Simplified Skin Kits Prove That Less Is More

Photo: Drunk Elephant
All parts of wellness had a shake up this year—how we work out, what we eat, the products we put on our faces, the way we rest—and the reverberations of those changes will be felt into 2021 and beyond. Here's how the innovations born of this year will usher us into the future.

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.

Shop skin kits

1. EltaMD Skin Recovery System Facial Skin Care Set, $100

EltaMD Skin Recovery System Facial Skin Care Set - $100 Shop Now

2. epi.logic Sensitive Skin Rx, $380

simplified skin-care routine
epi.logic Sensitive Skin Rx - $380 Shop Now

3. Drunk Elephant Glowy the Night Kit, $98

simplified skin-care routine
Drunk Elephant Glowy the Night Kit - $98 Shop Now

4. Fenty Beauty All Four One 4-piece AM + PM Skincare Set, $112

simplified skin-care routine
All Four One 4-piece AM + PM Skincare Set – $112 Shop Now

Explore the rest of our 2021 Wellness Trends

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