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Trends in Holistic Beauty and Nutraceuticals

By: Imogen Matthews
Posted: February 11, 2008, from the February 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.
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Consumers expect cosmetics and toiletries to offer health and well-being benefits in addition to beauty benefits, and use products for the mind as much as for the body. The beauty benefit of what is ingested is now considered to be as important as that of what is applied, spawning a whole new category termed nutricosmetics. “The pressure to look good all the time is pushing consumers to find an arsenal of beauty measures,” says Diana Dodson, senior industry analyst for cosmetics and toiletries, Euromonitor International.* “Increasingly, the trend is toward a more natural look, and beauty-from-within is better aligned with this ideal than the short-term fixes topical products provide.”

Research firm Kline & Company* puts the value of the global nutricosmetics market at $1.5 billion, compared to $168 billion for the general cosmetics and toiletries industry. Its research shows that Japan and Europe are the two largest markets for nutricosmetics. “The category is significantly smaller in the U.S., given that Americans tend to be more skeptical of the ‘beauty-from-within’ concept,” says Carrie Mellage, director, consumer products, Kline & Company.

Nica Lewis, head of cosmetics research, Mintel,* maintains that nutricosmetics have also not met with great success in France. “Several factors have been holding back the market—including indifference, skepticism, perception that consumers don’t need vitamins and limited distribution,” she says. “The problem with oral supplements is that people take them on faith, as it is hard to see that they are working. With exfoliators and serums, they are more likely to see a result.”

Japan is the most developed market for nutricosmetics, where consumers have long been aware of the role of food, drinks and dietary supplements in health, wellness and beauty. “[The Japanese] receptiveness to this concept has opened the way for an innovative nutricosmetics market crowded with products so novel that they struggle to find credibility beyond Japan,” points out Dodson. Examples include a collagen-enriched soup from Nissin Food Products, Shiseido’s skin whitening drink and edible fragrance, Fuwarinka, a candy that releases a vanilla scent through the sweat glands.