Global Industry Analysts (GIA) predicted the international market for nutricosmetic products targeting “beauty from within” would reach $4.24 billion by 2017. While Asia-Pacific dominates, North America and other parts of the world offer opportunities for growth.
“Nutrition is a complementary and active approach to achieving beauty from within,” said Marlena Hidlay, marketing manager, DSM Nutritional Products, Parsippany, NJ. “Ingestible beauty products resonate across all female age demographics. Throughout the decades, nourishing your beauty remains important to consumers, though their skin concerns and needs may differ.”
Skin care maintains its position as the largest category in the beauty and personal care market. “The target demographic has been primarily women, but men are showing interest too. GIA said it expects men’s interest in skin care to outpace hair care in 2016,” noted Ms. Hidlay. Anti-aging is the second largest segment and is projected to grow 4.8% through 2016.
Additionally, the 76.4 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. represent a prime target for nutricosmetic and cosmeceutical products that can address the signs of aging.
“People live longer and are not willing to accept the natural signs of aging—even the consumers who shop at natural health food stores,” said Steve Holtby, president and CEO, Soft Gel Technologies, Inc. (SGTI), Los Angeles, CA. “Consumers are seeking the proverbial ‘fountain of youth,’ and are willing to spend hard-earned dollars on natural anti-aging moisturizers and supplements that may erase those fine lines that crop up over time.”
Baby Boomers aren’t the only ones looking for beauty from within. Generation X and even older Millennials are looking to preserve their skin’s health as they near their 30s. According to Mr. Holtby, 30-somethings “are spending thousands of dollars on cosmetic products and procedures to help reverse, or at least suspend, the aging process. Mainstream culture has gotten to the point where there are very few who are not affected by the media and its influence on an individual’s personal image (and how their image can, and should always be improved).”
Ms. Hidlay also noted anti-aging products are reaching a younger demographic. “Such products resonate well with the 30 and 40 year old group. Smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage protection and collagen loss are a priority.”
Even teens report a concern for their skin, though their focus is primarily on preventing and combatting acne. In serving the needs of this younger demographic, Ms. Hidlay cited a 2012 Euromonitor report that found confectionery to be the most appealing delivery system for ingestible beauty ingredients. “The report stated that teens were comfortable with gummies and would also be interested in chewing gum applications,” she said. Ms. Hidlay also stated that 20-somethings with disposable incomes expressed an interest in products addressing sun damage protection, as well as reducing skin puffiness due to late nights and pro-inflammatory diets.
The advancement of the nutricosmetic and cosmecutical markets among ethnic groups in the U.S. and globally has been a significant development, according to John G. Tobin, president/CEO, NutraFood Science Delivery System (NSDS)/Nutra3 Complex, Pleasantville, NJ. African Americas have specific concerns, such as hair breakage, hair loss, as well as correcting dark spots on the skin, he noted. Nail care is also important to this demographic.
Internationally, Mr. Tobin explained that China is a leader in the nutricosmetic and cosmecutical arena, as a result of the country’s “growing middle class and desire to use those product types.” He added, “India falls into a similar category for anti-aging and skin hydration products, whereas Brazil has long been involved with anti-aging and radiant beauty regimens and use of those supporting products.”
Despite international economic concerns, consumers in the U.S. and abroad still prioritize their appearance, as seen by continued market growth. “Sales are holding steady for products in this category, despite the economy,” said Mr. Holtby. “The nutraceutical industry overall has shown remarkable endurance in the face of the depressed market.” He suggested an increased interest in natural lifestyle and beauty products, as well as a growing concern about what goes into our bodies and onto our skin will continue to propel the market forward.
While topical formulas target the outer surface of the skin, or epidermis, collagen targets the dermis, which is the connective tissue below the skin that supports the outer layer. Collagen accounts for 80% of the dry mass of the skin, making up the connective tissue of the dermis and supporting its structure.
With age, the natural depletion of collagen weakens the dermis, which leads to wrinkles, sagging and dry skin. This decline begins around age 30 and is often accelerated with the onset of menopause.
