Forbes India Showstoppers 2022-23

Wrinkles, imperfections, firmness: Skincare has led the way in 2022's beauty trends

In 2022, skincare products moved to the forefront, with the quest for ingredients respectful of the skin and the environment. This, in turn, is taking beauty in an altogether more natural direction

Published: Dec 23, 2022 03:12:56 PM IST
Updated: Dec 23, 2022 03:14:10 PM IST

Wrinkles, imperfections, firmness: Skincare has led the way in 2022's beauty trendsSocial networks -- TikTok and Instagram in the lead -- have quickly become major trendsetters, whether in skincare or makeup. Image credit: Shutterstock

Largely shunned during the pandemic, makeup returned to the spotlight in 2022 with the help of social networks. However, it is no longer the core of beauty routines. These days, skincare products have moved to the forefront, with the quest for ingredients respectful of the skin and the environment. This, in turn, is taking beauty in an altogether more natural direction.

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly changed beauty habits, but it's not the only factor at play. Social networks -- TikTok and Instagram in the lead -- have quickly become major trendsetters, whether in skincare or makeup. However, while users are having a blast sharing increasingly elaborate beauty looks and techniques, it's skincare that's really appealing to people on a daily basis. The goal is to achieve a flawless complexion to avoid having to apply endless layers of makeup thanks to your 'perfect' natural skin.

On TikTok, the #skincare hashtag already has some 138 billion views, reflecting the public's infatuation with skincare, especially among younger people. It is now a question of structuring beauty routines around prevention, whether to get rid of imperfections, or to protect skin from pollution or the harmful effects of UV rays. The focus is on tailor-made skincare products based on ever more effective and natural ingredients to help keep skin fresh and radiant for longer. The trend is such that a host of celebrities -- from Brad Pitt to Kate Moss, Hailey Bieber and Kim Kardashian -- have launched their own skincare brands in 2022, encompassing cosmetics and wellness, and essentially based on the concept of holistic beauty.

Smooth, plump-looking skin

Wrinkles, blemishes and sagging skin seem to be of particular concern to consumers around the world, regardless of their age. According to the first ever Beauty Trends Report from the beauty platform LookFantastic*, salicylic acid is the most popular beauty ingredient of 2022. "Salicylic acid penetrates deep into pores to clear, unclog and reduce sebum secretion, making it a great product for oily or acne prone skin," says Aruj Javid, a pharmacist for the cosmetics site. The ingredient is the subject of an average of 60,500 searches per month, and its hashtag has no less than 370 million views on TikTok.

And when they're not in search of a flawless complexion, consumers reach for all kinds of anti-aging ingredients. The idea is to camouflage wrinkles, fine lines and dark circles, but also to fight against sagging skin. As such, collagen -- necessary for firm and plump skin -- is the second most popular ingredient, with more than 60,000 monthly searches on average, and nearly 2 billion views on the Chinese social network. It is followed by retinol (49,500 searches, 2.4 billion views), which is very popular for its ability to reduce fine lines and exfoliate the skin; hyaluronic acid (49,500 searches, 760 million views), which is popular as an anti-wrinkle ingredient; and vitamin C (49,500 searches, 2 billion views), which is a major ally for dull and acne-prone skin.

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The success of TikTok tips

Throughout the year, the Chinese social network has become the new incubator of beauty trends and tips of all kinds, allowing users to express their creativity. Countless techniques -- from the innovative to the age-old -- have made their 'appearance' on the social media site in 2022, starting with 'brow lamination,' the most popular beauty trend of the year with no less than 49,500 monthly searches, on average, and a hashtag viewed 1.5 billion times. The focus of this technique is getting perfectly shaped and especially full, bushy eyebrows, so you don't have to use makeup to fill them in.

This beauty treatment comes ahead of other, equally original trends, such as microblading (49,500 searches, 2.9 billion views) -- another treatment for eyebrows -- eyelash serums (12,100 searches, 530 million views) intended to boost growth, and 'soap brows' (12,100 searches, 350 million views), a technique supposed to fix brow hairs in place. Generally speaking, it seems that the most popular beauty techniques are those that seek to reduce the time spent in the bathroom, as well as the layers of makeup used to compensate for what can be perceived as 'flaws.'

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But TikTok is not only a trendsetter. The Chinese social network can also send the popularity of certain beauty brands soaring. This is the case of Charlotte Tilbury which, although already successful before the TikTok era, is now the most popular brand on the social media site. The brand saw no less than 450,000 monthly searches in 2022, while its hashtag has been viewed 1.7 billion times. The same goes for The Ordinary, the most popular skincare brand of the year that many users discovered on TikTok. According to LookFantastic's report, the brand is the subject of an average 135,000 monthly searches, and its hashtag has no less than 2 billion views on the Chinese social network.

*To determine these 2022 beauty trends, LookFantastic used internal data and researched which products, tools and celebrities influenced the beauty trends of 2022. From analyzing online searches for skincare ingredients to analyzing the demand for certain brands and products, the platform interpreted the statistics and numbers to highlight the year's strongest trends.

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