The experts are calling it.
If it feels like there’s a new SkinTok beauty trend every other week, that’s probably because there is. For better or for worse, TikTok is full of beauty influencers trying new products and discovering old favorites, swearing “life-changing,” skin-smoothing, clearing, and glowing results. Some of them — like slugging — are actually pretty good while others have been debunked by experts on the app. (No, taping your face cannot replace Botox.)
With the plethora of trends coming and going, and the year wrapping up, it’s time to look to the future. TZR caught up with three dermatologists (and TikTokers themselves) to get their thoughts on the seven skin care trends they predict will be all over your social media feeds in 2023.
After years of telling teens with cystic acne to smile through the pain, the skin care space is finally admitting that mental health has an effect on the skin. “Without a doubt, there is a connection,” says Board-Certified Dermatologist and Dermatologic Surgeon Dr. Dustin Portela. “When we suffer from anxiety or stress our cortisol levels will be elevated which lead to many downstream metabolic effects.” This can mean an increase in blood sugar, causing insulin levels to go up, or poor sleep leading to dehydrated, stressed-out skin.
“Additionally, if someone is suffering from severe acne for example, they may feel more anxious or depressed if they are not confident in their appearance,” he adds.
The mind-skin connection is even inspiring beauty brands to reframe what “good skin” actually means. Starface, with its bold pimple patches worn by celebrities such as Hailey and Justin Bieber, helped make it cool to show off your pimples. Numerous other brands are showing real skin — pores and all — in marketing images for the first time. In 2021, Glow Recipe took things once step further by banning phrases and words like “perfect skin,” “poreless,” and “flawless” from its brand vocabulary. Less stress over a breakout will hopefully lead to less breakouts in general.
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)
There’s a new anti-aging all-star in the skin care world, and it’s one of the most exciting rising ingredients since bakuchiol. It’s called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP for short. Brands such as Georgia Louise, 111Skin, and Soho Skin are formulating their products with ingredients that boost fibroblast function and ATP levels, which will hopefully boost collagen revealing younger-looking skin. It’s all a bit complicated so let an expert explain.
“ATP is a source of energy for our cells. Our body makes ATP which is needed to fuel many of our cellular processes,” says Double Board-Certified Pediatric and Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal. “ATP has become popular in the past few years. It likely provides components that are helpful in rejuvenating and energizing skin. It has been shown to speed up wound healing which means it has a role in promoting collagen formation.”
Prebiotics & Probiotics
While not new new, recent studies have shown prebiotics and probiotics in skin care support a healthy skin barrier, a topic you’ll also be hearing a lot more about in 2023. Prebiotics and probiotics are said to balance the microbiome, staving off infections and conditions such as eczema. “This is a rapidly evolving area of medicine,” Dr. Portela says. “Although it’s not precise yet, it’s continually improving and my hope is that someday we will have the ability to truly manipulate the microbiome to improve the health of the skin.”
Postbiotics (by-products of probiotics) can also help with pH balance. “Achieving optimal skin pH is also required for preserving the important bacteria that lives on skin,” says Board-Certified Dermatologist Dr. Nava Greenfield. A few examples of this focus include CocoKind’s Acne Serum and the upcoming REN Clean Skincare Perfect Canvas Essence, out in January.
No one wants dangerous ingredients in their skin care, but it would be great for the fear-mongering and misinformation about formulas online to come to an end. The experts on social media, dermatologists, cosmetic chemists, and estheticians agree, and are helping lead the charge. “Clean” beauty is still subjective and still unregulated so, in 2023, you’ll see less opinions and more information from brands so you can make your own decisions about what you put in and on your body. Just think of the way The Ordinary and Paula’s Choice breaks down the ingredients in their products in simple, concise ways.
“What defines clean? Vegan? Naturally sourced? Ethical? We don’t know,” Dr. Lal says. “In truth, lab-made synthetic ingredients are created for skin application through robust testing and science.”
Dr. Greenfield likes clean beauty for its “simple products not containing any harsh chemicals” but agrees that “fear does not help anyone.”
“Slugging is a trend that has made the rounds on social media a number of times,” Dr. Portela explains. “The idea is to do your full evening skin care routine, and before going to bed, apply a thin layer of Vaseline (petrolatum), Aquaphor, or CeraVe Healing Ointment.” He says this can be an excellent way to reinforce your skin barrier and leave your skin hydrated, especially if you over-exfoliated and are experiencing irritation.
And slugging isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Folks are even slugging their nails and hair (though, Black women have been doing that one for ages.) Brands like Loops and the new Futurewise created products specifically for slugging so we’d say it’s here to stay.
While celebrity skin care brands will still be huge in 2023, there has been a rise in expert-founded brands, especially from dermatologists who have found fame on TikTok. Fans who can’t fly to New York or Los Angeles for a consultation for with their favorite dermatologist can use their skin care from anywhere. This year, Board-Certified Dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss launched her brand PillowtalkDerm, joining successful brands from Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Lara Devgan, and Dermatologists Dr. Loretta Ciraldo and Dr. Zenovia Gabriel.
Of course, it’s not just dermatologists. Other experts have launched brands as well, leading with science and information over traditional marketing. There are a number of celebrity estheticians with skin care lines, such as Shani Darden, Joanna Czech, and Renée Rouleau, as well as cosmetic chemists, including Ron Robinson.
But just because a brand is created by a beauty expert, it doesn’t mean it’s the right skin care for you. Dr. Greenfield says there are many “great derm-founded brands” but “some are better than others,” so be sure to do your research before diving in.
Broccoli Seed Oil
Vegetables in skincare aren't new, but broccoli is popping up as 2023’s “it” veggie. “It’s full of rich fatty acids that help hydrate and heal inflamed scaly skin,” Dr. Lal says. “It’s also full of antioxidants, some of which can help treat and prevent sun damage.”
While more research still needs to be done, Dr. Greenfield agrees that “many vegetable and seed extracts have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the skin.”
Broccoli seed oil is already an ingredient in a handful of antioxidant-rich products, including L:A Bruket's Broccoli Seed Serum, Elemis Superfood Facial Oil, and Maya Chia The Highlight Of The Day Illuminating Face Serum.