A mainstay in the nutricosmetic market, collagen peptides such as Verisol from Germany-based Gelita may help improve skin elasticity and diminish the signs of wrinkles. According to Gelita, collagen peptides are ideal in nutricosmetic formulas, as they are absorbed and stored in skin, stimulating fibroblasts to produce dermal extracellular matrix components.
Two recent clinical studies conducted by the Department of Dermatology, University of Kiel, published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology in early 2014 confirm the company’s claims. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial assessing 69 women aged 35-55 years, subjects were randomized to receive 2.5 grams or 5 grams of Verisol or placebo once daily for 8 weeks. Skin elasticity in the women receiving Verisol showed a statistically significant improvement over the placebo group after 4 weeks of supplementation. For some women, skin elasticity improved as much as 30% after 8 weeks. Furthermore, the study found a more pronounced improvement in the skin of women over 50 years of age.
The second study also demonstrated the effectiveness of Verisol on wrinkle reduction and synthesis of important dermal matrix components, including type I collagen, elastin and fibrillin. After 4 weeks of treatment, subjects supplemented with Verisol showed a statistically significant reduction in eye wrinkle volume of more than 7% on average. Reduction of “crows feet” was even more prominent after 8 weeks of supplementation, with some subjects showing 50% improvement.
Study results showed that pro-collagen type I content increased by 65%, elastin by 18% and fibrillin by 6% after 8 weeks of Verisol treatment. Researchers concluded that treatment with Verisol had a positive impact on dermal macromolecules, directly influencing skin elasticity and wrinkle formation.
Custom Collagen, Addison, IL, also offers support with collagen peptides in the form of hydrolyzed gelatin. The company’s Taylor Wisnewski noted that while crucial for the skin, collagen also supports hair, nail and joint health. “Our collagen can be used as an essential daily dietary supplement to support joint, skin and nail health. As a dietary supplement, collagen can support joint function and flexibility, muscles, energy and endurance, recovery time after physical activity, nail and hair strength, and skin tone,” she said.
“Hydrolyzed collagen is the most well-known skin health ingredient in Japan and we are seeing its popularity spread into other Asian markets and into North America,” noted Erika Tchang, business development manager of Wellnex collagen peptides, Nitta Gelatin NA, Inc. Morrisville, NC. The company’s low molecular, highly bioavailable, hydrolyzed collagen protein provides clinically proven skin health sustenance, from the inside out, she said.
Wellnex collagen peptides have been tested in several clinical studies, “to ensure that our customers and essentially end users see results,” said Ms. Tchang. “In a double-blind, placebo controlled study, we saw that participants had a statistically significant improvement in UV induced hyperpigmentation. We’ve also seen an increase in skin moisture in participants using Wellnex collagen peptides.”
Certified Nutraceuticals, Murrieta, CA, offers Hydrolyzed Collagen Type I & III extracted from bovine, chicken and fish. CEO and President Ahmad Alkayali suggested daily usage of 6 grams daily on an empty stomach for maximum efficacy. “Amino acids found in collagen supply all the nutrients necessary to repair skin, thicken hair and nails from the inside out,” he said.
While capsules and tablets are common delivery methods for collagen, some manufacturers and suppliers are exploring new formats for their products. Custom Collagen offers a powdered collagen that is tasteless, odorless and can dissolve in hot or cold liquids. “Powder form is best for this market because you cannot fit enough of the collagen into capsules or pills. Our recommended serving size is 11 grams,” said Ms. Wisnewski.
Gelita’s Verisol can be applied to various functional food applications or beverage solutions such as collagen water or liquid shots. In addition to traditional tablets and capsules, Gelita offers flavored powder mixes. The company also suggests usage in chocolates and coffee beverages.
“Recently, we have seen a shift toward more functional food delivery systems, like hydrolyzed collagen beverages, shots, soft chews and gummies, said Ms. Tchang. “To meet the market demand for these delivery systems, Nitta’s North American application lab is working with several companies to commercially develop hydrolyzed collagen gummies and other non-traditional delivery systems for the Wellnex products.”
Reserveage Nutrition, LLC, Boca Raton, FL, recently launched two new finished products that deliver collagen in different formats to suit varying consumer needs and preferences. Reserveage Collagen Replenish Powder and Soft Chews contain Gelita’s Verisol collagen, explained Irina Lorenzi, the company’s chief marketing officer. “The bioactive collagen peptides in these products help replenish natural collagen protein production, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and promotes healthy skin elasticity.”
