The 13 Biggest Skin Care Trends for 2022

1. Slugging

Thanks to TikTok, slugging — the act of slathering a heavy-duty occlusive (like petroleum jelly) as the last step of one’s nighttime regimen — is more popular than ever, even though it’s been done for decades. “This locks in moisture and any other ingredients you’ve applied,” says Parcells of the trend that currently has over 168 million views on the platform. “Sealing the skin barrier with hydration and preventing water loss can help repair damaged, cracked, flaky skin.”

Before you grab your tub of Vaseline, however, Parcells says that using petroleum-based products all over the skin isn’t for everyone. “If done incorrectly, it could wreak serious havoc on your skin,” she says. If you’re prone to oiliness, breakouts, and/or have sensitive skin, Parcells suggests using creams rich in ceramidesjojoba oil, and/or squalane as alternatives, as they also replenish the skin barrier and keep water locked in without clogging the pores or leaving a greasy residue.

2. Cleansing Bars

Sustainability and plastic-free packaging will remain at the forefront of beauty next season — especially in the skin care realm. Dr. Snehal Amin, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of MDCS Dermatology, points to the use of non-degradable chemicals and plastic as things of the past. “Sustainable skin care has taken the form of waterless products, which reduce carbon emissions by less transportation effort,” he says, pointing to more compostable packaging and plastic-free products. Oftentimes, you’ll see that in the form of cleansing bars.

3. Simplified Routines

Over-using beauty products and tools is a thing of the past, says Dr. Marisa Garshick, M.D., board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology“The skin care boom led people to ‘abusing’ skin care, which disrupts our skin barrier and our natural microbiome,” she tells Bustle. “Now I see more people coming into my practice with reactions, or worsened skin conditions: The more exposure to unnecessary ingredients, the more chance of sensitization leading to rashes and breakouts down the line.” This is why people are minimizing their beauty routines, opting to use multipurpose products in lieu of a dozen different serums and creams.

“People are seeking products that provide multiple benefits,” Garshick says, pointing to sunscreens that offer antioxidant benefits and multifunctional serums that target multiple skin concerns as two key examples.

4. Niacinamide-Spiked Products

As people simplify their beauty routines, they will also be ensuring these more minimal regimens focus on protecting their skin barrier, says Garshick. Because of this, she foresees niacinamide as a must-know skin-nourishing superstar you’ll increasingly find in formulas. “This ingredient is being incorporated for its many different uses to help soothe skin, calm inflammation and redness, reduce hyperpigmentation, and support the skin barrier,” she tells Bustle. “This makes it a great option, especially for those with sensitive skin.” As your complexion braces for the transition between seasons, Garshick notes niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory prowess can help keep your skin calm and collected.

5. Cleansing Balms

Skin care aficionados know the power of a double cleanse for making sure pores are fully ready to soak up their routines. And, according to Garshick, many are reaching for cleansing balms to do the proper cleansing job. She says that these products work best as part of a two-step double cleanse to ensure makeup and sunscreen are completely removed, or used instead of a traditional cleanser. “These work particularly well on those with dry or sensitive skin,” she adds. A key perk? They cleanse without leaving the skin feeling dry or irritated, says Garshick.

6. Neck & Jawline Care

This next season will also see a rise in treating the neck and jawline — which should come as no surprise, considering Bella Hadid-approved jaw-highlighting has been trending on TikTok.

“People have been spending so much time on Zoom seeing themselves on screen or looking down at their phones. With this, they’re noticing more skin laxity and fine lines around the neck,” Garshick tells Bustle. She’s seeing more neck creams specially formulated to target these concerns as well as in-office procedures — think laser resurfacing, microneedling, and radiofrequency. Also more popular than ever? Using gua sha to sculpt the neck and jawline (#guasha has over 873 million views on TikTok).

7. Cooling Skin Care

While temperatures may increase in the springtime, skin care products will do the opposite. “Cryotherapy has been popular in the salon for years, but as an at-home treatment it’s going to really be big this year,” Vargas tells Bustle, pointing to devices like her Magic Glow Wand. “Cryotherapy helps soothe inflammation and de-puff the skin, which never goes out of style.”

