Brands Forecast Skincare Trends That Will Be Big In 2023—And Ones That Will Be Over
As we look forward to next year, for the latest edition of our ongoing series posing questions relevant to indie beauty, we asked 31 skincare brand founders, executives and experts the following questions: What skincare trend do you see rising in 2023? What 2022 skincare trend do you think will be over?
- Alli Reed Founder, Stratia
I think a big skincare trend in 2023 will be embracing imperfections. Rather than flawless (and filtered) glass skin or dolphin skin, we'll see more healthy, comfortable, glowing skin with breakouts or wrinkles or hyperpigmentation. Increased accessibility and representation on social media will continue to diversify what "good skin" really looks like.
One trend I think (hope) we'll leave in 2022 is fear-based marketing, particularly around "clean" beauty. Selling a product solely based on what ingredients aren't in it, particularly if those assertions aren't backed by science, won't be enough anymore. Consumers are focusing more and more on what is in a product and what it actually does and are less susceptible to gimmicky soundbites.
- Jillian Wright Aesthetician and VP of Business Strategy, Willow Beauties
When you think of freeze drying, the first thing that comes to mind is an astronaut eating freeze dried ice cream in space or as a little kid having your parents buy it for you at the Natural History Museum. These days, freeze-dried ingredients have infiltrated the skincare industry.
With brands like Snow Fox Skincare, Abi Skincare, Oxygenceuticals and Get Rael, these little spheres harness the power of freeze-dried preservation with power players like hyaluronic acid, glutathione, collagen and vitamin C. It mitigates the use of fillers or unnecessary ingredients making it a purer way to harness the power of the ingredient. Not only is it fun to use, the process actually locks in key nutrients and benefits being activated upon use.
As for trends moving on out, I'd hope it's synthetic retinoids. I hope people move towards botanical solutions like vitamin A. You can find vitamin A in pumpkin, cranberry seed oil and carrot, to name a few.
Certain retinoids irritate and thin the skin, causing breakouts, including cystic acne, reactive skin and redness. Even when it is cushioned in ingredients like sodium hyaluronate or sandwiched between hydrating formulas, it is hard to justify the use of this harsh ingredient.
There are many options including peptides, stem cells and botanicals that better serve the skin barrier and regeneration process for a successful "aging through the decades" approach.
- Kimberlee Alexandria-Day Founder, Ode to Self Skincare and Wellness
I see preventative and a holistic approach to skincare rising in the new year, with the minimalist approach becoming more prevalent, but in an intentional manner. Consumers are really looking to hone in on products that are really focused on the health and understanding of their skin rather than reactive treatments (i.e., products that promise instant gratification rather than long-term goals).
I believe we'll see the shift in conscious consumerism, where shoppers, especially gen Xers, are looking past the frills of some brands that are heavily gen Z-focused and focused on products that actually do what they say to fill the gaps in their own routines especially as we age and—bonus—are pocketbook friendly.
The trend I believe will be over by 2023 are beauty tools. I believe that tools are more of a commodity rather than a "need.” And the things these tools can do, while it seems like magic, you can actually do with your own hands (i.e., lymphatic drainage and facial massages). I don't believe that these are necessary for healthy skin and something that people will move further away from.
- Mark Curry Co-Founder, The Inkey List
What will remain hot is skincare, but better, people wanting to achieve both a better look (no filter filer, glass, dewy skin) at the same time as utilizing formulas with actives that work.
Transparency is going nowhere. Propagating confusion? Spreading BS? Not being understanding about consumer concerns, questions, wants and needs about who you are and how you are as a business? Then, expect a tough future.
What will not be hot is 10-step routines. Consumers, from both life complexity and feeling a pinch in the pockets, will want less think simpler and more cost efficiency.
In business, "trust me" messaging will not be hot. Mega influencers and celebrities are on the decline. Involving the community and galvanizing word of mouth through smaller, closer trusted sources will start to win out.
- Marcia Kilgore Founder, Beauty Pie
We had two years on lockdown where a whole new cohort of women became armchair cosmetic scientists. They know their skincare ingredients, their SLS/SLES-free formulations, the difference between retin-A and retinol and retinal. As a result, customers are challenging the status quo, and mainstream beauty companies whose previous incarnations were just as marketing machines may find themselves on the back foot.
