10 Trending Skincare Ingredients of 2023

10 Trending Skincare Ingredients of 2023

by Skincare Specialist, Chantel Dickerson

In the ever-evolving landscape of skincare, ingredient trends come and go, much like the changing seasons. With the rapid advancements in skincare technology, transforming, constantly churning out novel and improved active ingredients.

Amidst this dynamic environment, where new skincare ingredients often bask in the spotlight each year, discerning which trends are truly deserving of the hype and which ones can genuinely address your specific skin concerns has become a complex task.

What’s particularly intriguing is the enduring fascination with harnessing the power of natural and botanical ingredients in skincare formulations. Mother Nature, it seems, has gifted us a treasury of beneficial compounds, many of which are being integrated to enhance the performance of established active ingredients. Among these are names like Bakuchiol, Cannabinoids (CBD), and mushroom derivatives like Shiitake mushroom extracts, peptides, and ceramides, to name just a few.

Yet, if this isn’t captivating enough, consider the fascinating field of Epigenetics in skincare – an emerging area of research that delves into how gene expression and DNA repair mechanisms can be influenced by external factors, potentially revolutionizing our entire approach to skincare.

Certainly, it’s essential to acknowledge that even as new skincare ingredients and trends continually surface, certain well-established and scientifically validated components persist as the bedrock of effective skincare. In this blog, we present ten such ingredients that have not only emerged but have also consistently demonstrated their efficacy, steadfastly holding their position at the forefront of advanced skincare.

Let’s cover 10 of the top trending skincare ingredients of 2023.

Table of contents

  1. Bakuchiol – The Gentler Retinol Alternative
  2. Retinoids (retinol) – The Gold Standard for Anti-aging
  3. Epigenetics – The DNA “Modificators”
  4. Vitamin C – The Powerhouse of Antioxidants
  5. Niacinamide – The All-round Skin Protector
  6. Hyaluronic Acid – The Ultimate Hydrator
  7. Salicylic acid – The Oil and Acne Fighting Superhero
  8. Ceramides – Your Skin Barrier’s Best Friends
  9. Centella Asiatica (CICA) – The Ultimate Skin Soother
  10. Peptides – The Skin’s Building Block Strengtheners
  11. Staying On Trend With Skincare Ingredients

Top 10 Trending Skincare Ingredients of 2023

1. Bakuchiol – The Gentler Retinol Alternative

Bakuchiol, as previously mentioned, stands as a naturally derived gem sourced from seeds. While it may not belong to the Retinol family, this trending skincare ingredient shines as a kinder, gentler alternative to its more robust counterpart. One of its standout features is its ability to deliver results without the often accompanying irritation, stinging, and peeling that Retinol can bring.

It’s important to note that Bakuchiol doesn’t directly compete with pharmaceutical-grade Retinol in terms of potency. Instead, it finds its niche as a complement, often used in combination with Retinols to enhance the skin’s tolerance to these powerful ingredients. This harmonious pairing offers a balanced approach to skincare, delivering the benefits of Retinol with a gentler touch.

Products containing Bakuchiol:

Mesoestetic Skinretin 0.3%
Mesoestetic Age Element Anti-Wrinkle Cream
ZO Retinol Skin Brightener

2. Retinoids (retinol) – The Gold Standard for Anti-aging

When it comes to addressing aging skin concerns with strong scientific evidence, the transformative abilities of Retinols make them a must-have for anyone seeking remarkable skin improvements.

Retinols “trend” for a reason… They are the heroes in the battle against aging due to their powerful ability to stimulate collagen production and accelerate cell turnover. It is also fantastic in treating acne by having a direct influence on the skin’s oil glands to regulate production thin out sebum (oil) and unclog pores due to its resurfacing effect which also directly improves acne scars.

Retinol also fights the battle against pigmentation and plays a pivotal role in repairing and lifting away the effects of sun damage and has been one of the first ingredients listed to have a positive effect on epigenetics with up and down regulating genes.

Retinols are available in various concentrations, allowing for potency adjustment. Yet, the key to reaping their benefits lies in quality and bioavailability to ensure maximum absorption.

It’s worth noting that Retinoids may initially induce sensitivity, dryness, and peeling. To reduce these potential side effects, a gentle approach is advised, starting with lower concentrations, and gradually increasing frequency of use.

For optimal results and to navigate potential sensitivities, seeking guidance from a skincare professional before starting the use of Retinols is wise to manage and customize usage effectively for optimal results.

