Our obsession with skin care stretches back to pre-pandemic life, but there’s no question that these “unprecedented times” have us slathering on an unprecedented amount of serums, creams, masks, and more while our makeup bags have mostly been collecting dust. (Remember contouring?)
 
This shift in interest from color cosmetics to complexion is something Pinterest dubbed “skinimalism” in its 2021 trend forecast, with searches for face yoga and naturally glowing skin both quadrupling year over year. “When we’re staying home, there’s less motivation to do our full face,” says Renée Beach, dermatologist and founder of Toronto’s DermAtelier on Avenue. “When you’re left with your bare face, it’s natural to analyze that and say, ‘How can I optimize it?'”
 
But that doesn’t mean chasing an airbrushed aesthetic, either. A hyper-perfect look doesn’t exist without a filter and isn’t a beauty standard we should feel we have to hold ourselves to. Korean beauty brand Glow Recipe recently announced it’s done with terms like “poreless” and “flawless” — a great message, though our own expectations can be harder to curb. “It’s very easy to tell someone, ‘we love your natural skin,’ but it’s a lot harder for someone to do that for themselves,” says skin-care and cosmetic formulator Stephen Alain Ko (aka @kindofstephen). Whether having a product routine gives you confidence, a hobby, or just a chance to play chemist, remember: “Skin care is just there,” says Ko. “What you take from it and get out of it is a really personal thing.”
 
Fittingly, spring’s top skin-care trends offer more choice than ever, different textures and formulas, packed with ingredients that coddle your skin. There’s plenty to keep you busy all lockdown long — just don’t try them all at once.