Home / Fashion / Skin Care Trends 2019: All the Biggest Trends, Tech, and Ingredients

Skin Care Trends 2019: All the Biggest Trends, Tech, and Ingredients

Not to be all dramatic about this, but um, this is kind of huge considering that less than a year ago, talk of CBD only surrounded ingestible tinctures and/or gummies for inflammation ease. And although experts say there is limited data to support such claims, hemp seed oil — the ingredient that ends up in CBD skin-care products — is a natural anti-inflammatory.

“Hemp seed oil also acts as an emollient to smooth rough cells on the skin’s surface and offers moisturizing benefits,” Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, previously told Allure.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: This isn’t the last time CBD makes its way into skin care. Hell, this is only the beginning.

4. Polyhydroxy Acids

Courtesy of brand

If you care about skin-care ingredients the way I care about skin-care ingredients (i.e. a hell of a lot), you’re probably at least a little familiar with chemical exfoliators: alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acid (BHAs). Instead of physically sloughing away dead skin cells via manual exfoliation (say, like with a sugar scrub), AHAs and BHAs exfoliate the skin with a gentler approach: via chemical reaction.

Previously, AHAs (typically glycolic acid) and BHAs (salicyclic acid) were the top two forms of chemical exfoliators, but now, experts say a new generation of acids is making its way into your skin-care products. Here’s the lowdown: Polyhydroxy acid (PHAs) has a larger molecular structure when compared to AHA, which means it’s gentler on skin, making it safer for those with sensitive skin.

“Let’s think of glycolic acid [and AHA] like a thumbtack,” Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, previously told Allure. “If you step on the thumbtack, even though it’s little, it’s going to hurt, right? Now, let’s think of a bed of nails or thumbtacks. You actually can step on [those] because the weight is distributed.”

In non-science speak, Zeichner’s analogy basically means that while AHAs penetrate deeper and faster into the skin, PHAs take their time with a less-jarring effect, which is why PHAs are better suited for those with sensitive skin. It’s also a humectant, which means the ingredient pulls moisture into the skin to help keep it hydrated as its exfoliating.

While PHAs are big in K-beauty, Glow Recipe recently brought the ingredient stateside with its Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask.

5. Plant-Based Retinol Alternatives

Courtesy of brands

Although the ingredient was discovered decades ago, bakuchiol was brought to life in 2018. “Bakuchiol is an ingredient derived from the psoralea corylifolia plant,” aka the “babchi” plant, Perry Romanowski, a cosmetic chemist, tells Allure.

When used in skin-care products, it offers the same sort of benefits as retinol — but without the harsh side effects (drying, peeling, etc.). Really, it’s a dream for those with sensitive skin (hi, me). Brands are catching on to this fairly quickly, which means I expect to see many more iterations of the ingredient in moisturizers, serums, and maybe even facial oils down the line.

6. Microneedle Patches

Courtesy of brand

Here at Allure, editors (myself included) swear by pimple patches. Whenever a breakout occurs, our first line of defense is usually with an acne sticker (our digital beauty reporter Devon Abelman wears them everywhere — even during romantic weekends away in Montauk). According to experts, those patches are about to get even more advanced by way of a ton of tiny microneedles (or “microstructures”).


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