Products containing Retinoids (retinol):

Mesoestetic Skinretin 0.3%
ZO Retinol Skin Brightener
ZO Wrinkle and Texture Repair
ZO Radical Night Repair
NeoStrata Comprehensive Retinol 0.3% Night Serum

3. Epigenetics – The DNA “Modificators”

Epigenetics is an intriguing field that is under continual research as we try to understand the effects it has on skin care. It’s a process that involves modifying DNA.

Our genes serve as a command system messaging the DNA via MRNA pathways, to activate and deactivate the genes within skin cells. Remarkably, this doesn’t alter your DNA sequence but instead fine-tunes gene function and influences gene expression. The impact is profound, by upregulating positive gene functioning like accelerated cell turnover, enhanced wound healing, stimulating collagen, and down-regulating (for example) inflammation and environmental aggressors helping the skin to act younger than it actually is and being the ultimate form of preventative ingredient.

Key players in this epigenetic include ingredients like Retinoids, Resveratrol, Vitamin C, and peptides such as Matrixyl and Copper Peptides. Among the latest entrants is RoyalEpigen, inspired by the epigenome found in Royal Jelly. These epigenetic agents optimize vital pathways, enhancing the skin’s innate ability to maintain health and vitality.

The future of skincare seems promising, as it delves deeper into the intriguing realm of epigenetics.

Products containing Epigenetics:

Mesoestetics Age Element Firming Cream
QMS Epigen Pollution Detox Serum
QMS EpiGen Depuff Pollution Shield Eye Serum
Mesoestetics AOX Ferulic

4. Vitamin C – The Powerhouse of Antioxidants

Ascorbic Acid, our trusted Vitamin C, earns its place in our top 10 ingredients list for one reason: its remarkable track record of delivering undeniable results.

Acting as the cornerstone of our skincare, it primarily assumes the role of a vigilant antioxidant protector. It stands guard against free radicals and oxidative stressors unleashed by the relentless forces of UV radiation, environmental pollutants, and daily stresses, effectively shielding our skin from accelerated aging and cellular damage.

Yet, it doesn’t end there. Vitamin C is also an expert in stimulating collagen production, brightening the complexion, and improving uneven pigmentation. It’s a gentle giant, well-tolerated by most, though sensitive skin may opt for a milder concentration, gradually increasing to sidestep potential irritation.

To ensure stability and optimal efficiency, it often teams up with other powerful antioxidants like Ferulic, Resveratrol, and Vitamin E to ensure stability, creating a dynamic skincare synergy that leaves a lasting impression.

Products containing Vitamin C:

Mesoestetics AOX Ferulic
Neostrata Illuminating Serum
ZO Illuminating AOX Serum

5. Niacinamide – The All-round Skin Protector

Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, has been on the trending skincare list for a while as it is a very versatile ingredient… Think of it like a Swiss army knife. It helps rebuild the skin’s lipid barrier, enhancing moisture retention and shielding against external threats. It excels in regulating oil production and reducing inflammation, making it ideal for oily, acne-prone skin. Additionally, niacinamide effectively prevents post-inflammatory pigmentation due to its anti-inflammatory effect. Niacinamide is typically found in homecare products, that are focused on barrier repair, acne control, and skin soothing, making it an all-round protector for healthier, radiant skin.

Products containing Niacinamide:

Optoderm CBD Cream
Mesoestetic Skin Balance Sensitive Skin Solution
ZO Brightalive Skin Brightener

6. Hyaluronic Acid – The Ultimate Hydrator

Hyaluronic acid, often hailed as our ultimate skin plumper, is a naturally occurring substance found within our skin. It assumes a pivotal role in maintaining skin hydration, possessing the remarkable capability to retain up to 1,000 times its weight in water.

As we age, our skin’s moisture-retention abilities diminish, compounded by environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and medications, which intensify water loss, disrupting our skin’s protective barrier, a process known as trans-epidermal water loss.

When hyaluronic acid is topically applied, it acts like a magnet, drawing and locking in moisture from both the environment and the deeper layers of the skin, effectively quenching parched, thirsty skin. Its effective plumping effect not only diminishes fine lines and wrinkles but also plays a crucial role in restoring our skin’s barrier function.

Hyaluronic acid’s benefits extend beyond hydration; as it indirectly supports collagen synthesis, creating an ideal environment for fibroblast cells to thrive and operate efficiently.

