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A Year In Skin Care: What We Loved & What We’re Leaving in 2022

1.

Skin cycling.

Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve been talking about skin cycling years before it blew up on social media. In fact, board-certified dermatologist and mindbodygreen Collective member Whitney Bowe, M.D., FAAD (who coined the term “skin cycling”) has been discussing the concept with us from the beginning!

“It’s the same way you go to the gym,” she says on the mindbodygreen podcast back in 2020. “If you want to get your muscles and your body to be stronger, you have to alternate between periods of intense activity and recovery. And the same thing holds true for the skin barrier and the microbiome: They need days to recover.”

Essentially, skin cycling entails rolling through your active ingredients at night to prevent irritation. On night one, you exfoliate; night two is for retinol; then nights three and four are dedicated to simple, nourishing hydration (ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and the like). We’ve long been a champion of giving your skin barrier a break, so consider us sold.

2.

Slugging.

Again, not exactly a new trend (it popped up on Reddit’s Skincare Addiction thread around 2018), but one that has true staying power. For those unfamiliar, slugging involves slathering on a jelly balm until your skin reaches a mucus-like quality (you know, like a slug), as the last step of your nighttime routine to seal in moisture all night long.

Traditional slugging typically includes a petrolatum product, like Vaseline, but you don’t have to use petroleum-derived formulas to achieve the same, slug-like effect. In fact, swapping the traditional jelly for a vegetable- or fruit-derived balm might offer even more benefits, anyway.

See, sunflower seed oil, castor oil, and plant-based waxes help create a thicker consistency, but they also include antioxidants and fatty acids to help strengthen the lipid barrier, as opposed to just sitting on top of it. Try Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream or this Slug Balm from Futurewise if you’re looking for a mineral oil-free product.

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3.

Jello skin.

We’ve discussed glass skin, dewy dumpling skin, honey skin–now, welcome to the year of “Jello” skin. All it describes is skin chock-full of collagen: After you pinch your skin, it should snap right back into place, sort of like the consistency of Jello.

The concept went viral after content creator Ava Lee (otherwise known as Glow With Ava) posted a video of her receiving a facial. When her facialist pinches her cheek, it immediately holds its shape. “That just shows you have enough of a support cushion underneath,” her facialist explains. “The way that it bounces… It’s the perfect consistency of Jello. That’s a perfect sign that you have a beautiful level of collagen in the skin.”

We’re big fans of supporting collagen production around here, and considering your levels decline by an average of 1% each year1 starting in your mid-20s, any “trend” that helps you promote your natural supply is a worthwhile investment. But to achieve Jello skin, you need to work from the inside out–here are our favorite collagen supplements on the market, all backed by a nutrition scientist.

4.

“Cold girl” makeup.

When I first heard whispers of the “cold girl makeup” trend, I thought: OK, but isn’t this just…blush? My fellow blush lovers, I’m sure you’ve also applied pigment to the point of looking clown-like (what can I say? It’s my ride-or-die makeup product).

But what I love about this trend is that people are bending the rules when it comes to blush; they’re focusing less on sculpting their exact face shape or nailing that perfect, natural-looking flush and having way more fun with the pigment. “To me, there’s no such thing as ‘way too much blush,'” makeup artist Alexandra Compton, product development manager at Credo, previously told mbg. “The way it can instantly light up and refresh the complexion is incredible.” All that to say: More blush in 2023, please.

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5.

Hair oiling routines.

I hesitate to call this a “trend” at all: Hair oiling has a long, rich history in Ayurvedic and South Asian households. “Most people have stories of their moms and dads sitting around and oiling their hair on a weekly basis,” says Lisa Mattam, founder and CEO of the Ayurvedic beauty brand Sahajan, who has been oiling her hair since she was a child.

But experts like Mattam are happy hair oiling routines are making their rounds on TikTok–just make sure you honor the history of this historically significant practice. And if you’re looking for an easy guide, Mattam offers a step-by-step tutorial here. (Bonus points if you fold in a tension-relieving scalp massage, which has been linked to faster hair growth.)

The takeaway.

If you’d like to head into the new year with one piece of advice, I leave you with this: Please do not take social media trends at face value! It’s very difficult to grab necessary context from a 60-second video! But with a bit more research, some of these tips (like the five above) can truly stick.

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