by Maggie Walker, Editor Skin Inc.
It’s that wonderful time of year again where we get to take a peek at what I think will be trending come 2024 based on what we’ve seen this last year. The spa industry really came back with a vengeance in 2023. This last year kicked off the discussion on ingredient innovations as well as technological advancements, and I predict that 2024 is going to shine a special light in this arena when it comes to some major spa and skin care trends. One thing is for sure, we are in an industry that is not slowing down.
1. Modernizing Aging
Nancy Griffin launched the #ExposeAgeism movement in March of 2023. This movement was designed to create awareness about ageism in the spa, wellness, and beauty industries, and it even has many skin care brands jumping on board to remove all anti-aging terminology from their marketing campaigns and product descriptions by 2025. I anticipate we will see this movement continue to blossom in 2024 and even expand further into people taking another look at embracing graceful aging, as the negative perception to growing older fades. I anticipate you will see these types of changes take root in the “healthy aging” concept that is blossoming in the wellness world too, where the focus is shifting away from how one looks at their age and is much more focused on what they can do and keeping their mind and body healthy.
2. Potent Products
I saw a lot of brands releasing concentrated products, taking in the “less is more” mentality. The use of more potent products is going to be on the rise and what consumers are looking for come 2024, as they are looking for targeted treatments that work. Not only is the product potency helping with actually targeting skin care concerns both in the treatment room and home care regimens, but it also makes it so that consumers are no longer overusing the products as is often shown on social media. Now, they are looking for targeted treatments that really do what they say they will.
This trend also comes down to skin absorption, with many brands aiming to provide products that help deliver maximum absorption into the skin for best results. This can be seen through the skin care technologies being created to actually help the targeted ingredients release into the skin.
3. Less Needle Plumping
While Botox and fillers are not going anywhere, many skin care brands are marketing their products to provide a “no-filler” plumping effect. This goes for face creams, lip treatments and eye care. The younger generation is turning to prejuvenation methods through their skin care routines, so this plumping jargon is catching their eye.
This trend is going to come into play a lot when it comes to the lips, with consumers looking for more natural ways to get hydrated and plump-looking lips. This trend is most certainly coming from a long string of celebrities wanting to show off their “natural” beauty in 2023 by wearing less makeup and letting their skin shine through. This is trickling down to consumers wanting to do the same and embracing their natural features as well. However, they want to do it while still looking hydrated and youthful.
4. Artificially Intelligent
It would be nearly impossible to have not heard about all of the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) when it comes to skin care, and this is going to really boom in 2024. With this being so new in 2023, both consumers and professionals seemed apprehensive about how best to use it, but AI has transformed greatly from simply a tool to an asset in the spa and skin care industry. Not only can these AI technology apps be used to scan the skin and help provide and set up home care regimens, but AI can also help on the business side of the spa industry.
After the pandemic, there was an undeniable boom in touchless technologies, especially when it came to the check in, check out, booking and tipping process in spas. AI is taking this even further to having programmed chatbots for answering questions, and skin analysis that can help determine treatment and home care for clients.
5. Talking Lips and Eyes
Remembering the neck has been a topic of conversation for years in the beauty and skin care industry, so I predict there will be a heavy focus on also thinking about the eyes and lips in 2024. A lot of launches came out focusing on new ways to enhance the lip and eye area. This does tie into the “no-filler” plumping trend mentioned above, but it was taken a step farther with numerous lip and eye products already launching and more to come.
Some of the latest launches include the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite LipWare Pro and the DermInfusion Plump+ Repair Lip Treatment. There was also the Bluephoria Lip Mask that FarmHouse Fresh launched. When it came to eyes, Bioelements came out with their Pro vc10 Eye Bright Contour to specifically target signs of aging in the eyes. Similar to the neck and deck, these areas should not be forgotten, and the skin physiology of the eyes and lips does differ from that of the face. This will definitely be a trend to keep an eye out for (wink, wink).
