Supplementing Beauty

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | July 10, 2013

Nutritional products round out personal care routines.

“It’s fun to grow young!” reads the tag line of what is being called one of this year’s breakthrough new products. YouthH2O, a nutraceutical system formulated to “deliver results” such as peak performance, beauty and wellness support, debuted this Spring at Vitamin Shoppes nationwide. The one aspect that sets it apart from other items on the market?

“It works,” according to the scientists behind it at Revival Labs, who added that retailer reorder rates are as high as 80%.

The caffeine-free and sugar-free system—comprised of powerful South American organic superfoods organic camu camu, maca and purple corn—is said to offer benefits such as weight loss, immunity protection and collagen production, according to the company.  No wonder why YouthH2O has found its way into the hands of NBA superstars and celebrity housewives, and had coveted placement in the Academy Awards’ gift bags.

The success of YouthH20 is just one example of the rise of nutritional products in the personal care industry.

Although it’s difficult to get a hard sales figure on the segment, Packaged Facts estimates that the four categories of consumer products with antioxidant content that fall within the scope of the market definition—foods, beverages, supplements and personal care/cosmetics—accounted for US retail sales of $65 billion in 2011, 9% above the figure for 2010. 

Furthermore, according to the Experian Simmons Summer 2011 national consumer survey data, 56% of US adults use nutritional supplements and 3% (7.2 million) use antioxidant supplements.

“Over the last several years, usage rates for supplements overall have remained fairly steady, while usage rates for antioxidant supplements have edged down slightly, reflecting in part the increasing availability of foods and beverages with high antioxidant claims,” noted Lisa Giordano, a market research analyst with Packaged Facts, Rockville, MD. “In the personal care category, as in the food and beverage categories, marketers have become exponentially more creative at blending antioxidants together, giving consumers the impression of more antioxidant power, and of cutting edge formulation.”

Paula Simpson, nutricosmetic formulation and branding expert and principal of Nutribloom Consulting, New York and Toronto, said in the past year she’s seen an upswing in nutritional beauty products launched within North America. 

“Products launching today come in many forms including tinctures, beverages, powdered stick packs, gummy bears, or functional foods vs. the traditional pill form we have seen with previous brands,” she told Happi.

Although the therapeutic value of such formulas may be compromised (over capsule or softgel form) the flexibility and convenience of these products resonate well with the hectic lifestyles consumers lead today, according to Simpson.

“However, as research and technology continue to evolve within this arena, such formulations will continue to evolve and prove more effective too,” she predicted.

Healthy from Head to Toe
The fortification of skin, hair and nails is a cornerstone of the nutritional product category; therefore, brands are constantly working to capture the attention of consumers at large. Consider Swisse Wellness, a top-selling multivitamin brand in Australia that recently launched in the US market.

For more than 50 years, Swisse has been founded upon a belief in the importance of proactive health and wellbeing and has made a $20 million commitment to fund global product research over the next five years, said the company.

Now, it has tapped Nicole Kidman as global ambassador to further draw attention to the brand. (Kidman uses the Women’s Ultivite F1 and Ultiboost Hair Skin Nails, by the way.)

“In an oversaturated beauty market, consumers are educating themselves on quality, evidence-based products,” noted Swisse Wellness executive VP Americas/international business director Ulrich Irgens, Chicago, IL. “We see people researching products in advance and at the point of sale, some 70% are using smartphones in-store to research. They’re seeking more ethical and sustainable options, but are also seeking value—they want products that work.”

 Another major player in the industry, Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. is launching ageLOC TR90, a body shaping system, in the second half of the year. The ageLOC TR90 system is the latest product in the company’s ageLOC anti-aging product portfolio, which focuses on providing nutritional and skin care solutions.  

“We were extremely pleased with the positive reaction of our top sales leaders as we released the details of our new ageLOC TR90 system,” said Truman Hunt, president and chief executive officer. “This latest ageLOC offering adds to our successful anti-aging product portfolio, capitalizing on one of the largest consumer product categories—weight management.”

