From ethical beauty to blue light skincare, here’s a rundown on all the beauty trends we foresee as making it big this year
At the beginning of every year, experts and beauty enthusiasts predict the trends that are going to be the most popular in that year judging by what consumers want and where technology is headed. Even though 2020 was an unpredictable year and for the most part, we stayed indoors, beauty trends for the new year shaped accordingly. The pandemic has enabled people to reappraise their consumer behaviour and adapt to the new normal. It’s safe to say that, among other things, even beauty trends for the new year are what you would expect in a post-pandemic world. In light of this, here is a rundown of the top 10 beauty trends we predict is going to be all the rage in 2021.
- Ethical and green beauty
If there is any seemingly significant change that the pandemic has brought about in our lives, it is without a doubt our take on sustainability. The circumstances opened our eyes and made us aware, in a way, of how much we take our planet and it’s gifts for granted. Consumers are now certainly more mindful of the choices they are making. One way of doing this is by being more conscious in everyday choices, for example, the kinds of beauty products we use. There has been a definitive shift to more natural and plant-based products and ingredients as consumers are now more cognizant of using chemical and artificial products. Buyers understand the impact they can have on their skin’s health, as well as the planet in the long term. In choosing the right products, it is very important to ensure that they check the boxes of being sustainable and eco-friendly. In this context, the term ‘sustainable’ is used figuratively but what exactly does it stand for? The idea can be broken down into two different aspects, ethical ingredients and ethical business practices. The former incorporates cruelty free, non-toxic, vegan, and plant based beauty products. Plant-based beauty products essentially replace animal-derived content with a mix of natural botanical ingredients. Ethical business practices include sustainable packaging, fair sourcing, and proper waste management among other things.
- Transparency in ingredients
Drawing from the first beauty trend, transparency in ingredients is another important aspect that is going to be heavily considered by consumers all year round. The global pandemic has made us rethink our idea of what it means to shop consciously. The key to switching to sustainable products is being mindful of the ingredients that go behind making some of your favourites. Hence, transparency and awareness of these opaque supply chains is going to be at the front and centre of the mind of most consumers before purchasing a product. In fact, what ingredients are used and how they are sourced will continue to be important much beyond 2021, as consumers want to be aware of what is in their products as well as what the mission is, of brands they choose to support. As more and more brands lean towards cleaner and more sustainable manufacturing, we are hopeful that this beauty ‘trend’ will become a norm in the near future.
- Blue light skincare
The period of quarantine combined with prolonged exposure to screens exacerbated damage on our skin that was otherwise fatigued by constant digital exposure. Scientifically known as high energy visible (HEV) light, blue light is emitted from tech screens—as well as from the sun, alongside UV rays. The damage from exposure to blue light is cumulative and ranges from disruptive sleep cycle to accelerating photoageing. This manifests in the form of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, deepened wrinkles, and dull skin. As such, a growing beauty trend off late has been incorporating blue light filters into skincare products as a host of brands are now lining up to join spurred innovation in the HEV-blocking skincare space.
- Hand care
It goes without saying that handwashing has never been more important and hand sanitizer has never been more popular. With the WHO stating that one of the primary ways we can combat the novel COVID-19 is by frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizers, hand care is going to be big in 2021. Most of us have experienced or are experiencing extremely dry and sensitive hands as a result of the frequent handwashing. As such, hand creams have also become an extremely popular skincare product for making the hands somewhat supple and hydrated after all that scrubbing. This ‘trend’ of handwashing is not likely to go away soon, as we are more focused on hygiene and have incorporated such routines as part of our lifestyle. Hence, hand care is also going to become seemingly normal in the days to come as opposed to a routine.
