With the dizzying number of new lotions and potions hitting the beauty aisles every season, it can be hard to separate the hyped-up from the truly helpful. And while some beauty fads come and go, these five new skincare products, from gentle cleansing balms to DIY chemical peels, are here to stay. Here’s how and when to use them — plus our favourite hard-working skincare picks to make room for in your medicine cabinet.
The Five Biggest Skincare Trends For 2018
The New Face Wash: Cleansing Balms
“Cleansing balm” might sound like a clever marketing spin on your trusty face wash, but these thick, oil-based products are actually quite different from their foaming counterparts. “Cleansing balms can be gentler and more moisturizing than regular cleansers because they don’t overdry the skin,” says Dr. Julia Carroll, a dermatologist based in Toronto. Typically containing hydrating heavyweights like shea butter and sweet almond oil, balms double as makeup removers and help break down dirt and sunscreen. If your skin often feels tight post-cleansing, a balm could be a game changer for your routine. And if you need deeper cleansing, Carroll recommends taking a double cleanse approach and following the balm with your go-to face wash to remove any deeper impurities and stubborn makeup.
The New Toner: Essences
With a name that sounds like a magic potion, it’s fitting that facial essences pretty much do it all. These concentrated, fast-absorbing liquids are applied after cleansing and packed with nourishing extracts and antioxidants. Unlike traditional toners, essences provide hydration and help boost the efficacy of products layered on top. “Essences offer a daily dose of vitamins that you apply topically to your skin,” says Jessica Berto, a medical aesthetician and trainer at Project Skin in Vancouver. All skin types can benefit from essences, but look for a formula targeted to your skin’s needs.
The New Serum: Facial Oils
How Much Should You *Really* Spend On Skincare Products?
While facial oils were once considered a no-no for blemish-prone skin, there are now options for all skin types. Berto suggests looking for lighter oils, such as argan, jojoba and marula, which will sink into the skin more quickly and won’t clog pores. Since oils penetrate the skin on a deeper level, they can be more effective than other moisturizers that sit on the surface. If you’re looking to try one, simply apply the oil on your skin after cleansing and toning, and then layer your daily moisturizer and SPF overtop.
The New DIY Treatment: At-Home Chemical Peels
While the term “chemical peel” may sound terrifying, this exfoliating treatment might just be the closest thing to turning back the clock. “A chemical peel uses acids to penetrate the skin’s layers, removing dead cells that can cause the complexion to look dull, while improving pigmentation from sun damage and smoothing texture,” says Carroll. If you’re a first-time peeler, she recommends trying a product with glycolic acid, a common ingredient in chemical exfoliators that’s safe and pain-free for all skin types. Carroll suggests starting with a formula that has a lower concentration of acids — around five percent — on a weekly basis and working your way up for smooth, irritant-free skin.
The New Quickie Facial: Dry Sheet Masks
It didn’t take long for wet sheet masks to become skincare staples, but already they’re becoming eclipsed by dry cloth masks. Instead of dripping in serum, these sheets are imprinted with concentrated doses of anti-aging and hydrating ingredients that are activated once the mask is applied and massaged on clean skin. Used once or twice a week, dry masks offer all the skin-boosting benefits of wet sheet masks with zero mess. Best of all, they can be used several times before being tossed.