For 21of21, GOOGLE SHOPPING and PAPER came together to break down some of the most memorable shopping moments of 2021 based on Google's trending search data. Perhaps because the US spent an inordinate amount of time staring at ourselves on our computer screen while videochatting, Google search interest for “skincare routine” reached a high in March of this year. In the US, “mineral sunscreen” also reached an all-time high in June, (just in time for summer!).
The laws of physics state that what goes up must come down, and similarly what goes on, must come off — especially when it comes to makeup. The rise of makeup tutorials and TikTok beauty trends has given way to makeup removal tutorials, where the emphasis is not only on what products are best to erase the multiple concealers and foundations required for contouring, but what products are best to keep the skin itself in its best condition (priming the canvas, if you will). We now live in a world with “skinfluencers” (whether they’re on TikTok or YouTube): a mix of everyday people and celebrities whose skin we have deemed as #goals. Online, beauty ASMR videos have become entertainment, and there’s an increasing call for real reviews from real people before buying a product. The hashtag #MakeupRemoval has nearly three billion views on TikTok alone —a testament to just how much we’re craving authenticity.
In a beauty trend cycle fueled by the voracious nature of social media algorithms, there are some skincare trends that have stuck around for the long-haul. These are the ones that have defined the year and will be around well into 2022 (and beyond).
In the last few years, our skincare routines grew to ever-increasing proportions, with the popularization of the 10-step Korean routine. It was inevitable that the beauty pendulum would eventually swing in the other direction. Enter “skinimalism,” coined by the beauty experts at Pinterest, which promises better skin using fewer products. “Skinimalists” swear they get by with some face wash, moisturizer (don’t forget SPF!) and either a single serum or oil. Aside from saving you money, the goal is also to take a stand against the fast-paced consumption fueled by the beauty industry, and perhaps declutter our beauty cabinets in the process.
As we continue to interrogate what we’re putting on our skin, sunscreen has naturally been under the microscope. Of course, SPF is an essential part of everyone’s beauty routine, but this year saw the rise of mineral sunscreen, which sits on the top of the skin and blocks out the sun’s UV rays before they penetrate the skin by using ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. This is in opposition to the sunscreen we grew up with, which allows the rays into the skin and then filters out and absorbs the ultraviolet radiation before it hits your body, using a mix of chemicals. The latter category hasn’t proven unsafe, so regardless of what kind of sunscreen you choose, remember the importance of slathering it on before you leave the house.
Next Gen Supplements
If you’re heard the phrase, “True beauty starts from within,” you may have thought it was referring to your glowing personality. This year, however, the focus has also been on the fuel we give our body and how that connects to skin health. Now, superfoods are becoming a beauty staple, (for a while people on TikTok were drinking chlorophyll water), and now there’s a rise in the number of oral supplements hitting the market, which claim to promote things like collagen production, hair growth and increase your gut health. The Goop website even boasts a “Beauty Ingestibles” category, where you can find a “superpowder” that is “designed to reduce the radical impact of the sun, pollution, stress and more.”
Last year saw the rise of acne patches, or small “stickers” usually made from hydrocolloid, that cover your zits and draw gunk and oil from your skin. This year, they became something to show off on Instagram or even wear out to a night on the town thanks to brands like Starface, which are making pimple patches fun and Instagrammable with rainbow colors and graphic shapes. Dermatologists love the pimple patch trend because it stops us all from picking at our pimples (no matter how tempting), and lets them heal in a protected environment. With this in mind, normalizing the zit sticker is a big win for skincare. Now all that’s left on the agenda is to continue to fight for acne positivity at large.
The concept of “bodycare” continued to expand this year, teaching us there is much more to taking care of our bodies than just moisturizing. Now there’s a mask for every inch of skin, including a detoxifying charcoal mask for your vulva, ingrown hair masks for your underarms and a “plumping and firming” butt mask. Whether you’ve jumped on the trend already and have bought an expensive mask for the soles of your feet, or you’re sticking to a classic body lotion after your shower, one thing is for certain: We’ll never neglect our body parts again.