CPC Ingredients - Feeding Beauty Trends

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In May, Datamonitor reported that growth of the nutricosmetics market may be slowing, perhaps due to the recession. Some consumers, the report said, may view beauty-from-within products as a luxury. While new beauty beverages continue to launch, other types of nutricosmetics may not fare as well, said Datamonitor, citing the failure of Danone's Essensis skin-nourishing yogurt as an example.

In May, Datamonitor reported that growth of the nutricosmetics market may be slowing, perhaps due to the recession. Some consumers, the report said, may view beauty-from-within products as a luxury. While new beauty beverages continue to launch, other types of nutricosmetics may not fare as well, said Datamonitor, citing the failure of Danone's Essensis skin-nourishing yogurt as an example.

While sales of ingestible nutricosmetics may be slowing, that hasn't stopped beauty brands from harnessing the topical skin care benefits that some of the most popular nutritional ingredients have to offer. In fact, some of the most in-demand nutritional ingredients today are likewise becoming trendy in topical beauty products. "The trend seems to be nutritional products first, then cosmetics," says Ellen Delisle, technical sales manager, cosmetics and personal care, for ingredient supplier Bio-Botanica Inc. (Hauppauge, NY).

Some ingredient suppliers caution that more research must be done to confirm the efficacy of their ingredients for topical skin care. Until now, many of these ingredients had long been used only in ingestible nutrition and supplement products. Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped beauty brands from feeding off of nutrition trends.

Common in the nutrition industry, superfruits are also in vogue for skin care. "Superfruits are still popular in personal care products and are becoming even more so as various superfruits gain more popularity in food and beverage," says Noah Bremen, founder of Noah's Naturals.

From the Chocolatier

A new body care line containing real cocoa.

"Consumers are familiar with fruits," says Alda Brandao, nutricosmetics business manager for ingredient supplier P.L. Thomas (Morristown, NJ). "They eat them, so they're very comfortable with putting them on their skin."

Known for their antioxidant benefits in foods and supplements, superfruits also benefit the skin by combating free-radical damage. "Superfruits can increase collagen synthesis in some cases, and they protect existing collagen and elastin from degradation," says Brien Quirk, director of research and development for ingredient supplier Draco Natural Products (San Jose). Quirk says that some superfruit extracts can also stimulate new epithelial cell or keratinocyte growth, and that superfruit polyphenols can also protect the skin from UV damage and aging from the sun.

Draco Natural Products has seen an uptick in superfruit demand for skin care, from both U.S. and international companies. Some of the supplier's most popular superfruit ingredients for beauty products are goji berry, pomegranate, and blueberry extracts. "We have also seen some requests for extracts of cili fruit (wild chestnut rosehip), euphoria fruit, dragron fruit, gac fruit, durian, and yumberry," says Quirk.

In May, Noah's Naturals launched its first acai product line, containing body lotion, body wash, and body polish. Bremen says that the acai berry extract "kick-starts" collagen synthesis, providing free-radical protection to the skin and eliminating toxins for a healthier complexion. As a result, the ingredient also softens and smoothes the skin, diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improves elasticity, and renews a natural glow.

"We are proud to be the first mainstream brand to take this successful ingredient to body care," says Bremen. "The research behind acai is very impressive. Bringing this hot trend to a natural line of performance-based products is what I'm most excited about."

Collagen: Oral and Topical

In 2007, BioCell Technology LLC (Newport Beach, CA) introduced the topical form of its popular oral dietary nutraceutical ingredient, BioCell Collagen II. The ingredient's ingestible version has been used by such popular nutrition brands as Purity Products, Nature's Way, Source Naturals, and Jarrow Formulas. Since its launch, the patented topical version, BioCell Collagen II CG (Cosmetic Grade), has achieved a growing market presence, says the company.

According to company, BioCell Collagen II CG provides a naturally occurring phospholipid matrix of hydrolyzed collagen type II (60%), chondroiten sulfate (20%), and hyaluronic acid (10%). The company says that in topical formulations, the phospholipids help to reduce transepidermal water loss, thus keeping the skin moisturized. A patented processing method ensures that the ingredient is rapidly absorbed.

"BioCell Collagen II naturally contains high concentrations of hyaluronic acid, an important element of skin tissue that's like a space filler because it provides moisture-filled cushioning between cells, giving your skin its suppleness and youthful appearance," says Suhail Ishaq, vice president of BioCell Technology.

