HB Review: 2024's hottest skincare ingredients

Clare Daley
April 11, 2024
5 min read
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HB Review: 2024's hottest skincare ingredients

What’s trending in skincare right now?

Hooley Brown brings you our latest HB Review: a run-down of 2024’s hottest skincare ingredients. 

1. Ginseng 

Ginseng’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it a popular skincare ingredient, particularly in anti-ageing products. 

Beauty industry innovators continue to explore the benefits of ginseng and how best to use the plant root in personal care products. For example, Clariant recently debuted CycloRetin, a natural alternative to retinol that uses a plant-based cyclic peptide from crown prince ginseng. 

Clariant has found that the ingredient’s heterophyllin B molecule can enhance skin matrix production, improve collagen and reduce signs of ageing.

2. Mushroom 

Mushrooms have been a trending ingredient in food products, and now they’re a hot skincare ingredient. 

“Mushrooms are increasingly being incorporated into skincare formulations,”  consultant dermatologist Dr Derrick Phillips told Stylist magazine recently. “Formulations contain extracts from particular species (e.g. shiitake) which are rich in polysaccharides, peptides, polyphenols, protease inhibitors and kojic acid. These actives can help to brighten the complexion, reduce the signs of sun damage and even out the skin tone.”

Leading beauty brands like Dermalogica, Origins and Ren have all released products containing mushroom extracts. There are even companies dedicated to funghi-based face and body products – like Shroom Skincare, which recently released a Mycelium Glow Brightening Serum containing extracts from maitake (hen of the woods), reishi, chaga and cordyceps mushrooms.

3. Vegan collagen

Writing a list of 2024’s hottest skincare ingredients is impossible without mentioning collagen, which remains at the top of the beauty trends table. 

Bovine and marine collagen have been the most popular choices for beauty brands, accounting for 95% of all collagen supplements. However, we’re seeing some exciting developments in plant-based collagen for the vegan beauty market. 

For example, Evonik has recently launched Vecollage Fortify L, a new vegan collagen for care. The supplier of speciality chemicals plans to generate a platform of non-animal and sustainable collagen.

4. Hypochlorous acid 

Hypochlorous acid is an antimicrobial acid used in ophthalmology that has also been researched for its potential ability to limit the the spread of viral infections like COVID-19, flu and herpes. Now, it’s turned into one of this year’s most hyped skincare ingredients. 

Skincare brands are harnessing the anti-inflammatory properties of hypochlorous acid to create products for consumers with skin problems such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.

Hypochlorous acid face sprays have been trending on TikTok, with products like Tower 28 SoS Rescue Spray and Skinsmart Facial Cleansers going viral. 

5. Prebiotics

Increasing interest in gut health has brought probiotics and prebiotics into mainstream awareness. The growth of beneficial bacteria can improve more than just the digestive system. 

Prebiotic skincare products are also gaining popularity as beauty brands explore how a healthy skin microbiome can enhance hydration, reduce inflammation and improve the skin’s barrier function. 

Malaysian beauty brand Aiken's prebiotic moisturiser and face mist have already gone viral on social media.

6. Matcha 

Like mushrooms, matcha is another natural product that has transitioned from a food trend to a viral skincare ingredient. 

While matcha has been used in cosmetics for several years, the launch of Huda Beauty’s Glowish Super Jelly Lip Balm last year sparked a new wave of product development. Matcha cleansers have proved very popular, with Hello Klean, KraveBeauty and Tatcha all releasing products recently. 

So, what makes matcha such an on-trend skincare ingredient? According to GP and aesthetic doctor Dr. Sonia Khorana in Glamour magazine, “Matcha is thought to be super high in antioxidants (epigallocatechin gallate—EGCG), which have protective effects to fight free-radical damage, anti-inflammatory properties, and possibly reduce the effects of sun damage.” 

7. Ceramides 

Ceramides are fatty acids that comprise 30-40% of the epidermis, protecting the skin from infection and preventing dryness. In recent years, social media has increased interest in nourishing the skin barrier, driven by beauty trends like “skin drenching”. 

Thirst for well-hydrated skin has made personal care products containing ceramides more popular than ever. And companies like CeraVe have built entire brands off the back of interest in ceramides. 

In 2024, we’re seeing some interesting applications of these ceramide molecules in areas like sunscreen and hand lotions. For example, Elta MD’s So Silky Hand Crème contains ceramides, emollients and vitamin E.

8. Cherry Blossom

Japanese skincare is now the second most popular Asian skincare movement after Korean skincare – and cherry blossom is one of the hottest botanical extracts within the ‘JBeauty’ approach.

Cherry blossom – also known as Sakura – has been attributed by many beauty influencers as a key ingredient to achieving the “glass skin” appearance that has swept social media. 

Cherry blossom extracts can lighten hyperpigmentation, clarify uneven skin and help control the overproduction of melanin to encourage a brighter complexion, according to Garnier

9. Squalene and glycerine

It’s not just facial skincare products that are going viral now. According to Pinterest, body care is the top skin trend of 2024, following an 845% rise in pinned body care products on social media. 

Among the top body care ingredients consumers are exploring this year are squalene and glycerine, which can help with wound healing and deeply moisturise the skin. 

While glycerine has been a core substance in most bath and body products for decades, brands are now highlighting its properties and benefits to consumers rather than hiding it in an ingredient list. Find it in products like Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion, Nivea Soft Moisturising Cream and haircare products like Michiru Scalp Tonic.  

For more beauty trends, follow Hooley Brown on LinkedIn

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