Our appetite for skincare knowledge, advice and expertise has never been so insatiable. While 2023 saw a 163 per cent increase in Google searches for the ingredient ectoin, and a 138 per cent spike around the term “skin streaming”, experts are predicting 2024 is the year in which we’ll all become obsessed with hypochlorous acid, ceramide sunscreens and “reverse routines”, to name three. If (like us) you’re an out-and-proud skincare fanatic, here’s Vogue’s lowdown on the ingredients, products and trends to take note of for 2024.
Barrier is still a buzzword
Understanding the importance of a healthy skin barrier will continue to be key in 2024, with many brands making it their mission to educate consumers on ingredients that can address the stability of such a fundamental part of the skin. CeraVe is one such brand, whose most recent launch, the Advanced Repair Ointment, is dedicated to helping to repair and restore vulnerable skin through the use of ceramides (another big buzzword with over 703 million views on TikTok). “Ceramides were a huge buzzword in 2023 and play an essential part in retaining moisture within the skin,” agrees consultant dermatologist Dr Derrick Phillips. “Products like this are a great addition to any winter skincare routine, as they repair the skin barrier whilst providing essential hydration and maintaining skin elasticity.”
Out, damned spot
Pigmentation (and how to get rid of it) is unsurprisingly still a common skincare concern, but the good news is that trying to tackle it has gotten easier. Thanks to L’Oreal Paris’s first big launch of early 2024, the aptly named Bright Reveal collection, serious, targeted anti-pigmentation solutions are now available on your local high street. The range, which features a serum, an exfoliating mask, a day cream and an SPF, uses two key actives to get to work fading all types of hyperpigmentation. Alongside 10 per cent niacinamide—the derms’ ingredient of choice when it comes to evening out skin tone—the products also contain amino-sulfonic acid, a lesser known ingredient that’s adept at encouraging healthy skin renewal and reducing dark spots.
“Habit stack” your skincare
Most of us are realists when it comes to knowing how many of our “new year, new me” habits will actually last beyond the month of January. Instead of setting unachievable goals, “habit stacking” is the way forward, whether it’s wearing your LED mask as you brew your morning coffee, or—in the case of newly launched Celf—racking up skincare brownie points as you brush your teeth. A revolutionary micro-vibration collagen regeneration device that fits seamlessly onto the end of an Oral-B toothbrush, Celf’s nifty head clips on and uses your brush’s vibrational power to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, increase skin elasticity and reduce redness and inflammation.
Invest in neck tech
Due to the thinner, more delicate skin in the area, the neck is a hotspot for concerns ranging from sagging jowls and extra chins to slackening skin. Luckily, treatments and products that promise to tackle all those issues are big news for this new year. If an at-home solution is appealing then watch out for a new crop of neck-specific products, which include the clever NAYDAYA Neck Glory, a two-in-one sculpting and firming tool that combines massage and lymphatic drainage with a science-backed neck cream to firm and sculpt the neck, jawline and décolletage. “When it comes to treating the neck, look for products that contain ingredients that stimulate collagen and also hydrate,” says clinical facialist Kate Kerr. “Massage can also help the area, [and] lymphatic drainage in particular is fabulous for draining away toxins to depuff, detoxify and brighten the skin on the neck.”
Bridging the gap between topical and serious surgery are non-invasive procedures like NuEra, now widely available nationwide at clinics including London’s Mallucci Clinic. An FDA and MHRA-cleared radiofrequency device, it delivers heat energy to both the superficial and deep layers of the skin on the neck. This causes a healing response in the fibroblasts which stimulates collagen production. Likewise the Peter Pan Collar Treatment devised by Dr Sindhu Siddiqi, of London’s No Filter Clinic, uses a combination of Sofwave ultrasound and injectable polynucleotides and skin boosters, to tighten, lift and firm what are known as necklace lines on the neck.
Online prescriptions services aren’t new, but this year will see them become more prevalent and prescriptive than ever. Alongside the already excellent offerings from the likes of Klira and Dermatica comes And Begin, a personalised dermatology service from the makers of Skin + Me. Where it differs, though, is where it gets interesting, with And Begin having been created specifically to address the skincare needs of women in midlife. The service formulates its personalised prescriptions specifically to be in sync with middle-aged skincare goals, be it addressing perimenopausal oil imbalances or post-menopausal dryness. Headed up by dermatologists, it’s a great place to start if you’re feeling bamboozled by your skin’s changing needs.
The new wellness frontier
The year 2024 is when our obsession with wellbeing will infiltrate our skincare routines, too. Whether it’s looking at skin through a longevity lens (think less anti-ageing and more age reversal), or investing in a more holistic, top-to-toe and inside-out approach, experts are espousing the benefits of thinking in a more full circle way. To kick start your year, snap up a ticket to the inaugural The Beauty Triangle Festival on Saturday 20th January at 180 The Strand. The event, billed as a deep dive into the future of wellness, has a host of guest speakers including Rosemary Ferguson, Dr Alexis Granite and Ross J Barr, and aims to showcase innovations in wellness that can impact everything from skin to non-surgical procedures. Tickets are £55, but will get you a goody bag worth over £200 as well as entry.
If you’re new to polynucleotides, get ready to become very familiar with them in 2024. Emerging as a frontrunner in the biostimulatory injectables and skin rejuvenation markets, they’re something Dr Phillips predicts will grab the spotlight this year. Compounds predominantly derived from salmon DNA, polynucleotides are hailed for their ability to induce bio-regeneration within the skin, and dampen down inflammation while doing so. They do this by stimulating fibroblasts, promoting tissue repair, enhancing cell turnover, increasing elasticity and encouraging collagen production. Up until recently they’ve mostly been used in general medicine, but are increasingly gaining popularity in the aesthetics sector. “The everyday consumer is becoming more aware of professional treatments such as polynucleotides and exosomes, which stimulate the machinery of the skin to promote healing and produce collagen, elastin and other key components that are lost through skin ageing, sun exposure and the menopause,” says Dr Phillips.
The future’s bright, the future is biotech
Polynucleotides and exosomes are just two examples of skincare’s wider transition into a future that’s set to be dominated by biotechnology. “In the beauty industry, the convergence of longevity science and anti-ageing techniques is giving birth to a new age of products,” explains Eugene He, longevity research expert and founder of Invity. “Moving beyond superficial wrinkle reduction, these new creams and serums are infused with cutting-edge compounds that work on biochemical pathways and processes. NAD, NMN, AMPK and sirtuins are some very confusing words and acronyms that will become mainstream,” he adds. Alongside Invity’s upcoming launches—including its Youth Activating Overnight Mask—brands to watch out for in this field include Orveda (whose facials are available at Harrods from this month) and Fjor, a Swedish brand that’s partnered with a biotech lab and is the first in the world to harness the power of hydrolytic enzymes.
This story first appeared in British Vogue.