- Psyche Terry Founder and CEO, Urban Hydration
As Mrs. Texas, America’s Most Beautiful for 2022, I am excited about the skin minimalism trend that is going to be hot in 2023. As a beauty queen, we help lead trends, and our goal this year was to do more with less and look like more with less. This means that dewy skin and clear skin is going to be major in 2023.
At Urban Hydration, I expect our cleansers that really pull and extract and help eliminate unwanted patches, marks and bumps to be on a surge. We expect ingredient-led non-pharmaceutical ingredients to be exactly what customers are shopping to get the look of natural makeup without even wearing makeup or wearing light foundation or powders.
I think DIY skincare was hot, and it won’t be hot in 2023. Customers are savvy and getting smarter by the day. They are realizing, to really get the formulation and the reaction they are seeking, it won’t come from boiling an aloe leaf and pouring the goo on your face.
There are actual mixtures and intentional formulations that help get the glow that we seek, and as much as I wish I could do it at home, I’m no chemist, nor do I have the time for trial and error like I did during the pandemic.
- Michelle Brett CEO, Ren Clean Skincare
As the trend for health continues to grow consumers will become more immersed in microbiome health and how over time this has progressed from gut to skincare, with probiotic ingredients helping restore the skin microbiome.
Bio-fermentation is the next big thing in skincare, with microbiome-friendly ingredients already starting to be recognized to better penetrate the skin and increase potency, described as “kombucha for the skin.”
This is only going to build going into 2023 as skincare-savvy consumers demand greater results from their products and regimes and essences start to play a role as skincare-boosting treatments that enhance the absorption and performance of serums and moisturizers.
Sustainably sourced bio-fermented ingredients will also play a part in the consumer journey as we continue to focus on the environment and ensuring ingredients are sourced responsibly to help preserve and protect native ecosystems, protecting the planet for future generations.
We know that consumers have evolved to become increasingly educated about skincare ingredients, their benefits and following a skincare regime that works. Consumers do their research, and they know their ingredients better than ever before and what they are looking for, be it retinol, hyaluronic acid or vitamin C.
Therefore, they are no longer interested or swayed by a “gimmicky” brand or launch like they used to be. Going forward, this is going to impact skincare launches that can’t back up their products with serious science and credible ingredients.
2023 will see a shift from launching products based on trends and focusing on efficacy and results-driven skincare. Alongside this, consumers will look to dermatologists as the experts and increasingly search for their recommendations and authoritative guidance.
- Sang Lee CEO, FaceTory
Skin barrier protection and restoration will be trending in 2023. As consumers learn about the importance of the skin barrier, they will look for skincare products that protect and restore their skin to look healthy and younger. Fermented pears are one of the trending ingredients filled with vitamin A, which grants them a hydrating effect to protect their skin barrier.
Slugging will be trending down in 2023. Slugging is a skincare trend that [features] slathering your face with petroleum jelly, and it was trending at the beginning of 2022. It is one of the ways to protect your skin barrier, but it is not recommended by some dermatologists because it could clog your pores when you use an excessive amount of petroleum to cover your skin.
- Dia Foley Founder and CEO, Community Sixty-Six
Skin wellness will continue to be in the forefront of 2023. Achieving a healthy glow starts with our skin barrier health, so we will continue to see ingredients that help to retain water better, keep skin hydrated, plumped, and smooth.
Not only for your skin but the planet, we will see a less-is-better approach, no more over-aggressive 12 steps. Products will be developed to give your skin exactly what it needs in less steps while being safe for people and the planet. This means fewer bottles and jars filling up landfills.
As prices rise, consumers will seek out ease of use and affordability in multifaceted products, fueling the makeup-skincare hybrid category. Sunscreen will be in daily demand as one of the most important skincare requirements for preventing skin damage. The damage of unprotected skin is real, and finally consumers are seeing it is easier to prevent damage than to correct it.
Consumers are becoming more aware that nutrition, hormone balance and gut health have an effect on our skin. With busy lifestyles and better aging goals, we will see a rise in beauty supplements space. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, probiotics and some notable skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, that will help kickstart any healthy skin journey from the inside out.
