These are the most popular skincare ingredients to look out for in 2021

How many of these are already on your radar?

laughing woman with moisturiser on nose
(Image credit: PeopleImages via Getty Images)

From the best eye creams, to the best retinol creams tand hyaluronic acid, these days consumers are much more savvy when it comes to skincare ingredients.

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, Lookfantastic has delved into the skincare ingredients everyone was searching for last year to predict which will be the most popular in 2021 – and it makes for very interesting reading.

In first place, the most popular ingredient on the list is alpha arbutin, a relatively new buzzword on the scene from a consumer point of view. Although it's been around for years, searches for this ingredient shot up by 410% in 2020. In terms of skin benefits, it helps to tackle skin concerns like acne scars and hyperpigmentation.

Next up on the list are two anti-inflammatory heroes, azelaic acid and niacinamide, both of which can help with skin conditions like acne.

Keep reading for top 10 most popular skincare ingredients for 2021 – how many of these are already on your radar?

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, £7/$8.90

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, £7/$8.90

The Inkey List Alpha Arbutin, £9.99/$11.99

The Inkey List Alpha Arbutin, £9.99/$11.99

  1. Alpha arbutin
  2. Azelaic acid
  3. Niacinaimide
  4. Ascorbyl glucoside
  5. Acai oil
  6. Bakuchiol
  7. Ceramides
  8. Benzoyl peroxide
  9. Zinc Oxide
  10. Glycolic acid

Will you be adding any of these to your skincare routine in 2021?

Lucy Abbersteen
Lucy Abbersteen

Lucy is a UK-based beauty journalist who has written for the likes of Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, OK!, Women's Health and more, as well as contributing to woman&home. Her work covers everything from expert skin and haircare tips to the latest product launches and the show-stopping beauty looks spotted backstage at London Fashion Week.


During her career she's interviewed some seriously famous faces, from Little Mix to Drag Race royalty The Vivienne, as well as chatting to the industry's leading hairdressers, dermatologists and make-up artists. When she's not got beauty on the brain you'll probably find her in the company of dogs, reading, or being shamed by Netflix's "are you still watching?" message. You can follow her on Instagram at @lucyabbers.