6. Mushroom Boom
Mushrooms are hitting skin care in a whole new way in 2024. It’s true, the mushroom magic really made its debut in the spa industry back in 2018, when micro-dosing took off in the wellness industry. Even before that, mushrooms have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries, so consider this trend more of a revamp to an already amazing ingredient. Expect to see mushroom callouts in skin care a lot in 2024 and the boasting of this ingredient’s many benefits.
Mushrooms can be used for a variety of reasons when it comes to incorporating them in skin care including: boosting collagen production, providing antioxidant protection, brightening the skin, hydrating the skin, providing anti-inflammatory benefits and so much more. UpCircle Beauty even shared that this ingredient is predicted to take center stage as the new trending ingredient for 2024.
7. Skin Care Makeup Hybrids
The au-naturel makeup trend that many celebrities embraced in 2023 led to consumers wanting to take a break from makeup. Through the desire to let the natural skin shine through and use makeup as more of an enhancement to one’s natural beauty, the makeup skin care hybrid was born. Drunk Elephant really packed a punch with this with their liquid bronzer and blush skin care drops, but many other brands are taking up on the trend as well.
What once used to only really be an option through the occasional BB cream and tinted SPF, blossomed into a wide range of tinted products to allow skin care to provide those beauty enhancing features without actually needing to wear any makeup. Consumers are all about convenience in 2024, so they want routines that can act as a 2-in-1 for their skin care and makeup, which is why many makeup brands are also infusing their products with skin care.
8. Fast Facials
One thing no one ever seems to have enough of is time. Consumers really took this to heart when it came to looking toward spa treatments as maintenance more than luxuries, which is why fast facials are going to be big in 2024. Many facial bars have been opening up around the U.S. with the concept of providing quick, effective, and still relaxing treatments being the priority. Places like Face Foundries and Glowbar have seen a lot of success in this arena with consumers simply not having the time for a full on spa day, but still needing their facial pick-me-up.
This trend can be seen outside of just the facial bars dedicated to providing shortened spa treatments and has even expanded into the luxury spa space with bigger properties offering “mini facials” for their guests who do not have time for the full experience. Efficiency is key when it comes to this trend with consumers still looking for targeted treatments that improve their skin health and quality. That’s why Rachel Liverman, founder of Glowbar, even created a wash bar in her spa so that her spa professionals can provide a dedicated 30-minute expert facial, without having to waste time on something the client can do themselves (i.e. wash their face).
9. Refillable Skin Care
The spa industry is always looking for more ways to be resourceful and sustainable, and 2024 is going to be the year of refillable packaging. This trend can already been seen in some beauty and skin care brands, like Hydropeptide, are adopting this in their latest retail launches. The refillable packaging market is actually predicted to grow to be 4.9% annually and are projected at $53.4 billion by 2027.1 This trend is great for spa professionals for a number of reasons. One, it helps to show and act on sustainability efforts that the spa is taking, and two, it guarantees clients will return to you to buy their product refill for their regimens.
If this is something that is important to you, ask your product manufacturers their plans to partake in the movement. It’s a win-win-win for spa professionals, consumers and the planet.
10. Snail Mucin
K-Beauty has done it again with another amazing skin care ingredient that consumers are going bananas for. While snails may be slow in nature, the use of snail mucin in skin care is taking off quickly. In the past year, interest in snail mucin has grown 171% with roughly 170,000 searches per month.3 I anticipate consumers will have a growing interest in snail beauty, especially when it comes to Korean skin care. The skin care ingredient has been a staple in Korean beauty products for a long time, but its more recent debut in the U.S., and the immediate visual appeal it provided on TikTok, is what has this ingredient snatching everyone’s attention.
The main benefits of this skin care ingredient is how it helps to stimulate collagen production, relieve irritation, and hydrate the skin (hello healthy, youthful, and hydrated skin). Check in with your product manufacturers to see if they are planning to launch any products that utilize this ingredient and see if it is worth giving a shoutout on your spa menu to any facials that do incorporate it.