The one trend for me that is most alarming is sunscreen contouring or applying sunscreen to certain parts of your face or body so others parts tan, giving a contoured look. Leaving skin exposed to harmful sun rays to promote tanning rather than using makeup to achieve it is crazy! Bottom line, when the skin gets darker, that equals DNA damage.
- Gilah Elul Co-Founder and CMO, Muri Lelu
We all know that self-care and skincare experienced a major boon during the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many of us searching for ways to soothe and manage anxiety, conversations around stress have taken center stage in the beauty conversation.
Recent studies are proving what we've long suspected: stress and lack of sleep are leading accelerators of the aging process. It happens on a cellular level, too, with stress weakening our barrier and impacting skin cells' ability to regenerate.
In 2023, we foresee the industry continuing to solve for the impact chronic stress has on skin through both new product development and rituals. We'll see formulas that explicitly address the ties between reduced stress, mind-spirit balance and skin health.
As a cannabis skincare brand celebrating the plant's clinically proven abilities to soothe skin, Muri Lelu will definitely be leading the trend with education around our hero ingredient, along with new product releases that speak to skin stress reduction.
We'll also dive deep into rituals and healthy skin habits we can all easily implement, everything from aromatherapy and facial massage techniques to skin cycling and less-is-more skinimalism to de-stress skin and keep it healthy.
- Muri Lelu Founder and CEO, Muri Lelu
The trend that will be over is slugging. There are so many less dramatic ways—and less offensive to your bed linens—to ensure that your moisture levels are on lock, especially if you're using actives like retinol or AHAs in your routine. We predict that the days of leaving thick petroleum-based gelatinous substances on our faces overnight will start to fade.
Another trend that will be over is complicated multi-step skincare routines. As we move out of the pandemic and return to the daily hustle and bustle, streamlining is the way to go. We favor skinimialism, reducing stress through simple, pared-down, yet luxurious rituals.
- Jordan Samuel Pacitti Founder and CEO, Jordan Samuel Skin
As your skin is an amazing organ, the one thing I don’t love is different yearly trends. I find that trends always seem to create a swinging pendulum of extremes. People were into daily exfoliation for a while, talking up lactic and glycolic acids. Then, the trend turned to barrier repair and glorifying ceramides.
All these steps and ingredients are important and can serve as useful tools. However, when skincare becomes too trendy, it feels very all-eggs-in-one basket, which very rarely translates to happy and healthy skin.
That being said, the trend that I think should and will be coming forward, whether this year or beyond, is routine consistency—finding something that works for you and staying the course rather than changing products based on a one-size-fits-all industry-wide movement. People are starting to learn consistency is the greatest step to healthy skin and, little by little, are buying less and staying the course.
- Chris Tomassian Founder and Dermatologist, The Dermatology Collective
In 2023, we are going to see a shift back to minimalist, drugstore skincare. 2022 was filled with many new celebrity skincare lines, hundreds of new product launches from brands which led people to have over-complicated, expensive and unnecessary routines.
Also, while 2022 focused on exfoliation for glass skin, I think that 2023 will be focused on dewy skin, with a focus on skin barrier friendly ingredients like niacinamide, squalane, ceramides.
I also think that slugging with a petrolatum-based product will reemerge in 2023. It is an easy and super affordable way to limit water loss during sleep and gives you a plump hydrated dewy skin in the morning.
- Dorion Renaud Founder, Buttah Skin By Dorion Renaud
I think we'll see more men-driven skincare products and beauty lines geared towards men in 2023. It's definitely something that we're seeing more of at Buttah. More men are embracing skincare routines and really taking the time to educate themselves and search for products that work best for them.
Glass skin could be a skincare trend I can see being over by next year. I think it's important to embrace the complexities and imperfections in your skin. Even though healthy skin is definitely important, it's OK not to strive for total perfection at all times!
- Jessica Maxcy Brand Manager, Eight Saints
We are seeing niacinamide picking up steam as an active ingredient to include in your skincare routine for 2023. We recently added it into our newly launched night cream Up the Anti and are working on a natural concentrated niacinamide serum for the coming year.
- Joie Tavernise Founder and Medical Aesthetician, JTAV Clinical Skincare
Retinol has always been a powerhouse product in skincare that addresses a wide range of skincare concerns, from acne and hyperpigmentation to pore size, fine lines and wrinkles, and more.