He continues, "BioCell Collagen II can provide essential building blocks of skin, whether it is applied topically or ingested. A topical cosmetic containing the ingredient is a perfect complement to BioCell Collagen II, which is provided in oral dosage forms, including tablets, capsules, powders, and liquids."

In topical creams, the use of superfruits is a newer but growing development, says Matt Phillips, president of ingredient supplier Cyvex Nutrition (Irvine, CA). "We see this market continuing to get bolder, with higher doses of antioxidant superfruits and other beneficial natural ingredients. We see more specific research on the horizon to bear out label claims. Overall, this segment is very exciting." Phillips says that he's even seen superfruits being used in hair care products.

Cyvex Nutrition offers two superfruit-based products that can work in topical skin care. One is PhytoTropic, an ingredient that combines five tropical superfruit plant extracts-noni, acai, mangosteen, pomegranate, and quebracho. "It is abundant in unique polyphenolic antioxidants, such as xanthones from mangosteen, punicalagins from pomegranate, and tannins from quebracho," says Phillips. "It also contains healthy phytonutrients including anthocyanins, sterols, and noniosides."

Another Cyvex product for topical cosmetics is BerryVin, which combines the antioxidant activity of various berries-blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cranberries, along with grape and pomegranate extracts.

Another supplier, Solabia (Pantin, France), uses black crowberry juice in its Camaderm Gly ingredient for skin creams. As with other superfruits, the antioxidant properties of the crowberry's polyphenols, as well as its wealth of anthocyanins, are said to improve skin elasticity and density. Solabia says that Camaderm Gly also helps to fight stretch marks and improve microcirculation in the skin.

Amla, or Indian gooseberry, is another superfruit with beauty benefits. Organic amla is offered by Avesthagen Inc. (Chatsworth, CA) and is suited for lotions. According to the company, amla has been shown to significantly increase both collagen synthesis and elastin. It also has a long history in Asia as a skin-lightening and brightening ingredient.

Probiotics is another food trend catching on in beauty. Popular in yogurts and beverages, these beneficial bacteria are making an interesting foray into topical personal care products.

Probiotic skin care line Sk1n Probiotic Systems, says: "Probiotics have been shown to improve skin health and appearance when taken internally. But using these beneficial bacteria in an effective topical formula has long proved elusive, until now." The brand's line, which launched at the Cosmoprof North America trade show last summer, comprises eight topical skin care products.

According to Sk1n Probiotic, its probiotic products balance the microflora naturally found on the skin, reducing skin irritation and thus protecting against premature skin damage. It also combats a variety of skin conditions, including acne, dermatitis, milia, rosacea, and many types of rashes. The products are also said to protect the skin against UV light, balance the immune system, stimulate DNA repair, and prevent the formation of nonrepairable cells.

"It actually works on a cellular level, so that it's regenerating some of the cells that have been damaged by outside factors," says Steve LeDuc, one of the cofounders and vice president of marketing for Sk1n Probiotic. He says that the brand chose to use probiotics that were clinically proven by suppliers to be efficacious topically, and that the products include both prebiotics and probiotics.

Some industry members, however, question whether probiotics are effective when applied topically instead of orally. For instance, some question whether probiotics can thrive on the skin the way that they can in a warm, moist environment such as the digestive system.

"For a probiotic or a live bacteria to work and deliver a benefit, it obviously needs to be alive," says Michael Bush, vice president of business development for probiotic supplier Ganeden Biotech (Mayfield Heights, OH). "The World Health Organization has defined probiotics as live organisms that, when delivered in sufficient quantities, deliver a benefit to the host. Dead bacteria or their respective functional components do not quantify as probiotics, and it is disingenuous to use this term to desibe them."

From the Kitchen

Turmeric as a new skin care ingredient.


Burns says that glotherapeutics began considering turmeric as a cosmetic ingredient because its health benefits are well known in the nutrition industry. "Much of product development entails looking at ingredients, studies, and trends in other industries and applying them, when opportune, to the esthetic industry. Turmeric is one of those finds. There has been compelling information demonstrating the ability of the active substance curcumin in turmeric to fight infections, including cancer, and to treat digestive disorders and reduce inflammation. From that inspiration, we researched the ingredient's application for skin care benefits."

