Cosmeceutical Market Promises American Beauty

Alissa Marrapodi

July 2, 2010

14 Min Read
Cosmeceutical Market Promises American Beauty

Americans are in love with beauty. They want things to be flawless, porcelain, pulled tight and sealed with a never-ending glow of youth. Americas borderline narcissism may be pernicious to the mental well-being of those unable to meet, or forever striving to meet, its unforgiving standard; but, as long as they dont turn into a flower like Narcissus, its actually a good thing, that is, for cosmeceutical formulators and manufacturers. In fact, cosmeceuticals are booming, creating competition for its pharmaceutical counterpart.
Nutraceuticals and other natural products are always competing with pharmaceutical and over-the-counter products, said Steve Holtby, president and CEO, Soft Gel Technologies Inc. Although the often immediate results of pharmaceuticals might be favorable to many, there are always those that would prefer an effect they consider more natural. So where theres Botox, theres also omega fatty acids and hyaluronic acid.
Consumers really are starting to question whats in their personal care items and theyre thinking twice before slapping on an unknown face cream. Lanolin-based topicals containing a few exotic ingredients thrown into a high-tech package with a celebrity endorsement are beginning to seem a bit last century, said John Hunter, general manager of FutureCeuticals. Consumers are looking for more science. They want to understand why a skin-health program makes sense and the products they are taking were designed by real scientists who have actually done the research.
Cosmeceutical is a newer term, and its definition is a little debated, but in a general sense, cosmeceuticals are a blending between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals/nutraceuticals. Cosmetics are used for beauty or style purposes and merely cover the skin, hair and nails. Examples of cosmetics include makeup and hair dye, said Robyn Milewski, CEO, Pure SKN. Cosmeceuticals, on the other hand, are used to actually improve or enhance the skins appearance with biologically active ingredients such as alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) and dimethylaminoethano (DMAE). These include many non-prescription anti-aging products.

"Math is the only place where truth and beauty mean the same thing." Danica McKellar

Do the Math

From sun care to skin whitening, the stubborn beauty and cosmetic markets have tenaciously refused to be affected by the global economic turndown and are still reporting growing pains, without the pain. By 2014, the beauty and cosmetics industry is expected to increase globally by 8.5 percent, according to EuroMonitor International. Kline Groups Natural Personal Care 2009 report noted more than a 15-percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the last five years in natural personal care products. It also reported booming international markets, including: Brazil, the second-largest single country market for naturals in the world, posted a 15-percent increase from 2008 to 2009; and Asia boasts a 40-percent share of the global market for natural personal care products.
Many market drivers are pushing the cosmeceutical beauty sector, and consumers hands on approach to their health is only the beginning. The desire for a healthy lifestyle is driving consumers to make more informed and intelligent decisions about the foods they eat, or products they put on their skin, said John P. O'Keefe, director at AAK Lipids for Care, North America.
Mineral makeup is becoming more pervasive and swelling marketplace shelves and cosmetic counters with its natural appeal. Thanks to Bare Escentuals and its TV debut, mineral makeup sales have skyrocketed, and its 15 minutes of fame has lasted a lot longer than 15 minutes.
Like cosmeceutical, the definition of mineral makeup is not exact, but according to Mintel, mineral makeup, Is usually made from naturally occurring pigments from the earth, and is formulated with mica, titanium dioxide, zinc and iron oxides. Mintels GNPD analysis said, Mineral makeup is so well established that it is present in all distribution channels and at all price points in most markets. Global and niche brands alike have been adding mineral lines to their existing product portfolios since 2007; however, even though launch activity has increased steadily since 2006, it started to plateau in 2009.
Kline stated: In Asia, as in most other parts of the world, makeup is a fast-growing category. In January 2010, Tokyo-based cosmetics giant Shiseido acquired mineral makeup pioneer Bare Escentuals in a move that will no doubt continue the proliferation of natural makeup products across Shiseidos already strong presence in the regional marketplace.