Powered by Nu Skin’s exclusive anti-aging science, ageLOC TR90 was developed to enable consumers to begin to transform their body composition in just 90 days.

“Our research shows that many weight management programs focus on maximizing pounds lost, whether the weight comes from fat, muscle or both,” said Joseph Chang, Ph.D., chief scientific officer and executive vice president, product development. “In contrast, we are focusing our system on improving overall body composition—with the ideal of supporting the maintenance of lean muscle while promoting healthy, overall weight loss.”

Nu Skin plans to introduce the ageLOC TR90 system as a limited-time offer at its global convention in October 2013, with regional introductions taking place throughout 2014.

Meanwhile, David Kirsch, a fitness and wellness expert based in New York City, is seeing success with his nutritional products. The three nutrients in his Ageless Defense—L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid and L-carnosine—occur naturally in the body and as we age, their levels drop significantly. In combination, the three nutrients work to “fuel” your cells to optimize physical and mental performance, claimed the company, which also has a popular AM Daily Detox drink. It acts as a mini-cleanse for your body, flushing out free radicals with red wine grapes, 10 different berries, lycopene, resveratrol and other vitamins and nutrients.

“Nutrition and beauty have gone hand in hand for years. It is a very exciting time right now because the public is becoming more aware of it,” noted Dr. Stafford R. Broumand, New York. “Some of the latest trends are taking supplements in powder form to achieve optimum health and skin rejuvenation.”

Even though many of these ingredients have been around for a long time, some are beginning to get more attention such as 5-HTP, added Broumand. “This helps to regulate your mood and keep you calm,” he told Happi. David Kirsch also offers this ingredient his Calming Bubbles, which is a powder you mix into water. 

 Fellow New York-based company Opus Skincare is establishing a name for itself in the nutritional category. Its BeautyScoop supplement has received a US patent (No. 8,329,642) and is said to be doctor-developed and clinically-proven to deliver long-lasting results for skin, hair and nails, according to the company. The natural and vegetable-based nutritional supplement is formulated with peptides and essential lipids, reinforced with hyaluronic acid, key vitamins and minerals to assure maximum therapeutic benefits. In double-blind clinical trials, 86% of participants noted improvement in skin, hair and nails within three weeks, according to the company.

Taut Shot, another new contender to the market, is an 80-calorie hydrolyzed marine collagen shot with the highest concentration of ingestible collagen on the market—13,000mg per 50ml serving—according to the company. Its proprietary collagen formula contains Rapid Delivery System (RDS) hydrolyzed collagen peptide with a low molecular weight for rapid absorption.

Hair Helpers
Fortifying lackluster or thinning tresses specifically is still a popular use for nutritional products in the beauty segment. Brands like Bosley and Viviscal are becoming staples in this sector for dietary supplementation to give options to those who use traditional topical formulas.

The Healthy Hair Vitality Supplement from Bosley Professional Strength is promoted as “the first salon-only, comprehensive hair preservation regimen that helps maintain thicker, fuller-looking hair,” according to the company. With specialized formulations for men and women, the supplements target the unique needs of both genders.

“What we put inside our bodies is just as important as what we do on the outside, which is why we are adding ingestible supplements to our hair preservation regimen,” said Bosley Professional Strength president Eric McLemore, Carson, CA. “Our new Healthy Hair Vitality Supplement will help nourish and promote healthy hair from within.”

The Men’s Formula targets fine or thinning hair, weak hairlines or areas of low hair density. Key ingredients include saw palmetto that may help lower DHT levels; iodine to help nourish hair and follicles; vitamin E to improve blood circulation to the scalp and vitamin B6, said to inhibit DHT and may help avoid hair loss, eczema, psoriasis and dandruff.

Meanwhile, the Women’s Formula promotes fuller-looking, shiny hair, healthy-looking skin and stronger nails, according to the company. This supplement is fueled by horsetail extract to promote healthy hair growth; copper, an “important element” in the formation of both skin and hair; riboflavin for healthy hair, skin and nails; as well as cysteine for a strong formation of both skin and hair.

