December 27th, 2023

Avalon Answers Skin Care Trend Questions For 2023

(According To Google Search Statistics)

What is the difference between Advanced Skin Cycling, Skin Cycling and Gentle Skin Cycling?

2022 brought us “skin cycling” by trend setting social media Tik Tok. Truth be told, dermatologists and aestheticians have been prescribing this method in home care but until then, it didn’t really have a name. So what is it? Skin Cycling is introducing actives such as retinol/retinoids or exfoliating acids (such as mandelic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, malic acid, azelaic acid, or polyhydroxy acids) and alternating them with moisturizer. By doing this, your only introducing the actives to your skin twice a week and this method gives your skin recovery time. If I have clients that are not used to Vitamin C, I may prescribe the homecare to introduce that active with the skin cycling method until the skin can adjust to having it more often.

Advanced Skin Cycling is adding more days of actives. Your dropping one of your recovery days and adding in a day for actives as long as your skin can tolerate this. A good example would be a client who has hyperpigmentation on the cheeks from sun damage. At the same time, this client is also older and want to start adding in more anti-aging ingredients to help with fine lines and wrinkles. This particular client has not used actives in her skincare routine at home and wants to start. To treat the hyperpigmentation (sun spots) I need to have ingredients that are tyrosinase inhibitors and will work to break up the pigment. I would prescribe products in the morning with azelic acid and arbutin (alpha), as well as vitamin C. For nighttime I would prescribe retinol and ceramides. Because I am introducing so many actives, skin cycling would be beneficial. She would start off with the classic method of alternating with only having the actives for two days a week, and work her way up to an advanced skin cycling of having the actives 3 times a week.

“Gentle Skin Cycling” would be the method where the skin may be feeling too much exfoliation, or the skin may become sensitive being introduced to the actives. In this case, I would suggest this method 2 days a week, where the product with the actives is applied, wait for the product to absorb, and then apply an additional layer of moisturizer that helps support and repair the skin barrier. I would most likely prescribe Hale & Hush’s Vital Lipid Lotion for this.

Hale & Hush Vital Lipid Lotion

Actives for this lotion include:

Prebiotic: Fructooligosaccharise (D-beta)

Probiotic: Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate Filtrate


Plant Derived Squalane & Squalene

What is the Difference Between Slugging and Skin Flooding?

2022 also brought us the term “Slugging” which also, sorry to state the obvious, but this method has been used since our grandmother and great grandmothers time with vaseline. I will give it to K-Beauty trends though because instead of vaseline, they used occlusive products that actually had benefits such as skin nutrition or brightening ingredients. “Occlusive” is one of my favorite words to use in my practice when teaching my clients homecare. I describe this as a product that will seal in hydration while they sleep. They preform their regular homecare routine, add a towel over the pillowcase, and then put a layer of product on to seal in the serums and creams overnight. This has also been referred to as “Moisture Sandwiching”, but no matter the term, what it does best is help protect your skin barrier while helping your skin retain moisture.

So what is the difference between Slugging and Skin Flooding? Slugging helps retain moisture and helps protect the skin barrier. Think emollients such as ceramides, plant oils (shea butter, camellia seed oil or avocado oil) and natural fatty acids (glycerides, sterols, and phospholipids).

“Skin Flooding” is a method that works with specific ingredients that are humectants like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, panthenol, or honey.

To correctly use the “Skin Flooding” method, your going to layer your skincare with moisturizing serums and moisturizers with these specific emollients and humectants to give your skin a moisture boost.

Is Mushrooms In Skincare Good For My Skin?

Why “Mushroom” Is 2023’s Hero Ingredient and Why

I am not a stranger to mushrooms in ingredient lists. I have been using products with them for years. Two actually in particular.

Tremella or Silver Ear Mushroom or Snow Mushroom (Tremella fuciformis) This mushroom is used in Lira Clinical products, a medical grade line of skincare I use in my spa. Tremella Fuciformis contains a compound called glucuronic acid. This acid is the building block of hyaluronic acid and essential for keeping the skin hydrated. Glucuronic acid molecules are smaller than hyaluronic acid and can penetrate skin more easily. Because of the small molecules, this makes an excellent delivery system for moisturizing ingredients and well as boosting the efficacy of them in products. Quite simply, tremella is the perfect pairing for ingredients that provide moisture because tremella can hold hundreds of times it’s weight in water.

Agarikon Mushroom (Fomes Officianalis) This mushroom is used in the Hale & Hush Clear Future Toner with good reason. It’s natural astringent properties help regulate oil production and assist in reducing the appearance of pores. It pairs well with salicylic acid to treat stubborn acne. This extract is effective because it naturally contains Agaric Acid, which is also an astringent agent effective at tightening the skin.

Honorable Mentions For Mushrooms:

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum): Anti-inflammatory that is gentle enough for sensitive or irritated skin, rich in antioxidants that combat free radicals.

Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus obliquus): Also rich in antioxidants, this mushroom is also hydrating. Chaga is known for its high betulinic acid content, which can help moisturize and soothe dry skin.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus): Assists in reduction of hyperpigmentation and evening skin tone. Contains compounds that may boost collagen production.

Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes): Used in formulations for firming and toning. Known to be used to assist in improving skin texture and provide a smoother complexion.

Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa): These mushrooms are known for their astringent properties, which can help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and regulate oil production.

Cordyceps Mushroom (Ophiocordyceps sinensis): This mushroom contain compounds that may support skin regeneration and healing. It has also shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits to help calm irritated or inflamed skin.

Turkey Tail Mushroom (Trametes versicolor): This mushroom is beneficial for assisting in a balanced microbiome and promoting a healthy skin barrier.

