical pill (or cocktail of several) makes a bit more sense. I don’t see this school of thought letting up anytime soon.”