Shirazi concurs, adding that she’s seeing more cooling in beauty product applications as well (think metal tip applicators and cooling facial globes). “We’ll see a cooler way of dispensing and applying our skin care products,” she explains. “Cool temperatures cause the skin’s blood vessels to contract and temporarily shrinks pores, resulting in the skin looking firmer and more rejuvenated. It also helps reduce puffiness, particularly around the eyes in the morning.” Make some room in your fridge for these.

8. Body Retinol

According to Shirazi, springtime will also present an opportunity to expand skin care’s focus beyond the face. While body care has been rising in popularity over the past couple of years, she’s seeing a particular boom in body retinols — especially as people grow to treat the skin beneath their neck just like that on their face. “People are recognizing the importance of taking care of all of their skin, not just their facial skin, to maintain their skin health,” says Garshick. And, of course, retinol’s benefits still apply to your décolletage and limbs, so it works to smooth the skin and stimulate collagen while combatting dark spots.

9. Personalized Products

Vargas tells Bustle that conventional skin type “categories” are on their way out, and personalized skin care is set to take the stage come spring. “I think the traditional categories of oily, dry, and normal skin types is a bit dated,” she explains. “We know so much more about health now and many factors lead you to have the skin condition you see in the mirror.” Though regular facials and dermatologist appointments are your best bet for figuring out what your skin needs, you’ll also see more products formulated to target certain skin conditions versus types.

10. Skin-Soothing Exfoliants

Exfoliants are becoming gentler, which is a perk for everyone’s beauty routine. “There is currently focus on reducing acne scarring and hyperpigmentation by exfoliating the skin and using at-home facial peels,” celebrity esthetician Mimi Luzon tells Bustle, who’s seeing a surge in exfoliants that help improve texture without damaging the skin’s natural barrier. “Exfoliating acids are so good for the skin, and can create a glow by gently peeling away dead cells and making way for the new,” she says. Her Mimi Luzon 24K Pure Gold is one example that boosts cellular turnover while protecting and hydrating the skin via glycerin and castor oil, and Glow Recipe’s new Strawberry Smooth Serum balances the AHAs and BHAs in its formula with soothing allantoin and hyaluronic acid.

11. Sculpting Facial Tools

According to Ada Ooi, celebrity facialist, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) expert, and founder of 001 Skincaresculpting tools and devices will reign supreme this spring. “Using facial massaging tools, [such as] gua sha, is a trend that is not going anywhere anytime soon,” she tells Bustle. Think: vibrating massage wands, rollers, and microcurrent tools. Her take? Besides the facial toning and de-puffing benefits, these devices allow you to take time out of your day for a calming sensorial experience. “It’s beneficial to your overall sense of wellbeing,” she says.

12. Skin Care Through Makeup

Ooi also sees an uptick in makeup that also works as skin care. “Cosmetics that only work on a superficial level are out of style,” she tells Bustle. Hence why she’s seeing a boom in makeup products formulated with skin-boosting ingredients that allow you to care for your complexion as you get coverage. “People are toning down heavy makeup and learning to take care of their skin, so the natural looking skin trend is here,” she says, pointing to an increase in sheer makeup formulas that double as skin care and offer a minimal yet radiance-optimizing glow.

13. TCM-Inspired Skin Care

Ooi also asserts that the lockdown prompted a resurgence in TCM-based skin care. “This time has made us realize that there are many alternatives to boost our skin, mood, and well-being, especially [through] methodologies that have been developed and used for centuries across cultures,” she tells Bustle. While the popularity of both gua sha and cupping count as proof, she notes the ingredients also come into play. She specifically cites reishi mushrooms and ginseng root — two botanicals commonly used in TCM — as up-and-coming skin care MVPs


Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, M.D., board-certified dermatologist at AziMD Skincare

Dr. Alexis Parcells, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of SUNNIE and Parcells Plastic Surgery

Dr. Snehal Amin, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of MDCS Dermatology

Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist, founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skin Care and author of Glow From Within

Dr. Marisa Garshick, M.D., board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology

Ada Ooi, celebrity facialist, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) expert, and founder of 001 Skincare

Mimi Luzon, celebrity esthetician

This article was originally published on Feb. 24, 2022