These Will Be the 13 Biggest Skincare Trends of 2020


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Just like the perfect little black dress or quilted Chanel crossbody, taking care of your skin is one investment that will never go out of style. Since you are a savvy Who What Wear beauty reader, you have probably already purchased the key pillars of your skincare routine: a cleanser for your specific skin type, toner, moisturizer, and of course sunscreen. But, like with fashion, there trends when it comes to the latest and greatest in beauty innovation, and in 2020, radiant skin is definitely in. 

To get an idea of what to expect with regard to skincare trends for 2020, we reached out to four experts in the field for their predictions on all things related to the epidermis, from everyday products to indulgent spa treatments and even topics to discuss with your dermatologist. If you’re interested in clean beauty products, pay close attention to Jeannie Jarnot’s predictions; as the founder of Beauty Heroes, she’s spreading the word about smart, sustainable skincare products. If you prefer the occasional spa visit to complement your at-home routine, Allison Tray of Tres Belle Spa offers great insight into both affordable and splurge-worthy treatments. Last but not least, dermatologists Heather Rogers, MD, and Joshua Zeichner, MD, share some crucial info about the latest advancement in the prevention and treatment of everything from acne to aging and more serious skincare issues. 

Keep scrolling for insights from the pros, plus a few of their favorite products that are setting the tone for 2020 and beyond. One thing all of our experts can agree on? Hydration and daily sunscreen application are key to maintaining healthy skin—that’s definitely a trend we can support.

1. Zero-Waste Beauty Products


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"Customers are increasingly interested in products that have minimal packaging," says Jarnot. Keep an eye out for products that have thoughtful packaging, less plastic, and fewer components. 

2. Clean Beauty


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"Consumers are becoming much more knowledgable about what they are putting into their bodies and onto their skin," says Zeichner. "Natural ingredients like CBD oil and bakuchiol are two of the most popular natural skincare ingredients right now," he notes. Also, consumers are prioritizing products that are free of parabens, phthalates, drying alcohols, fragrances, and dies, as well as products that are certified cruelty-free.

Rogers agrees and extols the virtues of places like Credo, Detox Market, and others who have helped to outline clean beauty standards for both brands and consumers. "I can now say with confidence that if you buy from one of these storefronts, you will really get a cleaner, greener product." 

3. Clean Beauty & Retinol


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"We are seeing some green beauty brands add small percentages of retinol to be able to compete with traditional beauty brands who market retinol for its anti-aging benefits of the skin," says Jarnot. She cautions expectant mothers and clean beauty devotees to read labels and steer clear of products with synthetic vitamin A, due to the possibility of retinyl palmitate, which should be avoided. 

4. Refillable Products


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Several brands have gotten into the refillable game, which is great for anyone who wants to cut down on waste. In fact, Beauty Heroes is launching several refillable products in 2020 with packaging that is easy for the customer to refill on their own, which is key to supporting the trend, according to Jarnot. 

5. Toners


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"I think beauty buffs are finally going to believe in the magic of toners," says Tray. This is usually the skincare step that people skip, but she predicts toners will be big in 2020. "Toning the skin helps balance pH levels while also removing dead skin cells from the surface," she explains. 

6. Fewer, Better Products


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Call it the Marie Kondo Effect, but the magic of tidying up has reached its way from our kitchens and closets to our skincare routines. "Fewer key steps, fewer ingredients, and more transparency are all part of skincare in 2020," says Rogers. Think you can edit your top shelf down to just a few favorites? 

7. Facial Massage


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Tray has noticed a rise in treatments that lift and sculpt the face using just the hands. "I believe the heavy contouring with cosmetics will take a back seat to hands-on manipulation and sculpting," she predicts. 

8. Non-Chemical Sunscreens


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You already wear sunscreen every day, right? Good. Because there are tons of great, non-chemical options now available. "Zinc was once thick and white and unpleasant to use, but with all the new mineral options available, more people are making the switch," says Rogers. 

9. Environmental Protection


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You already know the importance of daily sunscreen, but now we are learning more and more about the effects of pollution, infrared radiation, and high-energy visible light on the skin. The latest generation of skincare products contains antioxidants targeted toward environmental damage and will continue to grow in popularity in 2020, according to Zeichner. 

10. Natural-Looking Lips


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"I'm seeing more and more that my patients are not looking for that artificial work anymore," observes Zeichner. "Instead of convincing patients not to try to match their lips to the shape of their favorite celerity, I am hoping that they will be more inclined to enhance their natural shape," he explains. Rogers concurs, saying, "I hope to see fewer overfilled lips on Instagram."

11. Personalized Products


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According to Zeichner, the latest technologies in skincare involve analyzing your specific needs and delivering targeted products and routines. "Some of the major brands like Olay, Neutrogena, and La Roche-Posay combine technology with skin care to assess and analyze your skin," he observes. 

12. Regular Facials & Peels


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"I think a good facial is a timeless service," says Jarnot. Tray agrees, noting "A good, professional cleaning helps your skin function better." Additionally, Tray predicts people will become less fearful of chemical peels. "There are peels that are just the right depth to improve the health and beauty of every single face with absolutely no pain," she promises. 

13. Preventative Treatments


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"We are all going to lose the war against aging, but it will take much longer if you put up a good fight," says Rogers. Zeichner agrees, noting, "My biggest growing population of cosmetic patients are women coming in for Botox for their 30th birthdays." As these outpatient treatments are becoming more popular, patients are coming in at the first sign of a wrinkle. "When we treat wrinkles early, we can completely eliminate them and prevent them from developing altogether," he explains.

Rogers believes there is no "one and done" procedure when it comes to skincare, including plastic surgery. "Good everyday skincare, lasering to treat spots and texture issues, neuromodulators (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, Jeuveau) to prevent unwanted hypertrophy of facial muscles, and fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Sculptra) to replace the volume loss associated with aging are all part of the process," she explains.

Both doctors agree that the people who look amazing for their age typically see their dermatologists four to six times a year for a variety of treatments and, most importantly, for their annual skin exam—so schedule yours now for 2020! 

Up next: 17 Outdated Beauty Trends That Are Suddenly Cool Again

Drew Elovitz
Director of Content Strategy

Drew Elovitz is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has spent the last decade living and working in New York City. She earned a master's degree in media and popular culture from New York University, then began her career on the internet as the Twitter voice of Barbie. She worked previously at Who What Wear as the director of content strategy and also spent several years leading the social media teams at Teen Vogue and Entertainment Weekly. You'll find her byline on the site around topics such as celebrity fashion, must-have basics, beauty favorites (particularly nail polish), and wellness tips and tricks. Her personal style tends to favor the classics: She loves crisp white button-downs, sneakers, and skinny jeans—and no look is complete without a great pair of oversize sunglasses and a trusty leather jacket. After she finishes reading the entire internet every day, she can be found dining out at her favorite restaurants, trying new beauty treatments, or indulging her historical-fiction habit.