Nutricosmetics are the talk of the town

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” Civilisations all over the world have pursued beauty ever since the dawn of time. Now, foods and nutritional supplements designed to enhance the skin, nails, hair and shapes from the inside out are all the rage. Nutricosmetics fever has gripped the world. The figures don’t lie: the global market is now worth USD 4.5 bn, compared with less than 3.5 bn in 2007.


Asia-Pacific is the undisputed market leader. Its success is built on ever-growing consumer demand. People in this region place enormous trust in the effectiveness of these products, unlike in other parts of the world where consumers are somewhat more sceptical. To some extent, this is due to their culture of traditional medicine. Japan has long seen beauty and healthy foods as two sides of the same coin and now dominates the region, accounting for sales worth USD 2.2 bn in 2012.

The prospects for South-East Asia are exciting. The nutricosmetics market in Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan is forecast to grow by over 20% between 2011 and 2016 under the impetus of rising incomes and increased awareness of functional ingredients.

Europe is also doing nicely. France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy are the big centres of activity. After a shaky start, the United States should catch up soon with growth of 14% per annum between now and 2017.

What are the most popular ingredients? These include vitamins (A, C and E) and polyphenols, both used for their antioxidant properties; carotenoids, for their sunless tanning properties; and CoQ10 and collagen, for their anti-aging effects. OPCs and phytosterols are very sought-after too! Purextract’s riding this wave by making the best of pine and grape seed extracts an integral part of its Inbio-T range

  • Cosmythic® (OPC) is a powerful antioxidant which protects elastin and collagen. This natural treasure also depigments the skin.
  • Vita-S® (OPC) has a slimming effect thanks to its thermogenic properties.
  • Phytopin® (phytosterol) is known for helping to prevent hair loss through its effect on the 5-?-reductase enzyme involved in male pattern baldness.

Back to the future

The expert consensus sees smooth sailing ahead for the nutricosmetics as it glides on the waves. An aging world population wants to stay young and beautiful for as long as possible. Meanwhile, the growing demand for natural ingredients sets the course for future expansion.

Whereas the market used to target women age 40 and older, its scope now encompasses younger women (age 25–35), men and teenagers.

The new “in & out” trend will continue to grow. It’s all about releasing complementary products, combining cosmetics (the “out” part) with dietary supplements (the “in” part). All the big brands have switched to this strategy, as is the case with Oenobiol (a cosmetic lotion against hair loss combined with a hair-strengthening, revitalising dietary supplement). In such “in & out” programmes, the dietary supplement plays the role of long-term, in-depth treatment and the cosmeticpacks an immediate punch. It also takes advantage of the more flexible regulation of cosmetics, boosting the beauty and/or health message.

Certain external factors could take the wind out of the ship’s sails, including a lack of awareness about nutricosmetic solutions. Still-sceptic consumers can only be persuaded with scientific evidence. Anticipating this, Purextract had the beneficial effects of Cosmythic® on the skin proved in a randomised double-blind trial.

Sources: Euromonitor, Frost & Sullivan, Transparency Market Research, Global Industry Analysts