He continues, "A probiotic needs to be able to grow and produce the necessary metabolites to deliver a benefit. And on the skin is not necessarily the best place to do that. There's a reason that probiotics grow so well in the gut. It's because the gut has the appropriate environment and nutrients. You just don't have that on the skin."

That's not to say that probiotics don't benefit the skin. Studies have shown that when ingested, probiotics can help to reduce inflammation and boost the overall immunity of the body, which includes the skin, says Bush. As a result, it can help with skin conditions such as eczema. "But putting them on your skin is an entirely different thing," he says.

Still, beauty brands continue to move forward in exploring ways to preserve probiotics for topical products. LeDuc says that Sk1n Probiotic Systems is unique within the category for its use of prebiotics, which provide the fuel to help activate the probiotics in the products. He also confirms that Sk1n Probiotic's products do not have to be refrigerated and have a three-year shelf life.

Some companies have opted to use probiotics in dead-cell form. Bush says that he has seen evidence of probiotics working in dead-cell form, but that's for products that are usually ingested. "There are appropriate ways to utilize inactive cell components, but this isn't a scientifically accepted method. But we have not seen any credible research that shows that probiotics, whether metabolically active or inactive, have any effect when applied topically." Nevertheless, he says, he has seen some companies attempting to use such dead bacteria cells in topical creams and lotions.

While Ganeden feels that probiotics don't necessarily work for topical skin care, the company has found some success for topical applications of a by-product of Ganeden's own probiotic processing method-its supernatant. "The supernatant is basically the extracellular material, the metabolites, that are produced when we are growing the bacteria," says Bush. "That supernatant is highly antifungal, antimicrobial, and does all kinds of good things when applied topically." Bush says that Ganeden has in vitro evidence of which pathogens are reduced by the supernatant.

Unlike probiotic bacteria, the supernatant is not a live organism. "It's not dead or inactive; it's never even been alive," says Bush. "It's a metabolite of the fermentation process. Some supernatants have antifungal effects, but the vast majority do not. Ours just happens to be one of the rare exceptions that is safe and efficacious." One topical application for this supernatant is antifungal foot cream, which Ganeden offers under the brand name of Clearly Confident.

Bush says that as Ganeden's supernatant shows, "there are ways to use probiotics topically." He adds, "We just don't see people doing it in the right way."

There may be other skin benefits associated with prebiotics, however, says Bush. He points to an April 2009 Journal of Dermatological Science study by Jean Krutmann. The study stated that prebiotics may help to reduce levels of acne-causing bacteria without harming good bacteria. "But that does not address the use of probiotics or probiotic DNA," says Bush.

More research may be warranted to explore the effects of probiotics when topically applied, especially since more skin care brands continue to launch probiotic formulations. And Jean Krutmann, the author of the Journal of Dermatalogical Science probiotic study, maintains, "At least circumstantial evidence exists that beneficial effects can be achieved by topical application of probiotic bacteria to human skin."

"You're seeing a lot more companies popping up right now that are trying to incorporate probiotics," says LeDuc. "It's up-and-coming. We just happen to be in front of the wave."

"It's been identified as one of the bigger trends in topical skin care and beauty," agrees Bush. "So I'm not surprised to see that people are trying to capitalize on that."

Meanwhile, LeDuc says that one challenge is educating skin care customers about probiotic benefits. "The extent of familiarity that most consumers might have with probiotics is as a supplement for yogurt," he says. "It's an education process, as the concept of achieving a balance of natural microflora on the skin's surface is a very different [concept] for the consumer to consider as a skin care treatment. But they readily understand the principle behind this and genuinely become intrigued as to what they see as a more natural and sustainable way to achieve skin health."

Immune Support
If immunity-enhancing ingredients are good for the body's health in general, some people think they will also be good for the skin.

Biothera (Eagan, MN) is an ingredient supplier whose Wellmune WGP ingestible immunity product, a patented beta 1,3/1,6 glucan based on baker's yeast, is popular in the nutritional supplements industry. Also for immunity, the brand's WGP 3-6 ingredient has been used by several brands in skin care products.

"We have a lot of documentation on how our ingredient engages immune cells when you ingest it," says David Walsh, vice president of communications for Biothera.

He says that researchers at Brown University are currently using WGP 3-6 in topical wound-healing experiments for the skin. "We've done some limited research to understand how our ingredients work topically," says Walsh. "We have lots of anecdotal evidence from people who have used our ingredient in skin creams who say that it's helped them in terms of wound healing and recovery."

