Eight New, Good-for-You Skin Care Ingredients to Discover in 2022
While 2020 was the year of niacinamide and 2021 saw new heights for spirulina and mushroom oil, 2022 is just beginning—and dermatologists are already sharing which up-and-coming ingredients will dominate the world of skin care in the weeks and months to come. Keep reading to discover eight new, buzz-worthy standouts to test out this year.
"Moisturizing oils will never go out of style, and sunflower oil is making its way into many moisturizing formulations and anti-aging products," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tiffany J. Libby. "Sunflower oil is non-comedogenic, so it does not clog pores, and it absorbs easily and quickly into the skin, soothing and strengthening the moisture barrier." Best of all, Dr. Libby, who is a Bio-Oil partner, says that there are no ingredients you can't pair it with—so it's a great addition to any routine. Find it in Bio-Oil's Dry Skin Gel ($11, amazon.com).
For those looking to improve their skin's texture, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Howard Sobel says Tightenyl—a key ingredient in Beverly Hills MD's Deep Wrinkle Filler ($120, beverlyhillsmd.com)—is worth putting on your radar. "Tightenyl is a special bio-lifting ingredient designed to improve skin's texture over time for a firmer, more youthful-looking skin surface," he explains. "It rejuvenates the skin, lending to firmness, tonicity, viscoelasticity, and plasticity." In short, he says that it "virtually erases the appearance of wrinkles on contact—while also helping to nourish and smooth skin's appearance over time."
Madecassoside is a component of the botanical centella asiatica and, according to Dr. Libby, is about to get even more popular in 2022. This ingredient first came into the spotlight in 2017 and new compounds within it have continued to emerge. "Madecassoside is an exciting plant-based ingredient that has shown efficacy in wound healing and is being incorporated into many soothing serums and creams," Dr. Libby says; try A'Pieu's Madecassoside Cream 2X ($11, amazon.com). "It has antioxidant properties and is great for sensitive, photo-damaged, and inflamed skin through its anti-inflammatory properties." When searching for a product formulated with the ingredient, Dr. Libby says to keep an eye out for madecassoside, asiaticoside, asiatic acid, or madecassic acid.
Another botanical Dr. Libby is excited about? Silymarin, which stars in the SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF ($166, dermstore.com). "Silymarin is a flavonoid extract from the milk thistle seeds that offers great data for topical skin benefits, from photoprotection and reducing hyperpigmentation to targeting the glycation pathway for anti-aging benefits," she explains.
Retinol alternatives—like those found in Sunday Riley's A High-Dose Retinoid Serum ($85, sephora.com)—have been on the rise for years and, as Dr. Libby sees it, hydroxypinacolone retinoate is the next best thing. "It offers similar benefits to retinoids, with less irritation and improved sensitivity profiles," she says. "Retinoids are touted as the gold standard of prejuvenation skincare, and I am excited to see more data become available on these alternatives for my patients' use."
Peptides and Growth Factors
Alongside retinoids, Dr. Libby says that peptides are a must for any anti-aging routine. "These are a group of amino acids or protein-building blocks that do everything from aiding collagen and elastin production to helping smooth out fine lines," she explains. "Growth factors are signaling proteins that help signal to cells and activate mechanisms to heal, produce new collagen, and improve skin's firmness and elasticity." It's because of all those benefits that Dr. Libby tells her patients to splurge on this category. "There is quite a bit of research and development that goes into manufacturing these potent ingredients, and they are worth the bang for the buck," she says. The SkinMedica TNS Serum ($220, dermstore.com), for example, is pricey, but impactful.
Pre-, Pro-, and Post-Biotics
According to Dr. Sobel and Dr. Libby, this is a promising new category in skin care. "We are learning more about the extensive microorganism communities that live on our skin, and how our skin health depends on and interacts with these microorganisms every day," Dr. Libby explains. Adds Dr. Sobel, "These living organisms can provide benefits to your skin by balancing the skin's microbiome, thereby decreasing inflammation, acne, and dry skin." Korres Greek Yoghurt Probiotic Superdose Face Mask ($49, sephora.com) is the soothing, nourishing product your routine might be missing.
For brightening benefits, Dr. Sobel says astaxanthin—try the Sobel Skin Rx 35% Vitamin C Fusion Serum ($105, sephora.com)—is a great ingredient to work into your routine. "It's a potent antioxidant that works 6,000 times better than vitamin C at brightening and preserving the skin's optimum health±and promoting a youthful, radiant complexion," he says. "It works to fight fine lines, wrinkles, and acneic conditions, while also protecting against UV rays."