If 2020 was the year of the zoom call, 2021 was the year of the glow up. Fresh out of lockdown (and back in it again, but let’s bypass that for now), our minds turned to wearing something other than loungewear and back to putting our make-up on, ready to face the world again. ‘Tweakments’ soared in popularity over the past 18-months, likely accelerated by the magnification of wrinkles on video calls and a general sentiment of ‘not quite being ourselves’.
In contrast, I predict that this year, 2022, will be the year of ‘less is more’- a mantra and an approach I adopt in my clinic. However, when I say ‘less is more’ I don’t mean opting for fewer treatments or less products in a skincare routine, I mean the overall look that people wish to achieve will be more paired back – less of the plumped-up pout favoured by Love Island contestants and more of a subtle enhancement to work with the features of the face; gentler ingredients in skincare products and fewer, more quality products in skincare routines. I also predict a massive revival of the Facial. If it ever really went away.
The rise of Bro-tox
We’re seeing more men embracing skincare and aesthetics treatments than ever before. This is a trend that will continue throughout 2022 and beyond, as men become more confident in choosing treatments such as Botox and fillers and talking more openly about it. We will also see a rise in bespoke treatments tailored specifically for men’s skin. Did you know that on average, male skin is about 20-25% thicker than women, as well as having a tougher texture and more sebaceous glands (therefore, more pores)? With that in mind, it makes sense that there is not a unisex, one-size-fits-all approach to skincare.
Unfortunately, the aesthetics industry is subject to a widespread lack of regulations, something that not only hugely disappoints me, but also scares me. I am scared for the patients that choose inexperienced and unqualified practitioners for aesthetic work based solely on price or lack of knowledge – they simply don’t understand how they are putting themselves at risk. Whilst I don’t see the majority of the current challenges i.e. lack of regulations, changing wildly in the next 2-5 years, I do think we will see advancement of industry standards as we start to talk more about the lack of regulation and the importance of being treated by a qualified, medical professional.
In 2021, we saw cosmetic Botox banned for under-18s in England after a spike in younger people seeking what is dubbed an ‘Instagram face’. As a mother of four young children, including a teenage girl, I couldn’t be happier that this has been finally introduced. Under the new law (The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act), under-18s will no longer be able to get Botox and dermal fillers for cosmetic reasons.
It’s my hope that going forwards, we will continue to see peoples’ understanding and expectations around aesthetic treatments better managed, and a safer industry for all.
We’ve been witnessing advancements in technology moving (read: catapulting) the beauty industry forward, and this will continue. Technologies such as AR (Augmented Reality) allowing for virtual cosmetic try-on or end-result projection will make the beauty and cosmetic industry more personalised. We’ve already seen AR transform our photos (Facetune anyone?) but whether that is for the better is up for debate. However, there are ways that the cosmetic industry can safely use these technologies to educate and inform patients ahead of treatment, if used correctly by medical professionals this can be a huge advantage to patients in consultation and pre-treatment. The new generation of skincare is becoming more widely available, and favourites such as microneedling with PRP are starting to get the airtime they deserve.
I think we’re seeing a much wider appetite for knowledge around skincare – people want to go beyond using primers to achieve a healthy glow; they want hard-working ingredients that transform their skin from within. With a more relaxed, home-centred existence of late, skin can come into focus with make-up being reserved for occasions and our skin condition now more under the microscope than ever before. We are also more attuned to our general health and wellbeing since the start of the pandemic, and are beginning to understand the role of our skin – the body’s biggest organ, plays in our overall health. Self-care is becoming even more important and long may it continue.
Among the chaos of the world, people will be opting for simpler skincare routines with harder working products. Many people are beginning to realise that less really is more when it comes to skincare and aesthetics, and that too much of a good thing sometimes has the opposite of the desired effect. Hydrating your skin through drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep, coupled with regular, non-invasive treatments like HydraFacial are growing in popularity.
Return of the Professional
2022 will also welcome a full return to your aesthetician or dermatologist as confidence grows in Covid safety measures. At Natasha Lucy Clinics, we are CQC regulated which means we adhere to strict health and safety guidelines and can remain open as a medical facility even if there is another lockdown which includes beauty premises. Our patients’ safety is always our top priority, and we strictly adhere to government guidelines around Covid-19.
The one trend I hope to see in 2022 – SPF
Please, please, if there is one trend that intensifies in 2022 let it be the widespread use of SPF. It always baffles me that still, today, people are neglecting to use an SPF; SPF should be the very foundation of your skincare routine. It’s use is vital, not only to protect from premature ageing, but also skin cancer. I cannot emphasise this one enough.