2017 was a big year for beauty: Crystals finally conquered our beauty regimens as spiritual rituals and healing therapy made it into the mainstream—hell, even KKW brought out a fragrance in the shape of one last month. It was the year that we all fell hopelessly in love with NY skincare brand Glossier, when it finally pulled its socks up and started shipping to a previously neglected UK and it was also the year in which ingestible beauty really kicked off.
If you spent 2017 balancing countless bottles, tubes and tubs onto your bathroom shelves like a game of beauty Jenga, you’ll be relieved to hear that 2018 is all about a more refined approach to skincare.
“The typical Korean skincare regime is struggling to find an audience in western markets where women tend to favour a more minimalistic approach to beauty,” reveals Victoria Buchanan, Strategic Researcher for the Future Laboratory. For Lisa Payne, Beauty Editor at Stylus, the cause of our desire for a more minimal skincare routine is simply our busier lives: “Our research found that more of the world’s population will live and work in cities, will commute for longer, and will spend more time travelling (air or otherwise) for work,” she explains. And it’s already affecting consumer beauty habits.
So what about 2018? Well, you’ll be happy to know that the new beauty trends about to take hold in the coming months might just about trump what we saw last year. To give you the full briefing, we’ve gathered a lineup of the best beauty trend forecasters in the industry (these are the people who spend their time travelling the world and scouring the internet to hunt out next big thing in beauty) to fill us in on what to expect come the new year. Keep scrolling to hear about the five biggest new beauty trends about to revolutionize your beauty routine.
The focus is narrowing towards products that are easy to use, especially on-the-go, that promise benefits that are delivered quickly, and also last a long time.
We’ve already seen brands like Lixir come to the fore, with its simplified routine of 7 interchangeable skincare formulas, and also Decorte—”They reformulated the products especially for the Western market, combining a few steps in one product,” reveals Payne. “The founder said it woud be interesting to see if their Asian consumers pick them up too.”
However, Payne also points towards niche brands that have simplicity as their core value such as Peet Rivko, Meant and Alex Carro. “Alex Carro is particularly interesting because it encourages users to mix their products together to create further products and beauty benefits.”
Buchanan calls out Krave Beauty as another brand to watch. “A less is more take on beauty—it’s a stark contrast to the 10-step South Korean skin-care routine,” she explains. “The line will launch with an initial Core Series of ‘basics’ and a Supplement Series, launching just one product from each group to start: a cleanser (Core) and an exfoliator (Supplement).
According to Payne, this reductive approach is purely made possible by technological developments. “We are now able to formulate more cleverly and combine more steps into one product,” she notes. “And further developments in the coming year will work harder to create holy grail products that will reduce the amount of clutter on our bathroom shelves and make-up bags.”
Move over K-Beauty. “Korea has been a hotspot for new innovations and trends in the last couple of years and we’ve seen some interesting products emerge including face sheet masks, sleeping packs, cushion compacts and waterless skincare,” notes Theresa Yee, WGSN’s Senior Beauty Editor.
And while she doesn’t reckon we’ll be ignoring Korean innovations just yet, there is a new market she’ll be keeping on her radar for 2018: Taiwan.”Taiwan offers a plethora of interesting emerging brands that focus on natural and herbal remedies such as Lavendar Cottage and Yuan,” Yee explains. “With Chinese and ancient Ayurvedic practices becoming more mainstream and consumers seeking a more holistic balance between health, wellness and beauty, homegrown brands from Taiwan will become more popular.”
Not only is our interest in the world’s natural rhythms increasing (such as the lunar cycle), but we’re also getting more in tune with our body’s rhythms too, from menstrual cycles to mood swings—and so it was only about time before the beauty world jumped on this movement.
Beauty regimes will become beauty rhythms.
“Beauty is starting to align itself with natural human cycles (like circadian rhythms) and form a connection with hormonal cycles (during maternity, skin and hair texture change radically creating different needs),” explains Buchanan. “Products that tap into these natural rhythms to restore balance, aid recovery and promote health and wellness will become popular,” adds Yee.
So how is that manifesting in products? “Jurlique and Avon have already launched products based do a rotational skincare program where you use two different products during the month,” reveals Yee, while Circadia by Dr Pugliese is a complete skincare range aiming to tune into the body’s natural circadian rhythms that change throughout the day.
For Buchanan, it’s important to recognise Amareta—”this natural-skincare startup has come up with products that cater to women’s changing skin, offering products that are customized to each of the three phases in a woman’s cycle.
She also believes that in 2018 we’re going to see more brands exploring chronobiology, “adapting to solar- and lunar-related rhythms, a key example of which is 111Skin’s LUNAR28 system (£1000), an intensive skincare programme that works across the course of the moon’s cycle.
Across the US there’s been massive debate over the legality surrounding the growth and use of cannabis and 1 January 2018 is set to see a pretty monumental change in law for the state of California: Possessing, transporting and sharing up to an ounce of cannabis, and 8 grams of cannabis concentrate, as well as growing as many as six plants at home.
And this change in opinion over the marijuana means it’s swiftly taking the beauty world by storm, too. “Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a non-psychoactive substance found in hemp plants, and is reputed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging benefits for the skin,” explains Lucie Greene, Director of JWT Innovation and so it’s hardly a surprise we’re seeing more CBD-infused products entering the beauty market.
Yee notes Apothecanna and Vertly Balm as brands to watch in 2018, while Greene calls out Herb Essntls, “a line of cannabis seed oil-infused skincare products with crisp, modern packaging.” It doesn’t just have external benefits: “It’s also entering the intimate health sector with Foria offering pain-relieving benefits that target menstrual cramps,” reveals Yee.
Both forecasters reckon we’ll be seeing cannabis pop up on beauty shelves more and more throughout the next year, and while many of these brands are coming out of the US (due to differing laws), we expect to see UK retailers take inspiration from this marijuana movement too.
“Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are transforming every industry, including beauty,” explains Greene, and this innovation is set to enrich the bespoke beauty experience we predicted to be big in 2017.
But we’re not just talking augmented reality apps that crudely lay impressions of makeup products over your face in the hopes you’ll buy them: AI beauty is far more sophisticated than that. “In the consumer space, RYNKL is a mobile app that monitors wrinkles,” reveals Greene. “The app is able to recognize the depth of wrinkles and track tiny changes in the face using biomarkers to evaluate the impact of treatments, and it can also track aging.”
It seems a little sci-fi, but it’s all about collating information that will aid brands to better deliver products suited to your completely unique concerns. “AI and chatbots will aid in gathering real-time data about an individual’s skin concerns and needs, creating a product that matches their DNA,” adds Yee, while Greene highlights a new partnership between L’Oreal and Candian startup Automat Technologies Inc.”Together, using AI technology, they will be able to offer automated conversational and personalized marketing.”
AI is set to revolutionise beauty stores too—which is good news if you’ve been looking for a more real-life, offline shopping experience. “In retail, it’s all about creating a experiential and interactive space with technology that enables the consumer to try and play with beauty products while learning about the product at the same time,” predicts Yee.