2023 is the year of the wellness warrior. We’re constantly redefining the ways we can achieve good health – both mental and physical – but not all trends are created equal. Looking to reignite a passion for wellness this year? We’ve rounded up advice from some of the UK’s leading industry professionals across beauty, fitness and healthcare to find out which wellness trends we’ll all be raving about in 2023.
Which Wellness Trends Will Be Big in 2023?
We’re taking a much more holistic approach to wellness next year, as we tackle our health from all sides and make more inclusive solutions. This is the year of the big digital detox, coffee boycotts and mental health prioritisation. Intrigued? These are the wellness trends to take with you into 2023:
Top Trends At A Glance
- Sleep syncing
- Women’s wellness
- Gut-brain connection
- Incidental exercise
- Matcha makeover
- EMDR therapy
- Gender inclusive beauty
- Facial yoga
- Digital detox
- Mushroom stacking
1. Sleep Syncing
In need of a good night’s sleep? You’re not the only one. It was revealed in a study by Direct Line Life Insurance that we’re becoming increasingly sleep deprived, with 71 percent of UK adults not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night (and 7.5 million people getting less than five hours). A lack of sleep is said to make you ‘metabolically groggy‘, making it harder for your body to process insulin and contributing to weight gain.
While we can’t always get the desired amount of shut-eye each night, one of the ways we can save our body the stress of processing a lack of sleep is by adjusting our diets and nighttime routines. This will go mainstream as ‘sleep syncing’, according to health food shop, Holland & Barrett. ‘As the quest for a better night’s sleep continues, we’ll see circadian eating – switching from heavy evening meals to afternoon ‘light’ eating – grow in popularity. Not only will we avoid super heavy food late in the day, we’ll also see new sleep aid ingredients on the block like glycine join our bedtime skincare lineup and a big tech switch-off before bed to avoid nightmares.’
2. Women’s Wellness
We’ve been chipping away at the stigma surrounding women’s health and wellness for a few years now, but in 2023 we’ll be spotlighting conversations across all kinds of media. As Holland & Barrett explain, ‘Women’s wellness becomes big business: beyond the menopause, which was catapulted into the spotlight in 2022, we will become even more focussed on breaking taboos around broader women’s health issues such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and fertility. This shift will be reflected in the products we see in the shops, in particular as nootropics and adaptogens make their way into products to support menstrual health.’
3. Gut-Brain Connection
In 2022, TikTok users set the internet alight with the claim that ‘hot girls have IBS’. This was a movement that allowed us to open up the conversation surrounding tummy trouble, discussing experiences and seeking out advice for the best ways to alleviate discomfort. The trend is set to flourish in 2023, with more of us looking for new ways to nurture our gut health. ‘With the world becoming more toxic and stress levels on the rise over the last two decades, we’ve seen a huge rise in patience with gut problems,’ says Dr Simoné Laubscher, founder of Rejuv Wellness and formulator of WelleCo’s ingestible beauty-through-wellness collection. ‘Over the last five years or so, we’ve also seen a huge spike in patients now experiencing mood disorders, depression and anxiety, and often this is also related to their gut.’
Dr Laubscher suggests a more holistic approach: reconsidering gut-brain connection. ‘There is a network of around 100 million neurones lining our gut. It is so extensive that many scientists refer to our gut as our “second brain”. This multitude of neutrons is called the enteric nervous system and produces more serotonin (our happy hormone) than our actual brain. This is why the gut-brain connection is key in maintaining good health and preventing disease.
‘While awareness of the importance of gut health has been growing in recent years, the gut-brain connection has only recently become a part of this conversation – and this will continue to grow throughout 2023 and beyond. The chemical messages that pass between the gut and the brain are affected by our gut microbiome – the bacteria, viruses and fungi that live in the gut – and the importance of positively influencing this through our way of life and the things we ingest will become of even greater importance.’
4. Incidental Exercise
A wellness trend that lets us fit exercise into work time? Sign us up. ‘Incidental exercise is activity that takes place in small amounts, at various points throughout the day and, in today’s time-poor society, is a trend that continues to grow,’ says Dr Laubscher. ‘It can be just as beneficial for your health as longer, more sustained workout sessions, but the difference is that it can often be included as a part of your daily living, which makes it far easier to fit into your everyday lives.
‘Incidental exercise can be as simple as getting off of the bus a few stops earlier and walking, increasing your speed when you’re walking to the shops, bounding up the stairs instead of walking, or squatting while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil. Investing in a mini-trampoline and doing 100 mini bounces at various points throughout the day to change your state and shake off stress is a great approach to weaving incidental exercise into your life.’
5. Matcha Makeover
Some bad news for our caffeine-addict friends: coffee is out, matcha is in. According to Nadia Rawjee, a certified health coach and founder of wellness brand Casa Cura, switching your morning drink from coffee to matcha is a small but impactful change this coming year to help reduce stress, manage anxiety, and give your immune system a boost. This Japanese superfood green tea is set to be the morning energiser of 2023. ‘Matcha will give you your morning caffeinated buzz while boosting your health. In contrast, coffee can be damaging to your hormone health as it causes a spike in cortisol. The energy from coffee is quickly released over a two hour time span, which can cause a crash, as opposed to matcha, which releases energy over a four to six hour timespan, making it less likely to cause a sudden crash.
