There was a whole lot of stuff worth buzzing about in 2018: Oat milk! Digital fitness! And of course, my personal favorite, new innovations in beauty. From the rise of plant-based retinol to vitamin C everything, there was a whole lot worth talking about this year surrounding advances in beauty technology, and new ways that we are all using some old-school ingredients. So what were the trendiest natural ingredients in skin care and hair care in 2018?
According to Google Trends, the top five trending natural ingredients by volume and growth were: Witch hazel, aloe, neem, rosehip, and rice water. None of these ingredients are exactly “new”—you’ve likely been using aloe on your sunburns since you were little, and rice water has been a staple in Japanese skin care for centuries—but they’ve recently become a part of a broader conversation thanks to new applications and new products touting them as heroes.
Let’s quickly break down the benefits of each, shall we?
Witch hazel: With hazel can act as an oily and acne-prone skin savior. “Witch hazel is both astringent and anti-inflammatory, so it has a drying, toning, and tightening action on the skin,” says Jeni Sykes, esthetician at CAP Beauty’s New York City location. “As it does this, it soothes redness and swelling.” You’ll often see it as an ingredient in toners, but be careful using it if your skin is already feeling super dry.
Aloe: In addition to soothing those sunburns (let me take this opportunity to issue a gentle reminder that you should be wearing sunscreen in the winter, too!), aloe can help hydrate any sort of dry skin issues. It’s rich in antioxidants and acts as an anti-inflammatory, too, so it can be just as useful in the cold-weather months as it always has been in the warm ones. A pro tip, care of model Stella Maxwell? “You can take [aloe vera] fresh out of the leaf. It’s amazing just to sit with,” she said earlier this year. “If you’re watching TV, you can throw it on and let it sit on your skin. It’s really hydrating and completely natural.”
Neem: Neem oil isn’t exactly the sweetest smelling ingredient, but there’s plenty of research out there to back the fact that it’s worth dealing with its harsh odor for the sake of its skin-saving properties. It’s lauded for its abilities to nourish dry skin and wrinkles, stimulate collagen production, reduce scars and treat acne.
Rosehip: Rosehip oil is basically Robin to your skin’s Batman. It acts as a regenerative agent to help heal and hydrate your skin, and can actually reduce the appearance of acne scars and stretch marks. In addition to using it on your face and body, you can also put a few drops of the stuff on your scalp to re-moisturize if you’re feeling dry and flaky.
Rice water: As mentioned, rice water has been featured in Japanese beauty routines for centuries thanks to its hydrating properties. It’s said to be rich in amino acids and antioxidants, plus packed with hydrating vitamins like B and E.
Want to try some of 2018’s trendiest ingredients for yourself? Here are some products to help get you started.
The trendiest skin-care ingredients of 2018
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