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Starting Point: Down a New Path

By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: September 5, 2008, from the September 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

According to The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, sec 201(1) , cosmetics are defined by their intended use, as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body ... for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance.” These are the beauty products we all know and love so well and that we have covered in GCI magazine for nearly 100 years. Period. End of story. Or is it?

As the notion of wellness crept into our lives and into the industry vocabulary, cosmetic products with ingredients that went beyond texture, moisturization, color and fragrance made their way into spas, salons and physicians’ offices, and onto store shelves. Antiaging and other skin care products filled with vitamins, minerals and other skin-benefiting nutrients, heretofore associated only with the foods we ate and supplements we popped into our mouths at breakfast, became part of our cosmetics world.

Increasingly, food products from beverages to bon bons are being fortified with ingredients meant to improve skin condition and offer other cosmetic type results from inside the body. Not too surprising, really, when I think about it, because eating right to have beautiful skin sounds like something my mother promoted pretty heavily when I was a teenager struggling with adolescent complexion issues.

Everyday foods and beverages with nutrients added specifically for skin care benefits are called by a variety of hammered-together names, like nutricosmetics and skingestibles. But what is their place in the world of traditional cosmetics? Do nutricosmetics represent a new area for you to explore as line extensions? Or are they your next big competition? The possibilities for new products and cooperative ventures are exciting to consider, and we’ll be watching carefully as the segment continues to expand—and expand it will.

While we have covered a variety of nutricosmetics product launches, this issue presents our first in-depth look at the topic. Our coverage starts with our cover story, by assistant editor Leslie Benson, called “Eat and Drink Your Skin Care,” beginning on Page 34. She talks with a large group of experts who suggest that, among other things, the sector may take off faster when topical skin care and the ingestible variety are packaged together. Euromonitor International’s Eleni Grammenou calls nutricosmetics the next logical step and tells us the business is currently valued at around $2.1 billion around the world. Chocolate, she says, could be the next big beauty sector. What’s not to like? Read her article, “Nutricosmetics: A New Way to Beauty,” beginning on Page 39. And let us know what you’re thinking about this new path we’re on in the cosmetics world.

A Final Note