Beauty Foods Head West

Beauty foods, or food and beverages that are said to provide a beauty benefit, originated in Asia and are migrating west. Mintel reports that beauty foods accounted for 8.9% of the food and nonalcoholic beverage market in the Asia-Pacific region in 2006, increasing to more than 35% in 2007. During the same time period, the share in Europe more than doubled, while North America showed a modest increase from 3.9% to 4.66%. This illustrates the explosive growth in Asia and the ensuing ripple effect to Europe and North America.

In Asia, there are many beauty foods that contain ingredients like collagen, which are more commonly found in skin care formulations. The number of collagen-containing confections in Asia-Pacific, for example, tripled from 2006 to 2007, according to Mintel. Fruit Gummy Pupurun from Meiji Seika Kaisha for example contains 1,500 mg of collagen per serving. It makes no overt beauty claim but relies on consumer recognition of collagen as a beauty-enhancing ingredient.

Likewise, Hi-Chu Plus delivers collagen in a white grape flavored chewing gum. Sold in packs of 12 sticks, the gum is also available with a supplement of iron or fiber.

Mintel's GNPD reveals that nonalcoholic beverages account for half of functional beauty foods in Asia. Nestlé Day & Night Collagen Enriched Low-fat Drink is a ready-to-drink containing an undisclosed amount of collagen and claims to foster improvement in skin elasticity and moisture.

Vitamin Collagen from Japanese brand C1000 combines 1000 mg of vitamin C and 3000 mg of collagen into a 190 g canned beverage. While it makes no beauty claims, the word collagen reportedly is the largest and most prominent word on the label.

Fragrant Rose from Japanese brand Morinaga contains no collagen. Instead, 40 mg of rose extract per serving is said to provide whitening and antioxidant benefits. The lightly carbonated beverage is sold in a pack of six 100 mL metal bottles.

In Western markets, beauty foods focus on natural ingredients that are familiar in both a beauty and health context, such as antioxidant-rich pomegranate and blueberry. Borba Skin Balance Waters were a pioneer in the US beauty market when they launched three years ago, as was their follow-up, Borba Clarifying Chocolate Bar, one year later. In both products, the antioxidant properties of pomegranate are combined with a bio-vitamin complex that is said to eliminate toxins.

A more recent example is Pûr-Lisse Blue Lotus White Tea. With this product, the skin care brand branches out from topical applications to an ingested tea that uses a combination of organic blueberries and pomegranate to promote health and beauty.

Teas offering detoxifying benefits are commonplace on health store shelves and the same principle can be leveraged to promote a beauty benefit. Cornelia Drinking Tea Skin Clarifying Tea from the United States features a combination of pansy herb to purify, birch to detoxify, and peppermint and chamomile to calm. The product purports to promote fresh, healthy skin by calming inflammation and eliminating toxins.

The definition of nutricosmetics extends to natural ingredients like açai and moringa seed that reportedly can fulfill a beauty function within a topical application. Rodial Glamotox Night Treatment includes pomegranate ellagic tannin to firm and boost collagen production. This premium product is positioned as “a glamorous alternative to surgery.”

Tarte Cosmetics recently introduced its spring 2008 line with a t5 Super Fruit Complex. The blend combines extracts from five active "super" fruits, including: açai, goji berry, maracuja, acerola and pomegranate. Açai is included for its antiaging and antioxidant benefit, while pomegranate serves to reduce both redness and wrinkles. The t5 Super Fruit Complex is included in the Dose Berry Boost & Gloss.

Recent additions to the Helena Rubinstein Life Ritual line include moringa seed extract. Long revered in Ayurvedic medicine, the moringa tree is reportedly a rich source of vitamins A, C and E, and protein and potassium. The ingredient is given prominence in the product description of Helena Rubinstein Life Ritual De-Oxidizing Fresh Cleansing Milk and other new additions to the line.

Beauty supplements are not a new idea but their visibility at cosmetics counters and boutiques is a new appearance. Supplements are appearing as stand-alone items as well as an integrated part of a beauty brand’s range.

Among the new premium-priced beauty supplements appearing in Europe is Bio-Recherche Oxyprolane Complément Alimentaire Régénération Cellulaire (Skin Regeneration Dietary Complement). An exclusive to Sephora in France, the product is marketed as a dietary supplement to improve skin regeneration after cosmetic surgery and as an antiaging supplement. The formula—which contains amino acids and micro-peptides from hydrolyzed fish proteins, fish and krill oils standardized in Omega 3, caroteno-proteins and vitamin E—is said to encourage synergistic dermal turnover and skin healing. Formerly, the capsules were available only by prescription at French pharmacies.

Skin Nutrition ++, a skin care brand from South Africa, recently launched its Body Beautiful Nutrition range in South Africa and the United Kingdom. The line of supplements is sold alongside other Skin Nutrition ++ products and promotes the brand’s holistic wellness approach. Its Body Beautiful Complex is formulated with N-acetyl glucosamine, which is said to reverse age spots and improve natural collagen regeneration. Other claims purport improvement to the hair, nails and skin, as well as increased energy levels and protection from free radicals.

A similar synergistic approach is taken by French brand Visoanska. Visoanska Topique + Oral Formule Anti-Âge Extrème (Extreme Antiaging Formula) pairs an antiaging cream with a nutritional supplement in one package. The nutritional component combines skin care staples such as coenzyme Q10 and lutein with natural ingredients such as dried red baobab fiber, cranberry and yerba mate extracts. The cream is said to reduce and retard the visible signs of aging, while the supplements reinforce skin nourishment.

A more sensual approach to skin supplements can be seen in a new brand from France. YESforLOV offers a range of products that are associated with pleasure and the skin, including skin care. The brand’s Libido-Vitamines are designed for men and women to share as an enhancement to intimacy. The dietary supplement is designed to not only act on libidinal energy but also the well-being of the sexual organ tissues. It is formulated with natural extracts of maca, ginseng, damiana, guarana, cinnamon and L-arginine.

-James Pruden, Mintel

The Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) tracks new product launches, trends and innovations internationally. The Mintel Cosmetic Research Database tracks mass-market and luxury cosmetic innovations in France and the United States. For additional information regarding either Mintel GNPD or Mintel Cosmetic Research, visit or call Mintel International at 1-312-932-0600.

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