As we are well and truly into the start of a new year (the year of the rabbit and the cutest member of the Sohma family for any Fruits Basket fans out there – happy lunar new year!), I look into what the next 12 months will bring us in terms of new beauty trends. And I realise I haven’t properly done this exercise since I shared 5 beauty trends back in 2018! Beauty Pie released their beauty trends report 2023, looking at skin, makeup and hair trends. Some trends, in particular skincare ones, won’t come as a surprise, with an evolved take on the return to simple skincare routines and the growing focus on skin-protecting ingredients. So which one of these 6 trends will you be adopting in 2023?

1. Simplicity: take it back to basics

This ‘less is more’ trend has been a pretty constant fixture these last few years, going through various phases of transformation: there was the rise of clean beauty where we favoured natural, free-from formulas with short ingredient lists, accompanied by the never-ending quest for glowing skin. To complement this skincare trend, there was also the ‘no makeup makeup look’, where sheer tints and CC creams took over thicker foundations. This minimal approach seems to mark a strong contrast to the dedication a K-beauty 7 step skincare routine requires, however paradoxically we still look to Korea for new trends such as slugging (applying a layer of balm of facial oil all over your face to help prevent water loss). In 2023 we will continue to prefer a simple approach to skincare and make-up routines, driven not just by skin needs but also by talks of a recession. Let’s face it, if it’s a choice between heating your home enough to not lose your toes to frostbite, and a nice-but-far-from-essential face mist, the heating will – should – win. Look for multi-purpose products such as Heimish Artless Glow Base that provides a glowing base and UV protection all rolled into one, and Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm, a one pot wonder to cleanse, hydrate and nourish skin.

2. TLC: Skin Barrier Repair

Linked to the first trend is the increasing awareness of our skin’s role as a barrier. For all the talk about products and ingredients ‘penetrating’ skin, our skin’s job is to act as a barrier, protecting our internal organs from external aggressors. In order for it to do its job properly, it needs to be in good health, however the repeated (over)use of harsh products can compromise the skin barrier. I remember my excessive use of exfoliating acids a few years back – driven by my wish to reduce stubborn acne through the sloughing of dead skin – led to angry red swollen spots AND dry skin. ‘Too much’ said my skin. In 2023 I’ll be going easy on actives, choosing vitamin C concentrations lower than 10% to avoid overloading skin, cleansing with gentle and nourishing formulas such as Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm, and gently repairing any damage with Temple Spa’s prebiotic BeCalm Face Mask. My goal for 2023: a healthy microbiome.

3. More TLC please: self-care

Aren’t we all tired… so tired… two years of pandemic and every worry, uncertainty, restriction and scandal that came with government measures, followed by the Ukraine war and its effect on energy costs, the cost of living… where are the ‘roaring twenties’ the trend reports predicted as we were coming out of the pandemic? At-home treatments offer a way to lift the mood and indulge in a pick-me-up, from a relaxing Sunday bath with Herbivore’s Calm Soaking Salts to a more invigorating body treatment with Pietro Simone’s 100% Pure Himalayan Salt Body Paddle which delivers specific massage benefits, from exfoliating and regenerating, to antibacterial and nourishing.

4. Skincare ingredient to watch

Ingredient-led skincare has been one of the strongest and lasting skincare trends recently, driven by a desire to understand what we’re putting on our skin and use this knowledge to create an evermore tailored skincare routine. Acne-reducing salicylic acid was the most searched for skincare ingredient of 2021, while vitamin C and niacinamide came a joint third. So which ingredient will be on everyone’s lips in 2023? Chebula, apparently. No, me neither. According to Beauty Pie’s trend report searches for this hard-working ingredient went up nearly 1000% in the run up to 2023. It’s considered one of the most powerful antioxidants in the world and makes a great moisturiser, reducing fine lines, brightening and strengthening skin. How have I not heard of it until now? Watch this space.

5. Sustainability – is it the norm yet?

Of course this is not going anywhere. Soon – hopefully – sustainable initiatives will just be part of the fabric of every brand, business and organisation, so that it is no longer considered a nice-to-have, but a must in order to even run a business. A couple of niche beauty brands that are leading the way and deserve a shout out:

  • Proverb Skin for their refillable everything, from stick deodorants to body washes – their refill option comes in the first ever home compostable pouch for liquids
  • SBTRCT, a plastic-free solids-only skincare brand that doesn’t compromise on results. My favourite: their solid Vitamin C Serum, another world first

6. Animal haircuts!

Finally, a little something on hair. It seems the animal kingdom has been a major inspiration for recent haircuts, with the wolf cut making it into the top hair trends this year (involving choppy layers on top and longer layers below, inspired by a retro rock chick look – or an evolution of the mullet, depending on your point of view). Now it’s the turn of the butterfly haircut to take centre stage, also combining short and longer layers for lots of movement and body and face contouring. I might take the plunge in 2023, but for now I’m enjoying taking care of my shoulder length blunt cut with Naturtint’s Nourishing range for dry and damaged hair. For extra pampering of those dry ends I’m, using the Hair Mask as a conditioner, slathering it on two to three times a week.

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