Topical Ingredients 

Cosmeceutical ingredients are countless. From hyaluronic acid (HA) and green tea for skin care to essential oils for fragrances and shea- and soy-based ingredients for lip care, the cosmeceutical ingredient applications are endless.
We have seen tremendous interest in natural fruit and vegetable powders and extracts, Hunter said. Organic is always of interest, but is not seen as a deal-breaker. The exotic, tropical superfruits such as mangosteen, goji berry, açai and camu camu have been getting a lot of attention; and more recently, our CoffeeBerry® products based upon the whole fruit of the coffee plant have become popular.
Similarly, companies such as Bio-Botanica believe in the power of fruit, too. Its superfruit blend, designed for supplementation or use in skin creams, shampoos and other personal care items, includes a mixture of goji, açai, noni, pomegranate, green tea, mangosteen and green coffee bean. Botanicals containing anti-aging and antioxidant benefits are associated with good health, and we are also seeing the same botanicals used in foods are also used in cosmeceuticals, added Mark Sysler, business manager and VP sales, Bio-Botanica Inc.
 Topical skincare products work best in conjunction with a healthy, antioxidant- and essential fatty acid-rich diet, and supplements, Holtby said. Aging has been attributed to inflammation, particularly at the cellular level. Cosmeceuticals with antioxidant properties are able to combat oxidative damage at a cellular level.
HAwhich exists in the dermis and epidermis, but declines with ageis popular in joint care products, but it acts as a natural hydrator, aiding youthful skin. Soft Gel Technologies Injuv®, a 9-percent, low-molecular weight HA, has been shown to increase skin smoothness and firmness in a clinical trial of 96 women, ages 22 to 65 years. And, in a separate study, after taking Injuv for 30 days, 52 subjects in the test group showed significant improvement in skin moisture without any adverse effects.
Similar to HA, Celadrin®, a blend of fatty acids from Proprietary Nutritionals Inc. (PNI), is typically used in joint-care applications, but recent research using Celadrin cream for 21 days visually improved facial and skin appearance. According to PNI, [Celadrin] regenerates the skin by enhancing the lipid structure of the cell membrane, enabling the cells to rapidly repair and regenerate.
Vegetable-based ingredients are a welcomed alternative for personal care applications. AAK offers a shea- and soy-based ingredient, VLIPEX® LSENS, for lip care. It helps moisturize lips and create a shine.
For dark circles and rosacea relief, IBR offers IBR-CalmDeAge, which is popular in cosmeceuticals designed for skin whitening/lightening, age-spot reducers and anti-wrinkle applications. Its also good for acne and relief of light skin disorders like eczema, dermatitis and spider veins.
 Ingredients that help prevent or defy age, and firm skin are still extremely popular, said Linda Miles L. Ac., D.O.M., vice president of derma e® Natural Bodycare. Moisturizers enriched with ingredients such as antioxidants Pycnogenol®, and astaxanthin, peptides, HA, DMAE and ALA can help prevent and reduce the signs of aging. Additionally, including ingredients that help resolve problem skin conditions such as clearing blemishes and breakouts, and diminishing the appearance of age and liver spots, is becoming more popular. Tea tree, willow bark, rosewood, lavender and chamomile have shown to be very effective on blemish-prone skin; and liquorice extract is known for lightening skin.

Sizing Up Natural

A major hiccup in the cosmeceutical arena is the definition of natural. Consumers can only surmise what natural means to each cosmeceutical player; and formulators, unfortunately, jump on this confusion by creating equivocal product claims and tainting the cosmeceutical industry with a negative, incredible light.  
Klines Natural Personal Care 2009 report found nearly 75 percent of so-called natural personal care products are not so natural after all. According to Kline, the overwhelming majority of products considered natural-inspired were mostly made of synthetics with just enough natural ingredients thrown in to take advantage of low-consumer differentiation. Unfortunately, the lack of explicit standards that define the degree of naturalness in most markets makes it possible for manufacturers in some countries to call their products natural just by adding a flowery label to the package, Kline noted.
Shockingly there is no minimum requirement of natural ingredients to be present in a product for a manufacturer to be able to use natural in the name or marketing, Holtby said. A product can therefore be 100-percent synthetic, but still use the word natural on it, which is hugely misleading for the consumer. The establishment of an international governing body to certify the presence of natural ingredients, similar to the local bodies already established for the use of the word organic, would be a feasible solution.
And that solution may be underway. With hopeful tone, The New York Times reported on recent advancements toward unifying organic cosmetics. Based out of Brussels, a nonprofit international association was launched in MayCosmos (the COSMetic Organic Standard)in an effort to establish Cosmos as the international standard.  Five cosmetic organizations signed up for the alliance: BDIH of Germany, Cosmébio and Ecocert of France, ICEA of Italy, and the Soil Association of Britain. Plans to homogenize the terms natural and organic, in reference to cosmetics, are slated for completion at the close of 2014. 


Well, I'll eat it, said Alice, And if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door; so either way I'll get into the garden, and I don't care which happens! Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Eat Me!

