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The beauty industry trends to watch in 2022

This global communications agency has predicted the beauty trends we'll be buying into over the coming year

The Future 100: 2022 from global communications agency Wunderman Thompson’s futurism, research and innovation unit, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, recently announced its trend predictions across 10 sectors, including health and beauty.

If you want to be one step ahead of the hottest trends, we think the following are well worth keeping an eye on:


Skincare experts are taking advantage of effective ingredients at the microlevel with a new, less-is-more approach.

Beauty aficionados are gravitating towards this popular new approach, applying smaller amounts or concentrations of ingredients to the skin for long-term results without harsh side effects. Some brands are applying a custom or mono-dosing approach, allowing just enough product for one application; this allows buyers to tailor their routine to their skin’s day-to-day needs and only purchase as much as they anticipate using.

Skincare ‘boosters’ are a popular form of microdosing – these lower-percentage concentrations can be gradually added to everyday products such as moisturisers. La Roche Posay offers a low-dose retinol serum at 0.3%, while Paula’s Choice offers a vitamin C booster that can be added to moisturisers drop-by-drop.

Mineral skincare

Skincare brands are taking inspiration from ancient Indo-Asian beauty rituals by adding precious metals to their formulas – something that consumers are also likely to embrace.

Niod, sister brand to The Ordinary, launched a skin serum with copper peptides last autumn; copper peptides have wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties, play a role in skin growth and stimulate collagen and elastin, making them a potent ingredient.

Last summer also saw pharmacy skincare brand Tolpa launch a face mask with silver microparticles which is exfoliating, antibacterial and helps lighten pigmentation.

The demise of ‘normal’ beauty

Brands are making room for more individualised and accepting expressions and interpretations of beauty. The concept of a one-size-fits-all beauty ideal has been thrown out the window – and there’s no going back.

Those embracing this movement include Unilever which announced last year it was removing the word ‘normal’ from packaging and advertising; singer Harry Styles’ Pleasing brand which is said to celebrate “the multitude of unique identities in our community,” and Neutrogena, which unveiled its ‘For People With Skin’ campaign last spring in a bid to be there “for all skin, and all people.”

New beauty labels

Beauty brands are rethinking labelling to offer transparency about their products’ environmental impact and sustainability practices.

In September 2021, a group of prominent beauty brands including Unilever, L’Oreal and LVMH collaborated on a system for tracking the environmental impact or sustainability of their products.

A labelling system that will compare items from companies opting into the initiative will give consumers a clear view of the impact of the product they’re buying.

Acidic skincare

Already popular additions to the beauty aisles as well as the Etre Vous editorial team, more skincare brands are focusing on the benefits of three top acidic ingredients – Tranexamic Acid, Azelaic Acid and Polyhydroxy Acid.

Global names focusing on these skincare stars include US brand My Topicals, whose Faded cream relies on tranexamic acid to benefit sun-damaged or scarred skin; Dutch brand Bloomeffects which highlights azelaic acid as a key ingredient in its Black Tulip skincare collection; and the UK's The Inkey List, whose sensitive-friendly PHA Toner is ideal for gentle exfoliation.

Adaptive packaging

Beauty packaging is being accessibly redesigned for a wider range of users including disabled consumers.

Procter & Gamble unveiled an easy-open lid on several Olay Regenerist moisturisers last November, to assist consumers who had previously found its products hard to access. The lid features winged sides and a raised top which is textured for better grip, labels with higher colour contrast for ease of reading and braille text that reads “face cream.”

Olay has shared the design with the wider industry, encouraging others to adapt the concept. Meanwhile, Unilever has been collaborating with people with disabilities to design the world’s first adaptive deodorant package.

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