The Wellness Trends We’re Psyched About for 2020

If the 2010s were all about “clean” beauty, CBD and the rise of wellness as a full-blown industry, 2020 is about to kick off some trends we’re particularly psyched about. Come follow!

All things acid.

Glycolic, lactic, mandelic…oh my! After years of over-exfoliating our faces with scrubs that often do more harm than good, it’s time to fully embrace the power of the chemical exfoliant. The benefits of a non-scrub? It’s hard to overdo it (though definitely start slowly — once a week is plenty at first), which means your acid mantle stays intact and your skin remains healthy, glowing and fresh, and there’s a “right” acid for every skin type and concern: If you’ve got irritation-prone skin, glycolic acid is strong enough to be effective without irritating; acneic skin will benefit from salicylic and beta-hydroxy since they clean out pores; lactic and azaleic acids are great for sensitive skin since they prescribe to the slow-and-steady school. “Acid” may be a scary term, especially when it comes to direct contact with the skin on your face, but trust me: you want to join this party.

Sustainability, forever and always.

Think about how much packaging ended up in the trash the last time you purchased a new self-care product. Probably a box, definitely some plastic, maybe a paper insert. And then once you finished the product, what’d you do with the bottle? If you’re a recycler, great. But you know what would be even better? Waste-free packaging that you didn’t have to worry about before, during or after use. Luckily, self-care brands are getting wise to this need and making big moves in the new year. Big-name brands — and small operations like Bathing Culture and Ren — are making pledges and taking action to make sure their packaging is reusable, recyclable, compostable, or even plastic-free. Hopefully, these changes will drastically reduce the number of packages the personal care industry produces every year — a staggering 120 billion.

Three cheers for chickpeas.

If it seemed like you couldn’t go a day without seeing, hearing or reading about cauliflower was in the last few years, you’re not wrong. From rice to pizza to “steak,” it served as a healthy alternative to so many foods that we wouldn’t blame you if you’re feeling burnt out on the brassica. Luckily, it looks like the humble chickpea is here to dethrone cauliflower as the vegetable of choice in 2020, and for good reason. Inexpensive, nutrient-dense and uber-versatile, the days of hummus being the only way to get your garbanzo fix is over: the legume is already popping up as pasta, rice, milk, crunchy snacks, an egg substitute (hello, aquafaba!), even alternative ice cream.

A waterless beauty routine.

Another step in the direction of sustainability, waterless products will steadily find their rightful place in our bathroom cabinets. According to the World Wildlife Fund, two-thirds of the world’s population could face water shortages by 2025 and while waterless products won’t solve the impending crisis, they certainly won’t hurt. In an effort to conserve water, many beauty and self-care companies are working to remove or lower the amount of water in their products. It’s an impressive feat, given that most ingredient lists feature water in one form or another at the very top, meaning it’s one of the main ingredients — often accounting for 70 to 80 percent of a formula. Be on the lookout for buzzwords like “water-free,” “waterless” and “anhydrous,” and products in unfamiliar forms (shampoo bars, powder cleansers, oil-based makeup to name a few).

The whole C-suite. (Cannabinoids, that is.)

The last few years may have seen the meteoric rise of CBD oil, but 2020 is shaping up to be the year the rest of the cannabinoids get their due. CBC (cannabichromene), CBG (cannabigerol) and CBN (cannabinol), all non-psychoactive compounds in the hemp plant, have been finding their way into self-care products lately and there’s no sign the trend is slowing down. While CBD has similar benefits to CBG, CBC and CBN, it’s believed that isolating the latter three can produce purer, more targeted outcomes. Make way for the minor cannabinoids!

Non-gendered products.

For too long, the beauty industry has created a stark divide between products meant for women and those meant for men. But those days are — hopefully — about to be in the rearview as brands like Youth To The People and NOTO embrace the idea of unisex self-care and ditch the stereotypical scents, colors and packaging associated with gender. Inclusivity is the name of the game in 2020 and, while there are some compositional differences between men’s and women’s skin — testosterone makes men’s skin 25 percent thicker with more sebum and hair follicles — skin is skin! Hair is hair! Sharing is caring! Major retailers are already starting to embrace a genderless, bias-free approach to self-care, and we hope to see a lot more of it to encourage people to use products based on their individual needs and not a dated, offensive, gendered bucket.

Lead image by Louie Kovatch.


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Looking forward to these new trends, especially more sustainability! Great roundup! ❤️✨

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog