Four key beauty trends that promise wellness for you — and the planet

Nokubonga Thusi Beauty editor
CBD has become a popular ingredient in beauty products such as face oils and body rubs.
CBD has become a popular ingredient in beauty products such as face oils and body rubs.
Image: 123RF/belchonock

We are in a climate crisis and it's more important than ever to be aware of our health and wellness as well as that of our planet. Wild fires continue to scorch the Australian landscape, landfills are overflowing with waste, marine life is being suffocated by single-use plastic populating the ocean, and almond milk is suddenly bad for the planet as its production is killing the billions of honeybees that pollinate the crop.

As consumers we are becoming increasingly aware of how products — and our lifestyle — affect our bodies and the planet. With Gen Z (people born between 1995 and 2015) leading the eco-activism charge, brands across the board are being forced to re-evaluate their global footprint to stay relevant.

It's no wonder then, that over the last few years, elements of wellness have been slowly merging and infiltrating the beauty and fashion industries, with the creation of more sustainable products and the promotion of a lifestyle that encourages health and wellbeing.

Here are four key beauty trends that have emerged as a result:


The legalisation of medical and recreational marijuana in the US and the decriminalisation of the private consumption of marijuana in SA have led to a boom in the production of CBD (cannabidiol) and hemp-extract products.

A popular ingredient in beauty products, CBD can be found in face oils, body rubs, lattes and even active wear to aid in the treatment of conditions such as anxiety, sleep disorders, chronic pain, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis and skin irritations.

"Because CBD is not psychoactive, it is an excellent solution for relief from pain, inflammation and many other ailments, without the intoxicating influence of marijuana or the side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs. It can be used in conjunction with the medication you are already taking, often enhancing its overall effects," says Dr Alison Richardson, neurologist and spokesperson for Oil Science.

CBD binds to receptors in the body that control the anti-inflammatory response and immune system — which helps with skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, as well as to keep the body's system balanced.


1. Kiskanu CBD Skin Rub 57g R825.
2. Kiskanu CBD Intimacy Oil 30ml R825.
3. Oil Science 300mg Cinnamon CBD Oil Drops 30ml R695.


The rise of lunch-time treatments, 30-minute gym establishments such as Ritual Gym, HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts and e-commerce solutions have allowed us to do everything we need to do in record time and — most of the time — under a lot of stress.

With wellness being at the centre of our lifestyle evolution, the trend is to focus on slowing down and taking the time to recover.

"We're shifting our attention and our off-days to recovery options like cryotherapy, stretching, IV therapy and acupuncture," says Amanda Freeman, the founder and CEO of SLT and Stretch*d in a Byrdie article 9 Wellness Trends We'll Be Seeing Everywhere in 2020.

Innovations have resulted in skin-rejuvenation treatments and products that utilise the principles of gym workouts

While fitness and training hard are still priorities, people also want to make a conscious effort to ensure that body and mind recovery is just as important. This can be done through breathing classes, meditation, foam rolling, stretching and yoga.

Active recovery rituals are not confined to fitness, but innovations are also pointing to skin-rejuvenation treatments and products that utilise the principles of gym workouts.

Brands such as 365Skin Workout, Face Gym, Face Fit and Bellabaci have all designed face and body treatments and products that combine holistic wellness techniques such as acupressure, facial rolling, cupping, LED therapies, cool lifting, radiofrequency or aromatherapy to promote lymphatic drainage, toxin removal and lifting and tightening of the skin.


1. 365Skin Workout Defence SPF30+ 50ml R585, available at Sorbet
2. Bellabaci Facial Cups, Body Cups R450 each.
3. Bellabaci Skin Get A Life 3-Step Facial Ritual R980.


One of the first things to spark the movement towards wellness and clean living is knowing what ingredients go into the products that we use. It's important for today's consumers to have a conscious beauty regime. While products claiming to be paraben-free and natural were the start, it's no longer enough.

Beauty brands need to consider making their products cruelty-free, natural, paraben- and sulphate-free, eco-cert, recyclable, carbon neutral, vegan and plastic-free to stand out in today's marketplace.


1. Sukin Original Chamomile & Rose Hydrating Mist Toner R117 available at Clicks.
2. Lamelle Correctives Brighter Serum 30ml R879.
3. Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence 60ml R315 available at Glow Theory
4. Suki Suki Naturals Skincare Range from R240 available at Woolworths.


Global anxiety about the future of our environment and climate change has brought about a more sustainable way of thinking. Locally, 2019 saw war declared on single-plastic use with large retailers and brands such as Dove, Woolworths, Nespresso and Sandton City slowly banning plastic bag use in-store and introducing recycling stations.

Packaging is beginning to be made from recycled plastic or paper alternatives, with many brands choosing to go packaging-free with their products.

Beauty brands such as Zero Bar and Lush Cosmetics are leaders in the packaging-free or naked products trend that sees typically liquid formulations such as shampoo, body wash, deodorant and body butters being made into solid bar formulas that can be housed in recyclable aluminium or paper containers to eliminate waste and plastic. These brands are also conscious of using as little water as possible.

This article first appeared in the Sunday Times Lifestyle section.