Another contender in the segment, Viviscal, is also making a name for itself for hair fortification.

Viviscal recently introduced its extra strength dietary supplement, Viviscal Extra Strength, formulated with 50% more of the revolutionary active ingredient, AminoMar marine complex. This proprietary ingredient is said to only be found in the Viviscal line of products and is scientifically formulated to help nourish thinning hair and promote existing hair growth from within, during the Anagen phase of the hair growth cycle. It also features horsetail extract and is fortified with vitamin C derived from the acerola cherry, one of the richest sources of vitamin C available.

Nutraceutical brand Go Away Gray is still going strong in the category, recently branching out to personal care with a complementary shampoo and conditioner to use with its supplements.

Go Away Gray is said to replace an enzyme lost with age, called catalase. While hydrogen peroxide is the culprit behind gray hair, the role of the catalase is to break down the hydrogen peroxide, which stops the graying process, and allows natural hair color to come back at the root, claims the company.

“Kids may make us pull our hair out, and we love to say they’re at the root of gray hair, but it’s a catalase deficiency that we need to blame,” said Cathy Beggan, founder of Go Away Gray and president of Rise-N-Shine, LLC, Sparta, NJ. “It’s amazing how a bottle of pills, not a bottle of hair color, can permanently and naturally get rid of gray hair. We now also offer Go Away Gray shampoo and conditioner that works synergistically with the capsules for the perfect one-two punch!”

Tackling Maladies
Improving skin texture is another common goal for those shopping for nutritional products. When a woman in her 30s or 40s develops acne, she may reach for the same remedies she relied on decades ago—but that’s a mistake because adult acne is different from teen acne, according to Dr. Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology in New York and a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. While many factors contribute to adult onset acne, including hormones, diet and yes, stress, research has also shown that oxidative stress, or inflammation, is one of the culprits, she contends.

In an analysis of several studies, Bowe found that decreased antioxidant levels are commonly found in adults with acne, as blood levels of antioxidant vitamins such as A, C and E are actually lower in people suffering from acne as compared to people who have clear skin. Studies have also found that people with acne have a higher burden of oxidative stress, as indicated by certain markers in the blood.

Bowe explains that antioxidants can be delivered directly onto the skin as a serum, cream or lotion, or they can be indirectly delivered to the skin after going through the mouth and undergoing digestion.
“In other words, you can incorporate more antioxidant-rich foods or beverages in your diet. For example, antioxidant-rich green tea can be found in a number of over-the-counter creams, but can also be sipped hot or cold,” she said. “Treating acne with antioxidants may address acne while at the same time reducing some of the signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. This makes antioxidants especially attractive for the woman who suffers from acne and also sees fine lines beginning to form.”

Jarrow Formulas, a formulator and supplier of nutritional supplements, recently rolled out three pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) products to support heart health and cognitive function.

PQQ is a powerful and focused antioxidant that is especially important in the mitochondria of cells. It is considered by some authorities to be an essential nutrient that supports heart health and cognitive function, according to the company. And for those who often attend conferences in the personal care industry, mitochondria maintenance is a hot topic when it comes to skin, hair and nails too.

“PQQ is ideal for aging individuals and those who want to protect their cardiovascular and cognitive functions,” said Rory Lipsky, marketing director at the company.  “We’re pleased to add PQQ to our award winning line of cutting-edge cardiovascular products that include QH-absorb and Q-absorb.”

Nutritional products are even said to help ward off some of the most damaging effects of the sun. Recent studies reveal that Omega-3 fatty acids not only fight off a multitude of illnesses, they also promote cell renewal, and may help protect against skin cancer.

A report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by researchers at the University of Manchester found that taking Omega-3s regularly increased the skin’s immunity to sunlight, which may lower the risk of skin cancer over an individual’s lifetime.