However, in the past, it was thought to be used as part of a routine for more mature skin. These days, we are seeing a considerable rise in awareness of the benefits of retinol, and in turn, people in their 20s are starting to use it.
There are many forms of retinoids—the umbrella category that retinol is under—so we are now seeing it incorporated into various products, making it easier to find and use one that is right for you.
I have been using retinol as a part of my skin cycling routine for years, and it is one of the foundational products for glowing, healthy skin. In 2023, I see retinol being integrated into more products and continuing to rise in popularity.
I believe that the skincare trend of slugging will lose popularity by next year. If you aren’t familiar with the term, slugging is when you slather your face in a heavy, occlusive moisturizer such as petroleum jelly as the last step in your nighttime skincare routine. The concept behind it is that this will prevent water loss and lock in moisture and hydration overnight.
While this may be true for some skin types, this trend can aggravate and irritate sensitive, acne-prone and oily skin. As someone who experiences regular breakouts, this trend would be a nightmare for my skin. Of course, no two faces are alike, so I am not ruling out this trend, I just don’t see it staying in the spotlight for very long.
- Tammy Fender Founder and Aesthetician, Tammy Fender
What I see changing for 2023 is that clients are ready to take a more active approach to skincare, whether through seeking out professional holistic facial treatments or through more active home self-care rituals.
Practices like using gua sha with a nutritive face serum or using botanical facial treatment masks and massage to rejuvenate the facial tissues or activating acupressure points to dissolve facial tension that can cause fine lines are rising in popularity.
My clients are hungry to learn about all these natural, everyday ways of caring for the skin with hands-on techniques and practices in order to slow the aging process and to help bring out a natural buoyancy and glow in the complexion.
Trends that are on their way out include pushing the skin too hard through chemical processes that deplete the skin over time and purchasing skin care products that aren’t clearly additive. Nobody has time for a product that can’t bring transformation to the skin with simplicity, fitting into a streamlined daily routine.
While there was a moment when it might have felt like more is more or an era when people were interested in carving to the time for complex, multi-step processes, now simplicity, purity of ingredients and clear benefits has become more important. Skincare clients are better educated each year, and their choices are increasingly sophisticated.
- Kesha Janaan Founder, Brown Sugar by Kesha Janaan
I think that people will be more interested in having healthy skin, skincare as a part of overall health and self-care, and embracing their natural beauty. I think, in the next year, overly complicated skincare routines will lose popularity.
People who went from no skincare routine and suddenly went into a long multistep routine will get burnt out and, quite frankly, it’s not necessary. I think more people will get back to basics and learn that consistency is key.
- Beth Pestonik Founder, Essentials Skincare Collection
I expect to see more focus on skin health and products that are formulated without toxic ingredients. I also think there will be a bigger focus on repairing environmental damage. Living in Colorado, we get over 300-plus days of sunshine a year. We spend the winter months treating clients with pigmentation and inflammation issues.
The heavy laminated brow and DIY skincare products will be over next year. I still think a full eyebrow will be in style, but more of the naturally filled look. Let's stop using toothpaste, baking soda and coconut cooking oil anywhere near our faces.
- Sarah Akram Founder and Aesthetician, Sarah Akram Skincare
We're starting to see it now, but a continued rise in clean, active, high-performance skincare for at-home use as well as incorporating at-home devices to amplify results. Consumers are more attentive to how a product is made and the quality of ingredients going into them.
Professional treatments being scheduled on a routinely basis is something that is definitely on the rise. More people are invested in their skin, including young adults. Parents are scheduling appointments for their teenager to start embracing the importance of taking care of their skin.
With more people being invested in their skin and quality skincare, they are being educated on proper usage [and] the trend of simplifying your skin routine and pulling from your arsenal to treat on an as needed basis.
Meaning, instead of applying all 10 products layer by layer every single night, only using certain things as needed, switching it up throughout the week to get the most out of your products while effectively treating. Definitely, continue to purchase quality skincare and build your at-home collection to pull from.
- Murphy Bishop II Co-Founder and CEO, The Better Skin Co.
Simplicity is the fastest rising trend, fewer products, better results with less effort. Consumers are telling us that multipurpose, effective products are what they want. We are seeing this with young and mature alike.