He adds, "Our primary focus is the food, beverage, and supplement markets, but in the future, we plan to devote more research to understanding how the ingredient works in skin care products and to get that published to build a scientific base."

One of the beauty brands already using WGP 3-6 is natural personal care company Terra Naturals. Tanya Workman, the company's founder and CEO, was already a fan of Wellmune WGP as a dietary supplement when she decided to incorporate WGP 3-6 in her beauty brand.

"The results of WGP are very vivid. When I take it internally, I feel immediate results," she says. "So if I'm getting that result internally, then it made sense to test that externally. And we continue to get excellent feedback from our customers."

She adds, "It's not a cheap ingredient. But you get what you pay for."

Terra Naturals has formulated WGP 3-6 into both an underarm deodorant and a skin cream, with good results, Workman says. When asked why she feels that the ingredient is beneficial in a topical personal care product, she says, "I believe that the skin is a permeable delivery system, contrary to what some people think. That's why we see more drugs being marketed in patches for the skin. The skin is not an impermeable overcoat. What goes into the skin also goes into the body." She reasons that delivering immunity ingredients through the skin might be another way to boost the body's overall immunity, as well as the skin's immunity to internal and external stress.

"While we have not done any clinical testing, we simply know just from our customers that WGP makes a difference in the products," she says. Workman believes so strongly in WGP 3-6's benefits that she even included the logo on her deodorant packaging.

"I think skin immunity is going to be a growing trend in skin care," she adds.

Another ingredient supplier is exploring the benefits of immunity in skin care. This April at the In-Cosmetics trade show in Munich, Lipotec (Barcelona, Spain) introduced Bodyfensine, a tripeptide specially formulated for reinforcing the skin's natural immunity. Or, as Lipotec states, it "stimulates the first line of defense between the skin and the environment."

"Bodyfensine can be used in all types of formulations where an extra defense is desired, such as in products for acne-prone skin," says Elena Cañadas, marketing manager for Lipotec. "It stimulates the production of defensins, the natural antimicrobial peptides generated by the human body, maintaining the balance between commensal microbes and pathogens in the skin."

Customers are seeing tripeptides becoming increasingly popular in the beauty industry, especially for antiaging products. In the nutrition industry, they are common in dairy products such as yogurt and milk.

Another company, Sustainable Youth Technologies, sells nutricosmetic and cosmeceutical retail products based on an organic immune-performance ingredient it developed, called Alasta. According to the company, Alasta, derived from aloe vera, is clinically proven to improve skin elasticity and firmness. It also provides muscle and joint pain relief and supports heart health as a result of its anti-inflammation properties. Earlier this year, Alasta introduced its own line of topical and ingestible Immune Performance antiaging skin care products, which can also be private-labeled.

The Omegas
Fatty acids omega-3, -6, and -9, known for their nutrition benefits such as promoting heart health, decreasing the effects of Alzheimer's, and enhancing brain function, are also being used in skin care. However, "I don't think anyone's ever focused on them just for their topical effects on the skin," says Suellen Bennett, marketing manager of skin care and makeup for ingredient supplier Croda Inc. (Edison, NJ).

According to ingredient supplier Arista Industries (Wilton, CT), which specializes in vegetable and marine oils, one challenge with formulating some omega oils into topical personal care products is keeping the oils stable. Omega-6 oils, such as those from hemp seed, borage, evening primrose, and black currant seed, are fairly stable and are more often used for personal care applications than some omega-3 oils. Some omega-3 oils, primarily from flax seed and fish, which has an odor, are not as stable.

For instance, "Flax seed oil is fairly unstable because in order for it to be a food-grade or cosmetic-grade oil, you cannot refine this omega-3," says Mary Ann Siciliano, national sales manager for Arista. "In order to increase stability and lessen the odor, you can put the omega-3 oils in a closed system, such as a capsule, for a nutritional product. However, this is not normally done for a cream or lotion. Another concern is that omega-3 fatty acids do not stabilize very easily with traditional antioxidants, per say." Instead of flax seed oil, Siciliano says that perilla oil might be a better choice, because its omega-3 oil can be refined and thus, is stable.

Topical benefits of fatty acids include their emollient properties, which help to keep skin soft and supple. "People are hoping that the omega oils will provide the same emollient benefits when they put them on their skin, especially because the body doesn't naturally produce essential fatty acids," says Siciliano. She adds, "It is also said that these oils can help to restore moisture to the skin and reduce inflammation, relieve arthritis symptoms, as well as reduce lower back pain, muscle and joint pain, and everyday aches and pains."

