Nutricosmetics & The Beauty World

Member news | February 03, 2022

What does today’s consumer want and expect?

By FACC Member, Karen Young

The merging of beauty and nutrition has never been more evident.  American consumers, long straggling behind our European and Asian neighbors, are finally understanding and embracing the connection:  what we put in our bodies can be a meaningful addition to what we put on our bodies.  There remains an enormous amount of research to be done for those of us who want and need more than myths, grandmother’s stories and marketing speak, but it is great progress, nonetheless.

As we all know, consumers globally, but particularly in the US - finally, have been moving to a more holistic approach to general health for several years.  It is finally sinking in:  wellness requires a multi-prong approach with nutrition, stress management, sleep and recovery, exercise, mental health and relationships being critical pathways to healthy living.

Moving into two years of Covid and the confined behavior that came with it, many beauty consumers simplified beauty routines, even as there was more time available to use personal care products. It seems we have all re-prioritized many aspects of our lives, viewed through the Covid lens:  simple, efficacious, convenient and pleasant to use all became table stakes for beauty products.  While we have certainly learned multi-tasking isn’t efficient in many parts of our day, where beauty, health and wellness are concerned, there are definitely synergies.

Everyone, from retailers to bloggers, is talking about beauty and wellness and their intertwined relationships in the same breath.

Skincare, as a category, has been quite resilient during Covid. Supplements have grown enormously. Vitamin, mineral and supplement sales have risen 21% since the pandemic began, according to market research firm IRI, with market shares of certain types of supplements increasing exponentially.

Some frequently searched and purchased beauty supplements include Vitamins A, C, D, E (and an endless list of other antioxidants), zinc, probiotics (the global market for probiotics, both topical and ingestible, will hit US$61B this year. (MarketsandMarkets), mushrooms, kombucha, tea, (and various other fermented ingredients) biotin, collagen, omegas 3,6,9, niacin, polyphenols, the list is long.  Immune boosters and sleep aids are also at the top of the list, with plenty of help from Covid. According to Euromonitor, oral beauty supplements in the US reached $8.5B in 2020.

Additionally, IRI found that 37% of Americans believe food (and ingestibles) is better medicine than medicine.  74% of consumers surveyed plan to lead a healthier lifestyle in 2021 and 54% will purchase healthier foods.

Today’s beauty “experience” is more than just topical products of all shapes, sizes and prices.  This experience runs from sexual health, through better sleep, emotional well-being, to ingestible nutrition and everything in between.

Holistic self-care has become the latest bright shiny object.

Brands, young and “old” are becoming increasingly lifestyle-oriented, understanding the old silos of health, so long separated in the US, are now coexisting and thriving under one roof.

Thanks to the increase in the number of indie brands in recent years (now 20% of total beauty and 57% of skincare), the storytelling process is very different. Young, indie brands embrace this collaboration of beauty “inside and out” without challenge.

A quick look at a few interesting brands that offer or combine beauty inside and out:

Supermush The ubiquitous mushroom is showing up in many places, including topical skincare, supplements and vegan leather. “Our hormones, our nervous system, and our immune system relied on the health benefits of fungi for 20,000 years during some of the most vital periods of human development.  We've bottled their magic so you can take the good vibrations anywhere your heart desires.”

Supermood Eyes Wide Open Serum with hand-picked natural Finnish Chaga mushroom.

Youth To The People: Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream

Contains Fermented Reishi: An antioxidant-rich adaptogenic mushroom that works to hydrate, detoxify, and combat premature signs of aging.

Thanks to their antioxidant properties, mushrooms can help reduce irritation and inflammation. One study published in the Archives of Dermatological Research

Good Faith Redefining Skincare + Supplements

“We think about skin and wellness differently. To us, they are a whole integrated system where skincare and supplements together make a greater impact for long-term skin health. It shouldn't be overwhelming, and it's our goal to simplify your self-care routine.”

Murad MD skincare and supplements Dr. Howard Murad was an early dermatologist to the beauty world, launching his skincare line in 1989. His manifesto was simple, “skincare is healthcare.” He has been a proponent of skin beneficial supplements since early in his practice and included 3 in his product lineup.

His company was bought by Unilever in 2015, obviously recognizing the beauty inside-outside synergies.  Unilever went on to purchase several other supplement brands Olly, Onnit and SmartyPants.  The category continues to show significant growth.

RMS Beauty Rose-Marie Swift launched her makeup line 12 years ago, well before clean, organic and natural became beauty buzzwords. More recently, she added Within, 2 skincare supplements, one containing pro/prebiotics and the second containing digestive enzymes.

As Rose-Marie says, “the skin is a mirror to your gut.”

Beekman 1802 While Josh and Brent, the Beekman Boys, are not making claims about beauty inside and out, they clearly understand that healthy food, with fresh, natural ingredients may not “fix” dry skin, but may improve mental health!  Jellies, honey, chocolate, granola and coffee, many containing the same ingredients as their skincare products, will put a smile on your face at the very least.

Beauty inside and out is here to stay.  Bad nutrition cannot possibly bring good results.  While supplements cannot and should not replace a diet of healthy food, it demonstrates a desire on the part of the consumer to focus actively on wellness and prevention and be less reliant on medication to fix a problem.

Marketers would be smart to continue the emphasis on a holistic or “wholistic” approach not only to beauty but to overall health and wellness.  Covid forced us all to re-evaluate our lifestyle – healthy or otherwise – and perhaps encouraged us to make some better choices.

The Young Group

Karen Young

The Young Group