Surprisingly, they aren't all just hype.

By Nykia Spradley
May 17, 2019
Shana Novak/Getty

In the world of beauty, where trends change so often and innovation abounds, it can be hard to keep up with what everything means. You've undoubtedly heard about CBD-everywhere from coffee shops to spas-or know of someone who's had some form of light or laser treatment, but there are probably a number of trending beauty terms that you're in the dark about. Whether you're a skincare or makeup pro or a novice, unpacking the lingo can be complicated.

What exactly is that new trend or treatment, how does it work, and, more importantly, do you need it? While you may prefer to play it safe when it comes to your routine-and that's certainly a smart option once you find a set of products that works for you-the latest crop of treatments, styling methods, and ingredients may make you reconsider adding a few new things to your lineup. Before the next wave of products and trends rolls around, familiarize yourself with what's generating a buzz right now.

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Adaptogens

Traditionally used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medical practices, these herbs and roots are said to adapt to your body's specific needs in order to help it ward off various stressors, both internally and externally. That means everything from pollution to elevated cortisol levels associated with stress and anxiety. Adaptogens come in the form of herbs, mushrooms, and algae, and, according to Kerry E. Yates, beauty expert and founder of Colour Collective, are meant to be ingested to receive the full benefit.

Microbiome

Think of this as a protective coating on your skin that contains tiny organisms designed to keep certain areas of your body in good health. Harsh skincare ingredients can literally throw our microbiome out of sorts causing challenges like dryness, hair loss, and skin infections on both the body and scalp. Similar to way probiotics work within your gut to protect it and help your food to digest better, beauty brands are experimenting with ingredients that support and help restore the skin's microbiome. Look for them in products like body washes and shampoos.

Microcurrent

Using a tool that emits an electronic current, a microcurrent facial stimulates collagen production within the skin. The idea is that, with extended use, you can re-plump your skin and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. There are some at-home versions of the tool (Nuface, ReFa, Ziip) that mimic the spa service at a lighter level. For the best long-term results, Yates suggests using these in between professional treatments.

Chlorella

The only way to reap the benefits of this skin-boosting superfood is to take it in a supplement form. It's a green algae that helps build up the body's natural defenses, stimulates your body's ability to get rid of toxins and is even said to help ramp up energy levels.

Microneedling

This device, either done professionally or at home (with caution), uses a roller head outfitted with tons of tiny needles that poke equally tiny holes in the skin. The procedure is designed to produce new collagen in the treated area resulting in few wrinkles, smoother skin, and decreased scarring or discoloration. It can be costly and not for the faint of heart, especially if you already have sensitive skin. Your skin will likely need to heal for a few days. The at-home versions should be done with extreme caution although they aren't made to penetrate the skin as deeply as the pro-options. Yates says that the results of DIYing it don't even come close to delivering what you get from a spa treatment.

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Retinoid Sandwich

Retinol is a super potent and effective anti-ager, but not everyone can handle it on its own. It can actually be quite drying and sensitizing. To make it tolerable, it is best to start with a layer of moisturizer followed by prescription retinoid or over the counter retinol, followed by another layer of moisturizer-like a sandwich. The efficacy of the retinol is not diluted, but you get a nice buffer from the effects of the sensitizing agent.

Bakuchiol

Here's a brilliant alternative to retinol delivering all the skin smoothing and anti-aging benefits, without the negative effects like dryness and sensitivity. Unlike retinol, bakuchiol is non-reactive to sunlight (you should still wear sunscreen!) and can be used day and night. "When used at a true active level within a formulation, users can see both an improvement in fine lines, dark spots and skin elasticity," Yates notes.

Micro Concealing

Instead of smearing foundation in face mask form to hide blemishes and discoloration, try micro-concealing. This technique is something of an art form. Using a small-tipped makeup brush you use a tiny bit of concealer to hide only the problem areas on your skin. The result is a supernatural, blemish-free, airbrushed and not heavily made-up complexion.

Dermalinfusion

This skin treatment is like the new and improved version of classic microdermabrasion. Instead of just sloughing away rough skin, dermalinfusion uses a similar diamond tip exfoliator to smooth skin and vacuum out and away dirt and bacteria. Once skin is all clear, the device then pumps a custom cocktail based on your skin's needs, back in to help rehydrate and replenish what your specific skin needs to glow.

Shingling

This word refers to a hair styling method for defining and detangling super curly hair. Essentially, you're defining each curl on your head. "The method is very time consuming, but for super curly girls it is really worth it," says Yates. She suggests keeping a good deep conditioning mask on hand as well as a detangling spray to keep the hair constantly hydrated during the process. Although it's tedious, it's best to work in small sections to get the best curl benefit. "If you use the right mix of products along with the small sectioning technique the style can literally last seven days before you have to rewash, rehydrate, and the re-curl with your fingers," Yates adds.

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