I’ve never really been the type to hop onto fashion trends each year — I know my style, and I stick with it (florals and faux-leather, in case you were wondering). Beauty trends, on the other hand, are just too tempting to avoid. There are some 2019 skincare trends, like gentle liquid exfoliators, that I’ve already been incorporating into my routine, but then there are other trends that have me scratching my head. (Looking at you, “PHAs.”)
What’s so fascinating about the skincare world is the in-depth science behind it. Each year, we learn more and more about how our skin functions and why it reacts to certain products and treatments. Skincare brands are starting to rival makeup brands in terms of sales and overall interest, and it’s not difficult to understand why: The move toward focusing on overall healthy skin is huge. Glowy skin is #goals for many in 2019, and it’s one my flaky, sensitive, acne-prone skin will be striving to achieve all year long.
So, if you’re in need of some skin TLC, or you just really want to impress your friends with your 2019 skincare trends knowledge, read the list below and stock up on some new additions.
According to Pinterest’s 100 trend report this year, searches for witch hazel have gone up 305 percent. Although witch hazel has nothing to do with actual witches, it can certainly work magic on your skin. Witch hazel is a plant that contains chemicals called tannins, and has been used as an astringent to cleanse and calm inflamed skin. Witch hazel can be used after cleansing and before applying your serum or moisturizer, but make sure you purchase one which doesn’t contain alcohol, as that can be super drying on your skin.
My favorites include Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel ($9, amazon.com) or Dickinson's Enhanced Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Hydrating Toner ($7, cvs.com).
Of course, body care isn’t anything new to the market, but I predict its sales skyrocketing in 2019. Body is the new face, and prioritizing your the skin on your body as much as you do the skin on your face is something we'll all likely start doing next year.
There’s a huge shift into the experiential shower/bath experience, where you'll seeing fun foaming shower gels, invigorating coffee body scrubs, and post-shower tanning formulations pop up all over the market. Invest in your bod with picks like the Palermo Coffee Body Scrub ($48, palermobody.com), Tan-Luxe Wonder Oil Illuminating Self-Tan Oil ($49, hsn.com), and Olay Shea Butter Scent Foaming Whip Body Wash ($5, target.com).
For decades, retinol has been a skincare darling that promises to even out skin tone, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and offer an overall glow. While the potent vitamin A-derivative does work wonders for many, it also can be super irritating on some. Enter bakuchiol: the more gentle alternative to retinol products. Bakuchiol is an extract derived from the psoralea corylifolia plant, and can help increase cell turnover, diminish signs of aging, and lessen photodamage on the skin. It’s vegan, won’t clog pores, and is popping up in many skincare products throughout the market.
Try introducing your skin to bakuchiol with Biossance’s Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum ($78, sephora.com) or OleHenriksen’s Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème ($55, sephora.com).
Polyhydroxy Acids (PHAs)
You’ve probably heard of alpha hydroxy acids, and maybe even beta hydroxy acids, but have you heard of polyhydroxy acids (or PHAs)? No? Up until I wrote this article, I hadn’t either.
“[PHAs] are able to exfoliate, regenerate, and hydrate skin at the same time,” Sarah Lee, co-founder of Glow Recipe, told Forbes. Ultimately, PHAs are a type of acid exfoliation that help to lift away dead skin and promote further cell renewal, and unlike AHAs, which help to exfoliate the skin but have smaller molecules, PHAs contain larger molecules that cause less irritation to the skin.
That’s why Lee and her co-founder, Christine Chang, decided to feature PHAs in their newest launch, the Glow Recipe Avocado Sleeping Mask ($45, glowrecipe.com). Another product that contains PHAs (and one that I’ve gone through about four or five bottles of because I’m so in love) is the PCA Skin Hydrating Serum ($77, dermstore.com).
While K-beauty isn’t going anywhere any time soon, there’s another country making their way into many Americans’ skincare routines, too. Australian beauty (or A-Beauty) is the newest addition to the overseas product obsession, and I'm definitely not hating it. A-Beauty is relatively small right now, but expect it to grow throughout 2019. A-Beauty products include ingredients such as the kakadu plum, featured in the Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask ($49, sandandsky.com), or rosehips, found in Grown Alchemist’s Pure Rosehip Oil ($89, grownalchemist.com).
Gentle Liquid Exfoliators
Pinterest’s 100 trend report also speculates a major growth in gentle liquid exfoliators, with a 58 percent search increase this year. Gentle liquid exfoliators, also referred to as chemical exfoliators, use different types of acids to exfoliate the outermost layer of skin, instead of using a physical exfoliator containing beads or crushed up grains/seeds to slough away dead skin. Liquid exfoliators are similar to a chemical peel you might get at the dermatologist’s office, but they are much, much gentler and work to exfoliate skin at a slower rate (so your skin isn’t completely freaking out, like it might after a professional peel).
In the beauty world, the crowned queen is the Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 ($28 for 1.7fl, shoprescuespa.com), which doesn't smell great and contains onion extract, lactic acid, and salicylic acid, but it will make your skin glow like wild. Another gentle liquid exfoliator hot on the market is the Glossier Solution ($24, glossier.com), which contains a 10 percent blend of AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs.