The beauty within: Skin health industry realigns around holistic well-being after COVID-19 pandemic
20 Oct 2022 --- The skin health industry is experiencing changes in consumer demand driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. As fewer products were needed during societal lockdowns, the meaning of “beauty” shifted from outward appearance to holistic well-being.
NutritionInsight speaks with Nexira, TriNutra and Mibelle about trends in skin health, ingredients in the spotlight and the prospected future for the industry.
“Skincare concern is growing across the globe, with concerns about skin health shifting from appearance to a focus on how it can contribute to overall health and well-being in the long term. Consumers are increasingly addressing the role that skin plays in overall health and recognizing how it can facilitate good looking and healthy aging,” says Clara Fontaine, Beauty from Within product manager at Nexira.
Fontaine adds that the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted skin health.
“Confinement, wearing a mask, teleworking, videoconferences – all these factors have changed our relationship with beauty. Isolation decreases the motivation for a beauty routine, and wearing a mask reduces the lip makeup use,” she explains.
She highlights that beauty has shifted from external to internal, focusing less on makeup and more on feeling beautiful from within.
“Support for beauty and skin health from the inside out provides an alternative to conventional makeup and beauty routines – there is already substantial consumer recognition of the vital role that diet plays in maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails,” Fontaine details.
The power of skin microbiome
Meanwhile, taking care of the skin’s appearance has a link to happiness and mental well-being.
“Consumers increasingly understand that a healthy and balanced microbiome can directly impact skin health. But this topic goes well beyond a trend. A healthy microbiome is at the essence of skin and body health – the two are entangled,” says Dr. Liki von Oppen-Bezalel, business development director at TriNutra.
By bolstering one’s healthy diet with botanical supplements, a consumer can help ensure enough of the proper nutrients are consumed for an overall healthier skin profile.
Alice Olufeso, product manager for food and health at Mibelle, details that skin protection and detox supplements are growing trends.
“Environmental factors such as air pollutants, UV lights and ozone can be the reason for chronic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, resulting in dry, dull and plump-looking skin. Data show that over 97% of the world population lives in areas where pollution exceeds safety levels, reducing global average life expectancy by 2.2 years. Even Europe and the US do not meet the World Health Organization’s air-quality averages,” she details.
Leading ingredients face competition
Collagen and biotin remain the leaders among ingredients, although black seed oil is stepping into the game.
“Ingredients with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity are essential for skin health. Oxidative stress – and stress in general – and inflammation disrupt the skin structure and functions, leading to premature skin aging that could appear dry, irritated, wrinkled and uneven pigmentation. Additionally, ingredients that help boost the cell machinery, such as mitochondrial functions, are essential for the healthy state of cells, tissues and organs,” says von Oppen-Bezalel.
Olufeso says that Saponins are reported to protect the skin from detrimental consequences of harmful small particles in the air. The company has developed the antioxidant plant extract FenuKale, which combines blue fenugreek and kale.
“This combination has clinically proven results on protecting the skin from unwanted changes in the epigenome, improving the skin-barrier balance and protecting cells from oxidative stress,” she notes.
Aging across borders
Nexira also points out that consumer demand varies significantly across borders.
“In the US and Europe, women over 60 are looking for effective products with scientific backing, while their younger counterparts between 25-35 desire natural and clean label products that will do them the most good,” she says.
“In Asia, particularly in Japan and China, two market-leading countries, nutricosmetics are aimed at young fans of new instagrammable trends, employing the strong use of social networks. In another sector, Asian seniors over 60 are driven by the culture of ‘aging well’ and looking for products that will help them in their ongoing fight against aging,” Fontaine underscores.
Furthermore, von Oppen-Bezalel details mitochondrial health as a central focus for healthy aging.
“This is due to mitochondrial health’s vital role in overall skin health, pigmentation, hair growth and more. Another term we see more of is inflammaging or the control of inflammation. Research has suggested that chronic low-level inflammation can break down collagen and damage skin cells. Using clinically backed products to aid in these main areas is vital to provide the end consumer with a product they can see and feel a difference,” she details.
According to Olufso, the skin health industry will continue to grow and gain further importance within the supplement space.
“We see other formats than just tablets and capsules emerging. Today we already see tasty gummies or beverage shots in this area, but we think there will be other food-like formats to be part of future launches.”
“The black seed oil market will be boosted by the ease of formulation and increased demand from various applications such as medication production, cosmetic formulations, functional foods and others. Thus, the segment is expected to grow during the forecast period,” von Oppen-Bezalel underscores.
Fontaine highlights the steady growth of plant-based, simply formulated and minimally processed natural products and supplements.
“Plant-based or vegan claims on supplements grew by 34% between 2015 and 2019 and have shown no signs of slowing down since. Providing clean label ingredients has been a criterion of choice for our direct clients willing to offer clean formulation to their customers,” she underscores.
Lastly, Nexira highlights nutrigenomics studies – the impact of orally ingested ingredients on gene expression – as another emerging theme. Traditionally, gene expression has been evaluated in cosmetics to support the benefits of topical ingredients on the skin.
“Nexira is pioneering the development of a specific methodology combining the assessment of gene expression of skin tissue within a model that mimics the bioavailability of oral ingredients: this is Nutrigenomics for the skin. Nutrients provided by orally ingesting supplements can act from the inside – within the deeper layers of the skin.”
By Beatrice Wihlander
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