The 2022 trend that will end is excessive product routines. As the economy adjusts, consumers will focus on core products that deliver results. The daily routines will become less steps and effectiveness will be the key.
I also think people are wising up to greenwashing. They are calling out brands that fake their environmental authenticity. This will become front and forward as influencers latch on and expose the culprits.
- Keisha Young Founder, Clay & Olive Skincare
Diversity and inclusion in skincare through the amplification of Black-owned brands and voices will be a rising trend in 2023 that will have a lasting impact on the beauty industry. Although spending on beauty is huge among Black women, there is still a considerable lack of diversity and inclusion as Black-owned brands make up only 2.5% of revenue in this multibillion-dollar industry (McKinsey & Co. 2022).
However, the recent commitment and accountability currently being demonstrated by leaders in the beauty industry is creating a path to a more equitable beauty market, which I believe will lead to better partnerships and investments in Black skincare brands for generations to come.
Twelve-step skincare routines will be a thing of the past in 2023. Instead, skin-savvy consumers will focus on products with essential ingredients that help maintain a healthy skin barrier. A minimalist approach to skincare will help eliminate the complexity of combining multiple products with active ingredients at once and give your skin a chance to repair itself and heal.
- Caroline Candace Founder and CEO, Look Organics
What trends I see rising in 2023 are red light therapy devices, internal beauty, waterless skincare, skin barrier support, a less-is-more approach, fragrance-free products, brands that promote sustainability and transparency, and the ingredients ceramides, niacinamide and bakuchiol.
The trends I think will be over next year are thinking that a topical skincare product will fix all skin issues. Topical skincare can work to support the health of the skin, but, if there are imbalances internally and lifestyle factors that are causing puffy eyes, dark circles and blotchy skin, topicals alone will not solve the problem.
- Dimitra Davidson President and COO, Indeed Labs
Skin microbiome will continue to be a hot topic and an area of focus as we continue to see more and more evidence of the importance of overall skin health through the understanding of how our skin’s microflora functions. I believe that brands will focus their science and innovation around understanding skin microbiome and also consumers will become more educated in this hot topic.
Hyperpigmentation and acne continue to be the leading concerns for consumers. Brands will be looking at nontraditional and less harsh treatments that are effective, but without the harmful side effects of traditional treatments.
Another trend we will see as brands continue to focus on their responsibility to sustainability is brands becoming more thoughtful with what they bring to market. Rather than launching products for the sake of bringing something new to market, brands will be focused more on true innovation, value and products with a point of difference. Also, with consumers being more price sensitive due to inflation, brands will focus on products dupes and more affordable choices.
This past year we saw a shift from one extreme—10-step skincare routine—to the opposite side of the spectrum, a more simplified two- to three-step routine. Although a more simplified skincare routine became all the rage in 2022, consumers are starting to understand that a “one size fits all” and “routines” don’t really work as everybody’s skin is different, and we all have different needs.
In 2023, I believe a focus will shift to consumers’ understanding their own individual needs better and will gravitate to products suited for their own needs or concerns and move away from a routine altogether.
- Mary-Jane Tan Ong Founder and CEO, Pili Ani
There will be a continued focus on real clean beauty in 2023, and hopefully claims and results backed with certified clinical testing will become the norm among brands. Consumers are getting smarter and more conscious with what’s on the labels, and they research ingredients and put value on sustainable practices.
Multipurpose products will be staples next year as well. A good example would be our Pili Ani Self-care Night Recovery Oil, which can be used as a nighttime facial oil, as an alternative to a moisturizer or even as a primer base before applying makeup. Our Pili Ani Moisturizing Pili Lip Butter works as a lip color and lip moisturizer, and it can also be used as a cheek tint. More products that will serve as makeup and skincare hybrids will emerge.
Over-layering of products will no longer be a trend. Overconsumption is no longer ideal. Consumers are looking for products that can solve more than one skin concern, and they are now more conscious about product efficacy and value for money.
- Philip Taylor Founder and CEO, Carbon Theory
While we do look at trends, we listen to what our customers are looking for in products more. While we know it's a tight time for people money wise, we're looking for products that offer dual-purpose and natural active ingredients that actually work.
