Each year as the orbit makes its way around the sun for literally the bajillionth time, many of us go into January with a new goal or mantra. "New Year New Me" is our new morning alarm as we attempt to wake up at 6am to start the day off with exercise and a meal of more than coffee before heading to work, and "New Year, Who Dis" is posted as instagram captions everywhere as people begin to meal prep or improve their self-care routines in some kind of way. The past couple of years, I have kept to simple and attainable goals like to say no more often, go to sleep earlier, and to stop saying "sorry." This past year as I was entering my mid-twenties, I added a more structured goal of keeping to a daily skincare routine, and with all of the upcoming trendy and classic brands coming out with more and more products promising results in some area of beauty, it has been something of an adventure actually figuring out what trends ring true to their promises.
After trying out multiple brands and trends, serums and oils, natural cleansers and chemical exfoliaters, I've gathered up some of my favorite skincare products along with new beauty trends everyone is raving about. This past year I have tried out many beauty and skincare trends (and with my best skin ever) here's a list of some trends I think should be carried into the New Year, as well as some new products I plan on trying and adding to my regimen.
While facial acids may sound like some kind of Mean Girl revenge ploy, like when Katy gave Regina George those bars that made her gain weight, rather than a pathway to glowing perfect skin, I promise they're the latter.
"Acids can dissolve skin cells, and when you [use them] in a small dose, [they] will take off the dead skin layer to give you brighter, smoother skin," explains Manhattan dermatologist Macrene Alexiades, MD, of Dermatology and Laser Surgery Center of New York.
Acids can be made for a variety of uses and skin types, ranging from fruit acids that are found in one if my favorite scrubs from Trader Joe's: Blueberry Acaí Facial Scrub which is made with AHA's, to pure acids that you can buy from one of my new favorite skincare lines The Ordinary, which has an assortment of acids, retonoids, and much more to fit your specific skin care needs. Currently I am using their Hylauronic Acid, an HA molecule that can attract 1000 times its own weight in water, the AHA + BHA Peeling Solution once a week for a brighter and more even complexion, and the Niamicide + Zinc daily to help reduce blemishes.
Important tip: No matter your skin type or the product, always do a patch test somewhere discreet, like on your neck near your ear, to see how your skin reacts first. Also, keep in mind that no acid used for anti-aging will be able to work unless you're also using sunscreen to protect the progress the acid makes.
Trend: Lip Scrubs
We are going to start simple with a cult fave, lip scrubs. Most of you already exfoliate your face and body (hopefully, if not here's your sign to start), but the lips are a forgotten area when it comes to removing dead skin. If you find that your lips are always chapped no matter how much chapstick you use or that matte lipsticks never stay smooth on your lips, a lip scrub could be the perfect fix to this. A lip scrub treatment before any matte lipstick is absolutely necessary as it removes all of the dead skin and primes your lips perfectly for the more drying matte lipsticks, so unless you plan on looking crusty later in the evening I highly recommend a scrub. Mine is from Lush, and I use it throughout the day before applying chapstick. It has been especially useful in these cold winter months, and with natural ingredients like shea butter, beeswax, and honey, your lips are sure to stay moisturized and crust free longer. This may not be the newest trend, but with more and more brands adding a lip scrub or lip exfoliant into their product lines, it is definitely a trend that is here to stay.
Trend: Facial Rollers
A bit more trendy than the lip scrubs, facial rollers are meant to eliminate toxins, reduce puffiness, and improve blood circulation to even out skin tone. I first saw these on Amazon but was innately weary of the concept as much of Amazon's recommendations are items I don't exactly "need." These rollers however, are starting to become a part of beauty recommendations by many reputable beauty sites and bloggers. Herbivore botanicals, an independent wife and husband owned natural skincare company based out of Seattle offers two kinds of rollers. The one shown above is made of Rose Quartz which they say is one of the most beautifying healing stones. It helps to ease tension and stress in the body, soothes anxiety, and increases self-love, which is essential when it comes to clear, smooth skin. They sell for $45, however they also offer a Jade roller with similar benefits for just $25.
