top beauty trends of 2014

Back at the beginning of 2014, I dusted off my crystal ball and made some predictions for beauty trends. I was on point with some, but there were others that I see more clearly now in the year’s rear view mirror. Here are some of the top trends of 2014 (and check back in January for my predictions for 2015).

Microcurrent made it home

Microcurrent has long been my anti-aging secret weapon, with monthly salon treatments effectively coming between me and gravity. For years, I have been on the lookout for a reliable and effective microcurrent device for use at home, and in the end, I made one. Creating one’s own trend is probably cheating, but microcurrent has indeed made it home with the recent launch of Truth Rejuvenate. Microcurrent mimics the body’s own natural bioelectric field and sends tiny electrical currents to our muscles. There are more than 30 muscles in the face, and microcurrent can be used to stimulate them. There is no muscle contraction taking place; instead, the muscle is woken up, the current reminds it where it used to be (before gravity wore it down) and muscle memory is reactivated.

Mitochondria targeting ubiquinone proved to be the ingredient of the year

MitoQ is one of my greatest anti-aging serum finds. It uses a form of ubiquinone that was developed to target mitochondria. It is accumulated selectively and extensively by mitochondria, in contrast to other antioxidants, which distribute evenly throughout the cell. This one active packs a lot of punch, and many members of the Truth In Aging community, including me, have been getting great results with MitoQ Moisturizing Anti-Aging Serum ($119 in the shop).

But vitamin C’s coming of age took me by surprise

What I didn’t predict was that 2014 would be the year for vitamin C. Newer forms of vitamin C — that are stable and gently effective — have become ubiquitous. Really good formulations now abound and are being rounded out by the other actives that support and boost vit C’s performance. I’ll start with one of my recent tests, Skinfinite’s new Advanced C20+ ($65), with its 20% concentration of vitamin C enhanced by the inclusion of ferulic acid and astanxanthin. Then, there’s Medik8 CE Thione ($150 in the shop), which uses glutathione to regenerate the vitamin C molecule. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics has taken vitamin C to a facial oil formula that has a green tea base with its Active Moisture Vitamin C Serum ($68 in the shop).

Brows are big

Back in the spring, I commented on an “extreme” beauty trend of an increase in brow implants. Although most of us wouldn’t go that far, the appeal of bushy-browed supermodel Cara Delevingne has not diminished, and brows remain uncontrovertibly big. One newspaper credited Meryl Streeps’ brows as being responsible for her youthful looks despite her 60-something years. The problem is that many of us (I know I did) suffer from thinning brows as we get older. To be on board with the big brow trend (which is likely to continue well into 2015), reach for Truth Vitality Brow Empower ($39 in the shop) and W3LL People Capitalist Mineral Brow Pigment.

Fermenting isn’t just for foodies

If you are in a bit of a pickle about choosing the right skin care product, consider one with fermented ingredients. Fermenting was a major trend in 2014 and there is compelling evidence that fermented ingredients could be superior anti-agers for the skin with greater concentrations of antioxidants and “increased anti-wrinkle efficacy, [and] whitening efficacy.” Two of my favorite skin care brands formulate with fermented ingredients — Innarah, which claims to have an “exclusive” fermenting process, and BRAD Biophotonic.

We got environmentally aware

I was a proud participant in the People’s Climate March in a year when people all around the world demonstrated their concern about the impact we humans are having on the environment. In what might be a grim justice, the environment is taking a toll on us, in return — especially on our skin. An article in Dermatology Times reported that nanoparticles in the air from pollution “operate through the creation of reactive oxygen species, resulting in the premature aging of the skin.” Studies have shown that city slickers have depleted levels of squalene in facial sebum and decreased vitamin E levels. Ensuring that your skin care regimen includes antioxidants is vital. Antioxidants are molecules that can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged.

A firmer grip on sagging skin

Not so long ago, active ingredients that really helped sagging skin seemed futuristic. But in 2014, I was able to come up with a reasonably long list of them, and here’s a taster:

  • TT2 is a new peptide that can reduce “sagging and slacking” as well as improve firmness and elasticity. You can find it in E'shee Clinical Esthetic Alpha and Omega Gene Therapy Eye Cream ($284 in the shop).
  • Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2 boosts the skin’s immune defenses, stimulating the growth and differentiation of keratinocytes. Result (at least, in theory): firmer skin. I get my dose of this peptide from Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Prime ($135).
  • Copper peptides encourage collagen synthesis. A 2002 study on 20 women showed that it increased collagen in 70% of those treated with copper. Find it in Benir Beauty BV Nine Platinum Anti-Aging Bee Venom Cream ($136 in the shop)

Marta Wohrle is an anti-aging skin care and beauty expert and the founder/CEO of Truth In Aging. Marta is dedicated to uncovering the truth behind anti-aging product claims.