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14 Skin Care Ingredients That Are Trending For 2021

December 04, 2020

skin-care With a new year upon us, there’s no better time than the present to make sure your skin care arsenal is packed with trendy products and ingredients. CBD, retinol, and glycolic acid are among the best ingredients for skin that we expect to make a bang this year. And we want to help you learn about them along with other noteworthy options. Below, we’re sharing 14 skin care ingredients that are trending for 2021, so you can keep them on your radar.


Cannabis has been a hot topic for quite some time now, and more recently, the discussion has entered the realm of dermatology thanks to reports that the controversial ingredient can benefit the skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties. As such, there’s a possibility that topical formulations with CBD oil may help reduce inflammation associated with certain inflammatory skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. However, further research is required to understand the topical benefits of CBD oil and its properties.

Keep in mind that products formulated with CBD oil will not give you a ‘high’ because they do not contain THC, the chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. If you want to give products formulated with cannabis a try, the AAD recommends testing a small area of skin with the formula first. If no reaction occurs, apply the product as directed on the packaging.


When you think of chemical skin exfoliators, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) surely come to mind. If you haven’t heard of polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), it’s time to listen up. They are a new group of hydroxy acids—referred to as a new generation of AHAs—that’s buzzing around social media and the skin care community. Similar to AHAs and BHAs, PHAs are chemical exfoliators that help slough away dead cells from the skin’s surface in an effort to promote an even tone and radiant appearance.

While PHAs, AHAs, and BHAs have their similarities, this ingredient can cater to all skin types. According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), PHAs offer similar benefits to AHAs but are less likely to irritate the skin. As such, PHAs can be suitable for use post-procedure and by sensitive skin types. What’s more, compared to their AHA cousins, PHAs are more moisturizing and can help strengthen skin barrier function. Some of the most popular PHAs are gluconolactone and lactobionic acid.


If AHAs are still on the top of your mind, you’d be happy to know that it’s the group of skin care ingredients glycolic acid falls into. Per the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, glycolic acid is an AHA used in cosmetics. And like we touched on, this trending ingredient helps to exfoliate and resurface your skin. Add it into your routine with the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum, which absorbs quickly to visibly even skin tone and reduce wrinkles and dark spots. Apply four to five drops to clean, dry skin every evening before moisturizing.


We know, retinol has been around forever. But that doesn’t change the fact that people are still swearing by its anti-aging benefits. Its track record speaks for itself as one of the best ingredients for skin, so don’t be surprised to see the launch of new products driven by this powerful vitamin A derivative. We particularly like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum, 0.3% Pure Retinol, since it’s formulated with our highest concentration of the ingredient. It also helps to fight key signs of aging like deep wrinkles and works to smooth and brighten your complexion.

Editor’s note: Due to the powerful nature of retinol, it’s important to build up your skin’s tolerance to the ingredient. Kick things off during your first week by applying two to three drops onto clean, dry skin twice a week. Week two, use the serum every other night. Once week three hits, you can switch to nightly use if your skin can tolerate it. Since retinol can also cause sun sensitivity, be sure to only apply it at night and follow with broad-spectrum sunscreen during daytime hours along with additional sun protection measures.


Let’s be honest—acne is something that everyone has struggled with at some point. This common skin concern has seemingly met its match with this trending skin care ingredient: tea tree oil! While not a one-size-fits-all treatment, using this essential oil for acne is something worth looking into. Learn more about it in our article, Tea Tree Oil For Acne: Does It Work?


Retinol is often thought to be a multi-tasking skin superhero, but there’s no denying that it’s a very strong, powerful ingredient. Some common side effects can include dryness and skin peeling, which can make it intolerable to some sensitive skin types. While there are ways to help sensitive skin types use retinol, a fairly-new ingredient called bakuchiol is being heralded as a gentler retinol alternative. The interesting part, however, is that bakuchiol—a compound found in the seeds and leaves of the psoralea corylifolia plant—shares no structural resemblance to retinoids. Even still, a clinical case study from the NCBI was performed that showed significant improvement in the appearance of lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, photodamage, and more after twice-a-day applications of skin care products formulated with bakuchiol over a 12-week period. The suggestion then is that bakuchiol has great potential to deliver anti-aging effects similar to retinol.


