Like many people, I love the start of the year. January’s a natural time to realign and refocus my intentions, and the month provides a blank slate to get after all the hopes and dreams I have for myself. But in years past, I used to get overwhelmed by the temptation to overhaul well, everything. My career, relationships, home, personal growth, health, and wellness—it was all fair game. And while I love getting after a good ol’ to-do list, when it gets to be miles long, I’m apt to give up before I get started. Solution? Simplify, simplify, simplify. I made 2021 all about up-leveling my career and pursuing a professional path that was fulfilling and energizing. What’s on tap for 2022? Transforming my wellness through easy but effective changes to my routine. So when I was tasked to write about the top health and wellness trends coming up in 2022, you could bet I was a little more than excited.
Trends are fun to track. It can be inspiring to introduce new ideas and game-changing shifts to your lifestyle. I love trying new routines and adopting new habits, experimenting with buzzy ingredients, and workouts that help me feel my best. To get a better sense of what we’ll be seeing this year, I connected with the thought leaders and experts who are driving the health and wellness industry forward. Get ready for this roundup: I tapped Elisa Angelone, Taylor Kitto, Edie Horstman, Maya Feller, Mia Rigden, Vinh Pham, Jessica Richards, Emily H. Rudman, the Mane Addicts team, Nicole Fisher, Decorist designer Mikayla Keating, Joanna Vargas, Hannah Demuth, and Matthew Miller. Conclusion? You can consider this your complete and comprehensive guide to all the trends that will help you feel your best in the months to come.
Our experts shared the trends that will define what our self-care, skincare, health, food, beauty, fitness, and home routines will look like in 2022. Get ready to take notes (or just bookmark this to return to when you need some inspo). I guarantee you’re going to find motivation, and most importantly, joy, in all the trends below.
Feature image by Riley Reed.
Blood Sugar, Balanced
Edie Horstman, double-certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Nutrition Consultant, founder of Wellness With Edie, and the resident CS expert for all things holistic wellness, predicts that as collectively move away from polarizing diets, people will be looking for simpler, more sustainable ways to keep their health in check. “Shifting blood sugar is the culprit behind so many modern-day ailments and conditions, like insomnia, PCOS, and unwanted weight fluctuations,” she notes. For more on blood sugar regulation, check out her post on five ways to keep it in balance.
Soothing Our Souls (and So Much More!) With Nervine Herbs
Holistic nutritionist and founder of Whole Nourish, Taylor Kitto, notes that folks will be seeking out nervine herbs (i.e., herbs that support the nervous system) for stress relief. “After the past few years we’ve had, I’m sure we all need a collective deep breath.” Nervine herbs include herbs like lemon balm, chamomile, skullcap, and passionflower. “These herbs are like a big hug for your nervous system!” says Kitto. Her favorite way to have them? Try nervine herbs in a loose leaf tea or tincture.
Finding Calm Through Forest Bathing
Speaking of stress relief, a rising interest in forest bathing as a meditative exercise will continue to be big this year. What began in Japan in the 1980s as a psychological practice (called shinrin-yoku), has influenced the rest of the world, and risen as a solution for giving ourselves space from our tech-heavy days. “You don’t have to live in the woods to benefit from forest bathing,” Taylor explains. “Forest bathing can be done in your backyard, a local park, or in any pocket of nature. The goal is to be still, breathe and soak it all in.” Benefits of soaking up the natural silence? Decreased stress, boosted immunity, and an increase in serotonin levels.
Supporting the Immune System With Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Lymphatic drainage massage has risen in popularity over the years as people are becoming more familiar with the lymphatic system and its key role in fighting infection in the body. Horstman notes that its momentum isn’t slowing down anytime soon. “Getting or giving yourself a lymph drainage massage is an effective way to support the immune system, circulate blood throughout the body, and maintain proper fluid balance,” she outlines. Read this post for everything you need to know about giving yourself a lymphatic drainage massage at home.