Environmental toxins, stress, exposure to ultraviolet light and an unhealthy diet can all contribute to skin damage from harmful free radicals. Mr. Holtby of SGTI explained that these factors contribute to inflammation and aging of the skin cells. “Cosmeceuticals with antioxidant properties are able to combat oxidative damage at a cellular level,” he said. “Supplements in the antioxidant category will help quench free radicals, which are theorized to be a cause of aging. Accumulating evidence strongly suggests that oxidative stress is linked to almost every disease of aging.”
Beta-carotene can be an important tool in the battle against skin damage. A 2010 study published in the journal Dermatology found that 30 mg daily helped reduce the signs of UV-induced skin aging. An additional study published in Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine also examined beta-carotene in combination with the antioxidants lycopene, vitamin E and selenium, and found that a combination of 6 mg lycopene, 6 mg beta-carotene, 15 IU vitamin E and 75 mcg selenium taken daily reduced UV-induced skin aging. Inspired by the power of this antioxidant combination, Twinlab Corporation, New York, NY, developed the supplement Daily One Age-Defense Telomere Multi.
Twinlab also offers an astaxanthin and CoQ10 formula to nourish the skin. “The antioxidants astaxanthin and coenzyme Q10 found in Twinlab’s Skin Within help support healthy looking skin,” said Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, director of category management at Twinlab. “Astaxanthin, a carotenoid similar in structure to beta-carotene, was shown in a clinical trial to significantly reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improve the moisture content of dry skin, and significantly improve skin elasticity when 4 mg/day was used for 6 weeks.” He added that supplementing with CoQ10 is important as levels in the skin naturally decline with age. CoQ10 also serves as a free radical scavenger, significantly reducing oxidative damage.
HerbaKraft Inc., Piscataway, NJ, developed the nutraceutical ingredients GCBfit green coffee bean extract and Curcusol curcumin (Curcuma longa) to promote beauty from within and fight free radicals. According to Vinod Khanijow, executive vice president, “Free radical scavenger activities help in promoting good skin quality primarily by retaining moisture and elasticity of the skin.”
DSM’s Ms. Hidlay pointed to vitamins C and E as crucial antioxidants for skin health. “Vitamin E is an essential lipid-soluble antioxidant and is an integral part of skin cell membranes. Vitamin C is also an essential antioxidant, and helps to maintain the antioxidant activity of vitamin E.”
DSM offers beta-carotene, redivivo branded lycopene and FloraGLO lutein to help protect the skin against the damaging effects of UV exposure. “Supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin has been shown to increase skin hydration. Supplementation with mixed carotenoids is associated with reduced skin roughness,” Ms. Hidlay noted.
Pycnogenol, a natural plant extract from bark of the French maritime pine tree, is another antioxidant used to promote healthy skin. The natural ingredient from Switzerland-based Horphag Research supports the skin in four ways, according to Sébastien Bornet, director of global marketing. “Pycnogenol has four basic properties: 1) it’s a powerful antioxidant; 2) acts as a natural anti-inflammatory; 3) selectively binds to collagen and elastin; 4) aids in the production of endothelial nitric oxide, which helps to improve blood flow.”
Not only does Pycnogenol act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, but it was also found to stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid in skin. A study conducted at the Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine (IUF) in Dusseldorf, Germany, examined 20 healthy women, aged 55-68 years. The women were given 75 mg of Pycnogenol per day, over a period of 12 weeks. While results saw improvements in skin elasticity by 25%, and skin hydration by 8%, the most significant improvement was a 44% increase in hyaluronic acid following 12 weeks of supplementation. “Hyaluronic acid binds large quantities of water in the skin and in other tissues, such as cartilage. An increased amount of hyaluronic acid explains the increased skin hydration, higher elasticity and overall smoother skin appearance,” explained Mr. Bornet.
Pycnogenol has also been shown to increase skin hydration (water and oil content), improve elasticity and selectively bind to collagen and elastin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, he added.
