Beauty from within presents attractive options despite regional challenges

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29 Sep 2017 --- The beauty-from-within space has been gaining traction over recent years, with a number of key ingredients piquing the interest of consumers and suppliers alike. Today, NutritionInsight looks at some of the regional differences, challenges and opportunities this space offers.

Regional differences make for hot topic
One of the most-discussed subjects in the world of beauty nutrition is the differences in its popularity in different parts of the globe. For example, Innova Market Insights statistics show that Latin American and Asian markets have seen the fastest growth in terms of collagen applications over the past five years, with CAGRs of 33 percent and 23 percent respectively. North America and Europe, on the other hand, sit at just 16 percent and 11 percent respectively.

In Europe and North America, there is more skepticism towards indulgence food, according to Cindy Dekeyser, PB Gelatins/PB Leiner Sales & Marketing Strategy: “In Asia, people see a chocolate that can make you look beautiful and think, ‘well, fantastic.’ In Europe, people don’t really link it to beauty so there’s much more skepticism and a much higher barrier in the market.”

Golan Raz, Head of Global Health Division, Lycored, also believes that the main difference is between Asian markets and those in the US and Europe. “In many Asian markets the focus is on skin whitening but in the US and Europe UV protection, skin smoothness and elasticity are more important,” Raz says, adding that there is also a difference in the popularity of applications, with a growing focus on “beauty beverages“ in Asian markets, but traditional tablets, soft-gels and capsules being more popular in the US and Europe.

“One thing all markets have in common, however, is that consumers are demanding natural ingredients,” Raz adds.

This idea of connecting diet to appearance is well-established in Asian countries and it is increasing rapidly in Western markets as well, says Denise Dembovsky, Marketing Communications Manager at Algatechnologies: “Photo aging is the cause of most age-related changes in the skin. When skin is exposed to sunlight, it is exposed to UV rays, which damages the skin through production of free radicals and degrades collagen. This can result in sunburn, swelling and inflammation, aging and even carcinogenesis.”

Astaxanthin’s properties as a free radical neutralizer were tested to assess their benefit for skin, Dembovsky says, and AstaPure is used mainly for cosmetic applications. In human trials, she points out that studies have shown it to reduce visible signs of UV aging through both topical and dietary supplementation within four to six weeks of use (Yamashita 2002, Yamashita 2007, Seki 2001).

Click to Enlarge“We have seen some regional trends in the action of cosmetic products as well as beauty foods/supplements with resveratrol,” says Panchoo. “The Asian market is more focused on skin whitening and in Europe there is a greater concern for fighting other signs of ageing such as wrinkles.”

AstaReal sees that natural astaxanthin is starting to gain the same recognition in the EU as in other well-established markets such as the USA and many Asian countries.

“We can attribute this demand, in part, to increased consumer awareness,” remarks Maryanne Mburu, Key Account Manager at AstaReal AB, noting that in the UK, products containing AstaReal natural astaxanthin have recently received recognition as go-to products for skin health in mainstream media publications such as The Telegraph and The Times.

“Like any beauty product, consumers want to see results as quickly as possible,” Mburu adds. “Our studies show that natural astaxanthin has positive effects after four weeks of supplementation, as such making it an ideal ingredient for beauty-from-within products.”

Blemishes hinder beauty space
Creating tighter regulations in the US and Europe mean fewer beauty claims are approved and this has been a barrier to innovation, according to Dembovsky, who echoes the views of a lot of suppliers. “However, recent changes to legislation in Europe look set to make it easier to obtain beauty claims for use on food and supplements,” Dembovsky adds.

Panchoo explains Evolva’s issues with regulation: “From a regulatory perspective, in Europe especially, we are seeing authorities set stricter regulations on contaminants such as PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). This means manufacturers and brand owners need to consider the supplier they use carefully.”

“Consumer education must be ongoing in order for consumers to understand and accept that proper nutrition is just as important as topical skin care and that ‘beauty starts from within,’” Mburu adds.

The main challenges in delivery forms for resveratrol are ensuring that the source of resveratrol is reliable and consistent, in terms of purity but also odor and color, according to Panchoo.

“In the EU, the main challenge remains communication of the benefits related to products due to limitations on health and cosmetic claims,” says Raz. “In the US and Asian markets however, the main objective is to increase consumer awareness of the benefits of nutrition and ingestible skincare.”

Beautiful opportunities presented
The biggest opportunities for resveratrol have come about due to the significant body of scientific research, according to Panchoo: “For our Veri-te resveratrol the opportunities are centered on its purity, safety (contaminant free) and consistent versatile off-white color and odorless properties. It can be formulated easily into liquid shots, capsules, soft gums, film strips and even chocolate.”

Panchoo also believes that markets are merging: “There is definitely a trend for companies developing new skin care products at the same time as a beauty supplement and these are designed to work together to maximize the effects.”

As consumers are becoming more aware of skin care and living a healthy lifestyle they are realizing that the combination of “in and out” formulations is the best alternative to address current skin issues and reduce future damage. According to Dembovsky, consumers are nowadays well aware of the importance of prevention.

“There is still more work to be done educating the market regarding the skin health benefits of AstaPure natural astaxanthin in order to protect their skin and prevent skin aging,” adds Dembovsky.

Click to EnlargeThe ingestible skincare space presents the biggest opportunity, according to Raz. “Most cosmetic companies are still focused on traditional topical products, but the power of beauty from within is just waiting to be harnessed,” Raz says. “Also, consumer awareness is rapidly growing with more and more product launches and successful scientific discoveries.”

The aging population and a desire to maintain physical appearance among the younger demographic continue to propel the beauty-from-within category forward, according to Mburu: “This is evident from data obtained from Innova Market Insights which show that new product launches within the beauty-from-within category grew sixfold over the last five years in Europe. Additionally, new products launched within this category containing astaxanthin saw significant growth with at least 20 products being launched in 2016.”

“This category has unlimited potential if consumers can be assured that ingredients are truly beneficial for their physical appearance, so such investment in clinical research is a must in order for ingredients to remain relevant,” Mburu adds.

There could also be room for more traceability. “As natural astaxanthin and other nutricosmetic ingredients gain popularity, we encourage our customers to ensure that they ‘know their source’ and to always purchase their products from a trusted supplier,” says Mburu.

As the varied thoughts of these many different companies show, beauty-from-within products appear to have a bright future, both in terms of potential for innovation and future commercial success.

By Lucy Gunn and Paul Creasy

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