Keeping It Simple
I was on to something when I committed to streamlining my life (and not just for productivity’s sake). Kitto breaks it down: “This trend isn’t so much one ‘thing’ as it is a mindset we can adopt. Focus on getting enough water, eating fruits and vegetables, and keeping stress at bay. In this age of information overload, getting back to the basics can be a simple way of finding a balance in your health.”
Proactive Pain Management
Having been a competitive athlete all my life, I’m no stranger to the need to properly train my body to prevent injury. But as intense, high-impact workouts (alongside, of course, our favorite low-impact and restorative options) have continued to rise in popularity, it’s extra important to ensure you’re consistently supporting yourself with functional movement and self-care. Physical therapist and founder of Myodetox, Vinh Pham, notes that, just as you regularly visit the doctor or dentist, routine body maintenance is key to keeping yourself active and mobile for years to come. “More people will be focusing on making self-care a lifestyle, future-proofing your body,” says Pham. “Attending programs like Myodetox improve performance and help to keep you protected from postural faults while supporting pain management and strength training.”
Supporting Your Body, Inside and Out
While there’s no shame in moving your body to look your best (so long as it comes from an empowered place), we all know that regular exercise can do wonders for helping us feel our best as well. This trend is all about making a shift in mindset. “It’s not just the paint and material exterior that makes the car—it’s the engine, and that engine needs care,” says Pham. “People will start recognizing that licensed therapists (like physical therapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists) can be the mechanics for your body. They offer preventative support and services that drive performance.” Here’s a little more good news: Pham says this applies to all ages, all abilities, and all levels of health and healing.
Less is More
When it comes to skincare, I’m a bit of an ingredient junkie. I love trying new products that introduce my skin to the latest and greatest ingredients. But in my excitement, I’ve been known to go overboard. Matthew Miller of Matthew Miller Skin shares a prediction that’s making me rethink my ways. “Acids, retinoids, and scrubs have flooded the skincare world,” he says. “While these ingredients can be amazing, consumers are starting to overuse them and, as a result, strip their skin.” 2022 is the year we all start giving a little more love to our skin in the form of, well, doing less. “We will be seeing more products on the market that are geared toward restoring and conditioning the skin,” predicts Miller. “This is another reason you’re starting to see more of what’s called microbiome skincare.”
While there’s reason to get excited about all the trends on this list, this one’s perhaps the one that’s giving me the most feel-good vibes. “You’ll see more new or current brands stepping up to make eco-friendly packaging options,” says Miller. “Recycled or FSC paper, PCR Plastic (recycled plastic), or mono-material packaging will all be showing up more. Plus, you’re also going to see more companies providing send-back programs to make sure packaging is properly recycled.” Just a little reminder that we can all do our part.
Hair & Beauty
“Cryotherapy has been popular in the salon for years,” declares author, celebrity facialist, and founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skin Care, Joanna Vargas. “But it’s going to be really big as an at-home treatment this year.” To bring the practice to a bathroom near you, Vargas recommends trying out at-home devices like the Magic Glow Wand. “It’ll help soothe inflammation and de-puff the skin, which never goes out of style.” Here are a few of our editor’s favorite tried and tested beauty tools to consider, too.
Clear Your Cabinet for Cleansing Bars
An increased focus on the sustainability of our beauty products means more care and mindfulness given to the packaging. It’s for that reason exactly that cleansing bars are going to be huge this year. “This trend will bring cleansing bars into the forefront,” says Vargas. “This modern version of the traditional bar serves your skin with some great ingredients minus the waste.” We’re sure there will be lots of options coming to market but in the meantime, you can check out Vargas’ Miracle Bar, Ritual Bar, and Cloud Bar to start building out your sustainable skincare toolkit.
Redefining Healthy Hair
We all want the shiniest hair of our dreams, but the way we’ve gone about getting it in the past has either been through a bottle or expensive salon treatments. Sienree Du, a stylist with Mane Addicts, shares a prediction we can all be excited about: “We’ll see more people going back to their natural color. Think glossy and healthy, not processed and dead.” I’m all for any trend that lets me be strategically laissez-faire with my locks. Horstman recommends these hair supplements for longer, stronger, thicker locks.
