Each year an array of new skincare ingredients make an appearance in the skincare world. But with so many different options to choose from ‚Äď all promising to smooth lines, fight pigmentation and enhance radiance ‚Äď it can be tricky to know which ones you should be investing in. We chat with the skincare experts and find out what skincare ingredients we should have our eyes on in 2020.
The return of tried-and-true ingredients
We will see innovative and new ingredients emerge in the beauty world in 2020. Yet there is also a handful of tried-and-true ingredients set for impressive makeovers in the not-too-distant future. According to Katy Bacon, education director for Murad Australia, two superstars of the skincare world ‚Äď retinol and vitamin C ‚Äď will make a big comeback in 2020.
‚ÄúThese staple heroes in skincare have long been known for their results but have been overshadowed recently by trendier ingredients such as CBD [cannabidiol] and adaptogens,‚ÄĚ says Bacon. ‚ÄúVitamin C and retinols are considered the gold standard in anti-ageing and skin defence, which is why they are dermatologists‚Äô top picks when it comes to getting results.‚ÄĚ
New Zealand‚Äôs Caci says: ‚ÄúVitamin A, a key component in retinol, has become and will continue to be a hot topic as we move through 2020. It has come to the attention of many in 2019, but we see the demand for vitamin-rich products blowing up in 2020. The evolution of this trend has come from consumer demand for treatments and products that nourish the skin with active ingredients, made up of all the vitamins we want and need.‚ÄĚ Bacon says that retinol is ‚Äúclinically proven‚ÄĚ to speed cell turnover, enhance skin brightness and tone, smooth texture, and help skin look more youthful all-round. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs also part preventative and part corrective, helping to minimise the signs of ageing you see, and the ones you can‚Äôt see yet. ‚ÄúHowever, it‚Äôs well documented that retinol can have an irritant effect on skin,‚ÄĚ she adds.
Bacon says that we should expect to see next-generation vitamin C and retinols that offer more potency, better delivery systems and minimised irritation and skin sensitivity. ‚ÄúIn 2020 we will be launching an exciting new vitamin C duo,‚ÄĚ says Bacon. ‚ÄúDr Murad has always seen vitamin C as a gold standard to support optimal skin health. It not only brightens but defends skin from environmental aggressors.‚ÄĚ
More effective ingredients thanks to innovation
In addition to revamped hero ingredients such as vitamins A and C, we‚Äôll start to see skincare brands innovate the ways in which these effective ingredients are delivered to our skin. ‚ÄúFor Murad and other professional skincare brands, technology takes the lead in innovation, including ‚Äėencapsulation‚Äô advances leading to precision-delivered ingredients and enhanced ingredient results,‚ÄĚ explains Bacon. Bacon says consumers can expect premium and professional skincare brands to continue to innovate in this space.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôll see technologies that deliver traditional ‚Äėworker-dog‚Äô ingredients ‚Äď think retinols, vitamin Cs and alpha hydroxy acids ‚Äď to the skin in different ways,‚ÄĚ she says. As a result, the effectiveness of many ingredients will be enhanced, thus driving a results-focused approach to skincare.
As well as seeing more of certain skincare ingredients, there is a handful of ingredients that we will start to see less of as brands gravitate towards more sustainable formulation. According to Emma Hobson, director of education for Dermalogica Asia Pacific, water-reduced or waterless beauty formulations are set to be big news in 2020 in beyond. Currently, hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from water scarcity, but according to the United Nations, that figure will grow significantly in the near future. By 2025, 1.8 billion people could be living in regions with absolute water scarcity, while two-thirds of the global population could be living under water-stressed conditions.
‚ÄúWaterless formulations not only reduce the stress of global consumption but they also do not require preservatives and can fall into the ‚Äėclean‚Äô category of skincare,‚ÄĚ explains Hobson. To date, most waterless beauty products have been created in bar form, but very soon we‚Äôll start to see water ‚Äėalternatives‚Äô being used in formulations.
Brands are turning to fruit- and plant-derived waters, such as the likes of coconut water and birch tree water, as alternatives in products. Reducing the water component in products is a step in the right direction, but brands will also need to consider the significant volume of freshwater used in the production process of many products as making a single skincare product can take litres upon litres of freshwater to create.
Skin-health enhancing bacteria
In 2020 we‚Äôll see more innovation around ingredients that work with the skin‚Äôs microbiome to create healthy skin. ‚ÄúFor overall skin health, the latest scientific insights tell us that healthy skin starts with the perfect ratio of three crucial factors: hydration, a strong lipid barrier and optimal skin microbiome,‚ÄĚ says Hobson. ‚ÄúIf any of these factors are imbalanced, the skin will look and feel compromised. An imbalanced microbiome is associated with many diseases, including psoriasis, allergies, eczema, contact dermatitis, acne, poor wound healing, skin ulcers, dandruff, yeast and fungal infections, rosacea, and accelerated skin ageing.‚ÄĚ
Bacon says we should expect to see a rising focus on the microbiome‚Äôs relationship to broader skin health around protecting the skin‚Äôs individual and unique biodiversity. ‚ÄúPrebiotic and adaptogenic ingredients can help rebalance and protect our skin‚Äôs flora. We can expect to see an explosion in probiotics-powered skincare brands and research into personalised skincare,‚ÄĚ she adds.
Hobson says one of the microbiome-supporting ingredients we‚Äôll start to see more of in skincare is diglucosyl gallic acid. ‚ÄúThis next-generation molecule is activated by the skin‚Äôs natural microbiome to brighten hyperpigmentation ‚Äď one of several factors that can contribute to the appearance of dark circles under the eyes,‚ÄĚ she explains. ‚ÄúThe skin‚Äôs microflora converts diglucosyl gallic acid into trihydroxybenzoic acid, which has four times the antioxidant power of vitamin C and is 60 times more efficient than kojic acid at brightening the skin. It also acts as a skin protectant and helps prevent inflammation.‚ÄĚ
Founder of Gallin√©e, Marie Drago, is particularly excited about the potential that microbiome-friendly skincare and ingredients could have to tackle certain skin ailments in the near future. ‚ÄúI think the way that acne and eczema are treated is going to change radically over the next few years,‚ÄĚ she says. ‚ÄúI believe it is going to go from a very anti-bacterial view to a very pro-bacterial one. There are already medical start-up companies recolonising your skin with the right kind of bacteria, effectively curing the disease.‚ÄĚ
Skincare with the potential to turn off the genes that contribute to ageing while activating the genes that give us healthy, resilient skin is on the horizon according to beauty insiders. Epigenetics ‚Äď the study of changing gene expression without changing underlying DNA ‚Äď could hold the answer to more youthful, healthy skin. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a fascinating field that‚Äôs on the verge of exploding mainstream in the field of skincare,‚ÄĚ says Hobson. ‚ÄúScientists are discovering there are significant benefits to influencing the expression of our DNA to help skin look and act younger while being more resistant to sun, pollution exposure and stress,‚ÄĚ confirms Bacon. Hobson explains the premise uses certain active ingredients that have the ability to bio-mimic functions that the skin does naturally to potentially reverse signs of ageing.