November 2nd, 2021





Each year brings with it fashion trends, decorating trends, and beauty trends. The latter covers everything from nails, haircare, makeup and skincare. With the ubiquity of social media, and TikTok, beauty users now can pick up popular trends from anywhere across the world and follow them. Skincare is the biggest segment in the beauty industry with global sales that hover around $130 billion in 2019. There is so much for consumers to digest and decide on. We turned to Dr. Michael Somenek, a Washington, D.C. Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon and skin care expert. He takes a microscope to some of the hottest trends in 2021 to give you insight into what’s worth your hard- earned dollars.

CBD In Skincare

CBD (short for cannabidiol) has no plans of easing up its reign on the skin-care world in 2021 and beyond.  As a case in point, there are at least two major skin care brands that now include CBD in their skincare, not to mention the indie companies that have created CBD skincare. Dr. Somenek’s take: “As far as it being good for skin, it acts as both an anti-inflammatory agent and an oil reduction agent. Theoretically, its addition to skin care products, especially those tasked to fight acne and other inflammatory skin conditions, is probably legitimate. It is also a good antioxidant that can help protect against free radical damage to skin cells. CBD can be made from hemp which helps skincare companies get around the federal ban on marijuana. Side effects of unregulated use include: Nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does.”


Microneedle Patches

Some beauty editors and bloggers swear by pimple patches. According to experts, those patches are about to get even more advanced by way of a ton of tiny microneedles (or "microstructures"). The logic is that you can out put a smaller amount of acne-fighting ingredients into these tiny little cones and apply it to the skin, it's a better, more effective delivery system.

Here's how they are purported to work: The small band-aid-like sticker has spikes coated with hyaluronic acid that are thinner than a hair follicle. Through these teeny painless pricks in the skin, the patch drives the active ingredients deep into the skin. 

Dr. Somenek’s take:

“There is plenty of good medical literature on the validity of these small patches that are impregnated with various chemicals. The patch gets worn and the needles (either metallic or made out of absorbable polymer) penetrate the skin delivering the chemical treatment. Their design takes advantage of the concept of transcutaneous delivery of drugs. Patches can be custom made to fit various areas of the face and deliver anti-aging or other chemicals while a patient sleeps. The efficiency of delivery is better through the tiny skin punctures than if you only put the chemical directly on the intact skin. In theory, aesthetic practitioners can make custom topical treatments and place them on the patches to deliver customized at-home skin treatments for their patients.”

Is a Cryotherapy Facial Is the Best Way to Brighter, Tighter Skin?

Cryotherapy has gained popularity in recent years with spa treatments exposing clients to sub-zero temperatures to help relieve pain and improve their health. This wellness treatment has recently undergone another adaptation with the cryotherapy facial treatment. The Cryo Facial is a cryogenic treatment that is performed by what is considered a "cryo probe," which beams vaporized liquid nitrogen across the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Different from the cryotherapy chambers that can be used for pain relief, the facial targets helping the face look younger. 

Dr. Somenek’s take: “This may be more suspect. There isn't a great deal of study-based evidence that cryotherapy facials actually do what they claim. Typically, cryotherapy uses extremely cold liquid nitrogen to freeze exposed skin cells to kill them, like a wart. The facials use the same liquid nitrogen as a spray, but the aesthetician doesn't stay in one area too long to avoid frostbite to the skin. Some level of cold injury occurs, probably to a very superficial level of the skin, so there may be some exfoliation. But there are safer ways to get exfoliation without risking frostbite or hyperpigmentation.”


Your skin is exposed to environmental aggressors on a regular basis. Although unseen, these pollutants can wreak havoc on your skin by breaking down collagen and elastin, the fibers that give skin its bounce. To help reduce these unwanted side effects, anti-pollution skin care products are continuing to gain favorability among consumers. Just as SPF is now de rigor in skin care, this seems to be the case with anti-pollution ingredient. 

Dr. Somenek’s take: “I think that this is a new name for old tech. In brief, our skin is exposed to environmental contaminants that create inflammatory conditions. These conditions lead to build-up of free radicals in the skin. The ingredients in antipollution skin care are basically strong antioxidants that protect against free radicals. But the skin is assaulted by more than chemicals. It experiences dehydration, UV exposure, temperature changes, etc. True antipollution skincare should guard against all this. Typical protective and reparative ingredients include vitamin E, vitamin C, retinoids, hyaluronic acid, zinc oxide, vitamin B3, and bisabolol.” 

Dr. Somenek’s final verdict: Just as one can become a slave to fashion, the same can happen with skin care trends. My best advice is to consult with your skincare physician. Discuss what you are exposed to during the day.  Is it sun, pollution, humid air, wind, etc.? Talk to your doctor about what type of skin you have. Skin type changes as you age, and as hormonal factors come into play. Someone who had oily skin in their 20’s and 30’s can have combination skin in their 40’s and 50’s. Speak with your aesthetic provider about what your specific goals are for your skin. Is it reduced acne? Fewer wrinkles? Reduced brown spots? Broken capillaries? Just because something is a trend, does not mean it’s right for your skincare type or your goals. If you have a regimen that works for you, stick with it.  Don’t be tempted by designer brands if drugstore brands are effective for you. There is nothing wrong with giving your skincare routine a modern “kick,” but good skincare does not mean one must try everything available on the market or in a med/spa or doctor’s office. 


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