Humans may not hibernate in the traditional sense, but what we do all winter long is the closest equivalent: a state of relative inactivity, but for one day — New Year’s Eve! — where we come out and make all the noise, drop all the balls, drink all the Champagne, and crawl back under the weighted blankets from whence we came.
Then, suddenly, it’s almost spring, and we open the curtains, shake the twigs from our hair, and reacquaint ourselves with the world around us. Hello, flower! Hello, tree. Less than three months into 2020, and we already have some catching up to do — namely, what’s going on out there now that the weather forecast predicts something other than 33 degrees and cloudy? What do we wear, who do we owe a text back, what do we put on our faces instead of the thickest possible moisturizer and a layer of oil on top to seal it all in?
Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves — spring isn’t here quite yet, and that economy-sized jar of Vaseline still has its purpose. But with the rest of the year laid out ahead of us, there’s a number of new skin-care trends set to make their way into the 2020 canon. Soon enough, the nights will be shorter, the days will be longer, and these four trends will be fueling your shopping decisions through Daylight Saving Time season and beyond.
Menopause Goes Mainstream
Gen Z might be the future, but the 14-to-21 age range isn’t the one skin-care brands are scrambling to cater to right now: First, it’s time for the 35-to-50 and beyond to get their due. Products marketed toward “mature skin” have historically focused on moisture and fine lines, never accounting for the realities of menopause — no doubt because of the residual taboo of discussing “the change” openly. “The concerns of women in this demographic tend to get overlooked in general. We call her ‘the Invisible Woman,'” dermatologist Robin Schaffran, MD, says. “I think we are only now starting to talk about these issues and wake up to the needs of this group.”
The average age of menopause in the United States is 51, but for some women, the hormonal changes begin to unfold as early as your mid-30s in a transitional phase called perimenopause. “During the perimenopausal period, estrogen (female-type hormones) decrease and the relative proportion of androgens (male-type hormones) increase,” Dr. Schaffran says. When estrogen levels dip, the skin becomes thinner and drier; as androgen levels increase, so does oil production. “The pores don’t work as efficiently to eliminate this excess oil and dead skin,” Dr. Schaffran explains, “ultimately resulting in clogged pores and new acne lesions.”
Breaking out at the same time you’re battling dullness and fine lines is beyond frustrating — but it’s definitely not hopeless, especially not when a handful of new brands seeks to bring the skin-care needs of the “invisible woman” into the light.
The key ingredients here are par for the course in a good serum: niacinamide, ascorbic and ferulic acids, sodium hyaluronate, a handful of peptides. But what makes this particular formula remarkable is methyl estradiolpropanoate, or MEP, a non-hormonal topical that was shown in a recent double-blind randomized study to be safe and effective in treating skin that’s showing those signs of estrogen deficiency.