2024 Beauty Awards

These Next-Gen Beauty Products Are Paving The Way For Innovation

The futuristic launches we can’t stop using.

Written by Bustle Staff
Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle; Stocksy; Product Images Courtesy of Brands

The beauty industry has always been one that thrives on newness and innovation, but some forward thinkers just dream bigger and go harder than their compatriots. It’s for these trailblazers that we’ve created a new category for the Bustle Beauty Awards this year, Next-Gen, which celebrates the most futuristic launches of the year. These products are living in the year 2050, playing 4D hologram chess in their hoverboard cars while their counterparts are playing basement checkers. The winners of this category all showed us something completely new and represent a breakthrough for the industry, moving beauty into the future with new ingredients, technologies, tools, and applications. Our judges were constantly wowed by the entries for Next-Gen Launches, discovering entirely new categories and mind-blowing ways to improve their daily beauty routines that made caring for their skin and hair easier, faster, and more effective. Ahead, here are Bustle’s next-gen products of the year.

The Skin Soother

The celebrity Acne Whisperer herself devised this genius solution for soothing irritated, stressed-out skin. NYC aesthetician Sofie Pavitt combines a potent skin-care serum with cryotherapy to create these handy frozen toner pods. Just pop the liquid glycerin, niacinamide, green tea, and ashwagandha toning treatments in the freezer, then pull one out and massage it onto the face. The cold temp helps reduce puffiness and inflammation and as it melts, the serum can be absorbed into the skin for extra glow and soothing benefits. BDG beauty writer Olivia Rose Rushing calls it the perfect accessory for a self-care night.

The Do-It-All Foundation

With a formula infused with 89 percent skin care-based ingredients, Glossier has managed to create a foundation that feels like a moisturizer, but provides the coverage of a true natural-finish foundation. It melts into the skin and blends effortlessly, providing just the right amount of buildable, light-to-medium coverage and an even finish that fuses with the skin — no caking or creasing, thanks to the hydrating squalane and glycerin. It’s true skin-care-meets-makeup that wears for 12 hours and makes your skin feel incredible the whole time its on your face.

The Supercharged Serum

We’re pretty sure you’ve never seen a serum like this before. A hyper-concentrated serum compacted into a tiny freeze-dried tablet, simply add water and mix in your palm to transform this mini marvel into a skin-brightening gel. It features 2 percent alpha arbutin, the synthetic form of arbutin, a slow-release hydroquinone alternative that brightens skin and helps reduce hyperpigmentation without the irritation. Freeze-drying the ingredients and reactivating them at the time of application helps maintain the ingredients’ structure over time and removes the need for unnecessary preservatives and stabilizers that can dilute the potency of the formulation. “This product has been fantastic at reducing dark spots on my face,” says BDG staffer Tyler Santora. “It's easy to use, and the tablets easily dissolve in water and apply smoothly as a serum.”

The Fragrance Drops

In addition to being probably the cutest product our judges tested during this entire process, Daisy Drops also have the distinction of being one of the most practical. The single-dose perfume drops take their inspiration from skin-care oil capsules — simply pull one out of the container, break off the top, and dab on the gel formula scent. Available in three scent variations, it’s an alcohol-free composition, so it’s safe for sensitive skin, and the capsules are housed in an easy to recycle (and easy to transport) aluminum tin. “I brought this with me on a week-long trip and found it to be incredibly innovative,” says BDG staffer Emma Chao. “Each perfume capsule contains enough to leave you smelling like a fresh daisy.”

The Hot Tool

No product on our list of winners has saved us the kind of time that this incredible Dyson styler has. It’s a combination dryer and styler in one that simultaneously does both, so this innovative tool not only cuts down on your styling time, it also cuts down on damage. “I was so dubious at first, but this tool quickly blew my expectations out of the water,” says BDG Executive Beauty Director Faith Xue. “I couldn’t believe how quickly it brought my hair from damp to sleek, smooth, and shiny. My hair is bleached and fragile so I usually avoid hot-tools, but now I can get straight hair without damaging my hair or fading my color. It’s honestly mind-blowing.”

The Power Powder

Be your own esthetician with this patented skin-care system from Exponent. Inspired by the custom mixing done by skin experts in spas and MedSpas, the Power System is a two-step skin treatment that separates your active ingredients (CoQ10, retinol, or vitamin C) into a powdered form to preserve their potency and eliminate the need for stabilizers and preservatives. When combined with the included quadruple weight hyaluronic acid, it activates the ingredient at the time of mixing to create its most potent iteration. Each product also features a unique precision-dosing system, so you always get the perfect amount of product to mix with every application — no guesswork or messy scooping and droppers involved. Add to that a refill system and glass and aluminum containers for peak packaging sustainability and you’ve got one of the most thoughtfully designed additions to your skin-care line-up.

The SPF Tech

Practicing safe sun just got even safer, thanks to Pavise. You can now turn your phone into a portable dermatologist’s office with the help of the brand’s UV Camera, a handheld tool that attaches to your phone and helps you check to see if it’s time to apply more sunscreen. Just plug the device into the Lightning port on your phone, download the Pavise app, then take a photo or video. Sunscreen will appear as dark blue if it’s working properly or light blue if protection has worn off or you haven’t fully applied the product. It will also show you sun damage and hyperpigmentation below the skin that are not visible to the naked eye, technology that has been available in derms’ offices but not readily accessible for consumers to help them gauge how their daily sun habits are affecting their skin in real time. “This is a really interesting, easy to use tool for anyone who keeps a close eye on their SPF throughout the day,” says BDG staffer Dayna Lawrence. “I was surprised at how clearly I could watch my application, and how simple it was to set up — literally just download the app and plug in the camera. I'll definitely be keeping this in my bag to make sure I'm staying covered.”