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6 Skincare Trends for 2020: Do They Work?

Posted on: March 6th, 2020 by Kristen Chang

In the beauty scene of the 2010s, the rise of social-media fever put focus on whatever captured the most attention and likes. Trends that took off tended to be ones that performed well in selfies, blogs and how-to videos. Some that went big were DIY products, complex self-care regimens, large Kardashian lips and serious “Instagram makeup.”* 

As we enter the 2020s, three meta-influences are overtaking social media showmanship to drive skincare trends. First is the preference for a less “done-up,” more natural look. This means less makeup, so there’s a greater push to find products and treatments that make skin look healthy, smooth and wonderful when it’s bare. Second, growing environmental awareness is leading skincare consumers to purchase fewer products overall. Third, Marie Kondo’s minimalist KonMari method is also inspiring consumers to reduce the number of products they use. Beyond just selecting fewer, however, it encourages you to choose superior products that spark joy and bring desired results. (That said, if your Korean 10-step regimen gives you joy, no judgement here!)* 

With these three higher-level influences at play, there are six product trends you should know about for 2020. The question is: which should you give a try?*

1 – Ceramides 

Occurring naturally in your skin, ceramides are waxy lipid molecules that protect against transepidermal water loss. As factors such as sun, wind, hot water and age deplete this barrier, skin loses moisture faster. It can end up irritated, rough and visibly dehydrated.* 

The Verdict: Yes to ceramides!

Particularly great for dry, mature and combination skin, a premium, ceramide-enriched product can add moisture and help trap it in to restore a plumper, more dewy appearance. Look for a formula that combines the protection of ceramides with skin nourishment, like CSI Fortified Moisturizer, which features vitamins and strong humectants. If your skin needs extra replenishment, try a more intense product like CSI Bio-Therapy Phyto Restorative Cream. It feeds your skin with plumping, anti-aging powerhouses like peptides, hyaluronic acid and antioxidants. Then, it locks the benefits down by mimicking your skin’s natural barrier with ceramides composed of phytosphingosine and cholesterol.* 

For best results, make sure your ceramide product is the last layer you apply (unless you’re also putting on sunscreen, of course).* 

2 – Preventative Botox 

Any time you tense certain facial muscles, it causes the overlying skin to bunch up. Over time, such repetitive movement causes “dynamic wrinkles,” which commonly form between the eyes, around the mouth, on the chin and forehead, and as “crow’s feet” surrounding the eyes. The harder and more often you contract those muscles, the sooner and deeper the wrinkles will appear.*

The Verdict: Preventative Botox works!

Neurotoxins like Botox and Dysport are famous for erasing existing wrinkles by relaxing them away. Now they’re gaining popularity to ward off new wrinkles — even first wrinkles. Younger people are turning to these quick lunchtime procedures to curtail wrinkle-forming contractions before significant wrinkles have set in. And it works.* 

Make sure you trust your face to an expert who knows how to soften movement enough to prevent wrinkles, but not so much that you look frozen.*

3 – Boosted, Better Brighteners

As more women strive for that lit-from-within look without strobing, highlighting or Instagram makeup, brighteners are taking the spotlight. Over the decades, “brightener” has normally meant vitamin C serum. And while vitamin C is rightly celebrated for its powers of complexion illumination (and firming!), it also presents a couple challenges. At effective concentrations, topical vitamin C can be too harsh for many users, causing redness and irritation. It also is notably unstable. When it inevitably oxidizes, it becomes less effective and more likely to cause skin reactions.*

This year, a more sophisticated class of brightener is whipping up excitement. These supercharged products often use multiple forms of vitamin C, along with complementary ingredients to boost stability and benefits and reduce harsh acidity.* 

The Verdict: Yes to new-generation brighteners!

Get your glow on with 2020’s new generation of skin brighteners. They offer synergies of active ingredients that invigorate skin and even out tone without harshness, while defending from free-radical damage and new discoloration.* 

Popular supplemental brightening ingredients include niacinamide (vitamin B3), arbutin, bearberry and emblica. CSI Vitamin C Brightening Serum delivers all of these to your skin, along with five forms of vitamin C and the added anti-aging punch of superoxide dismutase, vitamin E, CoQ10 and polypeptides. Both SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic and Revercel CE Serum are more traditional vitamin C brighteners, but bumped up with lightening ferulic acid and nourishing vitamin E, sodium hyaluronate and panthenol (vitamin B6). Around the eyes, CSI Enriched Retinol Eye Repair Cream battles sallowness and dark patches with vitamin C along with vitamins A, K and B3. Plus it addresses undereye circles with caffeine, green tea polyphenols and arnica.*