Consumers think similar to Alice. They dont care if they have to rub it on, lather it up or ingest it, they just want young, healthy-looking skin, and nutricosmetics may be just the ticket. Nutricosmetics have to be one of the hottest new terms in the natural products industry right now. Spell the concept whatever way you wantnutricosmetics or oral beauty or beauty-from-within or ingestible beautybut you get the same results: a billion-dollar industry.
An emerging trend is complementing a topical product regimen with oral beauty products, said Missy Lowery, marketing manager, Capsugel, Americas Region. Adding an oral nutricosmetic can expand an offering of a brands current line of beauty products. They also can shift the focus of how and when products work to create a beauty benefit. Oral nutricosmetics for targeted effects have begun to make major waves on the radar screens of consumers.
Datamonitor valued the global beauty-from-within marketbeauty foods, beverages, weight-loss products and oral beauty supplementsat $5.9 billion in 2008 and $6.3 billion in 2009, and is projected to be up to $6.8 billion in 2010. It valued the U.S. market in nutricosmetic products (which also includes weight-loss products) at $1.06 billion in 2008, up almost 75 percent from 2003 when the market was valued at $579.3 million. And they are predicting the nutricosmetics market worth to hit $1.55 billion by 2013. 
This sector of the beauty market has been emerging the past couple of years in the United States, but its rather old news in Asia, as theyve been honoring the concept nutricosmetics for many years. In 2009, The Washington Post reported a small soup shop in Ginza, the busy shopping district in Tokyo, was serving Napea classic Japanese soup made of chicken, cabbage, shitake mushrooms, onion and mizunawith a side of collagen, giving its lunchtime patrons a youthful boost.
Mintel attributed Asias popularity as the most important region in ingestible beauty to consumer demand and the countrys advanced regulatory system (versus Europe). But even though Asia is the grandmother of nutricosmetics, Europe and North America have more launch activity than Asia for beauty supplements, with Europe taking the lead; however, Asia topped in every other market, claiming two-thirds of the new product launches. Mintels GNPD report, New food and drink products with functional beauty benefits claim (January 2007 to December 2009), stated in 2007 approximately 50 new product launched for all regions, including the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia Pacific; and in 2009, approximately 300 new product launched (Note: The claim functional beauty benefits applies to food and drink products that state on-pack to have a beneficial effect on body or body function).
Nutricosmetic products could turn out to be a terrific partner for cosmeceuticals in the long run, Hunter said. We have to bear in mind that the skin is our largest organ. If science can provide substantiation that nutrients and actives are actually absorbed through the layers of the dermis, and that measurable chemical or physical changes occur, it is quite possible that these delivery systems will endure.

Nutricosmetic Ingredients

Antioxidant products like vitamin E, vitamin C and lycopene tend to be popular because they purportedly hide or slow down the signs of aging, Lowery said. Some innovative nutricosmetic products with collagen, lycopene and lutein, among others, have also done well.
Mintel noted many of the product launch actives moved transglobally based off lifestyle trends: Ingestible collagen and HA are moving from East to West, and the popularity of antioxidant superfruits is spreading from West to East. Mintels report also named the top 10 ingredients used in nutricosmetics. The top three, from highest to lowest, were micronutrients and related products, fruit and fruit products, and flavoring; sliding in last were phytochemicals.
Nutricosmetics is a good way to deliver ingredients to the skin, if they are able to get there and accumulate there, said Liki von Oppen-Bezalel, Ph.D., VP business development and marketing, IBR Ltd. Colorless carotenoids are a classical example of nutricosmetics, compared to colored carotenoids. The colorless carotenoids (namely, phytoene and phytofluene) are normally found in low quantities in fruits and vegetables. Other carotenoids, like lycopene and beta carotene are more abundant in the same fruits and vegetable. However, when you analyze the levels of carotenoids in the skin following nutrition that is enhanced with these foods, the relative amount of the phytoene and phytofluene in the skin is much higher than it is in food. This means, they accumulate in the skin preferentially, compared with colored carotenoids, probably because they have a function there (skin protection) and are more stable.
Kline Group also listed a few ingredients lauded for their advantages physiologically: artichoke leaf and grapes for their antioxidant and detoxifying effects; the popular protein collagen for its ability to provide strength and resilience to skin; coffee bean, although sometimes nagged for its caffeine content (and acidic notes), others praise it for its caffeine content and its good effects on skin; and turmeric for its photo-protectant (sun block/sun lightener), antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to reduce wrinkles and slow aging down.  


How does the future of cosmeceuticals look? According to Mintels Global Beauty Trends for 2010 report, mood makeup is next in line as a 2010 global beauty trend. Make-up has long been associated with making the wearer feel better, but recent product evolution has seen actual ingredients enabling this. In 2010, consumers will be able to enhance their mood through makeup and skincare, going beyond aromatherapy and simple use of scent. Mintel said to expect manufacturers to make use of textures, temperatures or sounds that affect the mood, as well as innovations like makeup that switches on and off, among other landscapes set to open up in 2010.
But questions and doubt still remain. Milewski said: The future of cosmeceuticals can be headed in two different directions: If too many products are thrown into the market without testing new ingredients, potential decline could be in store for cosmeceuticals. Just as we are now seeing the negative effects of petrochemicals on our bodies and the environment, 30 to 40 years ago, they were the rage. Petroleum is found in the majority of products on the market now. The other direction cosmeceuticals may head is an exponential expansion because of the results seen when using ingredients that are simple and natural, yet extremely effective. Sometimes simple is best.
At the end of the day, it always boils down to the consumer proposition: Whats in it for me?, Hunter said. Is it more convenient; do I have confidence that it actually works; why am I a believer; is it really worth the money I pay for it? Consumers demand nutritional products fit into their lifestyle requirements. After all, its all about me in the skin care world!
Consumers have had an ongoing struggle with their, at times, unrequited cosmetic relationship, i.e., they pay the fee, but the product doesnt deliver. But as research increases, and formulation options and technology expand, the cosmeceutical promise is getting stronger. Cosmeceutical and nutraceutical products have stepped up their efficacy and end results, making headway for consumer trust and market growth, and creating a rivalry with traditional products on the shelf.

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