It's an understatement to say the past year completely changed the way we view wellness and self-care. Suddenly, we couldn't hit the gym, go to the doctor, or even grocery shop in the ways we were used to. But rather than stay stagnant and mourn life as we knew it, we got creative... like, very creative. We discovered new and completely revolutionary ways to feel well, ways that continue to transform as we speak.

So where is wellness going in the year to come? Read on for our take on the five most exciting categories.

If you're like us, you spent much of the last year googling at-home workouts and considering big purchases like Peloton bikes and adjustable weight sets. Look out for new and innovative—and best of all, more affordable—at-home equipment in the months to come, most of which will be paired with screens for accessing live digital workouts. And if your favorite fitness studio hasn't launched digital classes yet, they likely will this year. (Many studios are offering combination in-person / digital class memberships.)

Concerned about hitting your peak performance without an instructor present IRL? Expect tech brands like Apple to rev up fitness tracking and begin to offer recommendations for taking your workout to the next level.

TBT to when we were all obsessed with making homemade bread. (Yeah, we're over all the cooking too.) Half-scratch cooking, or using pre-portioned ingredients to make meals "from scratch," allows you to make delicious meals without the time-suck of grocery shopping and measuring. Delivery meal kits are making it crazy simple. Some of our favorites: Home Chef's customizable kits (they're under the Kroger umbrella), Down to Cook's Adda Veggie kits, and Hungryroot's pre-prepped meal kits.

Gone are the days of 13-step K-Beauty-inspired skincare routines. We don't need those rashes or lost hours of sleep in our lives. This year, dermatologists and TikTok influencers alike—hi, Hyram!—advocated simple-yet-effective routines to minimize irritation and prevent active ingredients from canceling each other out. Look out for gentle, non-stripping cleansers, super-powered serums (like our H2Glow Hydrating Serum), and simple moisturizers with minimal ingredients to lock in hydration. Balancing Oil boasts just four powerful ingredients, and many skincare experts even swear by a thin coat of Vaseline or Aquaphor.

What once seemed impossible, or at the very least, strange—talking to our therapists and psychologists virtually—is now the norm. Don't expect your digital sessions to go anywhere. In fact, we'll see massive growth in the number of mental health apps and platforms this year, especially ones that serve communities of color, who have historically been excluded from mental health care access. (A great example is Exhale, a wellness app developed by Black, Indigenous, and women of color.) Perhaps best of all, experts expect this influx of mental health access to include lower-cost options for underserved communities as well.

From pet products to home decor to our beauty products, consumers are finally demanding more sustainable options. As production of compostable and biodegradable items rises, so too does post consumer recycled plastic, or recycled plastic given a new life in the form of new products. Some brands leading the charge: Rothy's makes cute, comfy footwear using recycled plastic water bottles; Grove offers trash bags made from 100% recycled plastic; and Planet Dog makes dog toys from recycled plastic. Looking for more sustainable beauty products? Our Line + Define Liquid Eyeliner features packaging made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic, our entire line is 100% net plastic neutral, and we've got many more sustainability initiatives coming in the months to come.

January 13, 2021

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