We're always looking at key ingredients. Vitamin C and niacinamide are ingredients we are looking to for 2023 to bring an accessible option to market which is usually at a higher price point.
[What will be over is] using too many products. Simple effective routines are what's needed. Expect we'll see a lot of people moving away from 72-step skincare routines.
- Kelli Clifton Ogunsanya Founder, Melabebe
Minimalism, for sure. We are starting to see several brands focus on simplification of both ingredients and product line offerings. Brands are quickly realizing that buyers want fast, easy, multipurpose solutions rather than eight or nine different products that require a Ph.D. to understand.
I think we will start to see manual exfoliation taper down with consumers integrating more at-home chemical ingredients to support cell turnover and skin renewal. Vitamin C, niacinamide and retinols are increasing their presence in daily routines and making practices like facial scrubs, exfoliation wands and physical over-exfoliation a thing of the past.
- Josh Meyer Co-Founder and CEO, Brickell Men's Products
We are seeing a trend moving into 2023 that teenage boys are taking an earlier interest in skincare. It's becoming popular to take care of your skin.
- Claudia Melgoza Lead Aesthetician, Face Haus Santa Monica
My skincare trend prediction for 2023 is an awareness and curiosity around skin barrier health. Our skin barrier is the outermost layer of our skin. Its function is to protect our skin from external factors. Some signs our skin barrier is damaged are dryness, flakiness, irritation, redness and tingling.
Maintaining a healthy skin barrier would include using ingredients such as squalane, grapeseed oil, niacinamide and ceramides. These ingredients help protect the outer layer of the skin. They strengthen our barrier and keep moisture in while keeping harmful environmental factors such as bacteria and pollution out. Seeing an aesthetician regularly can help you heal and maintain the health of your skin's barrier.
Exfoliation is a very important part of our skincare routine. However, excessive exfoliation is not the answer. An example of excessive exfoliation is skin cycling. Skin cycling is not for all skin types and can be too harsh for many. Exfoliators are commonly found in serums, moisturizers or toners and physical exfoliants such as scrubs and silicone brushes. It is important to note that using the right exfoliating ingredients and/or tools in your routine can be wonderful for our skin. Making sure you consult a professional to have a healthy exfoliation routine is key.
Skin cycling is not the answer for everyone. When we exfoliate properly, we allow our skin to breathe better and absorb products and ingredients that help strengthen our skin's barrier. However, excessive exfoliation like skin cycling can deplete our skin barrier’s natural function. Finding a happy medium for our individual skin is key to having healthy and happy skin.
- Mira Peterson Co-Founder and CMO, Junoco
The evolution of skinimalism after the pandemic has been strong, and I’m 100% sure that it’s a trend that is here to stay. It’s also one of our main pillars for Junoco. The masses have debunked the old myths and discovered that a good skincare routine doesn’t have to be complicated.
You don’t need a long list of ingredients for effective skincare products. In fact, overloaded formulas aren’t even healthy for your skin. I believe that people will always want to know what they're putting to our faces. And knowing the right ingredients and their benefits/effectiveness is a demand that will only grow with the knowledge that can be available and provided.
The same goes for also sustainability and an overall minimalist lifestyle. We’re happy to see brands joining the demand for more thoughtful products. That should be a rule for every industry, not just beauty. I’m glad to see a community of people showing more and more interest in conscious living and finding ways to be more involved in positive change.
A long-time trend that I’m happy to see vanishing is anti-aging products and anti-aging lingo. This generation is embracing aging and eradicating the need and desire to stay young, not just from our vocabulary, but also our mindset.
Aging needs to be normalized. Wrinkles, texture, freckles, scars, pimples, that’s all part of being human. People are embracing what’s real, not unrealistic industry fantasies. As a new generation emerges, we’re now demanding unapologetically real skin. Healthy, brave and unapologetically happy skin is the skin of the future.
- Christina Kelmon Co-Founder and CEO, Vamigas
I predict skincare, along with most beauty categories, will see an uptick in environmentally friendly and multiuse packaging. Consumers are putting even more thought into what containers are holding their favorite formulas. They are also becoming savvier at spotting greenwashing.
Harshness is out, kindness to your skin is in. I’m seeing a shift toward plant-based retinol alternatives.
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