Health and wellness trends that will define 2022

Health is wealth – one thing that was made abundantly clear in the last two years of the pandemic. Even though Hong Kong is once again plagued by social restrictions, and the looming threat of the fifth wave is hovering, we’re cautiously optimistic that 2022 will be a good one. Like most people if you’ve decided to make health and wellness a priority, you’ll find that the trends for the year ahead are way more substantial than faddy (teatoxes and golden latte, we’re talking to you!), in fact they’re rather sensible, and sustainable. Try one, two…or all of them. New you, indeed.


Herbs, plant extracts or mushrooms, adaptogens are natural, non-toxic substances which are having a moment right now. Broadly speaking, these herbal derivatives (eg: reishi, ginseng, tulsi, schisandra or ashwagandha for example) help calm you down or perk up, depending on the ones you use. Whilst they are now surging in Western wellness concepts, Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine have used them in potion, powder and topical form for centuries and their healing powers are well established in these cultures. Whether boosting the body internally or externally, they act non-specifically – meaning they don’t target a particular issue or an organ but tweak hormonal production and physiological responses to stress to ensure you are functioning at your optimal best physically and mentally.

Zero Damage Beauty

Picture courtesy Skin Need

Our approach to beauty has drastically changed. The pandemic mostly relegated the need for make-up and forced us to invest more in our skincare regime. No wonder, skinimalism or the welcome concept of minimal beauty looks where the real skin — texture, pores, blemishes, discoloration, and all — shone through was a raging trend in 2021 and still continues to dominate our lives. Investing in clean, green, sustainable skincare which adjusts the texture and function and the environmental impact on the skin, is the calling of 2022. Skin Need, Christal Leung’s independent skincare brand with its range of vegan potions for all skin types ticks all the right boxes for zero damage beauty. 

Also Read: Less is More – Skin Need Founder Christal Leung on the Chemistry of Beauty

Photo courtesy Aesop

In the era of selling eternal youth, there is something refreshing about owing up your natural, healthy skin and standing up to the US$52 billion anti-ageing industry. Committed to enhancing your inherent beauty, is Australian skincare veteran, Aesop. Their Healthy Skin campaign is all about taking the time and space to allow the lasting gratification delivered by high-quality products to set in, and show tangible results. It’s Triple C Facial Balancing Gel is an ideal vitamins B and C formula for Hong Kong’s hot and humid weather – used regularly, the green tea extract, chamomile and witch hazel are intensely nourishing, smoothening and mattifying for the skin. 

Exercise Drives Happiness

Most of us don’t care for a bikini body any more, because let’s face it – who is going on a vacation anymore? But, Covid-19 has forced us to take a more holistic approach to health. And, waiting for the world to fix itself starts with wanting to fix our own health and fitness routines. Two years into the pandemic,  constant closures of gyms and fitness centers is no longer an acceptable excuse to skip your exercise regimen. Most personal trainers and gyms are now charging for hybrid membership – almost all have become veterans in running virtual classes with minimal or no equipment. If outdoor exercises, trail runs or hikes is more your thing, then go for it – remember, those Christmas calories won’t burn themselves, exercise is where the mat is! 

At-home Beauty Tools and Facial Devices

Another big trend this year is the infusion of technology in skincare, from virtual try-ons (eg: the Sephora app which lets you try makeup and check how it looks before actually buying) to smart beauty devices which analyse your skin in real time and update with solutions, to at-home lasers – The LYMA Laser, for example – the pocket-size beauty launch of our generation – beauty is no longer dependent on treatments and facials which follow the Covid-clock. Big shout-out to this medical-grade laser which gives incredibly smooth, even complexion without any of the downtime, pain, or side effects of a professional laser treatment (severe redness and irritation) and also for being the first safe laser for dark skin. Whilst most micro-needling treatments risk scarring for darker complexions, LYMA on the other hand is completely safe and effective in dealing with fine lines, acne marks and a ton of other blemishes for all skin types.

Also Read: Make mental health a priority with these highly rated podcasts


DNA Testing To Find Health Risks

Picture courtesy CircleDNA

Big things come in small packages – couldn’t be truer for the cells in your body. Those tiny things shedding off inside your cheeks and saliva carry big secrets to your entire genetic code. The strings of As, Cs, Ts and Gs can reveal a gamut of information – your predisposition to life-threatening diseases, gene mutations, the location of your ancestors, which targeted treatment will help incase of cancer and things among other details. 

