While 2020 impacted many aspects of our lives—and even introduced us to unexpected skin issues (hello, maskne!)—2021 brings with it the promise of new and exciting skincare treatments, product launches, and trends. From cutting-edge LED devices to at-home medical-grade peels, there is plenty to look forward to this year. But what are some of the changes skincare experts are making for their own complexions? We spoke to five leading dermatologists and asked them to reveal which new products and treatments they are most excited about, as well as how they plan to approach their beauty routines in 2021.
This year, many dermatologists are opting for a simplified routine. "Simple doesn't mean less effective when it comes to smartly formulated skincare," explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ellen Marmur. "I prefer a simple routine because it is faster, less expensive, and in most cases safer and less irritating than complicated ones." Dr. Marmur notes that a pared-down approach may not only be more effective, but also easier to commit to. "A simple routine is superior because of compliance. Studies show that simple treatment routines for medical issues are more successful, primarily because patients can adhere to them better."
Not only did our PPE-clad faces experience mask-driven acne in 2020, but some dermatologists also saw a rise in irritated and inflamed skin. "I have noticed an increase in inflammatory skin issues," shares board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss. Because of this, Dr. Idriss predicts that there will be an uptick in skin-soothing products entering the market in 2021. "I believe anti-inflammatory skincare trends are going to boom featuring ingredients like oatmeal, beta glucan, and arnica," she continues. To protect and soothe her own inflamed skin, Dr. Idriss turns to products like Aveeno Calm & Restore Oat Gel Moisturizer ($21.99, target.com) and Boiron Arnicare Bruise Gel ($9.49, walgreens.com).
Since we still have limited access to in-office treatments, you can expect to see new user-friendly tools and gadgets explode onto the market this year. "There is a push for more sophisticated and efficacious at-home devices," explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michelle Henry, who notes that microcurrent devices like Nuface are her go-to for tightening and firming skin at home. Along with microcurrent devices, at-home LED (light emitting diode) treatments only stand to grow in popularity in 2021. LED therapy emits various wavelengths of light to target and treat an array of skin issues. Dr. Marmur swears by her MMSphere 2.0 ($795, mmskincare.com)—a hands-free LED device that boasts some serious skin-glowing benefits. She notes that continued use of the MMSphere will help to clear up maskne, acne, blackheads, wrinkles, brown spots, and redness.
While board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman is a fan of devices that you can safely use at home, she also suggests giving at-home peels a try in the year ahead. "Glo Skin Beauty offers medical-grade peels (from $85, gloskinbeauty.com) in a box with step by step instructions as well as measured out ingredients, making it almost impossible to mess up! With limited access to our dermatologists and estheticians right now, I think this is a safe way to see transformative results while we are stuck at home," she says.
According to dermatologists, radiofrequency treatments are going to be huge in 2021. These non-surgical, in-office services use an electrical current produced by a radio wave to tighten and improve the overall appearance and texture of your skin. "I am so excited about the Lumenis NuEra Tight—it is new to the market and my practice. This device uses radiofrequency technology to improve collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid production," explains Dr. Engelman. With treatments yielding smoother and firmer skin on the face and neck, it's easy to see why our experts are introducing radiofrequency treatments into their own skincare regimens. "Because the treatment has little to no downtime and is safe on all skin types, radiofrequency has become one of my favorite treatments to further elevate a quality skincare routine," adds board-certified dermatologist Dr. Caroline Robinson.
While popular neurotoxin injectables like Botox and Dysport aren't going anywhere in 2021, Dr. Henry shares that we'll have new-and-improved iterations to look forward to this year. "I am very excited about some of the new injectable treatments on the market, which is becoming more advanced with products formulated to look and feel natural on facial animation. We have both longer-lasting wrinkle relaxers as well as those of shorter duration entering the market," she notes.