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2021 skincare and beauty trend predictions

  • 5 min read

2020 is, thankfully, nearly behind us. As we look to the future, it’s time to consider the skincare and beauty trends for 2021. It’s an exciting time, and there are lots of 2021 beauty trends which are positive, inspiring, and will leave us ready to embrace the New Year with more optimism.

Beauty and skincare trends 2021

Without further ado, here we reveal the skincare and beauty trends that we predict will make their mark in 2021.

1. Hands, hands, hands

There are signs that 2021 will hopefully see our lives return to some degree of normal, with loosening restrictions. However, the impact of Covid on our lives will ensure that hand-washing to greater degrees and hand sanitizers will now be more common aspects of our lives forever. 

We predict that we’ll all simply accept this more, but we will care more about the ingredients of our hand wash and hand sanitisers. We won’t any longer be driven by fear, resorting to using whatever product is supplied without question. That’s why in 2021, UpCircle will be launching a hand wash, hand lotion and hand sanitizer trio which will be made with our values at the forefront.

2. Personalization matters

We’re also seeing custom-made beauty and skincare become more mainstream. From choosing your best colors and formulas to building your own palettes, it’s a more tailored and less wasteful approach to beauty.

It follows that personalization will be a growing trend in terms of understanding tailored recommendations for products. Brands will make it easier for you to personalize your skincare and beauty routine. To start with, try our Skincare Quiz to find out the best products for you.

3. Slow beauty and simplification

We’re kind of rolling two trends into one here because they go so hand-in hand. On one hand, consumers are pushing for skincare and beauty products which don’t have a list of ingredients as long as their arm. They want short lists of natural ingredients they understand. Access to information about formulations and how the ingredients are sourced will push the slow beauty movement forward.

This is combined with a simpler approach to self-care. Individuals want a few wonderful and thoughtfully-crafted products which are as much about self-care as they are about beauty. 

4. The no make-up look

It’s not just because we’ve all been working from home, or simply getting through 2020 putting one foot in front of the other, but there’s a real trend for the no make-up look. Not so long ago the desired look for foundation was a much thicker matte layer, but now makeup and skincare is becoming much more lightweight, effortless and “breathable”. 

Of course, that natural glow starts with skincare! 

At UpCircle, this is the approach we take to all of our skincare products. For example, we use Coffee Grounds in Our Scrubs because they ensure a natural radiance. 

We’re happy to see this shift towards embracing skin’s texture, natural shine and freckles once again (hallelujah!!).

5. Genderless products

We have to ask ourselves why most skincare products ever fell into the trap of being gendered anyway. Everyone’s skin is unique, but its uniqueness has nothing to do with gender. As consumers, we don’t want to be swayed to, or away from, a particular skincare product because of which gender it is marketed at.

A notable skincare trend for 2021 is that skincare products will be packaged in a much more gender neutral way. You can make the decision on whether to buy based on whether it’s the right product, with the right ingredients, for you, not what a marketer thinks about your gender.

6. Brands need to get personal and local

With the impact of lockdowns and coronavirus restrictions, individuals have become far more aware of their local community and how they can support it. This will develop slightly as society gradually opens up once again, but we can expect people to retain the drive for authentic community-minded businesses. We want to buy from brands that align with who we are – they need to be part of our tribe. 

For us this means sharing with you about what matters to us. We’ve run campaigns to get more books into schools, donated to the Stephen Lawrence Foundation and Crisis at Christmas. We work with local eco delivery experts like Subship who only use electric vehicles and bikes to deliver, charged with 100% renewable electricity. We’re also working in partnership with hundreds of local coffee shops, supporting them through our recycling approach.

7. Ageing is coming out of the shadows

Ageing has been characterised by the beauty industry as something to be fought against. Finally, the conversation around ageing is shifting and we’re starting to see a celebration of maturity in beauty. Yes, mature skin needs some TLC in slightly different ways to younger skin, but mature skin is simply a sign of strength, vitality and true beauty.

We love being at the forefront of this trend, helping all individuals, and particularly younger ones, to realise there’s definite truth in the saying ‘grow old gracefully’ – at least where your skin is concerned!

8. Arming our skin against pollution

With the news that air pollution in London is lowering, but still seeing it sat alongside news such as the tragic death of Ella Kissi Debrah, there is a growing trend to protect ourselves, including our skin, against pollution. We’ve discussed skin pollution with you in 2020, but also behind the scenes we are taking it seriously in terms of the antioxidants we choose for our products. 

9. Emotional and mental health ties into skincare

The coronavirus pandemic saw worsening levels of mental health across the country and the world. Simultaneously it made it harder to access help and support. Individuals have been forced to turn to their own resources and to each other to protect and support their mental health. 

Stress affects your skin. But actually your skincare has a more important role to play. A skincare regime can be an empowering self-care tool. We can expect a trend towards more use of products in terms of their effect on your mood. So we're likely to see more products that are described along the lines of how they may make you feel, or what atmosphere they aim to create.  

10. Staying in, not going out

A trend we can expect to continue in 2021, at least for the first half of the year, is the at-home spa. With people unable to book regular spa trips and concerned about Covid exposure during salon trips, people are choosing to recreate the spa at home. We’ve seen a big increase in facial massaging tools like gua-sha stones and jade rollers. (Keep your eyes peeled for a 2021 UpCircle Accessories release here too!!). Whilst some are feeling more confident to use tools such as those for micro-needling and pore vacuums at home, for others it’s all about choosing luxurious at-home products.

We’re expecting 2021 to be an exciting year in terms of skincare and beauty trends. It’s going to be a year in which ethical brands continue to build close relationships with their customers, and where the consumer is more informed and in control.