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Marketing Matters: The Market Potential of Antiaging Cosmeceuticals

By: Liz Grubow, LPK Beauty Group
Posted: April 2, 2008, from the April 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Curcumin, the key biologically active component of turmeric, has shown great potency against acute inflammation, and has been shown to exhibit wound healing and antioxidant properties. Curcumin has exhibited a significant capacity to contribute to skin health, and has reported greater anti-inflammatory capacity than ibuprofen. The topical use of soy has been touted to improve hyperpigmentation, enhance skin elasticity, control oil production and moisturize the skin. It is also thought to have the potential to decrease skin aging and prevent skin cancers through the antioxidant and estrogen-type effects of its metabolites.

Familiarity breeds contentment and confidence, which could be why some of the aforementioned ingredients are actually foods that maintain their functional benefits in skin care, as well. There appears to be an accepted hypothesis that if it is nutritious and healthy for consumption, it must be good to put on one’s skin. The connection between healthy foods and beauty is not a new realization. In my caseload, I continue to see both mass and prestige brands adopting this beauty-from-within idea for the skin: BORBA, Shiseido, Evian, LUSH, Origins, Aveda, Olay and GNC, to name a few.

Well-known brand marketer Evian has cross-pollinated into skin care products by launching a facial spray containing Evian water, said to moisturize the face. Evian is clearly reiterating that not only is drinking plenty of water each day part of a basic skin care regimen, using this product is a natural addition. LUSH Skincare claims to use the freshest ingredients and fewer preservatives so that products are more effective. Its philosophy is that just as fresh fruits and vegetables are most nutritious for the body when in their natural, unprocessed condition, this is also when they are at their most nutritious for the skin. Skin care products like masks, scrubs and moisturizers made with natural, fresh ingredients such as wheat grass, contain many beneficial and nutritious vitamins, minerals and enzymes for antiaging.

Delicious Skin Care
Skin care line Origins Organics markets under the tagline, “You are what your skin eats” and is being targeted to consumers who have become more conscious of what they buy and consume. White tea is a key ingredient in the Origins antioxidant moisturizer. P&G researchers discovered that glucosamine, known in healthcare circles for its positive effects on arthritis, also blocks melanin production, the culprit of brown spots on the skin; glucosamine became a key ingredient in Olay Definity cream. GNC, widely known as a specialty vitamin store, offers a private label beauty brand utilizing herbal, medicinal, and vitamin ingredients. A grape seed moisturizer called Merlot is an antiaging cosmeceutical product available at GNC.

How well are skin care companies communicating to consumers that this philosophy requires a detailed regimen? Women of Asian origin are generally very serious about skin care regimens. A survey conducted by Focalyst explored the influence of ethnicity on attitudes, with Asian-American women standing out as a key target group for producers of antiaging creams and treatments. This target group was about twice as likely to plan to buy such products. How easily will Western women adapt to taking time out of their day to properly care for their skin? And will consumers stick with it and repeat purchase?