The Inside Track To Beauty

December 9, 2005

Beauty in a pill is an easy concept for consumers to swallow.

Thanks to a big investment from industry giants such as Procter & Gamble and Avon, beauty supplements are gaining more recognition among consumers. In fact, a direct response-driven television advertising campaign by Pharmavite, which partnered with P&G to create the Olay Vitamins line, produced a 29% increase in sales during the first two months, according to AC Nielsen data.

"The ads are longer than conventional TV spots so we can better communicate the Olay Vitamins concept of inner health and outer beauty," commented Kristopher Trust, Olay Vitamins product manager. "All channels saw an increase in sales during the 13 weeks [we ran] the campaign versus the prior 13 week period."

According to "The U.S. Nutritional Supplements Market" report from Packaged Facts, a publishing division of MarketResearch.com, U.S. retail sales of nutritional supplements totaled approximately $4.8 billion in 2004, up 2% from 2003 sales. During the period from 2000 to 2004, the market grew by a total of 7.5% and posted a compound annual growth rate of 1.8%.

Educating Consumers

Pharmavite seems to have the right formula when it comes to selling beauty supplements-education is key. That is why many manufacturers of beauty-related supplements offer their products in professional outlets such as dermatologist's offices and spas.

"The thinking is that the U.S. consumer isn't accustomed to taking supplements as part of a beauty regime," commented Connie Petticrew, U.S. country manager for Ferrosan, makers of Imedeen Time Perfection, a skin care tablet available though select plastic surgeon's offices, dermatologist's offices and spas. "They are certainly very familiar with a cream, or even Botox. For educational purposes, it is great to have a trusted esthetician say, 'Yes, this is great for your skin.' That is not to say there might not be larger distribution in the future."

According to the company, Murad's Firm and Tone Dietary Supplement pack smoothes from the inside out in just eight weeks.

Imedeen Time Perfection was made available in the U.S. last summer after enjoying tremendous success in Europe. It already has a celebrity following that includes Naomi Campbell and Jimmy Choo. Targeted towards women 35 and older, Time Perfection defends the skin against harsh external elements that cause aging while improving skin quality from the inside out. It is made from a patented combination of natural ingredients including proteins and marine polysaccharides similar to those found in the dermal layer of the skin, as well as a highly potent antioxidant complex that helps slow down the natural aging process. According to company executives, Time Perfection visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, dilated capillaries and age spots while improving the skin's natural moisture balance when used over time.

"Women are looking for ways to care for their skin so that it looks as beautiful as it possibly can," said Ms. Petticrew. "Imedeen has been proven to be a safe and natural way to keep skin looking young and beautiful. After 12 weeks of continual use, the difference in skin texture and tone is dramatic."

In addition to Time Perfection, Imedeen recently launched Prime Renewal, a supplement for post-menopausal women designed to improve the quality, structure and appearance of hormonally-aged skin by improving the dermal density and firmness of the skin. Although it is currently only available in Europe, the company plans to introduce the product to the U.S. market in the future. Another product the company plans to launch in the U.S. is Tan Optimizer, a nutrition tablet that prepares the skin in advance for sun exposure, helping to promote and optimize tanning.

"We don't know yet how to best bring these products into the U.S. market," commented Ms. Petticrew. "They need to be accompanied by advice and education. The market is young and new so, while we are seeing these beauty supplements growing, there is still a lot of work to be done. It's not something our mothers have educated us about. This is not only a new product, but a new category to many."

Murad's Inside-Out Approach

The category certainly isn't new to Howard Murad, who introduced Internal Skincare supplements in 1996. But he insists that it is still difficult to convince consumers of what he calls the "inside-out approach."

"For the past 10 years I have been lecturing and speaking to people about the inside-out approach to skin care," commented Dr. Murad. "Even today people have difficulty understanding the fact that internal skin care needs to be paired with topical skin care, but I think Olay's advertising will help."