Break Out of the Mold
You don’t need my permission, but it’s time to shake up our beauty routines and think outside of the box. We’ll all be less concerned about perfecting our look for a night out because all the fun’s happening at home anyways. In 2022, Emily H. Rudman, founder of Emilie Heathe, elaborates: “It’s more about art and doing your makeup for yourself. At a time such as this, where seasonality is less structured (i.e., spring releases happening in December), beauty and makeup will be used more as a means of expression.”
Get ready for volume, volume, and more volume. Mane Addicts stylist Irinel de Leon says that more people will be requesting bouncy blowouts at the salon and doing it DIY at home. It’s a hairstyle that’s grown in the past year (Irinel says we can thank the curtain bang craze for that), and it’ll continue on in 2022. “You can achieve the look easily with a large round brush or rollers,” Leon adds.
The Blunter the Bob, the Better
Major cool, French-girl vibes here. “With this trend, the hair sits below the ears and above the shoulders,” notes Leon. The best part? It’s super versatile. “It could be parted in the middle for a 90s take or on the side as well.”
Collagen Will Be Getting a Glow-up
Jessica Richards, the founder of SHEN Beauty, knows collagen has been a buzzy ingredient for years (and for good reason). But in 2022, she expects to see more sustainable products come to market—and not just in powder form, but liquid options as well. “This is in part due to people really understanding how our body starts to lose collagen as we age,” explains Richards. “Since we’ve been stuck inside for so many months, the more people sit in front of Zoom, the more they are noticing signs of aging.”
We’ll Be Focusing on More Than Just Our Face
“Bodycare is the unsung hero in all of our skincare arsenals. We just don’t seem to realize it,” says Richards. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, after all, so why should our face get all the attention? She adds, “People are starting to pick up on that truth, and they’re beginning to crave something powerful enough to care for their entire body.” Best way to stay protected? SPF, y’all. I’m not alone in considering this Instagram-famous brand as my favorite for keeping my skin healthy, head to toe.
Food & Nutrition
Adopting a Plant-Forward Approach (Without Vilifying Meat)
Horstman predicts that whole foods will take center stage on people’s plates. “We’ll see more ways to grow herbs, sprouts, lettuce, and other edible plants indoors in ways that are both functional and beautiful,” she predicts. “For those of us who consume meat, there will be an expanded awareness of the importance of choosing pasture-raised, organic, and sustainably-farmed animal products.” To get started with growing your greens inside your home, check out Gardyn and Inagarden.
Protecting the Health of Our Soil With Regenerative Farming
“Modern agriculture practices have severely damaged the health of our soil,” says Mia Rigden, MS, CNS., nutritionist, and founder of RASA Life. “This not only contributes to climate change but also yields less nutritious produce (even if it’s organic).” Regenerative farming is being practiced more and more in an effort to restore and protect not only our health but the health of our planet. “The goal of regenerative farming is to rehabilitate and conserve the soil for future generations,” she adds. Know too, that, when you’re purchasing from regenerative farms, it isn’t just plant-based foods you can feel good about eating. “By buying plant-based and animal foods from regenerative farms, you are helping the environment and improving your nutrient intake,” Rigden confirms.
Seafood’s Getting a Sustainable Makeover
Sure, fish is a great option if you’re looking to add more healthy fats and protein to your diet. As we’ve learned over the past few years though, modern fishing practices can put the health of marine ecosystems into jeopardy. But Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition, is optimistic about the future of the fishing industry. “I think we will see an explosion of sustainably and responsibly sourced seafood in the coming months,” she says. Expect to see an uptick in the availability of ocean-friendly sea veggies (like kelp, nori, spirulina, dulse, and wakame). They’re super delicious and full of diverse nutrients. Feller emphasizes just how crucial this trend is to preserve the health of the earth, adding: “Without a healthy and biodiverse ocean, we can’t have a healthy planet.”
