Ask a dermatologist which products you need for healthy skin, and you’ll be able to count them on one hand. But for consumers, it’s been hard to resist the siren call of a beautiful shelfie, and so “more is more” (more products, more steps) has been the dominating beauty aesthetic for the past few years.
In 2020, however, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Americans to think about their health in a new way—prioritizing habits that are truly good for them over ones that just look good to others. “A focus on health over Insta-worthy aesthetics has slowed down beauty-hype culture,” says Clare Varga, head of beauty at trend forecasting firm WGSN. And as a result, consumers are finally ready to listen to what the experts have been telling them all along and “focus more on functional, high-performance and results-driven products,” Varga says. In the coming year, we’ll see skin-care brands lean into this “quality over quantity” approach, delivering targeted, step-based skin sets that serve up the essentials in a single purchase.
The launches started in the final months of 2020, with Elta MD’s three-step Skin Recovery System, Nudeskin’s four-step regimen, and Six Gldn’s new line designed to “cut through the excess” with a back-to-basics, five-step kit. Looking ahead, get ready for a new system from celeb esthetician Joanna Czech, and a just-released three-step skin-care system from Alo Yoga that’s meant to simplify your post workout regimen.
Next year we’ll also see brands repackaging their existing products into easier-to-use kits, like Fenty Beauty’s new four-step morning and evening routines, Drunk Elephant’s issue-specific sets (targeting dullness, skin laxity, and uneven texture), and Dermstore’s “Problem/Solution” systems which include products from multiple brands that aid in hydration, anti-aging, and fighting acne.
“People come to me, and I have a little prescription pad, and I'm like: ‘This is what you need,’” says Chaneve Jeanniton, MD, the Brooklyn-based oculofacial plastic surgeon and founder of epi.logic skin-care line, who tipped us off to this trend. “They hold onto that and they take a photo and you can see there's a sense of satisfaction in having a plan.” Simplified, easy-to-follow routines, whether from the brain of a dermatologist or in a pre-boxed kit, will take the guesswork out of taking care of our complexions and help all of us step up our skin care in 2021.
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2. epi.logic Sensitive Skin Rx, $380
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