Skincare Ingredient Trends in 2020

Consumers are smarter than ever. They don’t just rely on advertisements and brand reputation in choosing which products to use, especially when it comes to beauty and personal care. Ingredients have become a major deciding factor in determining what products consumers buy. Skincare trends are dictated by the consumers’ demand for products that are not only highly effective but also non-toxic, eco friendly and natural.

Glycolic Acid

Gycolic acid is a well-known alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that comes from sugar cane. It is the simplest and smallest in structure, setting it apart from other AHAs. It also has the lowest molecular weight, allowing it to easily penetrate the skin and be extremely effective. 

Glycolic acid works as an exfoliant, helping in the removal of dead skin cells on the skin’s outermost layer to reveal new and more radiant layers underneath. The normal outermost layer of skin is made of tightly packed layers of dead skin cells that are firmly bonded together. Glycolic acid is able to loosen these tight bonds and penetrate deeper into the skin where it performs effectively, thanks to its small structure. It stimulates fibroblast in the dermis to boost the production of collagen, making the skin firmer while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. In short, glycolic acid will help you achieve smoother, radiant and even-toned skin. 

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel has been used as a common skincare ingredient for centuries and remains a favorite thanks to its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. As we age, collagen breaks down in our skin. Consequently, the skin loses elasticity and begins to sag, making pores look bigger and skin less smooth. The astringent property of witch hazel temporarily makes the skin and pores contract, making pores appear smaller. Witch hazel is also effective in ridding the skin of excess oil that can cause acne. However, witch hazel may not be ideal for people with dry and/or sensitive skin as it may cause irritation. 

Grapeseed Oil

The oil that comes from pressed seeds of grapes has been making a buzz in the skincare world. This by-product of winemaking boasts of an impressive list of benefits ranging from exfoliation to skin firming. Research has shown that using grapeseed oil can make the skin softer and more elastic, making vitamins E and C in your skin more efficient and effective. Grapeseed oil is also known for its antimicrobial properties, making it a go-to for treating acne. Further research is still needed to prove its effectiveness in treating acne outbreaks, but considering how it attacks bacteria deep in the pores, it makes sense as an acne-fighting ingredient. Grapeseed oil can also be beneficial in providing a more even skin tone. It contains proanthocyanidin, a potent antioxidant that may even out skin tone when applied consistently on skin. When taken orally, it can help in managing symptoms of melasma, a skin hyperpigmentation. Lastly, the powerful antioxidants in grapeseed oil helps protect your skin from absorbing the harmful UV rays. 

Hyaluronic Acid

Hydrated skin never goes out of trend, and few ingredients can help you attain the high levels of moisturization that you’ll find with hyaluronic acid. Expect this ingredient to stick around for a while. It can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. This hydration powerhouse plumps the skin with intense moisture, making it look soft, smooth and more youthful. Don’t miss out on this ingredient in your skincare routine -- for supple, smoother and well-rested looking skin, use a product with hyaluronic acid.  


Retinol, as a skincare ingredient has been around forever, never going out of trend as people continue to swear by its anti-aging benefits. It is known to minimize fine lines and wrinkles by boosting collagen production. Retinol also improves skin color by stimulating the production of new blood vessels in the skin. Additionally, it helps fade age spots and soften rough skin patches. 

PHAs (Polyhydroxy Acids)

PHAs work similarly as AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids). They help remove dead cells from the surface of the skin to reveal more even toned and radiant skin. But what makes PHAs different from other chemical exfoliators? PHAs provide the same effectiveness in exfoliation but are less likely to irritate the skin. Also, PHAs are more moisturizing than their AHA cousins. They also help in boosting the efficacy of skin-care ingredients, allowing them to penetrate deeper into the skin layers. On top of that, PHAs are also loaded with antioxidants and encourage epidermal growth and repair.


Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, has been around for a long time but only recently has been recognized for its skin benefits. Like its fellow antioxidant, vitamin C, Niacinamide also offers as many, if not more, skin-enhancing benefits.  It helps make the skin smooth and firm and reduces the appearance of large pores. It even helps stimulate collagen production and new tissue growth while evening out skin tone at the same time. Niacinamide also calms redness of the skin and fights off free radicals. What makes it even more incredible is that it works on all skin types. 

Vitamin C

This powerful antioxidant is here to stay. When used topically, vitamin C can help counteract free radical damage on the surface of the skin. Free radicals are unstable molecules from the environment, which can bind to the skin and cause premature aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and more. Aside from protecting your skin from harmful free radicals, Vitamin C also helps make your skin more radiant and bright

CBD oil or Cannabidiol

Cannabis-derived products are getting more popular as Cannabis is slowly being legalized all around the world. Reports of CBD benefits on the skin have paved the way for it to enter the world of dermatology. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology reported that cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties. CBD oil may help in reducing inflammation due to certain inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne. It may also have anti-aging properties. But further research is still needed to understand the topical benefits and properties of CBD oil.  Though cannabis is controversial, CBD itself is not illegal as it does not contain THC which is responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. 

Final Thoughts:

We are nearing the end of 2020 but these ingredients are likely to remain in trend next year as they have proven themselves to be highly effective and safe to use. Don’t expect these key ingredients to be flying off the radar anytime soon.