- Zoom treatments
The work from home situation as a result of the pandemic has forced us all to spend unusually long periods scrutinising our own faces on video conferencing apps, the frontrunner being Zoom. Dubbed as the ‘Zoom effect’, this has led to a lot of people wanting to get enhancements or treatments done for parts of their face. People are becoming more aware of their appearance as they are constantly seeing themselves on video. Think fillers in cheekbones and in the chin, Botox placed in the neck muscles, and radio-frequency with micro-needling for overall tightening. All these treatments and more to tweak features of the face are becoming more popular due to the sheer effect of Zoom and the fact that people are now analysing their faces much more critically than they did before. That being said, even though now may seem like an opportune time to undergo an aesthetic treatment of your choice, it is still imperative to do your research and only go to an experienced medical professional.
- Radiofrequency in skin tightening
The pandemic put a pause on scientific innovations and launches. So, expect all the halted innovations to finally launch in the new year. One such technology that has started being introduced in clinics globally is skin tightening using radiofrequency. Just like lasers, radiofrequency is energy. It is in fact electrical energy that harnesses heat at a superficial level to tighten skin and improve texture as well as skin tone. It stimulates your skin’s fibroblasts that improve collagen production, tighten skin, and reduce wrinkles and fine lines. It is non-invasive and not painful (feels like a hot stone massage), which makes it one of our top skin and body treatments to try this year.
The age of social media combined with our prolonged exposure to staring at ourselves on screen thanks to Zoom, has made the beauty trend of injectables increasingly commonplace and it is only set to become more popular in 2021. It is a fairly easy, minimally-invasive procedure that has instant results and lasts over an extensive period when compared with traditional plastic surgeries or skincare products. Along with loyal clients of the injectable market, this year is set to welcome an influx of newcomers. With each passing year, botox and fillers are becoming demystified as more and more people opt to get these treatments done for lifting and/or enhancing their facial features.
- Hair loss treatments
Alongside the much talked about ‘maskne’ and stress-breakouts, the uncertainty of the pandemic has led to an increase in hair loss. While preventative measures are certainly going to peak in the new year, hair loss treatments are going to be the first stop for most people. Platelet-rich plasma or PRP therapy for hair loss is one such popular treatment that will seemingly trend in 2021. This is a medical treatment in which your own blood is drawn, processed, and then injected into the scalp. It is ideal for people with thinning or wispy hair and can be used by both men and women. Proven to show results in patients suffering from androgenic alopecia (hair loss on top of the head) as well as hair thinning due to lifestyle, hormones, and other factors.
- Bangs are back
Most of 2020 was spent trying our hand at various hairstyles in the privacy of our own homes. Some of these experiments succeeded and some didn’t. But the one attempt that remained constant was the 60s inspired Bardot bangs that almost all of us tried to recreate at some point. With salons finally open, there is no time like the present to get these bangs done professionally and experiment with this fun hairstyle that is going to be all the rage this year. The eyelash-grazing fringe instantly changes the framing of your face and makes your appearance chic but casual without any added effort.
- Minimal makeup
The ‘less is more approach’ is predicted to be popular this year when it comes to makeup. The ship of cakey and heavy makeup has long sailed. We’re talking minimal base with dewy skin and stained lips and cheeks. The new normal has us all covering half our face with a mask whenever we step out. This has proven to be quite the predicament for those of us who swear by bold lips. While the mandated wearing of masks is not likely to go away soon, the beauty trend that will seemingly replace a full-face of glam is minimal makeup. Just swatch your creamy go-to matte lip with a stain and opt for a concealer to hide any marks. This is also less likely to transfer to your mask as opposed to foundation.While there are certain lip stains that tend to dry out the lips, many of today’s formulas contain hydrating ingredients that prevent the color from settling into lip lines or flaking. For extra care, tap the stain with your fingertips to set it in place. For an added natural effect, use the fingers to gently apply a hint of the same lip stain on your cheeks to get a uniform glow.
It is fairly obvious that consumers are now more mindful of their health and this trend is likely to last beyond 2021 as well. What is evident from the trends predicted for this year is that the beauty space is adapting into the new normal, much like the rest of us.