Enoki Mushroom (Flammulina velutipes): Extremely hydrating, this mushroom assists in maintaining moisture levels in the skin while soothing redness and irritation.

What is Notox?

On Tik Tok, the term “Notox” has 262 million views

The term “Notox” is not a new concept, but in 2023 a rather evolved one. Traditionally “Notox” had a very basic meaning- non-toxic and all natural ingredients for skincare and beauty. Even more important, these ingredients are not linked to a toxic response like hormonal disruption or cancer causing.

For the beauty and skincare industry, the consumer driven treatments that have the most sales are anti-aging. Skin firming and lifting has always remained the most sought after. Since 1989 Botox reigned king of these treatments, getting it’s FDA approval in 2002 for cosmetic applications, which included injections at the glabellar lines (“eleven” lines between the brows), around the orbicularis oculi (crows feet) and around the depressor anguli oris muscle (frown lines around mouth).

The problem with botox and fillers is over time, the muscles will become weaker. In addition to this, the weakened muscles may start to recruit surrounding muscles in order to preform. Another thing to consider is how long the results last, the frequency these treatments need and the overall cost. Most botox results only last between three and four months, but some clients have been able to extend the treatments out to six and eight months. The average cost per treatment is between $300 and $500. Once you stop botox treatments, you can expect your skin to go back to the baseline of what it was.

Unlike fillers and botox, which work by paralyzing the muscles, the “Notox” trend now focuses on treatments that relax the muscles, tighten skin and use products with ingredients that sculpt and tone. These treatments are usually paired with devices that are needle-free but still work with specific ingredients for semi-invasive or non-invasive procedures.

In 2023, the market for anti-aging is absolutely saturated with devices, products and advice. More and more, we are finding slow but steady results with them and replacing the need for invasive treatments. In 2024, I expect this trend to continue and see people start to dedicate themselves to using devices in their home skincare routine.

Vibration Therapy Devices- uses acoustic sound waves to boost circulation. These devices do not offer long term results. Besides the boost in circulation, the devices relax and soothe the muscles so the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles are reduced. There is limited benefit to these devices.

Radio Frequency Devices- These devices use safe levels of low-frequency electromagnetic waves which generate heat in the dermis. This in turn, signals the skin to stimulate new skin cell production as well as stimulates the production of collagen and elastin.

Microcurrent Devices- These devices use low levels of electrical current and delivers this to the muscles and skin cells. The electrical current helps build up the muscles in the face, which assists in a lifted, sculpted look. This works especially well to contour the jowl area of the neck and jawline.

Low Frequency Ultrasound & Ultherapy- Like two sides of a coin, these treatments are similar, but different. Ultherapy is focused ultrasound, with the soundwaves meeting in the dermal layer. This causes the layers of skin to heat, and this action promotes collagen and elastin production. Low Frequency Ultrasound is not focused and the soundwaves do not meet.

For this treatment, in order to be considered a good candidate, you should not have lax, inelastic skin. For those that do, this treatment could be paired with Jevederm injections a few weeks before the scheduled ultrasound treatment to boost the efficacy.

Low Frequency Therapeutic Ultrasound could also be paired with Radio Frequency.

Red LED Devices- work to encourage elastin and collagen production. There are a multitude of devices on the market, be buyer beware. Unless your device has a wavelength of between 620 to 750 nanometers, the device will not be effective. Most professional devices at set for 660nm which have been proven to soothe the surface layer of skin and promote collagen and elastin. Devices at 850nm work differently, helping to repair muscle tissue and improve blood circulation. Consumers should also note that this device should be used on average three times a week.

Notox Ingredients To Pair With Devices

Retinol- a form of Vitamin A, retinol promotes collagen production which reduces fine lines and plumps the skin. Dermatologists may prescribe it’s stronger form, Tretinoin which normally is instructed for acne clients, but also long term studies have shown dramatic results with reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity and signs of photoaging.

Caffeine & Peptides- a perfect partnership, caffeine is an antioxidant which assists in decreasing puffiness and increasing circulation. Peptides are very small proteins that “signal” to the skin that collagen should be produced. They work in synergy to improve crow’s feet especially and are often found in this combination in eye creams.

Peptides- in general peptides are known as being “cell communicating” ingredients. Some peptides are more well known than others.

Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate and Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 are just some and are considered signaling peptides.

Be careful with copper peptides, as these can not be applied with direct acids, strong antioxidants and retinoids.

There are also synthetic peptide formulations as well. Matrixyl 3000 combines Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 and is one of the most powerful synthetic peptide formulations on the market.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) This group of acids can include glycolic, lactic, citric and tartaric acids.

Glycolic Acid- Used in dermatology for over three decades, there is good reason. Derived from sugarcane, this acid works as a exfoliator but also acts as a humectant, attracting moisture to the skin. Be cautious when pairing it with retinoids however.

Lactic Acid- This acid is exfoliating with the ability to bind water into the skin. Studies has shown that when using lactic acid in concentrations of 12% the skin firms and becomes thicker, a process known as keratoplasia.

Citric Acid- This ingredient is not the same as Vitamin C and is considered an acidic antioxidant. It may boost the amount of collagen and minimize fine lines, wrinkles, and scars by it’s exfoliating effects.

Tartaric Acid- Tartaric acid is a naturally occurring dicarboxylic acid. This means it’s an organic compound found in grapes, citric fruits, dandelions and more that contain two functional carboxylic acids. This ingredient is perfect as a gentle exfoliator as Tartaric Acid has the ability to act as a pH adjuster. 

Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10)– Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a naturally produced organic molecule which acts as an antioxidant agent. Topical administration of CoQ10 has been shown to be effective in reducing wrinkles in skin that has been exposed to UV rays.

Research And References: