Marketing Nutricosmetics

“The nutricosmetics industry has been struggling to take its fair share of the cosmetics market. It has penetrated heavily only in Japan, parts of Europe (particularly in France) and China. Most launches in other countries did not meet their level of expectations. If one looks at these countries, they share a fundamental belief that ‘you are what you eat,’ and each has a long tradition around the magic of food and its impact on beauty. French, Japanese and Chinese consumers are ready to believe. Oenobiol in France has been around for years and focuses exclusively on nutricosmetics, and consumers are ready to accept that Contrex (a water brand from Nestlé Waters North America) enhances the skin’s radiance.

“This is not the case in most other countries, where nutricosmetics remain at best a peripheral add-on to most cosmetic brands. I believe this is because of difficulties in making the link between a supplement intake and an easily perceivable benefit at the consumer level. I would guess that most people would intuitively agree that taking a resveratrol supplement would help their skin fight against oxidation, for instance, but the impact on the mirror test is still a long way off.

“Although the link between vitamin E intake and tocopherol concentration in the skin has been shown in the past, it has been more difficult to reach an easily perceivable benefit at the consumer level.

“I believe that the real take-off of this industry will not happen in other parts of the world until nutrition supplements can be linked easily to visible benefits. To create that link, developers will have to maximize their chances of success in consumer tests by better understanding the systemic and topical impact of vitamins and other essential compounds such as calcium or magnesium on the skin or the hair. BASF engineered skin models that can be used either for topical applications or systemic applications and are a unique tool to maximize predictability of clinical testing.”

–Serge Rogasik BASF Beauty-Care