The eyes may be the window to the soul, but in the case of the skin, you are what you eat, according to a seminar hosted by the New York Chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (NYSCC) on Feb. 15 at Seasons in Washington Township, NJ.
According to Brian Hom, chairman of the NYSCC, there was a “strong interest” in a full-day educational workshop and judging by the standing-room only crowd at “Beauty From Within: Effect of Lifestyle on Skin Health,”which zeroed in on a rising trend in the personal care industry.
Kicking off the seminar was an introduction from Naya Dayan, chair of this event. “The 2012 Educational Program will being with a full-day seminar bringing professionals from a variety of disciplines to share their expertise about the correlation between lifestyle, overall health and especially, skin health,” she said.“Some will attempt to define beauty and investigate relevant beauty claims.Others will talk about the effects of nutrition, nutritional supplements and exercise on skin’s health.”
The first presentation was from Kenneth A. Richman PhD, a professor of philosophy and healthcare ethics at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS), Boston.His slideshow, “What Is Beauty? A Philosophical Analysis,” spanned from an Isaac Fuller and Pierce Tempest engraving from 1709 to an Umm Bororo tribal woman. The common thread?
“Beauty is local,” explained Richman, as cultural artifacts and history can correlate to “the supervenience base for aesthetic properties.” He noted that most of the time people can go about our business without thinking much about what beauty really is, even in an industry dedicated to promoting beauty and selling beauty products. At the same time, marketing professionals may run focus groups and surveys to find out how consumers describe beauty or which faces they identify as beautiful, but this may still fail to help us identify what beauty really is.
“Investigating what makes beautiful things the same amid their diversity and what makes the beautiful different from what is not beautiful is a philosophical project,” said Richman.
Annie M. Ugurlayan, senior staff attorney at the National Advertising Division (NAD), the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, provided an overview of the advertising self-regulation process and discussed recent cases by the NAD that deal with advertising claims for dietary supplements and anti-aging products concerning the ability of certain ingredients, or the product as a whole, to provide consumers with a more youthful appearance and, hence, “beauty from within.”
Since 2003, Ugurlayanhas handled more than 150 cases, particularly in the areas of cosmetics, food and oral care products, and has successfully argued appeals before the National Advertising Review Board.
“Cosmetic manufacturers have been making very strong claims,” noted Ugurlayan, who added that current industry trends like gene technology and organic/green products have been popping up in reports.
One example Ugurlayan used was a recent report on Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair. According to the NAD, it recommended that Neutrogena modify or discontinue certain claims for the product to avoid conveying the message that it can eliminate wrinkles in “just one week.” NAD determined the advertiser could support certain claims, and examined claims made by Neutrogena in print advertising as part of NAD’s ongoing monitoring program.
In this case, NAD examined the following express claims:
• “Most anti-wrinkle creams disappear long before the wrinkles. Until now. Introducing Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair.”
• “It has Accelerated Retinol SA, which is the fastest retinol formula available.”
• “In fact, it’s clinically proven to smooth wrinkles in just one week.”
NAD also examined the implied claims that Neutrogena Rapid Anti-Wrinkle Repair moisturizer is more effective than most competing anti-wrinkle creams and that the product can make wrinkles disappear in just one week. NAD noted in its decision that the advertiser’s evidence included the results of well-designed and controlled studies and that the testing covered 90% of competing anti-aging products that contain retinol, which the advertiser explained is the No. 1 cosmetic anti-wrinkle ingredient recommended by dermatologists based on its efficacy.
It noted, as well, that the testing indicated the advertiser’s product contained the highest amount of retinol available among Neutrogena and certain competing products, contains a specially formulated complex to help accelerate the skin benefits, and worked more rapidly than some competing products.
However, NAD noted, the fast-acting nature of the retinol does not necessarily support the message conveyed by the advertising, namely, that Rapid Wrinkle Repair substantially reduces or eliminates wrinkles in one week.
“The idea is not to overstate the claims,” summed up Ugurlayan, “And make sure that the claims match the results of the testing.”
The next presentation, “Nourishing Beauty From Within-A Holistic Approach to Skin Care,” with Deshanie Rai, a senior scientific leader at DSM, reviewed the latest trends in nutricosmetics.
“Nutrition can indeed be used as a complementary approach to skin care,” Rai said.
In regards to physical appearance, consumers are particularly interested in nutricosmetics that can offer benefits in the areas of anti-aging and sun protection.This interest in “beauty from within” stems primarily from clinical trials demonstrating that oral intake of vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can help to maintain skin health.
The presentation showcased key nutrients such as vitamins, carotenoids (includingbeta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene), omega-3 fatty acids (such as DHA and EPA) and novel antioxidants (such as resveratrol and coenzyme Q) that can be taken as supplements.
For example, oral lutein and zeaxanthin can benefit several characteristics of skin tone, especially since lutein intake among Americans is “dismally low” due to a lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet.
“In summary, oral consumption of key nutrients together with topicals can support several aspects of skin heath,” she said.
After a buffet luncheon (complete with fresh crudité and fruit, of course), the afternoon segment of the seminar focused on other aspects of skin health—including UV protection via supplements, raw food and exercise.
“Phytonutrients Supplementation-Photo-Protection & Skin Anti-Aging Activity” by Dr. Joseph Levy, a professor of clinical biochemistry, faculty of health sciences at Ben Gurion University, focused on the associations between nutritional status and appearance of the skin.
According to Levy, human intervention studies with nutrients demonstrate diminished damage (solar erythema) from UV radiation. Both skin density and thickness (determined by ultrasound) were increased significantly, as compare placebo, after 10 weeks of antioxidant mixture supplementation (lycopene, beta carotene, vitamin E and selenium).
In recent years, substantial progress has been made in unraveling the underlying mechanisms of photoaging, noted Levy. This includes markers of UV-induced damage such as mutations of mitochondrial DNA, apoptosis of skin cells and changes in extracellular matrix components.For example to the after supplementation with tomato paste, UV-induced expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), which degrades interstitial collagen, was lowered in the dermis.
A healthy raw food diet loaded in nutrient density can replenish, hydrate and nourish skin from the inside out, noted Karen Ranzi, author of “Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods,” whose books were signed by lucky attendees at the event. Her presentation touched on all aspects of the raw food lifestyle.
According to Ranzi, the best way to improve skin quality is to incorporate fresh organic vegetables and juice into the diet, because when food is heated above 105°F, many of the vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes are destroyed.
“Just by increasing the amount of healthy, organic raw foods in the family lifestyle, you should see important skin benefits,” she said.
Specific foods that are said to improve the skin include antioxidant-rich blueberries and detoxifying citrus fruits suchas oranges, lemons and grapefruits.
Rounding out the seminar were “Benefits of Physical Exercise” with trainer Julie Barone, and “The High-Love, High-Green, High-Raw, High-Energy Life” with Victoria Moran, a motivational speaker and author.
All in all, there are many ways to nourish ourselves for health and vitality, but at their core they have in common an affinity for whole foods, said Moran.
For more on the beauty from within segment, be sure to read Beauty I/O, our special supplement, which is published in September 2012.