A Look at Four Skincare Trends

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According to leading dermatologist, Natalie Curcio, M.D., four of the biggest skincare trends right now are retinoid alternatives and “clean” ingredients (both to keep skin safe), probiotics (to protect), and nonsurgical strategies for neck aesthetics (to correct).


1. Defensins vs. Retinoid

Retinol is known as an anti-aging and acne-controlling ingredient, but it comes with downsides: skin irritation and sun sensitivity. If either of these are a concern, says Curcio, there is a unique non-retinol ingredient that works via an entirely different mechanism of action but delivers similar results without retinol-associated side-effects: the defensin-molecule found in the DefenAge product line. “Most people start noticing a difference in four to eight weeks and others will comment on how much ‘smoother’ and radiant your skin looks,” says Curcio.

Defensins are molecules released by neutrophils, immune cells that stimulate a master stem cell in the skin to make new basal cells in the epidermis grow, creating a new epidermis. People see improvements in fine lines, coarse wrinkles, texture, sagging, pigment, and pore size, with a new top layer of skin, which is similar to the benefits seen with retinoids. Defensins also fight bacteria that exacerbate acne, at high concentrations.

2. Clean Skincare

The COVID pandemic has taught us that disease, bacteria, and infections can be transferred from animals to humans and from humans to humans.

Make sure to examine labels to ensure animal- and human-derived ingredients are not included.

3. Prebiotics for Skin Health

Natural prebiotics help to balance the skin’s delicate ecology and keep skin healthy, which is important with daily mask-wearing.

 “I had been using a gentler cleanser in the evening, but with the stress on the skin with wearing masks eight to ten hours per day during the pandemic, I had to switch to a cleanser that was gentle twice daily that did not further compromise my skin’s barrier, but was still effective in cleaning my face and preventing breakouts,” says Curcio.

4. Non-Surgical Neck Aesthetics

Skin looks better when it’s well-moisturized, and that includes the neck. The best everyday strategy is to keep the neck skin hydrated with a good quality neck cream. It will help to minimize the look of old, tired, skin and can even prevent it from happening if used with an effective sunscreen from an early age. My philosophy is, “It is never too early to start using a quality neck cream,” says Curcio. 


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