These 5 Skin Care Trends Are Some of the Best of 2020

These 5 Skin Care Trends Are Some of the Best of 2020

Skin care in the U.S. has seen quite the shift since I started writing about beauty a bajillion years (okay, close to 10 years) ago. It truly is a sight to see. We went from harsh astringents, oil-zapping cleansers and moisturizers, mattifying powders and creams to fully embracing the glossy, dewy look that’s been popular in Asian countries for the past 10 years. Western skin care companies have turned their focus from gimmicky scents and marketing to ingredient-focused products that are based on science. It’s a truly magical time to be a skin care enthusiast, IMO. And while a majority of 2020 has been a complete and total dumpster fire, the skin care world truly has some really cool and innovative trends this year. Let’s check them out!


Vegan/Plant-Based Beauty

Vegan and plant-based beauty has truly seen a meteoric rise this past year. But what exactly does vegan beauty mean? Well, it’s any beauty product, whether that’s hair, skin, body care, or makeup, that has been 100% formulated without any animal products/ingredients or byproducts. This means no honey, no lanolin, no beeswax, no gelatin, no horse oil or placenta or donkey milk, all popular ingredients for a variety of personal care products.


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To add another layer to this, you have cruelty-free products, or those that have not been tested on animals during any part of the formulation or production process. So yes, it’s possible to have a vegan product that is not cruelty-free, and vice versa. People have always been concerned with whether their products were cruelty-free, but I’ve definitely seen an uptick in companies and brands making this point very clear and well-known.

If you’re curious about whether your favorite beauty brand is vegan and/or cruelty-free, you can check out the Leaping Bunny program, which gives certifications to beauty brands that are both vegan and cruelty-free, or PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program.



One of my all-time favorite beauty ingredients, niacinamide, is finally seeing its time to shine in the spotlight. Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, pretty much does literally everything you want a skin care ingredient to do, which is why everyone and their mom has been tossing it into their ingredient formulations and making sure that people know it’s there. It tightens and minimizes the size of your pores, helps with hyperpigmentation and discoloration, strengthens your skin’s moisture barrier, softens and smooths fine lines and wrinkles, regulates oil production, helps treat acne, and even protects your skin from free radical damage from the sun.


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Some popular niacinamide products include The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% +  Zinc 1% and Glossier’s Super Pure Serum.



Sustainability continues to be a huge skin care trend in 2020, with tons of beauty brands starting to embrace more sustainable packaging. This includes packaging that uses less plastic, like bar soaps and solid shampoos (I’m a HUGE fan of bar soaps by the way, nothing gets you cleaner tbh), reusable/washable cotton pads (these are my fave), and refillable beauty products like Kjaer Weis makeup, Bathing Culture’s Mind and Body Wash, Diptyque’s hand washes and scrubs, and L’Occitane’s famous oil body cleanser.

skin care trends 2020
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Hotels have even joined in on the sustainable beauty train, with major chains opting to use giant refillable bottles in rooms instead of all the tiny plastic bottles you typically get. This is the one trend I don’t see dying down anytime soon, considering plastic waste and the health of our planet are on the forefront of most of our minds these days.


Hyaluronic Acid

Like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid is one of the trending skin care ingredients I’ve seen everywhere in 2020. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant ingredient—this means it works to keep hydration in your skin and prevents it from escaping. We all make hyaluronic acid naturally, but environmental factors like pollution, cold, wind, and sun damage, or age and skin type might mean your body isn’t making enough hyaluronic acid to keep your skin plump and juicy.


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Some of the biggest serum releases this year have all been focused on hyaluronic acid, like Glow Recipe’s Plum Pump Hyaluronic Acid Serum. If you’re looking for a super intense option for the winter, Skinceuticals H.A. Intensifier is another great choice.


Gua Shas and Jade Rollers

I admit that I thought jade rollers and gua shas were just a gimmick to get people to buy more skincare-related stuff—that is until I bought them for myself to see what the hype was about, and then I totally got it. Jade rollers and gua shas are nothing new though—they date back to 7th century China and have been used for hundreds of years.

skin care trends 2020

But what’s the big deal with them? Jade rollers and gua shas are shaped differently but are ultimately used for the same thing: massaging the face and providing lymphatic drainage, so your face is less puffy and you have more of a glow, thanks to improved circulation. I love to use my gua sha when I’ve had a stressful day and my jaw has been clenched for hours on end. It really does relieve a lot of tension, while making my skin look more tight and taut. And for that, we truly have to stan.

What have been your favorite 2020 skin care trends? Let me know in the comments!


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