This Year’s Top New Beauty Buzzwords: Explained

The beauty industry’s infamous for using head-scratching buzzwords to try and persuade us to buy a brand’s new product line. These buzzwords might be ingredients, processes, or hashtags-in-waiting. Some buzzwords turn into legit beauty products that make it into our routines for good, while others are nothing more than a fad. This year, we’ve seen an upturn in several beauty buzzwords that have sometimes horrified, fascinated, and surprised us. Are these new trends fads or beauty holy grails?

#1 Epigenetics

Epigenetics is a term from biology that describes external factors that influence genes, without any changes to your underlying DNA.  Yikes.


In skincare terms, epigenetic refers to products that ‘switch on’ genes that boost skin elasticity or other desirable factors. These genes would usually have been ‘switched off’ as a result of skin damage, age or stress. In other words, epigenetic products could turn back the clock and nudge your skin to act as if you were in your teens or twenties rather than your forties or fifties.


This sounds like the anti-aging dream, but be aware that epigenetic skincare still has a long way to go. This buzzword’s worth keeping an eye on – it could transform the skincare industry completely.

#2 Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal’s been everywhere this year, and not just in beauty – who could forget the activated charcoal burgers, ice cream, and pizza that were everywhere on Instagram? But what exactly is activated charcoal, and why is it used in skincare?


Well, activated charcoal is charcoal that’s been been treated with oxygen. This creates a substance with loads of pores so it’s great at absorbing things. When used in a skincare product, activated charcoal helps to soak up oils and impurities from the skin, clearing out your pores and tackling oily skin. Surprisingly, it can also be used as a teeth whitener! Applying a jet-black beauty product can be a little daunting, but it seems that activated charcoal could hold real benefits in the beauty department.


#3 Facial microflora

We’re all accustomed to the idea of ‘friendly bacteria’ in our gut, but on our face? Not so much. When the foundation of our skincare routine is cleansing, we try to remove all the bacteria from our skin. Increasingly, experts believe that instead we should be encouraging the right kind of bacteria to live on our skin.


In skincare marketing terms, look for probiotics and prebiotics. The former contain the good bacteria, while the latter provide them with nutrients.  Probiotics can be particularly useful for those of us with sensitive skin or eczema, who are all too aware of the effects that over-cleaning can have on our complexions.


#4 DNA-derived skincare

Several brands now ask consumers to take a DNA sample, send it off to their lab (or someone else’s lab), and receive a DNA-derived breakdown of their skin complaints and how to ease them.  These brands call these DNA-based products and routines the ultimate in personalised skincare.


Sounds, good, right? Well, the recommended products are likely to be extremely costly. If you’re on a budget, it’s likely that the benefits of an ultra-personalised skincare routine are likely to be outweighed by the costs. In all likelihood, the skincare routine you’ve refined over the course of many years is likely to be just as suitable for your skin.


What do you think?

Which of these products and processes do you think are here to stay? Are you convinced by any of these new buzzwords? Let us know in the comments below!


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