Ever so gently, we’re entering the new year. In years gone by, we’ve often published trend stories before New Year’s Eve — not so in 2022. We’re embracing a slower, calmer pace to kick off this run around the sun and we’re seeing it reflected back in the community around us.
In fact, it’s that slower, more grounded pace that we’re calling out as one of the top trends to watch this year. Recently, our polled readers shared that less than 40% of them were making resolutions for 2022. We’ll watch to see if there’s not a delayed surge of interest at the end of January, but for now, the trend away from tradition speaks volumes.
We’ve chosen not to address the health aspects of the pandemic here, simply because that topic is so well-explored everywhere. If you’d like to explore our content from doctors and nurses on the topic, you can flip through this.
Here are ten trends we’re watching as we make our way into the new year. A reminder that this list is not exhaustive — watch the homepage daily as we share the best in wellness as it unfolds…
Our 2022 Wellness Trend Report: 10 Trends To Watch This Year
a move toward Radical inclusivity. | The surge in cultural conversation around race and gender is one of the defining topics of this decade. Following the move to amplify BIPOC voices in mid-2020, the call for inclusivity and representation has spilled over into the widest range of diversity we’ve ever seen, including ethnicity, age, gender, size, and ableness. In wellness, we’re most notably seeing this ground-breaking range of representation in the models and lifestyle influencers chosen for brand campaigns and championed by social media.
We loved to see trans, disabled mode Aaron Phillip at Moschino last fall, Maye Musk for a recent Ugg campaign (both shown above), and a wildly diverse array of body sizes modeling for every online shop we can think of. At the top of our story, model Ellie Goldstein poses for Gucci Beauty and Vogue Italia with photographer David PD Hyde.
The Wellness-Beauty Consumer emerges | In TCM’s first year, the clean beauty category was just emerging and extremely niche. Now, clean beauty brands are flooding conventional retailers like Target and Sephora meeting new consumers ready to dabble in the ‘clean beauty’ experience.
The surge of responsibly-made products into the mainstream beauty market brings with it a groundswell of education about ingredient safety and efficacy.
Wellness and clean beauty have a large, natural overlap of ingredient conscious consumers. As many beauty-attuned women become more educated about beauty ingredients, they become more educated consumers on the whole. You can expect to find the woman who buys cruelty-free lipstick reading labels in her grocery store aisles too.
Personalized Wellness | Choose your own adventure Triathalons, pilates, colonics, cryotherapy….there are thousands of potent tools in the world of wellness. Perhaps, because the diversity in health trends has become so prolific, we’re finally beginning to learn that wellness is not a one size fits all journey.
Personalized wellness can be seen best through emerging medical technologies like wearable Continuous Glucose Monitors (stay tuned for more on this!) which allow consumers to see how their lifestyle effects their blood sugar moment to moment. We’re also watching boutique healthcare providers like Parsley Health, who are bringing a personal approach to preventative care based in Functional Medicine principles. Meet Parsley’s founder here in our 2019 piece on ‘women to watch’.
Is Inspirational Still Aspirational? Celebrity and influencer-driven marketing is literally designed to foment FOMO, but with so much debate around ‘authenticity’ in pop culture and on social media, do consumers still want overly-glossed inspiration? The answer is yes, but they want access as well.
Most culturally relevant brands and influencers are still sharing highly produced, aspirational content, but the scope of what is considered aspirational has broadened. Transparency, authenticity and inclusivity will continue to rise as values for consumers, albeit in tension with the growing amount of fake-able technologies (like Instagram filters) available.
Whether or not brands and influencers embrace this trend in a meaningful way or simply sprinkle a few new emotional keywords into their marketing language is still to be seen.
Metabolism + Weight Management Post-2020 Weight loss can be a very sensitive and controversial topic in the modern wellness world. At TCM, we’ve traditionally veered away from the subject in favor of complimentary topics like gut health and body positivity.
However, during 2020, that dynamic changed and a need for new tools and solutions surfaced to counterbalance the lack of movement and changes in diet so many were facing at home. Chalkboard-friendly brands like Sakara Life and Goop were able to successfully launch “metabolism” based products like supplements, bars and drinks that consumers apparently ordered by the case-load. Time will tell how this trend will influence the conversation around body weight in health and wellness.
The Future of CBD + Micro-dosing | We talked about CBD ‘fatigue’ as far back as 2020 as the market continued to explode with new brands and products. As the market continues to expand and the science around cannabis grows, the best products are settling in as mainstays in a healthy wellness routine. We’re watching other canna-focuses like CBN, Delta8 and THCO emerge as well.
Psychedelics promise to follow right in cannabis’ footsteps with interesting legislation stirring in Canada. Compelling new research and a surge in public interest is stirring the conversation on the potential benefits of microdosing, especially as it may apply to mental health concerns. We’ve noticed a groundswell of engagement here in LA, with many wellness influencers and notable women discreetly microdosing psilocybin and beyond.
Photo courtesy Prima
A recalibrated pace of life | The amalgam of challenges and changes we’ve experienced over the past few years has finally brought the culture of stress addiction to its knees. Topics like burn out, stress management and anxiety were already at the top of the heap in our wellness coverage pre-pandemic, but the realities of 2020 brought them to the fore of national focus.
As families and individuals continually adjust to a world of changes in 2022, mental and emotional health tools and teachers will only grow in popularity. Meditation apps like Headspace, walk-in mental health clinics like Okay Humans (by the founders of Drybar), and a slew of stress-related supplement and wellness lines will be welcomed by a larger and larger audience.
Design as Experience in Retail | If the offline consumer experience was all about “experiential” before the pandemic, the trend lives on well through high-design and photo-worthy moments in store, no events required. Top wellness lifestyle brands create a sense of destination and a strong brand impression through design-first retail space.
The look that’s dominating? A carefully curated blend of high-functioning tech, modular modernism and deeply natural colors and materials.
on the Wellness Menu | Nutrition interests in wellness have never been more diverse. As we mentioned earlier, that’s great news for most of us, since a ‘one size fits all’ diet simply doesn’t exist.
Interest in veganism seems to rise and fall daily, but we’d say that interest in a no-to-low meat diet is on the rise this year thanks to a renewed awareness around our daily consumption after so much home cooking.
Plastic Neutrality | Our deep dependency on plastic packaging is finally beginning to crack. The move toward sustainable values has finally become an actionable priority for a larger swath of consumers who have bumped sustainable values up to the shortlist in shopping preferences.
As more young, vocal consumers shift their shopping habits, lifestyle brands are hustling to create changes that meet the demand.
Some brands, like Saie Beauty, have aimed to become ‘Plastic Negative’, pledging to eventually replace “all plastic in our products and production with renewable, eco-friendly, home compostable materials”. Other brands are going ‘plastic neutral’, recovering and removing a measured equivalent of plastic waste from the environment, like plastic offset credits.
As every eco-concerned consumer knows, we’re still waiting on breakthough innovations in materials like plastic water bottles. While we wait, brands like Pressed Juicery are finding ways to make an immediate impact, redesigning their juice bottles to contain 30% less virgin plastic, a move the brand estimates to save 300, 000 lbs of plastic this year alone.
What wellness trends are striking you this year? Or what do you hope to see more of? Share in the comments below.