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12 beauty trends that will take you into 2021

When it comes to beauty trends, 2020 was a year that gave us clarity because we had to face lockdown and #WorkFromHome and a whole lot of changes that completely shook our world. Within that chaos, over the months, all of us have figured out a way to recreate skincare regimes, ideate on good products, even try out new ones on the way. Beauty trends now have come full circle with 2021 lighting up the path to give us newer insights into how one can plan one’s beauty business. The best beauty trends for 2021 are here.

Exfoliating is going to be big

Chemical exfoliation is the name of the game this year and will likely continue into 2021 – while at the start of the year, we only had The Ordinary’s AHA BHA, now the market is teeming with exfoliants at every price point. Homegrown labels like Dot & Key, Tvakh, The Minimalist and more are now looking at it as a mainstay.

Celebrity and Influencer collaborations

What we love about them? Exclusive launches, skincare hampers that are put together beautifully and well, limited edition products. We saw many cool collabs this year – from Malavika Sitlani for Smashbox to Corallista Ankita for Farsali, Debasree for The Face Shop and more. The good bit? We got introduced to so many cool products via these girls and we can already see more coming up in the horizon in 2021.

Simpler skincare routines

Elaborate 10 product routines got simplified into just 3-4 steps this year – thanks to the trend ‘skip-care’ and in a way, this minimalist trend will be big in the coming year. 2-3 effective products are better than too many that make least sense to your skin.

Rediscovering sunscreen

Since makeup was out (thank you, working from home!) prepping skin correctly became the norm. Which meant, sunscreen is back as the best anti-ageing skincare product and has since been popular. As the last skincare step – the market is now looking at tinted sunscreens, gel-based ones and zinc-based ones – there’s so much to choose from.

Customised skincare

Personalisation is leading the pack when it comes to beauty – so brands like Bare Anatomy who create your own skincare according to your skin type, Tinge by Sabrina Suhail who helps create your own lipsticks shade in consultation with her and personalised moisturiser one can create at Forest Essentials – all of them are leading you closer to bespoke skincare.

More than influencers: doctors + journalists + experts + dermats

While influencers are still you go-to resources, thanks to Tik Tok and Reels, we are looking at a host of experts who are taking the initiative to give you the right skincare and beauty advice. The stars who came out are now journalists, dermatologists and honest skincare experts. Our favourites are: Rituparna Som, Vasudha Rai, Komal Basith, Hyram and Dr. Shah of Doctorly and they will continue to give you great skincare advice.

Maskne-related skincare

Of course, we have written about it but Maskne is as big now and will surely be a problem we have to deal with until the vaccine hits us. But, brands are now recognising it and creating customised maskne skincare solutions. Top among them is Kaya Skin Relief range that targets maskne specifically across genders and Clinique Anti-acne range that’s very popular.

Genderless skincare

Beauty is now slowly becoming genderless, which is how it should really be. Labels like Human Race and Fenty Beauty have already started the revolution and following closely is Indian label, Conscious Chemist. We love how men are embracing skincare and doling out some amazing advice.

Sanitisers being part of skincare

Hygiene-based products are now big in skincare. That means, sanitisers, brush cleansers and hand washes are getting a glamorous makeover. Even hand creams are popular now with every label coming out with their version and some amazing ingredients included too.

Going back to the oldies

New skincare and makeup aside, old and popular beauty options are coming back. In skincare, we saw Cerave, La Roche Posay, Vichy, Embroylisse Lait and Cetaphil come back into our routines – trusted and tried.

Refills and glass bottles

Plastic is over. That means, we are choosing refillable beauty and glass bottles to stay sustainable among other things. Guerlain has a refillable lipstick case, L’Occitane’s shampoos come in refillable bottles and almost every beauty label we know, uses glass bottles now.

Beauty tech

This year was all about the tech – we used our LED lights, battery-powered hair removers, face wash helpers like Foreo and a whole lot of self-care tools like gold T-bars, Gua Sha stones and facial rollers. Self-care is definitely in.

Pictures via Getty Images

Latha Sunadh
Deputy Editor
When she's not trying on a new serum, researching on yet another classic fragrance and sharing lip balms with her 5-year old daughter, Latha Sunadh keeps it reined in with a nice song and a good book. Special skills include obsessing over handmade, home-made and handcrafted luxuries.