One skin care ingredient that has continued to maintain its popularity is grapeseed oil. If you’re late to the party or simply haven’t had a chance to look into it, we’re here to fill you in on this trending ingredient. It’s no wonder this ingredient is the talk of the town since it has multiple benefits ranging from exfoliation to skin firming. If you’re interested in reaping some of the benefits, consider adding the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Grapeseed Scrub to your routine. This scrub is formulated with three pure sugars, grapeseed oil, finely ground Acai, and Monoi oil. It provides a deep, yet gentle exfoliation for a baby-soft, glowing finish.


Hydrated skin never goes out of style, and few ingredients can help you achieve the intense levels of moisturization that hyaluronic acid can. For that reason, along with others, we don’t envision hyaluronic acid going anywhere anytime soon. The hydration powerhouse can hold up to 1000x its weight in water, plumping the skin with moisture, so it looks soft, smooth, and more youthful.

The L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum can deeply replenish moisture for immediate benefits such as smoother-looking skin and skin that feels more supple. In one week, this serum visibly plumps the skin, resulting in a more youthful, bouncy, and well-rested appearance. 


Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 you may have heard being tossed around. Whether you’re familiar with the ingredient or not, you should be! It offers various benefits, such as reducing visible signs of aging and acne, per the NCBI. Learn What Is Niacinamide and Why Is Everyone Adding It To Their Skin Care Routine, and you’ll be hopping on the bandwagon in no time.


If there’s one trending ingredient hidden in plain sight, it’s petroleum jelly. This household item is one you’ve likely been familiar with since you were a kid, and it has plenty of benefits. It works to moisturize dry skin, rehydrate your nails, and more, so we think it’s a must for your bathroom cabinet.


There are plenty of skin-benefitting antioxidants out there, but there’s a reason why experts continuously recommend vitamin C. When applied topically, vitamin C can help neutralize free radical damage to the skin’s surface. Free radicals are unstable molecules induced by the environment, which can bind to the skin and wreak havoc in the form of premature aging, including visible fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and more. Moral of the story? Before leaving home each day, you may want to apply a vitamin C serum along with broad-spectrum sunscreen for protection against harmful free radicals and to help improve skin radiance. Try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum; the highly potent vitamin C serum can restore skin’s radiance in one week and visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines in two.


Aloe vera is known to help with sunburn, but there are other skin benefits that you should be well-versed on. As it turns out, there are quite a few worth noting, which would explain why this ingredient is being named as one of the best for skin in 2021. Learn more about it and its benefits in our article, Is Aloe Vera Good For Your Face?


It’s not news that there are various skin care ingredients that can help you achieve a healthy-looking complexion and squalane is one you should consider. According to the NCBI, squalane is a derivative of human sebum that has antioxidant properties and works as an emollient to improve skin softness and flexibility. It also helps to lock your skin with hydration, which is something all skin types need. Click through to our article, What Is Squalane? About This Skin Care Ingredient, for more information.


While this fungi makes for a tasty dish, it’s also another skin care ingredient that should be on your radar. The mushroom has become a popular ingredient in skin care products since it has anti-aging, moisturizing, and antioxidant effects, per the Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI). If you’re considering adding this ingredient to your skin care regimen, check out our article, This Is Why Mushrooms Are Trending As a Skin Care Ingredient, to get the full scoop.

Next up: Now that you know about the ingredients trending for 2020, it’s time to brush up on your knowledge of some popular picks to steer away from. Visit our article, Be On The Lookout For These Ingredients In Your Skin Care Products, for more information.

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