Beauty and the Feast: Nutrients for Natural Beauty, Inside and Out

Jun 15, 2016

The beauty market is undergoing a facelift as consumers shy away from synthetic ingredients. Beauty brands are now experiencing the same demand for natural ingredients that the food, beverage, and supplement industries are seeing.

Today, both “beauty-from-within” ingestible products and topical skincare and cosmetic products are increasingly formulated with natural, “clean,” and sometimes organic ingredients to address such beauty concerns as cellulite, skin moisture and elasticity, and skin aging. From collagen and melon juice extract to astaxanthin, lutein, and turmeric rhizome derivatives, here are some ingredients currently under the microscope for potential beauty benefits.


Beauty from Within: Ingestible Ingredients


The biggest buzz in ingestible beauty formulations seems to center around collagen. Mai Nygaard, global director, Peptan portfolio, for ingredient supplier Rousselot (The Netherlands), cites a February 2015 Global Industry Analysts’ report forecasting that the nutricosmetics market will reach $7.4 billion by 2020, with collagen being one of the market’s most significant drivers. The Asia-Pacific region, the United States, and Brazil are key markets, Nygaard adds.

Rousselot’s own Peptan collagen ingredient has been clinically shown to “restructure the collagen network in deep skin layers,” Nygaard says, basing her comments on a September 2015 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.1 In this study, researchers found that Peptan collagen peptides significantly improved skin hydration after two months of oral supplementation—an effect attributed to the stimulation of hyaluronic acid production, Nygaard says. Peptan can be used in beauty beverages, bars, and gummies.

Another recent collagen study, this time on Verisol collagen peptides from Gelita (Sergeant Bluff, IA), examined collagen’s benefits for cellulite. In the Journal of Medicinal Food,2 researchers concluded that “long-term therapy with orally administered bioactive collagen peptides leads to an improvement of cellulite and has a positive impact on skin health.” Lara Niemann, Gelita’s marketing director, Americas, explains that “over the course of the six-month Verisol supplementation [2.5 g daily], a statistically significant reduction of the cellulite score (‘pinch test’) was observed, starting at three months and appearing more pronounced after six months.” Niemann adds that in three-dimensional skin-surface profile measurements, “skin waviness” was also reduced, and, “remarkably, skin tissue became measurably more dense, indicating a strengthening of the connective tissue.” Verisol collagen, used in both supplements and functional foods and beverages, is highly digestible and bioavailable, and is suitable for allergen-free, gluten-free, and clean-label finished products, she says.

A third collagen supplier, BioCell Technology LLC (Newport Beach, CA), plans to publish new beauty-from-within data related to its ingredient later this year, says president Suhail Ishaq. His company’s BioCell collagen ingredient was the focus of a study published four years ago in Clinical Interventions in Aging3 that concluded that 1000 mg taken daily resulted in skin that appeared less dry and with reduced fine lines and wrinkles in the study’s participants. “Additionally, both collagen levels and blood circulation were improved,” Ishaq says.



  1. Assarin J et al. “The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials,” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 14, no. 4 (December 2015): 291-301
  2. Schunck M et al., “Dietary supplementation with specific collagen peptides has a body mass index-dependent beneficial effect on cellulite morphology,” Journal of Medicinal Food, vol. 18, no. 12 (December 2015): 1340-1348
  3. Schwartz SR et al., “Ingestion of BioCell Collagen(®), a novel hydrolyzed chicken sternal cartilage extract; enhanced blood microcirculation and reduced facial aging signs,” Clinical Interventions in Aging. Published online July 27, 2012.
  4. Lemaire B et al., “Étude clinique d’une SuperOxide Dismutase de melon naturelle et bioactive (SOD B Dimpless®) sur la cellulite,” Phytothérapie, vol. 14, no. 1 (February 2016): 23-28
  5. Anthonavage M et al., “Effects of oral supplementation with methylsulfonylmethane on skin health and wrinkle reduction; a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical pilot study on OptiMSM,” Natural Medicine Journal, vol. 7, no. 11 (November 2015)