‘Matcha is also great for focus (helping you crush those new years goals), as it has an amino acid called L-Theanine that gives you calming alpha waves while making you focus – this is one of the reasons why matcha was used by monks before meditation for centuries. Another bonus is that matcha is full of antioxidants, which are great for boosting your immune system and preventing any seasonal colds.’
6. EMDR Therapy
The mental health movement has become a huge part of our everyday lives and taking up space in mainstream media – from podcasts and news stories to ITV’s Britain Get Talking campaign. The reduced stigma has made more of us seek out mental health treatments in recent years, but 2023 will see Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (aka EMDR) become a huge wellness trend. ‘We expect to see a continuation to the already emerging demand for EMDR therapy,’ say clinical psychologist Dr. Jenna Vyas-Lee and psychotherapist Jordan Vyas-Lee, co-founders of mental health care hub Kove. ‘Many therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) work very well by changing the way people think by use of some excellent strategies of thought and logic. However, for some problems – especially those governed by old patterns emanating from childhood experiences – it can be more useful to work at the felt-sense, emotional level.
‘EMDR is the next wave of treatment to hit the UK. A therapy that works very flexibly with problems that are deep rooted. There is a good evidence base for the methods, and the therapy is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) – the body in the UK that gives the green light to medical and health care interventions by evaluating the research base. We recommend this for anybody who may be seeing issues related to ongoing low self-esteem or anxiety, patterns of dysfunction in relationships, persistent low mood, or any issues that are clearly linked to trauma (historical or recent).’
7. Gender Inclusive Beauty
And when it comes to the beauty products lining the shelves in stores, we’re about to see the boundaries separating men’s and women’s products blur. Gendered marketing will no longer be the priority; instead, brands will show off products that target specific concerns that are relevant to all. As highlighted by Dr. Tara Francis, Cosmetic Dentist and Advanced Facial Aesthetician: ‘In 2023, more of us will encourage and welcome gender inclusivity in skincare and beauty. Everyone should feel welcome and included in self-care, and brands are taking notice of the demand for products that can be used by all genders. Skincare should not be gender specific but should indeed be problem targeted, tackling the likes of breakouts, pores and irritation.’
8. Facial Yoga
Another wellness trend we’re excited to see reach new heights in 2023 is facial yoga. You may be familiar with the term courtesy of musician Boy George, who could be seen practicing on multiple occasions during his time on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2022. Facial yoga, or face yoga, is a routine made up of massages and exercises that help to stimulate the muscles, skin, and lymphatic system around your facial area. It’s thought to soften and relax your face muscles, relieving the visual signs of tension, stress and worry. As noted by Carrie Hancox, an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner at the Centre for Surgery: ‘With facial yoga, it can have a nice effect similar to manual lymphatic drainage, reducing that build up lymphatic fluid you get over night. It’s great for those that don’t want to go through with medical procedures, but it should be noted that it’s not going to have the same tightening effect as something like laser or Morpheus8 (a Subdermal Fractional micro-needling Radio Frequency (RF) technology).’
9. Digital Detox
A study by Leeds University revealed that, on average, Brits spend about 11 hours looking at screens each day. Our increased dependency on smart phones, tablets and laptops is making many people reconsider their relationship with their electronic devices – and in 2023 this will give rise to the digital detox wellness trend. ‘We’re all becoming more aware of our screen time and the damage associated with being on our phones for endless hours of the day,’ says Hector Hughes, co-founder of off-grid cabin escape company, Unplugged.’ Screen time increased dramatically over lockdown, but we haven’t seen a drop in this since the end of the pandemic. Everyone is waking up, and now the impacts of it are starting to unravel.
‘More studies are being published about screen time, more celebrities are quitting social media – even iPhones send you notifications now to help you monitor your weekly app usage. At Unplugged, we’re already seeing the change in the last quarter of 2022. We’ve signed 10 companies who now offer digital detoxing to their employees and we’re having to roll out more cabins to meet the demand of those wanting to go totally off-grid.’
10. Mushroom Stacking
Mushrooms will continue to thrive across the wellness sphere in 2023, as we find out more about their uses and benefits. ‘Medicinal mushrooms are continuing to take the wellness world by storm, helping with everything from burnout to boosting libido, and with the Duchess of Sussex giving the trend her seal of approval by investing in a new US based company, the growth of functional mushrooms shows no signs of slowing down,’ says Clarissa Berry, nutritionist for DIRTEA. ‘Mushroom stacking is one of the latest buzzwords, referring to combining medicinal mushrooms with other adaptogens and antioxidants (stacking) to enhance the benefits. This trend explores the stacks which work particularly well together and why.’
Featured image: Denys Nevozhai, Unsplash