It might sound like a lot of medical information to process, but in the genomic age getting an in-depth analysis of your DNA to prevent health risks is the 2022 way of living. And we’re all for it! CircleDNA , the Hong Kong-based company started in 2014, is a great starting point to gather all risk assessments, detect disease history, and get a personalized prevention plan. 


Also Read: Pledged to eat healthy in the new year? Here’s what a month of eating clean will do for your body

What these DNA test will tell you about your genes

If you had the opportunity to take a glimpse into your past and foresee your future, would you do it? Because at-home DNA test kits are the most current lifestyle trend that offers just that. 

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What is DNA testing?
An at-home DNA testing kit allows customers to submit their DNA sample to DNA testing services that will analyze and provide valuable information about a person’s family history, health and well-being. Unlike a visit to the fortune teller where premonitions of your future are based on a deck of cards or crystal ball, these DNA test results are processed in accredited laboratories based on advanced technologies and algorithms to decode anomalies in a person’s genetic code and trace various data such as ancestral history, food sensitivity and risks assessments of certain diseases including diabetes and cancer.

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Why is it so popular?
These at-home DNA testing kits can be purchased online and typically come with a vial for storing DNA samples and instructions that involve either a cheek swab or a saliva sample. It can be done in the convenience and comfort of the customer’s own time and home. The samples are then mailed back to the lab, and within four to eight weeks, results are made available via the company’s website or dedicated app. It offers an accessible and engaging way for people to understand their health and ancestral history and according to market research specialist, Transparency Market Research, the market value of DNA test kits is expected to exceed US$3 billion by 2030.

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What can you learn?

Ancestral history
If tracing ethnic roots or even tracking whether or not one is somehow related to royalty, ancestry DNA testing services offer a chance to learn just that. Big names in this sector such as AncestryDNA and 23andMe build their database through biomedical research with both profit and non-profit groups that, with customers’ consent, share anonymized data to provide insight on a person’s lineage, a family’s migration and discovering connections to past and living relatives.

Health & fitness conditions
With a simple swab of saliva sample, people can access comprehensive information about their health. From understanding what type of fitness regime best suits your body type to risk assessment on various diseases including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The most significant benefit from this test is understanding one’s own health risks and establishing preventive steps and plan a healthier lifestyle routine. Especially for couples planning a family, it could be significant to understand the health conditions their future child might be at risk of. 

Nutrition and personality traits
If nutrition and weight-loss is a major concern, it would be worthwhile to track the various sensitivities a person’s genetic code is prone to have. For example, insight into a person’s level of lactose intolerance and vitamin deficiency can give customers and their nutritionists a better guideline to planning out a healthy nutritional diet. Other DNA testing services also offer comprehensive details across various categories such as skin health, personality traits and even success indicators that indicate a person’s likeliness to succeed in certain areas such as creative projects or entrepreneurship.

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While clinical DNA testing has long been used to determine health and genetic relations, the now trending ‘direct-to-consumer’ at-home kits are relatively new to the market and may raise concerns regarding the legal policies and privacy of consumer data are still being regulated. There is also a question of accuracy in results, which is why in an interview with Cleaveland Clinic, certified genetic counsellor Marissa Coleridge advises against basing health decisions on at-home DNA tests results without the proper consultation from a professional doctor.

Where to order a test kit?
Whether your curiosity is prompted by health concerns or unveiling your ancestry history, its best to opt for certified testing services that process samples in accredited labs, here are a few noteworthy companies to choose from:  

AncestryDNA is the largest database of family tree and most effective ancestry matching algorithm available, especially in Asia. They offer insightful geographic details about countries a family originated from as well as specific regions they migrated to. There is also the option to download the ancestry result to keep and request for DNA samples and results to be deleted from their database.
Price: From HK$768

CircleDNA is an all-rounded genetic analysis that uses comprehensive technology that  provides up to 500 reports of personalised blueprint of how food affects a customer’s body and recommends which type of workout is best suited for his or her body type, followed up with a consultation with an on-site nutritionist and genetics specialist to walk through the results with customers.
Price: From HK$3,591

23andMe is one of the most well-known DNA testing service that analyses genetic health risks and deep ancestry history from genetic traits and haplogroups (a group of genes that is inherited from a single parent) to neanderthal ancestry. Like AncestryDNA, 23andMe is CLIA-certified and uses an advance algorithm to find comprehensive genetic matches.
Price: From HK$768