A peer-reviewed, clinical trial recently published in Panminerva Medica found that Pycnogenol also significantly reduced the symptoms of psoriasis, including redness, flaking, thickness and total surface area of affected skin patches. In addition to reducing symptoms, supplementation for 12 weeks led to increased water and oil/lipids in the skin; reduced need for pharmaceutical intervention; and let to a significant reduction in overall oxidative stress, which plays a part in the autoimmune disease as a possible role in active inflammation.
Dr. Gianni Belcaro, lead researcher of the study commented, “As a natural nuclear factor-kappa B inhibitor, Pycnogenol reduces inflammation at the onset and can act as a natural, vegetal ingredient to control inflammation, swelling and oxidative stress.”
Found naturally in the body, hyaluronic acid (HA) is an essential component of maintaining healthy, youthful skin. HA binds large quantities of water in the skin; increased amounts leads to greater skin moisture and hydration. Moreover, it has been found to support overall smoothness and skin elasticity.
SGTI offers Injuv, a 9% low molecular weight HA complex in a soft gelatin capsule for softening skin. “As people age, the body synthesizes less HA, and because of its short half-life, HA is depleted quickly in the epidermis,” said Mr. Holtby. “Depletion of HA in the extracellular matrix of the skin causes elastin to dry up and become brittle, which leads to fine lines and rough, dry, brittle skin. By taking Injuv, consumers can increase their HA content throughout the entire body and help reduce the appearance of fine lines and aging.”
Backed by clinical studies, Injuv was shown to increase skin smoothness and firmness in a Japanese trial of 96 women, ages 22-65. In a separate human clinical study evaluating the efficacy of Injuv, the moisture content and pH of the skin’s surface were measured to assess the barrier function of the skin. After 30 days of supplementation, the 52 subjects in the test group showed significant improvement in skin moisture without any adverse effects.
Tokyo-based Kewpie Corporation also produces an HA formula under the name Hyabest(S) LF-P, which is positioned for beauty from within, as well as skin, hair and nail health concepts. In a double-blind, placebo controlled trial, published in the Journal of New Remedies and Clinics (2009), researchers examined a group of Japanese women ages 30-60. After six weeks of supplementation with 120 mg of Hyabest(S) LF-P skin moisture improved compared to those taking a placebo. Improvement in skin luster, firmness, color (dullness), age spots and wrinkles were also reported.
Best known for its ability to stimulate hair growth, vitamin B7 (biotin) is an up-and-coming nutricosmetic ingredient. A water-soluble B-vitamin, biotin plays a key role in the production of the protein keratin, which strengthens hair and promotes its growth.
Biotin similarly encourages the growth and strength of nails, said DSM’s Ms. Hidlay. “Biotin helps support skin enzyme function and supports healthy nails through its role in the formation of keratin.”
Twinlab’s Biotin Dots were designed to deliver 3,000 mcg in a mixed berry flavored tablet marketed for healthy nails. “Research examining the effects of biotin (2,500 mcg/day for up to six months) in women with brittle fingernails found that biotin supplementation helped support healthy fingernails,” said the company’s Mr. Bruno.
Herbs & Botanicals
Various fruits, plants, herbs and botanicals offer a wealth of natural and efficacious ingredients for beauty applications. As consumer interest in natural products continues to grow, simple, natural and familiar ingredients can provide sound solutions for skin, hair and nail health.
The ingredient silica strengthens hair and nails and increases collagen production, according to Brien Quirk, director of R&D at Draco Natural Products, San Jose, CA. Draco produces ingestible silica sourced from horsetail and bamboo stem extracts.
Mr. Quirk pointed to research published in the Archives of Dermatological Research in 2005 that found an ingested, “bioavailable form of silicon... was found to improve skin micro-relief and skin mechanical properties in women with photo-aged skin.” Study results determined that silica provided significant improvement to the skin surface and skin mechanical properties while mitigating nail and hair brittleness.
An additional study published in Metal Ions in Life Sciences in 2013 proposed that relatively insoluble forms of silica could provide small but valuable amounts of silicon within the body. “For example, colloidal silicic acid, silica gel and zeolites, although relatively insoluble in water, can increase concentrations of water-soluble silica and are thought to rely on specific structural physicochemical characteristics,” according to the report.
