Bakuchiol, ashwagandha and turmeric dominated 2021’s skincare industry. And while these plant-based ingredients aren’t going anywhere any time soon, a new year brings a fresh glossary of radar-worthy terms. Skyelyfe gained some insight into 2022’s skincare forecast, thanks to Paula’s Choice experts and clean cosmetics chemist (and founder of KKT Consultants), Krupa Koestline.
From powerful brightening agents to a fresh crop of cannabinoids, you can expect another 12 months of buzzy ingredients and key terms. Keep reading to get the scoop on projected 2022 skincare trends and science-backed developments.
Beer and kombucha are examples of fermented products that have gained moderate momentum in the beauty space in recent years. In 2022, however, the increase in fermented ingredients found in skincare will be something of note.
“Fermented rose, millet, fig, barley and soy are on the rise,” Koestline tells skyelyfe. “Fermentation is a very natural process that allows bacteria or yeast to break down an ingredient and produce a slew of beneficial molecules. It includes everything from metabolites, acids, proteins, polysaccharides, to sugars.”
Koestline suggests partial reason for increased interest is “scientists are looking for ways to upcycle materials, and that includes these common products. The process helps eliminate waste and is an innovative way to source common skincare ingredients like antioxidants. This is especially common as disruption in the supply chain stemming from the pandemic affects the beauty industry now and for years to come.”
Probiotics and prebiotics have been relevant in beauty for a few years now, but 2022 will see the rise of postbiotics, made from bio-fermented microbes.
“Postbiotics are fermentation byproducts produced by probiotic strains of microbes, which include bacteria, yeast and algae,” Koestline explains. “Because probiotics are actually difficult to keep alive in a product with preservatives—which work by killing off all microbes—many probiotic products have probiotic ferments, which are in fact postbiotic.”
Cannabinoids CBG and CMB
CBD has no doubt been the buzziest ingredient over the last five years in the beauty and lifestyle space. But in 2022, you’re about to see two new cannabinoids take centerstage.
“Formulators and brands are exploring how other cannabinoids can benefit the skin in order to use more parts of the plant,” Koestline says. “CBG (Cannabigerol) has shown promising results in post-workout recovery, muscle relief and mood uplifting; while CBN (Cannabinoil) is great at sleep improvement and relaxation.”
Initially meant to treat blood clots and heavy menstrual bleeding, this powerful oral medicine has recently been reformulated for skincare use. The synthetic ingredient, made from amino acid lysene, is aimed at correcting hyperpigmentation.
Experts on a recent Paula’s Choice panel that skyelyfe attended virtually, called the acid “the newcomer that was waiting in the wings to replace hydroquinone.” The brand itself launched a Discoloration Repair Serum, which features the acid as its hero ingredient. But in terms of 2022 skincare trends, these experts say they refuse to use the ‘T’ word, and only go by what’s been proven by science.
Either way, they’re not alone in their praise for the buzzy ingredient. Topicals, SkinCeuticals, Naturium and The Inkey List have also released products featuring the acid. In fact, The A Method kicked off the new year with the launch of their Skin Perfecting Serum, featuring a 10% Tranexamic Acid Complex. Its press release announcement hailed it as “The ‘It’ ingredient of 2022.”
When it comes to “the best single ingredient for dealing with hyperpigmentation,” the Paula’s Choice experts say cysteamine hydrochloride (which inhibits melanin-stimulating enzyme) is what you’ll hear about in 2022. That said, you won’t see it everywhere, as it’s very pricey and mostly found by way of a physician. The experts recommend trying the Cyspera Intensive Pigment Corrector, which you can luckily buy online.
Skin barrier protection definitely picked up steam last year (namely on TikTok), but when it comes to skincare buzz in 2022, the term (and products made to keep it in tact) will be everywhere.
“The skin barrier works to keep all the good things in and bad things out,” experts on the Paula’s Choice panel explained. “Barrier damage can result from skincare products that are drying or irritating, alkaline bar soaps, water that’s too hot, environmental exposure, sun damage and experimental skincare—DIY TikTok trends and mask chafing.”
Redness, flakiness, dehydration and new sensitivities are all signs your barrier is compromised. If such is the case, avoid potent actives (1% retinol and high-concentration Vitamin C, for example). For repair and maintenance, omega fatty acids, ceramides and lipids from cholesterol are key. You can layer them in with toners, serums and essences. Skyelyfe discussed the matter at length last year.
For more on buzzy skincare ingredients, HERE‘s everything to know about Vitamin C-rich kakadu plum.