 “Omega-3 oils are now recognized as important to the health of our immune, nervous and cardiovascular systems. Exposure to ultraviolet light weakens the skin’s immune response,” said Oscar Hevia, a Coral Gables, FL dermatologist. “In this study, researchers were able to demonstrate that the immune response in the skin of those subjects who were taking Omega-3 oils recovered much better after exposure to ultraviolet light. Nonetheless, this study did not look at the immune response to skin cancers specifically, but rather allergy-producing substances. Although encouraging that the immune system improved, there is no direct evidence in this study that regular intake of Omega-3 oils will reduce the incidence of skin cancers in individuals.”

Consumers are clamoring for beauty supplements that benefit the whole body too, as seen with the new  “multidimensional wellness companion” called Wakaya Perfection, which is now sold at select Space NK and other prestige retailers.

This organic ginger is said to aid in digestion and soothe sore muscles, among other benefits. The hand-cultivated powder is USDA and ACO Certified organic ginger, is unique to the private Fijian island of Wakaya and was created by David H. Gilmour, founder of Fiji Water.

All three SKUs of the Wakaya Perfection powder will be available at Space NK, including the Table-Top Wellness Companion (.6 oz. glass jar), a daily health staple for culinary, beverage and apothecary use; the Whole Body Revitalizer (1 lb. container), an at-home spa, sports and body applicant; and Ginger-Eze (.6 oz. glass jar), a vegetarian gel cap health supplement for daily use by travelers and people on the go.

“I was delighted to discover Wakaya Perfection’s organic ginger products which offer so many therapeutic benefits; the bath soak relieves congestion, helps reduce inflammation, eases over-worked muscles and I find it helpful for jet-lag,” noted Nicky Kinnaird, founder of Space NK, London. “When ingested, ginger acts as a thermogenic, try adding it to your exercise water bottle to enhance your metabolism.”

The Best Is Yet to Come
The nutritional market will post a compound annual growth rate of 6% to hit $86 million by 2016, noted Packaged Facts in its findings. Both consumer demand and product innovation with fuel this growth.

“Although research and technology advance, the most successful brands will offer such sophistication and therapeutic value in more convenient and less complex formulations,” noted Simpson of Nutribloom. Fewer ingredients, simple branding and effective communication in how a nutricosmetic works within the body (over topical ones) will be critical to a brand’s success as well.
Ultimately, it’s the tangible benefits that will move the market the most, according to other industry insiders.

“Your lifestyle shows in your face and body, as well as affecting your well-being. I am a great believer in working from the inside out, as well as the outside in,” noted Kinnaird of Wakaya. “Regular exercise, healthy nutritional habits, good hydration levels, decompression time and a sound night’s sleep go a long way toward promoting a youthful appearance.”

Dr. Nicholas Perricone, dermatologist and founder of Perricone MD, San Francisco, CA, agrees that nutraceutical beauty is the wave of the future.

He told Happi, “The best program works from the inside out as well as the outside in. Topicals that have great efficacy in reducing inflammation in the skin along with powerful targeted nutritional supplements with anti-inflammatory properties that can help rebuild the body at a cellular level will work synergistically to rejuvenate the body inside and out.”  

The Connection Between Red, Black, Brown and Green: Eat Your Sunscreen
  • Did you know that certain foods (and drinks) can boost your skin’s antioxidant levels to protect against UV radiation? According to Dr. Frank Lipman, New York, author of two books “Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again” and “Total Renewal: Seven Key Steps to Resilience, Vitality, and Long-Term Health.” These include:
  • Lycopene is a red carotenoid that protects the skin against sunburn and skin cancer. Foods high in lycopene include watermelon, tomatoes, papaya, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit.
  • Green and black teas are rich in polyphenols, which boost skin’s antioxidant protection from the inside out.
  • Cocoa (dark chocolate) contains four times as much phenols and catechins as tea. These antioxidants protect skin from sunburn and skin cancer. Milk should not be added to the chocolate as it interferes with the absorption of its antioxidants. His recommended dose: 2 ounces of dark chocolate daily.
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