Next-Gen Hygiene: The Personal Care Trend Sparked By the Pandemic

Next-Gen Hygiene: The Personal Care Trend Sparked By the Pandemic

I don’t know about you, but before the pandemic, I wasn’t a big sanitizer-hand soap-hand lotion kinda girl.

Like, sure, I had a tube of Trader Joe’s rose hand cream that I’d always conveniently forget to put in my purse, and on occasion, I’d splurge on a cute hand soap from Aesop (purely for the *aesthetic*), or I’d buy some of those mini Bath and Body Works keychain sanitizers they put by the checkout counter. But in general, my use of hygiene products was strictly utilitarian. I didn’t care what they looked like or really even what they smelled like, as long as they got the job done.

And then the pandemic happened, and in a flash, everything changed. Soap and hand sanitizer were precious commodities, with brands scrambling to keep up with demand, sometimes with not-so-great results. I know you weren’t the only one desperately trying to find hand sanitizer last year, only for them all to smell like leftover tequila from a bathroom stall in a club. It was so common that articles were written about it over and over and over again. Finding hand creams was almost impossible—and hand soap? Thank god I had a huge bottle leftover from a Costco haul right before the lockdown happened or I would’ve been fresh outta luck.

And now, as someone who washes their hands and uses more drying sanitizer than I thought physically possible, I have put a lot more thought into my hygiene products—and it seems I’m not alone. Actually, one of the biggest beauty trends for 2021 is next-gen hygiene. According to, hygiene products are the next, newly chic personal care category.


So What Is Next-Gen Hygiene Exactly?

Basically, companies are scrambling to come out with next-gen hygiene products that not only smell and feel good but also look aesthetically pleasing for the ’gram as well. If you look close enough, you’ll find that tons of major beauty brands got in on the next-gen hygiene trend pretty early on, with brands like Shiseido and nail brand ORLY pivoting to making the all-precious sanitizer to donate. Lush has come out with a 30-second soap, designed to disintegrate as you wash your hands, that is being distributed in the UAE and Dubai with food delivery orders.

Some other examples? Glossier’s millennial pink hand cream that perfectly fits into trendy mini crossbody bags. (I am a proud owner of both—the hand cream AND the crossbody bag … those Instagram ads get me every time!) Touchland’s Power Mist is a firm mainstay in my bag as well—the intuitive mist coats your hands with one press of the packaging, and the best part? It doesn’t smell like rancid tequila, just normal, cool scents like watermelon, lavender, aloe vera, cinnamon, and even unscented for people who don’t want any scent at all.


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Biossance’s squalane-infused hand sanitizer keeps your hands feeling soft, while eliminating 99.9 percent of bacteria. And of course, you can count on K-beauty brands to infuse their products with good-for-your-skin ingredients like centella asiatica, aloe water, and witch hazel, like in Tony Moly’s Aloe Chok Chok Sanitizer Gel and their 61.5% Alcohol Derma MasterLab Hand Spray.

next gen hygiene

What are your thoughts on this new frontier of next-gen hygiene personal care products? Are you still using tequila-scented hand sanitizer? Let me know in the comments!


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