When you’re a beauty editor, testing trends is literally part of the job description. Philadelphia-based editor Jennifer Ford is pitched hundreds of products every month. “You get a forecast of the trends within the beauty landscape; it's really cool to be in the know about what's coming down the pipeline,” she says.
Erin Lukas, a beauty editor in New York, has a similar work life. She shares, “I'm always on top of what is coming out on the market in terms of innovation, whether it's a new ingredient or a new formulation that has been clinically tested, or just some really cool new packaging.” Continuing, she says, “It's my job to sift through and figure out what is actually exciting.” And, of course, we want to tap into this expert knowledge. Kiehl’s spoke to Ford and Lukas to learn all about the beauty trends that have them most excited right now. Below, you’ll find our roundup of 7 skincare trends to have on your radar for 2022.
1. Plant-Based Ingredients
Plants serve as a source of food, paper, wood, and more. They also decorate our homes and release oxygen into the air. In addition to all of the above, plants play a key role in skincare, providing us with many of our favorite ingredients. And plant-based formulas are only becoming more popular. “We're seeing them in products as one of the hero ingredients, and I also think they're going to continue to appear as supporting ingredients,” shares Lukas.
At Kiehl’s, one of our favorite plant ingredients is calendula, which is derived from Calendula officinalis, a plant in the marigold family. It’s an antioxidant and can help protect the skin. You’ll find it in a number of our products, including Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash. This cleanser gently lifts away impurities, dirt, and oil while calming and soothing the skin.
Another ingredient worth paying attention to, per Lukas, is rambutan. This tropical tree bears a spiky fruit related to lychee. You can eat it (the taste is often compared to grapes), but it’s also making its way into skincare products. The rambutan peel extracts can offer an anti-aging effect, and Lukas notes it’s being looked at as an alternative to retinoids.
2. Blue Light Skincare
How many hours do you spend scrolling on your phone or staring at the computer screen for work? This might have an effect you haven’t considered—on your skin. The blue light emitted by your electronic devices has been linked to skin damage, resulting in the emerging trend of blue light products. Speaking on blue light protection, Lukas says, “I just think it's going to become bigger.”
Kiehl’s has also pegged blue light skincare as a trend that will continue to grow. After all, how much time the average person spends on their phone is also increasing. Our fan-favorite Avocado Eye Cream, formulated with avocado oil and shea butter, can be used to defend the eye area from digital fatigue caused by blue light. It also offers all-day hydration and immediately improves the appearance of under-eye texture.
3. Indulgent Hygiene Products
Hygiene products that make it feel like you’re treating yourself (i.e., indulgent soaps and lush body washes) are having their moment. “It's nice to have a little bit of luxury and glamour in your life when [you’re] sitting at home in your sweat pants; all of last year was very unglamorous,” explains Lukas. She counts herself a fan of fancy soaps, especially when “we’ve been washing our hands more than ever.”
To add a touch of luxe to your hand-washing routine, we recommend our Liquid Hand Soap, available in grapefruit and coriander scents. The non-drying formula with chamomile and aloe vera gently cleanses while soothing and comforting skin.
Of course, your body care routine could stand to be more luxurious as well. As Ford says, “The shower is a great place to indulge.” Not only should products work, but they should smell good, feel good, and “give you an entire sensorial experience while you're in the shower.” Try upgrading your routine with Creme de Corps Smoothing Oil-to-Foam Body Cleanser, an oil-based cleanser that transforms into a light foam to remove dirt and oil. It leaves skin feeling supple and nourished, and is infused with a decadent vanilla and almond scent.
4. Devices and Gadgets
Both Ford and Lukas have found themselves testing various skincare gadgets as of late. Lukas notes that this has been a different experience for her; she’s using devices on her skin more now than before. She comments, “I think it's because I'm at home, and I have more time to do them.” Recently, she’s tested one that turns concentrated face serums into a mist. It hasn’t been long enough to decide on a verdict, but Lukas views skincare gadgets as a fun option to use “in lieu of doing an at-home facial.”
As for Ford, she says that she really enjoys trying different toning devices. Beyond addressing a particular skin concern, “the idea is to be able to try them out and share them with the audience, which is what I think is really, really cool.”
5. Scalp Care
“Scalp care is skincare,” states Ford. Your scalp may be mostly hidden underneath hair, but it’s skin too. “Don't just think of your skin as your face, your arms, your legs; it all really starts with your scalp,” she explains. Just as you would condition and nourish other parts of your body, your scalp requires the same treatment—only with products meant for that specific area. Proper scalp care can not only help manage dryness and flakes, but it’s also been linked to healthy-looking hair.
To curate a scalp care routine, we suggest starting with a scalp scrub. Amino Acid Scalp-Detoxifying Treatment Scrub gently exfoliates dead skin and deeply cleanses by removing impurities and product buildup. It helps your scalp and hair breathe, creating an optimal environment for healthy-feeling, not to mention fuller-looking, hair.
6. Sustainably-Sourced Ingredients
One of the skincare trends Ford expects to be prominent next year—and welcomes—is an uptick in the use of ingredients that are sourced sustainably. Not just the ingredient itself, she says, but “how it's produced, who's producing it, and how those people are treated.”
Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask, a velvety overnight face mask, contains sustainably-sourced ginger leaf. Try it to help firm skin while you sleep and visibly reduce wrinkles over time. Kiehl’s also has “Made for All” Gentle Body Cleanser, formulated with sustainably-sourced aloe vera and hand-harvested soap tree extract. The gentle body cleanser is made to be 100% biodegradable and is also packaged in a bottle made with 100% post-consumer recycled materials.
Kiehl’s Tip: Consider refillable skincare products as another way to make your routine more sustainable. Instead of purchasing and repurchasing bottles of your favorite formulas when you run out, buy refills to minimize waste. We sell large 1L sizes of some of our most popular products, like Creme de Corps Body Lotion With Cocoa Butter.
Skin minimalism, or skinimalism, was one of the most talked-about beauty trends in 2021, and this attention doesn’t seem to be waning. It’s all about embracing the skin you’re in and letting it shine. Lukas predicts the trend’s longevity, saying, “I think it'll continue to be big and just be a new norm in terms of how we approach skincare.”
Ford is already onboard, she shares, “I probably apply makeup three times a month now. I've been loving living in my skin.” To start taking a more minimalist approach in your own routine, try introducing your skin to a couple of multitasking products that address your skin’s biggest needs, like a cleanser that helps visibly correct skin tone and a radiance-boosting face oil. We recommend Clearly Corrective Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser, which helps visibly improve clarity and brighten skin, and Daily Reviving Concentrate Face Oil, formulated to help keep skin looking radiant and healthy all day.