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Where cosmetics & nutraceuticals meet: is there a pill, drink or food that makes your skin look better? It's not fantasy ... it's reality.

NUTRACEUTICALS is a relatively new concept that has given rise to functional foods providing healthful benefits. Now the cosmetics industry is tapping into this trend as companies produce products that treat both the inside and outside of the body. The addition of food-based ingredients, including fruit and herbal extracts, to cosmetics has long been established and has often been used to provide the illusion of naturalness and health. Now, advances in technology have resulted in nutritional ingredients being incorporated into formulations making more substantial health-giving claims.

Mintel's Global New Products database has picked up on two different, but complementary, trends in cosmetics. "We have noticed products that give health benefits on the outside, such as collagen creams to plump up the skin, or vitamins imparting beauty benefits," noted Lynne Dornblaser of Mintel. "We are also starting to see products which claim beauty benefits from the inside out. Functional foods is a fast growing category which is making beauty claims."

A Growing List of Competitors

Examples from Mintel's database include Frispa Aloe Vera drink, launched in Germany, which is said to aid cell regeneration and strengthen the immune system. Meanwhile, in Japan, Ajinomoto recently launched Amino Vital Active Beauty Jelly, a 10% peach juice jelly drink formulated with 1,500mg of major amino acids that claims to generate collagen, vitamin E and dietary fibre.

In the U.S., the new Life Rising range from Nature's Health includes the Skin Beauty Cookie, which claims to promote healthy and clear skin. And in Switzerland, Michel by Rivella is a "beauty drink" called Beauty Colada, containing aloe vera and biotin that is also vitamin and mineral fortified.

L'Oreal created a joint venture with Nestle called Inneov, to launch a new range of foods designed to enhance hair, skin and nails, due out in 2003. The two companies are convinced of the potential of functional foods with beauty benefits and maintain that few companies have approached beauty from the nutritional angle.

Meanwhile, Avon has formed an alliance with Roche, the world's largest vitamin company, to develop the VitAdvance line of 17 nutritional supplements that address life stages and cycles from childhood all the way through to old age. Specific needs are targeted with supplements such as Healthy Hair & Nails capsules, which contain L-Cystine, an important component of hair. Millet seed contains a range of nutritional substances to help keep hair follicles healthy along with wheatgerm oil and panthothenic acid, an essential B vitamin that plays a key role in the metabolism of hair follicles.

Another new lifestyle range of nutritional supplements has debuted in the UK market called Top Sante new-u, in conjunction with the eponymous bestselling women's health magazine. Helen Isaac, marketing director for Health Perception, which markets the range, said "Nutraceuticals are essentially a food supply of specific ingredients, some of which cannot be produced by the body, such as glucasamine, used in the Top Sante New-U product for joints and bones."

The other two products are Skin, Hair and Nails containing CoQ10, silicon and six other nutrients, and Signs of Aging, which is formulated with deep sea marine extracts.

Consumers are also looking for health-giving benefits from the cosmetics they put on their skin. "Soy is a popular new protagonist," insisted Claire Briney, an analyst for Euromonitor. "Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about the benefits of different foods, linking what they eat to what they look and feel like, so it makes commercial sense for the cosmetics market to `borrow' from the nutraceuticals sector."

Several new soy-enriched cosmetics are cropping up on Mintel's database. One of the newest is Avon Soy Milk Hand & Foot Therapy, formulated with nutrient-enriched soy to leave hands and feet feeling soft and supple. "It's interesting to see soy as an ingredient on the front of the label, as it has been around for a long time as an emollient or thickener in hair care," said Ms. Dornblaser. "Avon is capitalizing on soy as a food product. By inference, if soy is good on the inside, it must be good if applied to the skin."

Food ingredients are being added to cosmetics and toiletries not only for their natural appeal but for their proven active performance benefits. Ginger is key to the new Clarins Men skin care range and is also the lead ingredient in Origins' Ginger toiletries and fragrance collection. Green tea, white tea and grapeseed extracts have also found their way into numerous cosmetic products and are highly rated for their powerful antioxidant properties. Grapeseed extract was first introduced by Caudalie in its anti-aging skin care line and grape extracts have appeared in both premium and mass facial skin care ranges. Premium brands, such as Lancome's Vinefit skin and body care and L'Oreal Paris Activ Future in the mass market, both have grape extract as a key ingredient in their ranges.

The nutraceuticals trend is still at an extremely early stage of development and the cosmetics industry has yet to exploit the link to its fullest potential.

"I think consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about the benefits of different foods, linking what they eat to what they look and feel like," said Ms. Briney. "So it makes commercial sense for the cosmetics market to `borrow' from the nutraceuticals market."

Next year's In-Cosmetics show takes place April 1-3 at Porte de Versailles In Paris. Euromonitor and Mintel are collaborating with In-Cosmetics in the months before the show and will participate in the industry trends presentations taking place on each of the show days. Speakers will cover trends in cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals, general world trends In the cosmetics and toiletries markets and trends in natural ingredients. More info: contact www.in-cosmetics.com.
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Author:Matthews, Imogen
Publication:Household & Personal Products Industry
Date:Nov 1, 2002
Words:944
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