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What’s Next for Cosmeceuticals and Nutricosmetics?

By: Eleni Grammenou, Euromonitor International
Posted: April 6, 2009, from the April 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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And it’s been demonstrated that women are not afraid to try nutricosmetics, and are open to the idea of sampling products that offer a range of benefits—as long as these are palatable and fit well with a busy lifestyle. Thus, nutricosmetics delivered in the form of chocolate bars, teas and yogurts are more likely to attract consumer interest.

Many ingredients included in nutricosmetics date back centuries—red wine, honey, soy, chamomile and aloe vera, for example. As supplements, food ingredients such as these that also offer additional benefits for the skin have become popular in the West thanks to their long-standing use in Asia, and helped drive the “beauty from within” concept. Leading food/beverage brands such as Evian saw an opportunity to cross over into the skin care market and position products as natural personal care.

But along with favored natural and traditional supplements with perceived skin benefits—such as green tea, aloe vera and St. John’s Wort—the popularity of high-tech ingredients in both antiaging topical skin care and dietary supplement products in the U.S. is unquestionable. And, although traditional ingredients are widely accepted, effective new technologies and ingredients win consumers’ interest and money.

Additionally, high-tech beauty products benefit from work done on ingredients for medicinal and pharmacological use. For example, researchers at Procter & Gamble took notice of reports of the non-primary benefits of glucosamine, typically used to manage arthritis. The company found that glucosamine also blocked the production of melanin, a culprit in the production of brown spots, making it a candidate for use in cosmetics. Coenzyme Q10, a naturally occurring compound found within every cell in the body, is another example of a substance researched for its wider health benefits and has now become a selling point for many skin care products.

Novel Ingredients No Guarantee for Success

As the baby-boomer generation becomes more vigilant in preventing signs of aging, which have become less and less acceptable, the cosmeceutical and nutricosmetic markets are an important growth area. The introduction of new cosmeceutical products in topical and ingestible formats will further impact the antiaging market. In part, growth will also be influenced by marketers’ success in surprising consumers with ingredients that claim to be more effective.