Trend: Bespoke Skincare (Customized)
A trend that picked up a lot of steam this year, bespoke skincare — meaning it's customized to a specific person's skin — will gain even more traction in 2018. Brands like Skin Inc., Natural Mixoligist, Cover FX, Astrida Naturals, and many others have opted to create quizzes and questionnaires in order to find the perfect regimen for your skins needs. I have yet to invest in bespoke skincare, but I think 2018 might be the year. Click on any of the links on the brands listed above to try out a customized skincare questionnaire or product!
** To take the Astrida Naturals quiz the link is on the upper right side.
Trend: Glowing Skin
Mosturized, dewy, shimmering, lit, and supple skin is more than just a trend this year, it's a glow-up. 2018 is calling for skin that glistens 24/7, and not just on your cheekbones, dewy skin all over is what the best brands are creating products for. Glossier for instance, Queen brand of clean and simple beauty products has three shades of a product called Haloscope that gives any shade of skin the perfect glow. I have two shades, Moonstone, which I use under makeup for a dewy look on my brow bones, nose, and anywhere else I want to look dewy, and Topaz which I mostly apply on my cheekbones. Glossier also shows how their illuminators look on different skin tones so you can make sure you purchase the right one. If you plan on purchasing, use my code if you want monies off!
Another brand capitalizing on the glowy skin trend is Make Beauty. Make has a "Dew Pot" product in three colors that reflects the light, moisturizes, highlights, and illuminates skin.
If your skin can handle it and is not prone to producing excess oil (see next section), coconut oil is also a beauty insider secret to dewy skin that lasts without looking greasy. Coconut oil solidifies when it's room temperature, so dabbing a little on your cheekbones, brow bone, and across the bridge of your nose adds a dewy, hydrated finish that's not runny or overly oily. I sometimes apply it before putting on foundation or tinted moisturizer, especially if they're matte.
If you want to try out the newest glossy lid trend but don't want to commit to buying new eye shadow, try good old-fashioned petroleum jelly, aka Vaseline. With a light hand, apply on lids before applying eye shadow.
Trend: Pure Oils and Natural Ingredients
This is definitely not a new trend, especially for those of us that have always opted to buy natural products, but it has been increasingly gaining traction in the beauty industry with brands pushing the purity of their skincare and beauty lines. I have used pure rosehip, jojoba, and almond oil as a daily moisturizer in the past and have found that rosehip works best for my skin type throughout the year. Recently I have read about the benefits of moringa oil, and reached out to True Moringa to try some of their products. Unlike comparable facial oils (argan, jojoba) the moringa oil is naturally rich in the cytokinin zeatin, known for stimulating cell division, growth, and delaying aging of cells, and also higher in Oleic acid oils, also called emollient or conditioning oils that are used commonly for dry, mature, and aging skin. I absolutely love the Moringa facial oil, especially in winter when my skin tends to feel dry.
Bonus: True Moringa works directly with a network of 1600 small holder farmers throughout Ghana providing sustainable livelihoods through access to credit, agricultural training, nutrition programs, and fair wages.
For those of us who prefer more dry oils, or switch to less emollient oils in warmer months like me, I recommend brands with astringent/non-comedogenic oils in their serums or face oils rather than conditioning oils like the Moringa or Jojoba named above. The best oils for skin that is already oily are Maracuja, Mongogo, Prickly Pear Seed, Hemp Seed, Sunflower, Rosehip Seed, and oils that have linoleic acid levels that are high.
Brands with great astringent oils include Foxie Cosmetics, Rosie Serum, The Ordinary's Rose Hip Seed Oil, Nyakio's Maracuja Soothing Oil, and any high linelolic acid oil that is pure and organic from your local drugstore (the cheapest option and still works!).
Trend: All-In-One Brands (All Black Owned btw)
Many of our favorite hair care lines also have great skincare, so for the sake of this article I will keep this next section to just a few faves.
Mielle has recently come out with a skincare line that is made with natural ingredients and is incredibly affordable and effective. My favorite from the line so far is the Pomegranite and Honey Moisturizing Face Mask which saved my skin while traveling to Seattle for Christmas (pictured above).
Another one of my favorite all in one brands is Foxie Cosmetics, an organic and handcrafted beauty line which has an assortment of body butters, face serums and masks, kognac sponges, and more. The Green Tea Body Butter I have is easily one of my favorite body moisturizers I have ever purchased, and I don't see myself ever buying a new one to be honest. Hands down best ever. I have yet to try the hair products, mostly because I have so much I still need to try sitting at the NaturallyCurly offices, but if they work half as well as the face mask and body butter I use, I'm sure they are nothing less than brilliant and conditioning.