Products containing Hyaluronic Acid:

QMS Collagen Concentrate 7 Days System
Mesoesetics HA Densimatrix
Optoderm Hydrating Serum

7. Salicylic acid – The Oil and Acne Fighting Superhero

Salicylic acid, a potent member of the Beta hydroxy acid (BHA) family, is undeniably a superhero in the world of acne treatment. Its remarkable ability to infiltrate the skin’s pores exfoliating from within, by penetrating pores, dissolving, and unclogging blockages, and preventing blackheads and whiteheads. Moreover, salicylic acid boasts anti-inflammatory properties, easing the redness and swelling typically associated with breakouts and acne blemishes.

BHA applications are accessible in higher concentrations through chemical peels administered by professional skincare specialists or in lower concentrations found in cleansers, serums, and spot treatments.

Salicylic acid is a crucial ally in the battle against acne and excess oil.

Products containing Salicylic Acid:

Mesoestetic Acne One
Mesoestetic Purifying Mousse
ZO Complexion Renewal Pads

8. Ceramides – Your Skin Barrier’s Best Friends

Ceramides are certainly your skin’s best friends when it comes to skincare, they are naturally occurring lipids that act as the brick and mortar of your skin’s protective wall, and a crucial part of our skin’s barrier outermost layers of the epidermis, that shields against water loss and bolsters its integrity.

Over time, aging, and environmental factors, along with excessive washing and exfoliation, disrupt this lipid barrier, leaving skin dry and prone to irritation and infection. Ceramides are our rescue remedy by replenishing and fortifying these lipid bi-layers, repairing our barrier function, and providing relief and comfort to excessively dry skin.

Moreover, they prove highly effective in supporting skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Ceramides, in tandem with active ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, work harmoniously to enhance and restore our skin’s vitality.

Products that contain Ceramides:

ZO Daily Power Defense
Mesoestetic Hydra-vital Factor-K
QMS Liquid Proteins

9. Centella Asiatica (CICA) – The Ultimate Skin Soother

Centella Asiatica, also known as CICA, is a skin saviour. Like a comforting blanket, it gently soothes and eases irritated, inflamed skin.

This calming herb boasts anti-inflammatory properties, promoting rapid healing and reducing redness. By fortifying your skin’s natural barrier, it shields against further irritation. Plus, its antioxidant capabilities neutralize free radicals, keeping age at bay by combating inflamaging (chronic inflammation that speeds up ageing). For acne-prone skin, it’s a hero, calming inflamed breakouts.

Think of Centella Asiatica as nature’s remedy, offering tranquillity to agitated skin, like a soothing embrace.

Products that contain Centella Asiatica:

Mesoestetic Couperend Cream
Mesoestetics Fast Skin Repair

10. Peptides – The Skin’s Building Block Strengtheners

Last, but not least on our list are Peptides… Peptides are like the diligent construction workers responsible for strengthening the building blocks of your skin.

These short chains of amino acids play a vital role in maintaining the structural integrity of your skin by sending specific signals to skin cells, instructing them to ramp up collagen production.

This cellular communication triggers a cascade of biochemical reactions, ultimately leading to the creation of fresh collagen fibres. This, in turn, enhances the skin’s structure and firmness, while also combating the appearance of wrinkles and sagging that often accompany aging skin. In the world of skincare, peptides like Matrixyl, Copper Peptides, Palmitoyl tripeptide-1, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, acetyl tetrapeptide-5, and acetyl hexapeptide-3 have earned their rightful place for their remarkable abilities in revitalizing and fortifying the skin.

Products containing peptides:

QMS Day and Night Collagen Serums
Mesoestetics Age Element Firming Concentrate
ZO Growth Factor Serum

Staying On Trend With Skincare Ingredients

In conclusion, the world of skincare is constantly evolving, and the trends in skincare ingredients reflect the ever-increasing demand for specialized products that cater to diverse skincare needs. As we’ve discussed, these trending ingredients offer exciting possibilities for addressing specific concerns, from hydration and anti-aging to combating acne and hyperpigmentation.

However, it’s essential to remember that skincare is not one-size-fits-all. While these trending ingredients may work wonders for some, they may not be universally suitable for everyone. Therefore the importance of personalization in skincare cannot be overstated. Your unique skin type, concerns, and goals should always guide your product choices.

In navigating this vast world of skincare ingredients, the only way to stay on-trend with skincare ingredients is to seek the guidance of a reputable and experienced skincare professional as their expertise can help you tailor your skincare routine to unlock its true potential, and in doing so, help you return to optimal radiance (the ultimate skincare trend).

To consult with a skincare specialist at Dr Nerina Wilkinson + Associates, email us at skinclinic@drnwilkinson.co.za to start your journey to your most radiant skin ever.

Written by Skincare Specialist,  Chantel Dickerson