If you want to take brightening to the next level, consult a California Skin Institute board-certified dermatologist about laser or prescription-strength treatments. The Obagi-C Rx System is a kit of day-to-night treatments centered around vitamin C, but intensified with hydroquinone to lighten discoloration and overall complexion. SkinMedica’s Lytera 2.0 Advanced Pigment Correcting System features vitamin C, retinol and the cutting-edge lighteners tranexamic acid, phenylethyl resorcinol and tetrapeptide-30.*

4 – Stem Cells/Growth Factors

In 2020, you’ll notice a lot of talk about stem cells or growth factors to promote younger-looking skin. But what are they? Your skin contains both stem cells and growth factors naturally. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells with the capacity to repair, regrow and rejuvenate. Contained in stem cells, growth factors are messenger proteins that give stem cells specific instructions, for example, tasks to keep your skin healthy and beautiful.* 

The Verdict: Bring on the stems cells and growth factors!

According to numerous studies and widespread consumer testimonials, stem cells from some plants can reduce the depth of fine lines and wrinkles. For instance, one study published by the National Institute of Health reported that apple stem cells reduced wrinkle depth by up to 15%. CSI Bio-Therapy Phyto Restorative Cream and Neck Repair Firming and Lifting Cream improve your skin with stem cells from Swiss apples, along with intensive humectants, ceramides and second-generation peptides.* 

Causing a lot of stir are anti-aging products fortified with growth factor from the stem cells in human skin fibroblasts capable of building and restoring your skin’s collagen, elastin and scaffolds. SkinMedica is a leader in this category, with their Tissue Nutrient Solution (TNS) Recovery Complex and TNS Essential Serum. These prescription-only treatments consist almost entirely of a patented growth-factor blend that contains hundreds of human-derived growth factors.* 

5 – Lip Treatments 

Over the last decade, we saw a lot of lips supersized with extreme filler and adorned by layers of color. Late last year, however, social media went into a shaming frenzy against some Kardashians for their exaggerated pouts. Khloe even had to temporarily shut down her Instagram feed over big filler.*

Going into 2020, the trend is for filler and makeup to enhance the natural beauty of your lips. You’ll see more toned-down looks, which is putting greater emphasis on lip treatments to keep the skin petal soft.*

The Verdict: Give your lips some love (and SPF)!

The skin on your lips is delicate. Give it at least as much pampering as the rest of your face. For instance, the next time you exfoliate your face, consider a lip scrub to buff away dead, rough skin. Keep lips moist and supple by regularly applying intensive conditioners.* 

During the day, use sun protection that doubles as a lip treatment, like CSI Essential Lip Therapy. It provides a shield of UVA/UVB SPF 30, along with nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, vitamins, niacinamide and ceramides. Wear lipstick? Opt for products with gentle and moisturizing ingredients. Ideally your daytime lip color will also contain sunscreen, or just remember to apply lip SPF on top.*

If you do get fillers, entrust the job to an expert with the talent and experience to create the effect you want.*

6 – Mineral Sunscreen 

The movement towards minimal makeup and bare skin has more women getting serious about protection from sun damage. At the same time, chemical sunscreens are falling out of favor with sources ranging from fashion magazines to consumer advocate groups like the EWG. Many call into question the efficacy of chemical sunscreen ingredients to block the full spectrum of UVA and UVB rays. Furthermore, all but a few of these ingredients may disrupt hormones or cause allergic reactions.*

The Verdict: Mineral sunscreen is a huge YES.

There’s nothing to fend off the ravages of the sun like a good physical sunblock. In the past, mineral sunscreen meant thick, white goo that would cast you with an undead pallor. Today’s formulations, featuring titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or both, have come a long way.* 

Sheer, tinted, non-greasy, powdered, matte. Mineral sunscreen is winning more adherents than ever. If you’re looking to pare down your morning skincare routine, choose a multitasking formulation. CSI Sheer Physical Tinted BB Cream Sunscreen SPF 50+ with micronized zinc oxide wears like a lightweight primer that offers light color to even out complexion. It also treats skin with ingredients like vitamin C, CoQ10, resveratrol, emblica and ceramides. Not ready to part with your daytime moisturizer? Layer powdered mineral sunscreen over it for a silky, matte finish. Colorescience is famous for their Sunforgettable line of brush-on products tailored to various skin colors.* 

Whatever product you choose, never leave home during the day without a generous coat of good sunscreen!* 

Beyond Trendy

Explore this year’s trends, especially if you want to simplify your skincare regimen. You can narrow it down to a few superior products, excellent for helping your naked skin look its most beautiful. Effective skincare never goes out of style.*

Another thing that never goes out of style is the expert care and advice of a skincare professional — whether you see an aesthetician for a facial and skincare advice, or schedule an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist for Botox or a full skin assessment and plan.*


*Results may vary and are not guaranteed.