Aesthetic trends and the future of skincare


Skincare has been a staple of aesthetic practice since the industry's early days when glycolic acid was all the rage. Things have changed a lot since then, both in terms of the number of skincare brands available and the ingredients that are leading the way.

However, one thing remains constant: the role of skincare in supporting and enhancing the procedures performed in the clinic. In our annual survey, skincare was cited as the second most common service practitioners offer after injectables, with 56.9% saying they sell it.

This is because skincare is not only a powerful tool for tackling age-related concerns but also for managing and treating skin conditions.

Skincare can sometimes be overlooked in favour of new treatments, devices, and technologies, but the field has plenty of its own trends and innovations to get excited about.

In our article about emerging aesthetic trends and technologies, we identified some key trends shaping the market, including skincare. This article will delve deeper into what that means for you, your clinic, and your patients.

Combining science and nature

The global skincare market is expected to generate sales of over $167 billion (£133bn) by 2030.

As consumers become increasingly discerning about what they put on their bodies, the demand for skincare products that blend scientific innovation with organic and natural components is on the rise.

This trend reflects a growing preference for effective skincare that is also aligned with natural, sustainable practices. It also reflects the increasing demand for regenerative aesthetics, with potent ingredients like growth factors, which accelerate the skin's natural renewal process, and peptides, which stimulate collagen production and improve skin elasticity, continuing to be popular.

In terms of the ingredients being touted as the next big thing, Beauty Pie listed ectoin as the biggest skincare trend for the year ahead.

Ectoin is an amino acid derivative used as a multi-functional skincare ingredient that offers a variety of benefits. It’s great for strengthening the skin barrier and also reducing water loss. Google searches have increased by 163% over the past six months, indicating that it’s an ingredient to watch in 2024.

The second biggest trend for the year ahead was identified as ‘skin streaming,’ which advocates a slimline skincare routine to prevent damaging the skin barrier.

Reverse skincare, bio retinol and hypochlorous acid also appeared in the top 10 biggest skincare trends for 2024.


Exosomes are also making waves in the regenerative aesthetics field. Exosomes are an attractive prospect because they can instruct older cells to act like younger ones.

Exosomes are nano-sized naturally-occurring ‘extracellular vesicles’ produced by almost every cell of living organisms. They act as messengers, ferrying signalling molecules like proteins and other genetic materials to tell cells how to behave.

They can be sourced from humans, animals, and plants, but remember that cosmetic or off-label use of human biological products is illegal in Europe and the UK.

Exosomes can contain many different substances, including peptides, lipids, growth factors, vitamins and minerals, and DNA. They can speed up healing and repair after aesthetic treatments, improve cellular communication, and stimulate collagen, elastin, and HA.

As no exosomes have been approved by the likes of the Food & Drug Association (FDA) or the MHRA, they are not allowed to be injected but can be applied topically or via microneedling.

Organic and environmentally conscious skincare  

In tandem with scientific breakthroughs, the future of skincare is also rooted in nature. Organic ingredients sourced from plants, fruits, and botanicals are gaining popularity for their efficacy and sustainability.

One of the key drivers behind the rise of organic skincare is the growing awareness of environmental issues and the desire to reduce our carbon footprint. By choosing products made with organic ingredients, consumers can support eco-friendly practices while indulging in luxurious skincare experiences.

Moreover, the shift towards natural skincare is about more than just what's in the products but also what's not. Many consumers are opting for clean formulations free from harmful chemicals, synthetic fragrances, and artificial preservatives. This move towards clean beauty reflects a broader cultural shift towards wellness and mindfulness, where self-care extends beyond skincare routines to encompass conscious choices that promote health and harmony.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

According to Fortune Business Insights, artificial intelligence (AI) is also gaining traction in the beauty and personal care industry with the development of AI and IoT-based devices that offer personalised skin solutions. They predicted that the rise in tech-savvy consumers exploring new devices will foster market growth.

We also identified this trend, citing AI as playing a pivotal role in the future of aesthetic medicine. Personalisation and precision are key here, using algorithms to analyse a patient's skin type, genetic factors, and lifestyle habits to recommend customised treatment plans and skincare.

SPF – the most powerful preventative tool

And let’s not forget SPF.

Prejuvenation has been cited as one of the key industry trends, and for young patients wanting to protect their skin from ageing, SPF is their most powerful daily skincare tool.

Despite this, research commissioned by Skin Proud found that almost three-fifths (59%) of Gen Z individuals didn’t know that the sun causes skin damage. Moreover, 64% said they don’t wear daily SPF, with 26% saying the reason was they do not live in a sunny climate, so they thought they didn’t need it — a common assumption in the UK especially.

SPF is also important in the fight against skin cancer.

According to Cancer Research, more than 210,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed annually in the UK, with cases expected to reach 400,000 annually by 2025. This means that one in four men and one in five women will be diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer.

Sadly, most of these cases are preventable. In fact, 90% could be prevented by staying safe in the sun. However, research has recently emerged showing that the UK population is not adhering to SPF guidelines and is putting their skin health at risk, with just 22% applying SPF daily.

In terms of SPF trends, researchers at Beauty Pie featured spray SPF, vitamin C sunscreen and ceramide-boosted formulas in their top 10 biggest skincare trends.

Searches for spray SPF had increased by 90% in the six months before the research was announced, as skincare fans sought a convenient way to spritz their sun protection on top of their makeup throughout the day. Vitamin C sunscreen searches were also shown to be up 53%, and ceramide sunscreen searches by 42% at the start of 2024.

To sum it up

The future of skincare lies in merging science and nature. It's about harnessing the power of cutting-edge ingredients and technology that deliver results and put prevention at the forefront at the same time as harnessing the wisdom of traditional botanicals and organic extracts and respecting the growing consumer consciousness when it comes to the environment.

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