This past year, Murad launched two supplement packs. The Wrinkle Reducing Dietary supplement pack is a combination of Murad's best internal skin care supplements. It blends together Youth Builder, which increases hydration in the dermal layer of the skin and increases elasticity; Wet Suit, which strengthens cell membranes and locks in cellular water; Pomphenol Sunguard, which serves as an environmental defense booster and increases the SPF of topical sunscreens by up to 25%; and essential fatty acid supplements in a daily, pre-measured packet, ensuring the right dose. According to company executives, the mix of key vitamins, minerals and anti-aging ingredients fights the signs of aging and is scientifically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines up to 34% in five weeks.

"Each supplement provides individual benefits, but used together, the Wrinkle Reducing Dietary Supplement pack provides an unmatched way to repair, hydrate and protect skin from free radical damage, the main cause of premature signs of aging," Dr. Murad pointed out.

Also launched this year was the Murad Firm and Tone Dietary Supplement pack, a complex said to manage cellulite and stretch marks. Combining glucosamine, essential fatty acids, cell energizers and goji berry extract, the pack encourages the appearance of firmer skin by up to 78% in eight weeks, according to the company. Within the same amount of time, the supplement pack is said to improve the visual texture of stretch marks by up to 47%.

"Cellulite is not a new problem-what is new is the solution," explained Dr. Murad. "The Firm and Tone Dietary Supplement pack works internally as a definitive scientific roadmap to reduce and reverse dimpling and improve stretch marks. The result is a reduction in the visible appearance of cellulite and stretch marks plus a comprehensive approach to improving skin's firmness."

Murad products are available at the Murad Center for Inclusive Health in Los Angeles, Sephora stores nationwide and select Murad salons and spas.

Bringing it to the Masses

According to Dr. Murad, there was very slow growth in the beauty supplement category from 1995 to 2004, but all that changed once the product went mainstream.

"There has been an incremental increase based on the realization from the big boys (such as Procter & Gamble and Avon) that there is a market for these products," he commented. "This is because of their marketing skills and ability to get the word out to a large number of consumers."

Olay's line of Wellness Nutrients have been formulated for a woman's unique needs.

And that is exactly what P&G is doing. By offering beauty supplements under a trusted name that consumers can purchase at the supermarket for an affordable price (Olay Vitamins range from $7.99 to $14.99), and backing it up with print and TV advertising educating women on the importance of daily supplements, P&G is taking the category to a whole new level. According to the company, a Source Volume study revealed that 64% of Olay Vitamins sales are incremental or extended usage, meaning that Olay Vitamins buyers are either new or repeat purchasers-they are not substituting Olay Vitamins for another brand.

"Many of our customers are concerned with obtaining smoother, more firm skin and minimizing the signs of premature aging, and they expect Olay Vitamins to help improve overall skin health appearance," pointed out Mr. Trust. "Consumers have been receptive to the Olay Vitamins concept of a holistic approach to skin care."

The Olay Vitamins line is divided into two sublines-Beauty Nutrients and Wellness Nutrients-that make it easy for women to create a personalized supplement regimen to best meet their individual health and beauty needs.

Olay Beauty Nutrients are vitamins and antioxidants that have been designed to address three key areas for beautiful skin: skin structure renewal, cell renewal and antioxidants. The company's Wellness Nutrients line consists of vitamins and nutritional supplements that have been formulated for a woman's unique needs, such as Super B Stress Defense, Essential Balanced Omega 3/6 and Daily Energy Pack for Women. Olay's Total Effects Beautiful Skin and Wellness Pack combines vitamins and minerals all in one daily pack to help fight seven signs of aging, making it user friendly. Each pack contains vitamin E antioxidant, CoQ10 to release energy from carbohydrates and lipids to cells to fight free radicals, alpha lipoic acid with green tea extract to enhance antioxidant performance and prevent skin puffiness and a unique multivitamin to help support collagen and maintain good health and well-being.

Avon, the "company for women," has its own line of products developed to address beauty needs from the inside out. The Avon Wellness line includes VitAdvance nutritional supplements and the Slimwell Weight Management line, as well as exercise equipment and therapeutic products. Among the company's offerings, VitAdvance AquaNew is promoted as an "easy to swallow tablet that is a high-quality skin supplement." The supplement is designed to replace moisture-generating components that diminish as women age. A nourishing complex containing hyaluronic acid and a revival complex containing green tea leaf extract and glutathione are said to enhance skin's natural moisture balance.

