Skin Care

Skincare Trends of 2023

We’re just over halfway through 2023, so it’s time to review some of the skincare trends that have emerged and lingered throughout the year. We’ll dive into three trends: Upcycling, waterless products, and skin barrier-supporting products and ingredients.

November 29, 2023


1. Upcycling

2023 has seen the rise of a new trend in the skincare industry: upcycling. This innovative approach involves transforming waste or discarded materials into something of greater value. For us in the skincare industry, upcycling often uses unconventional ingredients such as fruit peels or coffee grounds to create effective and eco-friendly cosmetic ingredients.

Upcycling is not only environmentally conscious but also offers unique benefits for the skin. Coffee grounds contain antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. Fruit peels can contain natural enzymes that promote cellular turnover, revealing brighter and smoother skin. It's a win-win for both the environment and your skin!

The benefits of upcycling don't stop there. By embracing upcycling initiatives, we can reduce waste and minimise the need for new raw materials that can be damaging to the environment. Skincare manufacturers can also implement recycling and waste reduction programs in their facilities to ensure as little waste as possible goes to landfills.

At its core, upcycling is all about finding creative solutions to environmental problems. By taking waste and transforming it into something useful, we're able to create a more sustainable future for the planet while also developing innovative and effective skincare products.

We're excited to see the trend of upcycling gaining traction in the industry, and seeing more companies committed to being at the forefront of this innovative approach.

This brings me to our second skincare trend of 2023…

2. Waterless Products

Did you know that most traditional skincare formulations are made up of 60%-80% water[1]? Right now, there’s a driving movement to remove this filler ingredient to create better value for consumers, reduce water wastage, and minimise the fossil fuels emitted during transportation. Waterless products have the power to tick all three boxes.

‘Waterless’ can indicate a couple of different things - it can mean the product itself contains no water or it can mean the product was made with alternatives like waxes, oils or butters. Conserving Beauty is a great example of a brand committed to this approach, going as far as creating the world’s first dissolving cleansing wipe.

Going for a waterless product also means it will contain fewer preservatives. Essentially, where there’s water, there are micro-organisms like bacteria. So in skincare and cosmeceutical products containing water, preservatives are needed to treat the bacteria and extend the shelf life of a product.

Remember when I mentioned fossil fuels? Brands can save a ton of money on transport and reduce their carbon footprint by producing waterless products because they can move more at a time. What’s more, waterless products are typically packaged in recyclable and sustainable materials, reducing the use of plastics.

Removing the filler ingredient, aqua gives consumers a better bang for their buck and paves the way for a more sustainable future for skin care.

Now, for our final trend…

3. Skin Barrier Protection

2023 is the year of skin restoration. The aim is to lock in the good stuff (moisture, good bacteria) and keep the bad out. Rather than stripping everything off the skin, there’s a new focus on supporting the skin microbiome, and restoring balance with mild, gentle products[3]. We’re leaning into more anti-inflammatory, hydrating and firming ingredients. 

Ceramides and fatty acids have become favourite ingredients because they replicate your skin’s natural barrier[4]

Niacinamide has maintained its main character position because it’s nice and gentle, brightening, and anti-inflammatory. 

Fermented beauty has also emerged this year. Fermented ingredients carry anti-ageing benefits, reduce inflammation, and strengthen skin. Dermstore notes the fermentation process ‘produces amino acids and peptides that help skin’s cellular renewal’[5]. These products nourish your natural bacteria, working to promote a healthy microbiome. Fermented products also require fewer preservatives because of the good bacteria they contain[6].

So there you have it - let’s see what the latter half of 2023 brings to skincare!