Extracts from the herb Centella asiatica (Gotu kola), when taken orally, have been shown to reduce and heal scar tissue, Mr. Quirk said. Discussing the plant’s role in skin care, he noted that centella, when “taken internally reduces scars and keloid tissue (a type of thickened pigmented scar).”
“In one open clinical trial (Annals of Plastic Surgery, 1979), 227 patients were divided into two groups and treated with oral centella alone or surgical scar revision plus centella at doses of 60-150 mg daily for up to 18 months,” Mr. Quirk said. “In the centella-only group, 116 of 139 patients (82%) experienced relief of symptoms and disappearance of inflammation. In the 88 subjects in the combined surgery and centella group, 72% demonstrated improvement.”
Pomegranate extract, rich in ellagic acid, provides a skin whitening effect when taken internally. In addition, Mr. Quirk referenced a 2006 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, which “suggested that ellagic acid-rich pomegranate extract, ingested orally, has an inhibitory effect on a slight pigmentation in the human skin caused by UV irradiation.”
Green tea catechins have also been shown to reduce UV inflammation when taken orally at 540 mg dose with 50 mg of vitamin C. Decreased UV skin inflammation leads to less damage and aging over time, Mr. Quick explained.
Two botanical solutions offering a unique approach to improving skin are wild jujube seed and bupleurum, which help consumers get the “beauty sleep” so many are often lacking. “We have a Sleep and Relaxation formula based on wild jujube seed and bupleurum that helps with improving appearance by promoting a more restful sleep. Poor sleep results in circles under the eyes, increased cortisol levels which cause thinning of the skin, and eventually loss of collagen,” noted Mr. Quirk.
While sleep aids aren’t necessarily the first ingredients associated with beauty, they provide a very important function, he added. “People don’t realize natural sleep aids may be one of the most important nutricosmetics. They help lower cortisol and increase growth hormone if good sleep is maintained. Excess cortisol thins the skin and causes loss of underlying tissue mass over time, which leads to wrinkles and an aged appearance.” Lack of sleep has also been associated with premature skin aging and less protection from UV radiation.
Looking toward the future, new product offerings and novel and convenient delivery systems will offer natural beauty to consumers in new ways.
DSM’s Ms. Hidlay said omega-3 fatty acids are an untapped resource for skin health. “Supplementation of fish oil reduces UV-induced erythema levels and omega-3s are known to improve skin hydration.”
Custom Collagen also noted an opportunity for marine-based nutricosmetics, and is producing a new formula of fish collagen peptides derived from tilapia. “This has become key to this market because of the increasing need for Kosher and Halal certified products and this product is certified in both areas,” said the company’s Ms. Wisnewski.
In terms of delivery, NSDS’ Mr. Tobin suggested the “pill burnout factor” may lead to more functional beverage and food options for inner beauty, as well as gummies and chews. “NutraFood Science Delivery System has developed a proprietary technology with a patent pending for Strip Melts fast-melting oral strips, whereby NSDS is able to deliver the highest load of active ingredients with an oral film strip in the global marketplace to date. This new delivery system seems to offer key benefits for the delivery of certain ingredients. Also, taken into consideration that four out of 10 people globally cannot take a tablet or capsule, this type of delivery system can be most beneficial.”
Mr. Tobin noted that NSDS is working with ingredient companies such as Roxlor, Wilmington, DE, with its Cynatine HNS solubilized keratin, which research has shown to improve the strength and shine of hair, increase the moisture and elasticity of the skin and improve the structure and strength of nails.
In addition, NSDS has developed beauty and skin oral Strip Melts for Horphag’s Pycnogenol, as well as Italy-based Indena’s Opextan, a standardized olive fruit extract designed to prevent wrinkle formation and UV-induced photo-aging.
NSDS also developed Strip Melts for Maypro Industries, Purchase, NY, whose ingredient Oligonol provides wrinkle therapy pigment treatment that improves the appearance of freckles and brown pigmented blotches.
With ingredient suppliers and product manufacturers teaming up to offer consumers new beauty formulas in unique and convenient formats, the nutricosmetics segment is poised for continued progress.