L'Oréal, Paris joined forces a few years back with Nestle Nutritional Research to create Inneov, a line of products designed for daily use to improve the health and beauty of skin, hair and nails. Inneov Firmness is a nutritional supplement containing lacto-lycopene, a highly bio-available form of tomato lycopene, combined with soy isoflavins and vitamin C. According to the company, its efficacy has been demonstrated in a double blind trial conducted versus a placebo, and the tests showed an improvement in dermal density and skin micro-texture.

Get Your Vitamins In The Shower?

For those who can't remember to take vitamins every day, Water and Air Purification Systems, Clearwater, FL, offers VitaC Shower filter. The filter uses pharmaceutical grade vitamin C, which neutralizes both chlorine and chloramine molecules, preventing them from being inhaled and absorbed into the body through open pores. According to the company, the VitaC Shower filter will significantly improve the condition of skin and hair. Chlorine in water can make skin dry, flaky and itchy and turn hair dry and brittle. The filter prevents this from happening. It is capable of working continuously for up to 100 hours, and lasts 2-3 times longer than traditional shower filters. The company also offers Vitabath Vitamin C Dechlorination tablets for use in bath water. Like the filter, the tablets neutralize 100% of the chlorine in water and provide an additional source of vitamin C. More info: www.vitashower.com.

Nature's Answer offers an array of liquid supplements.

Liquid Beauty

Earlier this year, Nature's Answer, a subsidiary of Bio-Botanica, launched the Platinum All-Star Line-Up, a collection of vitamins, minerals and nutraceuticals in liquid form. The line includes Liquid Hair, Skin & Nails, which contains key vitamins, minerals, herbs and antioxidants specially selected for their nourishing and strengthening support of hair, skin and nails. Also launched was Vitamin B-Complex, which provides additional nutritional support in an easily absorbed form. All products in the Platinum line feature Quik-Sorb, a proprietary blend of herbs designed to enhance delivery of nutrients to the body.

Expanding the Market

According to experts contacted by Happi, supplements should be used daily and incorporated into an existing beauty routine for full effectiveness.

"Consumers see the effects within three months, but they mustn't stop taking them after that," warns Ms. Petticrew of Ferrosan. "If they stop taking them, the results will slowly dissipate. It is not something you take once in awhile. It is like moisturizer, you must incorporate it into your routine every day."

Dr. Murad concurs, comparing the ingestion of nutritional supplements to applying sunscreen. "You need to keep applying sunscreen every day in order to fight the damage caused by the sun. That's the same with supplements. You need to take them every day."

According to the Packaged Facts report, U.S. retail sales of nutritional supplements is expected to increase through 2007 with annual gains at 6%, followed by still respectable annual gains of 5% through 2009. The study states that the major driver will be increased marketing in the form of new product introductions featuring patented ingredients, backed by national consumer advertising.

Mr. Trust of Olay cites a report from Business Comm- unications Company, Inc., which states that the cosmeceuticals industry in particular is growing at an average annual rate of 9.2%, with the total market estimated to reach nearly $72 billion by 2009. In the future, Mr. Trust predicts that products will become more personal.

"For example, consumers might be able to work directly with a cosmeceuticals company to complete a beauty and wellness profile, or to review their medical and genetic history with the company's scientific team, which will allow the consumer to purchase a beauty supplement that is specifically tailored to alleviate her skin and health concerns."

In 2006, Olay will focus on products that address women's complexion concerns, such as dry, flaky and itchy skin, according to Mr. Trust.

Later this year, Murad will introduce CitySkin supplements, which contain an anti-pollution complex that Dr. Murad describes as "beyond antioxidants and sunscreen." The supplements are intended to be used in conjunction with the company's CitySkin serum, which launched last December.

"It is a simple concept," commented Dr. Murad. "If you really want to take care of your skin, you need to do it topically and internally, as well."