"Grant is the real deal; her small and sassy hair care start-up is based in the UK and is completely natural with a big emphasis on fresh, and she doesn't include those nasty synthetic preservatives or ingredients in her products. " -Jen Hill
And now Anita Grant has skincare too. All natural and for ALL different types of skin. She literally has a section for everyone and the prices are much more affordable than lines with similar ingredients, a win-win.
SDot Beauty is another handcrafted natural and organic brand with both skincare and hair products. The line is branded as both simple and pure, offering two face serums, one for day and one for night, cleansing bars (more eco-friendly than using bottles), dry clay masks that are packaged so you can get the most for your money, and everything you need to keep your curls healthy and moisturized. SDot Beauty also has a line for babies, which I don't currently need, but cute and important to note nevertheless.
Trend: All the Masks
I've been really into masks this year, or masques if you wanna be fancy. I usually do them while reading for school or preparing dinner, but I think this year I'm going to try to incorporate them in a more self-care "me-time" type of regimen. Either way, masks are here to stay and the beauty industry is getting creative with the ingredients as well as how they look.
I'll start with my absolute favorite mask. It's from a brand I mention all the time (because it's incredible) Foxie Cosmetics. Foxie opened in 2015 by Kayla, who hand makes each product and runs the brand by herself. Everything is vegan, made with natural ingredients, and is packaged beautifully. My favorite mask is the Imperial 24k mask (with real specks of gold because I am a Queen obviously), and it leaves my skin so soft and moisturized. I also really love the coffee exfoliating mask which I bought for my mom for Christmas.
I recently tried Dr. Jarts Rubber Masks for the first time, and although they look super creepy, I stand by the results. The rubber mask worked better for me than some of the also trendy and affordable sheet masks that many brands are beginning to make, but both are fun either way.
As stated above, The Mielle Pomegranite and Honey Mask is amazing for moisture and clearing pores and a new fave of mine, and from the acid section above, I use The Ordinary's AHA + BHA Peeling Solution once a week, as well as Glam Glows Tingling Mask whenever I have a breakout from all the bad holiday food I'm still in the habit of eating.
Glossier has a two-step mask regimen that is a staple and can be used separately or together. One is for moisturizing and the other detoxifies, perfect combo.
Eye masks are also pushing their way into the masking scene. This Korean brand has a pack of 60 you can get on Amazon for only $10 and I love wearing them the morning after a night out or any night I'm behind on sleep. Eye masks claim to depuff, brighten, moisturize, and energize the look and feel of the skin. The difference is slight in my experience, but the cold pads do feel good on your skin.
Sephora has some higher end options also with age reversing ingredients like retinol and aloe leaf juice in their version of eye patches/masks, but I like my cheap Amazon ones enough to continue buying.
I've found that if there's a skincare company I love, there is always a mask I will probably love too. Good for my face, bad for the wallet, face masks are here to stay all 2018.
After the success of beauty lines like Rihanna's Fenty Beauty, this year the industry will finally be forced to be more inclusive of women of all skin shades if they want to stay relevant. Additionally, issues across the political, economic and social spectrum - from Trump in America, to Brexit in Europe, and the legalization of marriage equality in Australia - have pushed important issues to the front of the agendas of brands across all industries and made them begin to address diversity and inclusivity in 2017. In 2018, inclusivity is sure to be a focal point in brands' campaigns, with increased shade ranges and model representation.
"For many years the beauty and hair space has treated women of color and our specific beauty needs as an afterthought and a special case to be handled when it suits the needs for sales," said Patrice Grell Yursik, creator of Afrobella.com, a natural beauty activism blog. "But Rihanna, Issa Rae, Kerry Washington and Lupita Nyong'o have ushered in new awareness and possibilities. This is a really inspiring time for creators of color promoting inclusion and a diverse spectrum of beauty."
Yursik posits that the recent surge of beauty brands that target women of color underscores that there's always been more demand than supply, and hopefully that need is finally being addressed and met.
What trends are you looking forward to trying this year? Let me know in the comments!