After a year of social distancing and work from home, we are officially ready for a beauty do-over. These are the beauty trends destined to dominate the new year.
The new year is upon us and with it is all that we learnt while in quarantine in 2020. Rest assured, we are taking forward this newfound creativity and knowledge with us into 2021 as well. The past year witnessed a slump in our beauty trends as we stayed overarchingly indoors, socially distant, and masked-up. The world is seemingly dealing with the effects of a global pandemic. A pandemic that has brought about a seminal change in how people are thinking about consumption and causing people to reappraise their consumer behaviours. In light of this, beauty trends are also set to change to accommodate and adapt into the new normal. Here’s what we predict will be the biggest beauty trends in 2021.
HYGIENEIf there is anything the nature of the pandemic taught us, it is the importance of maintaining hygine in every sphere of our life. One of the primary aspects clients looked for when salons and spas reopened post the global lockdown was the efficacy of their hygiene measures. While hand washing and sanitising have always played a large role in the daily hygiene habits for most consumers, these habits were magnified in 2020. This is a trend that is here to stay as people are more mindful and conscious of unhygienic beauty trends, processes, and standards. This has led to an insatiable rise in hygiene-focused personal care and beauty items. Consumers are now looking at everything under a questioning lens when it comes to the hygiene and sanitary measures of a product.
A sustainable or ‘ethical’ beauty product is one that does not harm the environment over the entire course of its life cycle—from the extraction of raw materials until the final disposal. These products are completely eco-friendly, clean, and non-toxic. More and more consumers are now becoming aware that the power lies within them to drive change by exercising conscious consumerism and carefully considering the role that opaque supply chains play. In choosing the right products, it is very important to ensure that they check the boxes of being sustainable and eco-friendly.The past year, the global pandemic recalibrated our moral compasses and our idea of what it means to shop consciously. Hence, ethical beauty and conscious consumerism is destined to be one of the biggest beauty trends of 2021, as being mindful will be at the top of everyone’s list of priorities.
There has been a definitive shift to more natural and plant-based beauty trends and products. The reason for this is simple: Much like the points mentioned above, consumers are now more aware of the perils of using artificial and chemical-based cosmetic products and their long-term effects and ramifications. Plant-based or “green” beauty is at the front and centre of everyone’s minds. Traditionally, cosmetic companies have been using animal content and also testing their products on animals. While the majority of the companies now are leaning towards cruelty-free practices, there is still a long way to go before they completely abstain from using animal content as well as chemicals in their products. Plant-based beauty products replace this animal-derived content with blends of natural botanical ingredients, which is often completely vegan. The key to switching to plant-based products is being mindful of the ingredients that go behind making some of your favourites. For example, keratin is a popular cosmetic ingredient that acts as a source of protein and is often used in your hair care products. It is derived from the hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals. To switch to a plant-based alternative, look for plant-based sources of protein instead such as quinoa and artichoke in your hair care products.
Past seasons have witnessed an inexplicable and unnecessary increase in beauty trends and fads that have often led us to think ‘enough already!’ Beauty experts and gurus, and a host of viral YouTube skincare videos made us believe that applying multiple different products one on top of the other is the only way to save our skin. However, on the contrary, the shift towards a ‘less is more’ philosophy has not just been limited to fashion. A growing number of consumers are now leaning towards a minimalist approach to beauty, whether its makeup or skincare. There is more emphasis on healthy, natural skin, a simplified skincare routine, and basic and minimal makeup. The idea is to slow down and appreciate simplicity.
Blue wavelengths, which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood, seem to be the most disruptive at night. The proliferation of electronics with screens, as well as energy-efficient lighting, is increasing our exposure to blue wavelengths, especially after sundown. The pandemic and staying indoors has substantially increased our exposure to blue light. This increased exposure has several harmful effects. Blue light plays a critical role in maintaining good health as it regulates our body’s circadian rhythm but its damage is cumulative and ranges from disruptive sleep cycle to photoageing. As such, a growing beauty trend off late has been incorporating blue light filters into products. These work to block the high-energy wavelengths radiating from the sun and your digital screens. In addition to specific skincare products, there are other ways to minimise exposure to blue light, which can be incorporated into our routines. Consider wearing blue-blocking glasses or installing an app that filters the blue/green wavelength at night. Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed. Use dim red lights for the night. Red light is less likely to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin.
One underlying factor that is visible in all the beauty trends predicted for this year, is a fairly mindful approach to beauty. Consumers are more aware as to what exactly goes into the products they are using and are making more thoughtful choices to that end. In all probability, these trends will extend beyond 2021 as well.