From fantastic new technologies to ancient remedies getting a modern makeover, there is so much to talk about when it comes to beauty trends for 2018. In this round-up, we've zeroed in on some of our favourite finds that embrace natural ingredients and sustainable techniques, and sorted you out with a shopping list to boot.
You can't talk about gut health without mentioning probiotics, and if this latest innovation catches on, these good bacteria could become synonymous with skin health, too.
According to Sara Quilter, founder of Tailor skincare, probiotics act as the body's peacekeepers, helping to keep things in a delicate balance or symbiosis. She first discovered the benefits of probiotics in skincare after learning how they could unlock minerals in soil and help plants grow.
She's since released Tailor Renew Probiotic Serum, which contains lysate to stimulate the skin's natural renewal process. "Your skin has its own microbiome (community of microbes) and, much like the gut, it's important to keep this in balance so that pathogenic bacteria don't take over or become imbalanced," she explains.
Using probiotics in skincare dates back to ancient Egypt where Cleopatra is said to have bathed in sour milk – these 21st-century innovations, though, offer a much more pleasant experience.
Plant stem cells
On average, women start dealing with thinning hair between the ages of 25-35, and account for 40 per cent of people who experience hair loss. Reasons for the condition are varied and include heat styling and processing treatments, hormonal changes, medical conditions or health changes, ageing, and dietary issues. In a first for any professional haircare brand, Éprouvage is using plant stem cells to fight the appearance of ageing hair and hair fall.
Active plant cells from the Egyptian blue lily plant, cultivated for its anti-ageing and skin-balancing properties, along with French oak extract (a highly concentrated antioxidant) and Redensyl (a hair- growth galvaniser), are the key ingredients in Éprouvage Reviving Scalp Serum, which has been proven to reduce hair fall by up to 17 percent and promote up to 214 percent more growth.
Redensyl targets stem cells and human fibroblasts from the dermal papilla (which provides oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicle) to improve hair growth while reducing hair loss, with visible results after three months of use. Éprouvage products are designed to be colour-safe, sulphate-free, gluten-free, paraben-free and free of harmful side effects.
Pinterest searches for vitamin C serum were up 3379 per cent in 2017, and for good reason. While vitamin C isn't new, innovations in the packaging and formulations have led to an increase in the efficacy of topical versions and are part of the reason vitamin C has been getting so much hype.
Its antioxidant properties help defend the skin against free radicals (such as pollution), stimulate collagen production to keep those wrinkles and fine lines at bay for longer, and brighten and even out skin tone to help with hyperpigmentation – all common areas of concern for both men and women.
However, vitamin C begins to degrade as soon as it's exposed to oxygen, water or light, which means the packaging must be such that none of these things can get a look-in. Powder forms are becoming incredibly popular; for example, Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C comes in single-dose sachets to be mixed with your moisturiser or serum. Airless pumps or misting sprays, which keep air and light out, are also in demand.
Ingestible beauty powders
Feeding skin from within is integral to the way it looks on the outside, and this holistic approach has spawned a whole new wellness trend – nutricosmetics.
Herbs, collagen, probiotics, prebiotics and skin-loving substances such as maqui berry are just some of the key ingredients used in popular beauty powders such as Misty Day Plant Potions Pretty Brew and Nutra Organics Collagen Beauty. These can be mixed with water or added to smoothies to make your skin, hair and nails healthy, glowing and strong from the inside out.
Beauty-from-within products have been around for some time, their anti- ageing properties often aimed at an older demographic. However, herbalist, naturopath and founder of Misty Day Plant Potions Rachel Dawson believes younger people are now embracing ingestibles thanks to the promise of glowing hair and skin.
Misty Day Plant Potions Pretty Brew – with its millennial-friendly packaging and Instagrammable amethyst hue – hits the brief for that younger audience in both appearance and efficacy. "Goji is very high in lycopene, which gives the skin a healthy glow and promotes collagen synthesis," explains Rachel.
"Maqui and butterfly pea contain high levels of anthocyanins, which slow ageing and reduce pigmentation and redness. Pitaya contains vitamin C, which enhances collagen synthesis and skin healing, while rice-bran solubles deliver vitamin E to support healthy skin-ageing and give the skin a dewy, moisture-rich luminosity."
Who wouldn't want that?
Back-to-basics beauty tools
Following the hype around sonic face brushes and other battery-powered beauty tools, there's now a real trend towards going back to basics. Saves for 'derma roller' (such as those made from jade or rose quartz) on Pinterest were up 345 percent in 2017.
"Rollers are a foolproof way of giving skin a massage; they work to stimulate blood circulation, detoxify the skin and also lift and tone the facial muscles," says Ashleigh Scott, who owns The Facialist in Auckland. Use your roller to help apply moisturiser or facial oil and get your lymphatic system working, too.
The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that carries fluid around the body including to the face, helping to detoxify it. "Unlike your bloodstream which has the heart to pump the fluid around, the lymphatic system does not have a pump," explains Tailor skincare founder Sara Quilter, who recently began selling jade rollers as part of her product range. "This means you need to stimulate it with body movements like yoga or jade rolling for the face."
While the scientific data on the benefits of jade and quartz rollers is currently inconclusive, the calming effect of the rolling rhythm and soothing sensation on the skin is nothing if not addictive. Rollers made from rose quartz or jade stay cool at room temperature but can also be kept in the fridge for an extra-soothing experience.
Makeup-remover towels are another buzz product that will not only save you money in the long run, but is kinder on the environment than disposable wipes. Woven using super-fine threads of polyester (each 100 times thinner than a strand of human hair), these cloths allow makeup to be removed from the skin without the addition of cleanser. The microfibres attach themselves to dirt and oil, easily removing them from your skin.
According to Hannah Kinsman, founder of Take It Off, each cloth can be washed up to 1000 times before needing to be replaced. But what seems to be the most appealing factor, especially for those with sensitive skin, is that there's no need for a cleanser. And unlike other makeup-removal products, the towels leave no residue on the skin.
The subject of natural deodorants can draw mixed reactions, but many of the products on offer actually work – we swear! As the concern around what we put in and on our bodies has grown, antiperspirants have received some bad press (though studies linking aluminium to diseases such as Alzheimer's and breast cancer have not yet been widely accepted in medical communities).
Antiperspirants often contain aluminium, which stops the body from sweating by blocking the glands in your armpits and inhibiting bacteria, which helps minimise body odour. This does mean that when you use an aluminium-free deodorant you're going to sweat at times – and that part takes a bit of getting used to. But nowadays there are many natural options on the market that work just as well as antiperspirants when it comes to eliminating odour.