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Skincare trends that ruled 2023 and we’ll be talking about next year too

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While the pool of skincare trends only grew through 2023, a few managed to cement their place in our everyday routines. Two skin experts share their take on the skincare trends you should take into the New Year.

Skin slugging

This method “involves sealing in moisture using a thick layer of occlusive agents, typically an emollient or petroleum jelly,” says Dr. Geetika Mittal Gupta, aesthetic physician and founder of ISAAC Luxe. This is perfect for someone with dehydrated skin especially in the cooler months of the year. “This trend has captivated skincare enthusiasts due to its ability to create a protective barrier, preventing transepidermal water loss. The result is a morning glow and deeply hydrated skin.” Of course, if you’re someone with acne-prone or oily skin, skip this buzzing skincare trend, no matter how many reels convince you it’s for *everyone*.

LED face masks

Yes, the selfies and videos you’ve seen all over your Instagram feed with superhero-like lit-up face masks really do make for a great addition to your skincare routine. “LED masks should be used as per your skin type and concerns, and consistently, for a long time, along with your regular skincare routine for real results,” says Dr Kiran Sethi, Delhi-based integrative aesthetician and founder, Isyaderm. “Different colours of LED have different benefits for the skin. Red light stimulates collagen production and reduces inflammation making it beneficial for anti-ageing. Blue light kills acne-causing bacteria and also helps with inflammation. Green light helps with pigmentation and an uneven skin tone. And lastly, yellow light is ideal for sensitive skin and promotes lymphatic drainage.”

Skin cycling

One of the skincare trends that took off on TikTok, skin cycling allows you to ease your skin into the use of exfoliants and retinol while also prioritising your barrier’s health. Herein, you use an exfoliant like glycolic acid as part of your night routine on the first day, a retinol on your second, and a nourishing moisturiser on days 3 and 4 to give your skin enough recovery time. “Skin cycling maximises the efficacy of products, ensuring they harmonise with your skin’s ever-changing demands,” says Dr Mittal Gupta. “Daytime focus on protection and nighttime emphasis on repair lead to a balanced and harmonious skincare routine.”

Multitasking beauty

We’ve seen plenty of skincare products that have multiple benefits and often combine two steps in one, but one trend that we’ve seen soar this year is identifying and using skincare products for more than just their intended use. “Using multitasking products or finding creative hacks to repurpose skincare items can be convenient and cost-effective,” says Dr Sethi. “However, you do have to be smart and cautious about it and consider potential sensitivities or adverse reactions.” Some of the hacks she endorses are using a glycolic acid toner on the underarms to exfoliate dead skin cells and prevent ingrown hair, applying hyaluronic acid serum to the ends of the hair to hydrate and reduce frizz, and using jojoba oil to remove makeup.

Skin flooding

If you’re a K-beauty fanatic or have simply explored the skincare catalogue of a Korean beauty brand, you’ve likely been baffled by the steps that come between toner and moisturiser. While most brands normally have a single serum that fits there, K-beauty has an entire assortment of serums, ampoules, essences and waters. The principle of using multiple hydrating formulas on top of each other is what primarily comprises the infamous 10 steps. “Skin flooding is the application and layering of one product after the other to deeply hydrate the skin,” explains Dr Mittal Gupta. “It involves saturating the skin with layers of hydrating products to enhance moisture retention. With a focus on the Korean skincare philosophy, skin flooding has gained momentum for its emphasis on layering lightweight, hydrating formulations that promote a well-hydrated, supple complexion.”

Also read:

The best of skincare – from cleansers, moisturisers, sunscreens to bath and body #VBF2022

The 15 best body moisturisers for hydrated limbs at all times

Best travel-sized beauty picks, from moisturiser to serum and shampoo

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