Hype or new trend? Sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart. Skin brightening and deep hydration from Korean beauty brands were the biggest skincare trends of 2015. What’s in store for this year? We reached out to the experts to find out the top 7 skincare ingredients for 2016.#1 Glycolic Acid
While not a new ingredient by any means, it’s tried-and-true in terms of producing results. In fact, according to Dr. Gervaise Gerstner, a New York City board-certified dermatologist, her “#1 skincare ingredient is glycolics. 99 percent of patients can tolerate it. It is great for a large range of skincare issues from acne to fine lines to brown spots.” Also referred to as a skincare “miracle worker,” glycolic acid is a natural ingredient derived from sugar cane.#2 Crosslinked Hyaluronic Acid
Dr. Mary Lupo, a leading board-certified dermatologist from the Lupo Center for Aesthetic and General Dermatology, thinks that in 2016, the “breakthrough ingredient has been crosslinked hyaluronic acid (HA). This technology allows this very important component of supple skin to be more resilient against decomposition,” she explains. “Think of crosslinked HA as a mesh that does not get broken down by the hyaluronidase we have in the skin. This allows duration of hydration while the other ingredients are gradually delivered to the epidermis,” says Dr. Lupo. This means that HA super-hydrates the skin and its smaller particle size allow it to penetrate the skin better, helping skin look more useful and giving it a plump, natural fullness.#3 Ceramides
Ceramides are another of Dr. Lupo’s picks among the top skincare ingredients to watch out for during 2016. Ceramides are lipid molecules found in the skin’s top layer. They form a protective barrier that plumps the skin and locks in moisture.
Top dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman—an assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and author of Skin Rules—told us about the skincare benefits of red seaweed. “It’s rich in beta-carotene, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s especially good for red skin and as an anti-aging agent,” says Dr. Jaliman. Although this skincare ingredient may seem to be the beauty industry’s new black, red seaweed has been used for ages in Chinese medicine.#5 Dapsone
Originally used as an antibiotic, dapsone became well known for helping us get clear skin. “It’s great for acne. It’s used topically and especially helpful for bumpy skin. They are coming out with a new stronger version which will be out in one month,” says Dr. Jaliman.#6 Probiotics
Yogurt for your face? Think again. We all know probiotics are recommended for our diet, but recently they’ve been linked to the reduction of harmful bacteria in our skin, as well as inflammation. But beware! Probiotics may be a bit hyped up after all and only treating symptoms instead of going to the root cause of inflammation. Dr. Gerstner suggests that we “avoid lactose and gluten and excess sugar that lead to the inflammatory problems in the first place. We wouldn’t need as many probiotics if we eliminated the agents causing inflammation in our bodies.”#7 Boosters
There also seems to be a general consensus that boosters are the next big thing. Boosters are ultra-concentrated formulas of superstar ingredients that allow us to tailor our skincare routine. But what exactly does this mean? Look out for new high- tech formulas in both skincare and makeup that aim at improving all sort of different skin concerns. On this topic, our expert Dr. Gerstner advises us to look for high- quality skincare products containing stable boosters for best results: “It is great to have an antioxidant in your moisturizer or sunscreen or lotion…BUT one needs to make sure that it is stable. That just means that whatever booster is included is not going to be degraded or neutralized or rendered inept by sunlight or combination with ingredients. You want to make sure the booster is actually going to boost.” As such, when evaluating a product with boosters, make sure the packaging is completely opaque, so no sunlight or other light can get through and degrade the ingredients.