Functional Spices Will Be Showing Up in All of Our Pantries
Kale, cauliflower, cashews, and dark leafy greens aren’t the only powerhouse foods on the block. “Spices are a prime example that flavor is nutrition,” says Rigden. “They have powerful health benefits and can reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar levels, boost the immune system, provide digestive relief, improve your mood, and much, much more.” By boosting the flavor of your everyday dishes, not only are you making them more palatable, but it’s also an easy and takes-less-than-thirty-second way to increase your intake of key nutrients,” Rigden explains. One of our go-to functional spices? Turmeric—and this is the perfect recipe to make this season.
Selecting Your Signature Scent
With much of our lives moving to the houses, apartments, and spaces we call home, it’s quickly become our one-stop-shop for, well, everything. “It’s our office, it’s our restaurant, it’s our gym, and it’s our spa,” says Nicole Fisher of BNR Interiors. “And, of course, we want it to feel that way! In 2022, more and more, people will be giving time and care to creating a home scent. Just like your favorite spa or restaurant, that certain aroma in the air sets the tone. Having that favorite scent wafting around the space will give you an escape and instant gratification as you walk around in your slippers.” Here are some of our favorite non-toxic candles.
All About Air Quality
Having spent the past few years in the Pacific Northwest, I’m unfortunately no stranger to the devastating and health-compromising impact of forest fires. I’ve made a significant investment in air filtration systems that’ll keep me healthy at home. And it seems I’m not the only one. Decorist designer, Mikayla Keating predicts that we’ll continue to incorporate more health-supporting tools, devices, and practices into our home care. Expect to see more and more people using diffusers, plant-based cleaning products, and air filtration systems. Chemicals = out. Healthy, easy-breathing air is in.
Outdoor Spaces, Revamped
Keating also predicts that more people will focus on revitalizing outdoor spaces as a true extension of the home. “Functionality and multi-purpose design are moving to the forefront to create spaces that support work, play, and healing,” she says.
Much like the slow food movement, Elisa Angelone, founder of Den Mother believes that holistic medicine and deep healing require slowing down and listening to our bodies. Self-care has always been important, and though it’s continued to grow as a trend over the past few years, we need our daily rituals now more than ever. “They give us that sacred time to connect to ourselves and relax into the present moment,” Angelone shares. She recommends trying self oil massages (referred to as Abhyangas in Ayurveda) and warm herb-infused baths. “At Den Mother, we offer a warm herbal oil massage to help soothe your nervous system and your soul,” she says. “This brings your body back into a sympathetic state where we can rest, digest, and heal.”
We all deserve the support to feel empowered in creating a life we love, and mindset coaching is the 2022 trend that can help all of us get there. Hannah Demuth of High Vibrations Coaching hypes up the trend: “Mindset coaching gives you a fresh perspective, accountability, mentoring, and best of all, a completely customized roadmap to help you accomplish your goals.” Yes, yes, and yes, please. I love that this trend and practice acknowledges a few key truths: An authentic life looks different for everyone, and aligning our actions in the direction of dreams takes an approach that, by design, can never be one-size-fits-all.
There are plenty of harmful toxins in our environments that keep us from glowing and living as vibrantly as we can. “Using organic skincare products, drinking filtered water, and avoiding chemical-laden scents in our routines are all a must,” notes Demuth. “But we also offer a natural alternative to Botox that uses superfine needles in the face and scalp to increase circulation and collagen production as well as ease tension in our facial muscles.” Read about our editor’s experience with cosmetic acupuncture to learn more about this “natural botox.”
Taking Our Health Into Our Own Hands
So much of what happens around us each day is beyond our control, and the past two years have left many of us feeling isolated and vulnerable when it comes to our wellbeing. “2022 needs to be the year that we start taking our health into our own hands,” says Angelone. If you’ve been experiencing mystery symptoms or haven’t identified the source of pain or stress in your body, it’s time to take a preventative and proactive approach. “I suggest seeking out a trusted functional medicine doctor or naturopath to help you make sense of what your body is telling you and lead on the path to regaining optimal health,” she advises. “Be mindful when something is out of whack and seek out the tools and support to help gently guide your body back to a state of wellness where you can thrive.”
What trends will you be adding to your routine in 2022?