The 7 Buzziest Beauty Terms of 2020

It's time to brush up on your beauty lingo, because 2020 is coming in hot.

The biggest beauty emphasis this year is most definitely on skincare. Instead of using makeup to cover up, 2020 is all about nourishing the skin for a no-need-for-foundation complexion. Ahead, we've rounded up the seven buzziest beauty terms of that are sure to be big this year.


It's clear that skincare routines have quickly taken the place of heavy makeup tutorials—but that doesn't mean that makeup is totally taking a back seat in 2020. This year is all about emphasizing your natural beauty, and one of the buzziest techniques is pre-highlighting. What this means is using light reflective serums and primers prior to applying your concealer for that lit-from-within glow.

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You may have heard this word start buzzing in 2019, but in 2020 it's only getting more common. Adaptogens are non-toxic plants that help the body resist stressors of all kinds. They are herbs and roots that have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions, but they're having a renaissance today. You'll find these in many skincare products targeting inflammation and redness thanks to adaptaogens' impressive calming properties. 

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Backuchiol is a plant-based, retinol alternative, touted for having similar effects on the skin, while being vegan and much more gentle. You'll see this ingredient pop up more and more in clean beauty and mainstream brands alike, and it's the perfect way to ease your way into using retinol.


'Clean Beauty'

If you thought 2019 was clean beauty-crazed, just wait until this year. Clean beauty will be the buzziest beauty word in the business, with mass brands and new indies getting in on the action as much as possible.

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'Radical Transparency'

Long gone are the days of INCI lists where you don't even recognize one ingredient. The clean beauty revolution that took shape in 2019 is ushering in a wave of radical transparency. This means brands are now showcasing radical transparency, giving proof for claims, supply chains, clinical testing and manufacturing.


'Polyhydroxy Acids'  (PHAs)

There's a new acid in town and you are going to love her–polyhydroxy acids. This ingredient is in the acid family, and glycolic and lactic and will be referred to more commonly as PHAs. Polyhydroxy acids are chemical exfoliants and are related to alpha hydroxy acids—they both exfoliate the skin, slough up dead skin cells and even allow products to penetrate deeper. The biggest difference is their molecular structure, as they are larger than AHAs and BHAs which means they can't penetrate quite as deep, which leads to less irritation. 

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Say bye bye to 10-step skincare routines and hello to a shorter nighttime ritual (hallelujah!) with a more curated routine. Skinimalists are taking over, and it's most likely going to be the best thing to happen to your skin. Letting products have their moment, versus slathering on a bunch of different products, really allows each product to penetrate and work.


While we're chatting skin, HERE are the makeup ingredients you need to avoid.