2020 certainly turned out to be a different year than many of us expected. Despite the many negative events that took place, there’s one good thing the year brought us: an increased focus on self-care.
With a majority of the population spending more time at home than ever, many of us have spent our extra time face-masking and going makeup-free. It’s also given us the opportunity to experiment with new ingredients to elevate our skincare routines.
If you’re looking to carry some of the best skincare trends from 2020 into the new year, this list is for you. Keep reading to learn about 10 skincare ingredients that can transform your skin in 2021.
Hydrated skin equals healthy skin. One of the best ingredients you can use to achieve this is hyaluronic acid (HA).
HA is a clear, gel-like substance that is naturally produced in the body. It gives your skin structure and helps to maintain a dewy, plump look. Unfortunately, the amount of hyaluronic acid produced by the body decreases as we age—which leads to wrinkles and sagging.
The good news is that hyaluronic acid can be applied topically to the skin, helping to maintain its elasticity and keep it hydrated. Upon application, hyaluronic acid works as a humectant, drawing water molecules to the skin to provide a boost of moisture. In fact, hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water!
So how can you incorporate this magical ingredient into your routine? Hyaluronic acid is found in all kinds of skincare products, from creams and masks to serums and eye creams. If you’re looking for a great place to start when using this ingredient, consider a serum—this will deliver a concentrated boost of HA to the surface of your skin for long-lasting hydration.
Tip: When using a hyaluronic acid serum, apply it to damp skin. This will ensure the serum pulls water toward the skin rather than from it.
Retinol, which is a vitamin A derivative, is one of the most powerful anti-aging ingredients on the market.
When applied to the skin, retinol breaks down into small molecules that penetrate the outer layer of the skin. It works to boost the production of collagen and elastin—both of which are essential to a young, healthy-looking complexion. This helps to combat the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
In addition to fighting signs of aging, retinol is a fantastic ingredient for those who struggle with acne or textured skin. Retinol has an exfoliating effect, which helps to keep pores unclogged and maintain a smooth skin texture. Whether you have active breakouts or acne scarring, using retinol is a great way to keep your skin clear and smooth.
One thing to keep in mind is that retinol can be a very potent ingredient, depending on the strength of the formula you choose. Always be careful when combining retinol cream or serum with other skincare ingredients. Try to use retinol exclusively at night, as it can make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure.
If you’re someone with sensitive or overly dry skin, retinol may be too harsh. However, this doesn’t mean you have to go without all of the anti-aging benefits it provides.
An amazing alternative is bakuchiol: a plant extract that offers similar benefits to retinol, minus the potential irritation. This natural ingredient increases cell turnover and boosts collagen production. These benefits fight signs of aging such as sagging, photodamage, and wrinkles and fine lines.
While bakuchiol isn’t quite as popular as retinol (yet), more skincare brands are beginning to take notice of this up-and-coming ingredient and include it in their formulations. Whether you have sensitive skin or are just looking for a more gentle alternative, this ingredient is definitely worth trying.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, which plays an essential role in the body. When applied to the skin, niacinamide offers a variety of benefits, including:
- Builds proteins in the skin
- Locks in moisture by strengthening skin’s barrier
- Protects skin from environmental damage
- Reduces inflammation and redness
- Minimizes pores
- Regulates skin’s oil production
- Treats acne and hyperpigmentation
- Fights fine lines and wrinkles
As you can see, this one ingredient works to treat quite a few different skincare concerns! If you’re someone who prefers to keep your routine to only a few products, niacinamide is definitely one worth investing in due to the variety of benefits it offers.
Squalane has become increasingly popular in the last few years. This lightweight oil performs similar to your skin’s natural oils, so it’s an amazing ingredient to use to keep your skin hydrated.
If you’ve done any kind of research on squalane, you’ve probably come across the term “squalene” and wondered if there’s a difference. Essentially, “squalene” is produced naturally in the body, and like hyaluronic acid, these levels naturally decrease as we age. This is where squalane comes into the picture.
Applying squalane topically can help to boost skin’s moisture levels and collagen production, keeping skin firm and plump. Squalane is safe for all skin types, whether your complexion is dry, oily, sensitive, or acne-prone. It provides a deep boost of hydration without clogging pores or feeling heavy on the skin, making it a great product for everyday use.
Because squalane is an oil, it’s often best when used toward the end of your skincare routine, whether it’s an ingredient in your moisturizer or you’re using pure squalane oil. Applying it in one of the last steps of your regimen will help to really lock in hydration.
We all know the benefits of taking CBD in the form of a supplement—but have you ever thought about applying it to your skin?
CBD-infused skincare has become one of the biggest trends this past year. From serums, to cleansers, to moisturizers, to oils, CBD can be found in just about everything nowadays.
Research shows that CBD has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, which can help treat skin concerns like dryness, inflammation, and free radical damage. CBD may also help to treat and prevent acne, due to its ability to balance oil production in the skin.
It’s important to know that since CBD is somewhat new to the skincare world, research is limited. However, it’s considered to be safe, and many rave about what it does for their complexion.
Lactic acid is naturally found in dairy products like milk, which has been historically used to soften the skin. While you don’t see many people using milk in their skincare routines today, you’ll see the use of lactic acid. This component of milk can deliver beautiful results for the skin.
In general, lactic acid is known for its ability to exfoliate the skin, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and fade dark spots. When applied, it gently sloughs away old skin cells to reveal fresh new ones, resulting in a soft, radiant complexion.
In addition to this, lactic acid helps to keep skin moisturized—which makes it an ideal exfoliator for those with dry or sensitive skin.
Resveratrol is a plant compound known for its antioxidant properties. It naturally occurs in certain foods, like grapes, peanuts, cocoa, and some berries. However, it can also be taken in the form of a supplement or applied directly to the skin.
This powerhouse ingredient works to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and sun exposure. It also increases collagen production in the skin, helping to maintain its elasticity and prevent the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.
As though those benefits aren’t enough, resveratrol also contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help to calm the skin and prevent the growth of acne-causing bacteria.
Just like the rest of the ingredients on this list, resveratrol is becoming increasingly popular in the skincare industry. It can be found in serums, moisturizers, and even treatment masks.
When you think of mushrooms, you probably think of a delicious food dish. However, in addition to being tasty (and highly nutritious!) mushrooms are packed with skincare benefits.
Mushrooms contain riboflavin and thiamin, which promote healthy collagen levels in the skin. They also help to reduce inflammation and due to their antioxidant properties, fight off damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. The result? Glowing, younger-looking skin.
There are a variety of different skincare products out there that include mushrooms, like treatment masks that work to nourish your skin while it goes through the regeneration process at night. As with any skincare ingredient, the more you consistently use it, the better. Results take time!
Last but certainly not least, caffeine is another ingredient that’s made its way into many new skincare products on the market, especially eye creams.
Caffeine that comes from coffee beans is considered to be an antioxidant, which helps to protect cells from free radical damage. In addition to this, caffeine-infused products can increase circulation and really perk up the skin by tightening it and making it look more awake.
These effects are temporary, so regular use is required to see results. But, if you feel like your skin is looking especially dull or puffy, a skincare product with caffeine may do the trick.
That completes this list of trending skincare ingredients for 2021! We hope this inspires you to switch up your routine and give your skin some extra pampering this year.