This spring, Croda introduced its RevitElix ingredient at the In-Cosmetics trade show. RevitElix is the topical version of Croda's ingestible RevitElix Nutra ingredient. Both RevitElix and RevitElix Nutra can be used alone or together in combination.

Derived directly from echium plant-seed oil, both products contain omega-3 (47%), omega-6 (25.5%), and omega-9 (15.8%) fatty acids. Bennett says that echium was chosen as an oil source over, for instance, fish oil, which Croda also supplies, because fish oil tends to have a lower percentage of omega-9 than does echium.

Specifically, the topically applied RevitElix has been proven to promote the regeneration of the skin's proteins: fibrillin-1 (a glycoprotein involved in the formation of elastin), as well as pro-collagen-1 and decorin, both of which are key to collagen formation. In fact, says Croda, clinical results show that RevitElix can outperform antiaging active ingredient retinoic acid in significantly increasing protein levels. It also provides protection from UVB-induced inflammatory damage.

"We did studies on people," says Bennett. "Whether they took the material in a capsule or they applied the cream to their skin, we found that there is a positive benefit for the skin's collagen content, firmness, elasticity, and radiance. It's a nutritional supplement for beauty, basically."

Bennett says that for topical applications, RevitElix can be mixed into creams and lotions at the oil stage, since the product is an oil. "You could even put it into foundations meant for more-mature skin," she says. "Those foundations tend to be heavier, which would mean they have more oil phase in them. You could also put it into after-sun lotions and lip products like lip balm. Pretty much anything."

Lutein has long been a popular nutritional supplement for eye health. As a carotenoid, lutein serves as an antioxidant that protects the retina. It naturally occurs in the macula of the retina, and supplements are generally taken to boost lutein levels for even greater protection. What some might not know is that lutein is also naturally present in the skin, serving as an antioxidant.

In the eye, enhanced lutein levels help to absorb harmful blue light, which can cause damage to the retina. Lutein filters out this harmful light before it reaches photoreceptors. In a similar way, lutein in the skin can help to defend against UV rays, which cause diseases as well as wrinkles, sun spots, and dry skin. For this reason, researchers are taking more interest in exploring lutein as a skin-health ingredient and one that can be topically applied.

"Just like our eyes, the skin is constantly exposed to sunlight, especially ultraviolet and visible wavelength, and environmental damages," says Aparna Parikh, marketing manager for ingredient supplier DSM Nutritional Products (Parsippany, NJ). "Like the eyes, the skin may benefit from the ability of lutein to absorb high-energy wavelengths of blue-light and to quench free-radicals that may develop from constant exposure to light, particularly sunlight."

She continues, "Also, when you consider that the skin is the largest organ of the body and that there is more lutein in the skin than in all areas of the eye-this, together with the recent scientific data, has generated a tremendous amount of interest in the role of lutein in skin health."

Scientific evidence backs lutein's protective abilities. Among the studies that have been done, a 2007 human clinical trail by Palombo et al. showed that 10 mg of lutein daily increased skin hydration, elasticity, and skin lipid content, while minimizing lipid peroxidation and enhancing photoprotective activity.

Effects such as these may warrant more research regarding lutein's topical efficacy. DSM offers its FloraGLO Lutein ingredient, which can be used to increase skin hydration, lipid content, and elasticity-all factors in premature aging.

Beauty marketers have already begun exploring the possibilities of lutein. Among the notable lutein-containing beauty beverages recently launched are Nestlé's Glowelle, Kraft Foods' Crystal Light Skin Essentials, and Glacéau's Focus Vitamin water.

Spurring Suppliers On
The cosmetics industry is actively searching for the next great nutrition ingredient to include in their topical cosmetic products. Because of increasing demand, ingredient suppliers-including those once solely devoted to serving the nutrition and supplements industries-have been taking a second look at their vast ingredient portfolios to earmark ones with proven cosmetic benefits.

This July, Frutarom USA Inc. (North Bergen, NJ) made a big splash by launching TopicRange, its first ingredients line for cosmetics and nutraceuticals. Like Frutarom's nutrition line, the cosmetic ingredients are based on natural botanical ingredients.

"The cosmetics market is changing dramatically," says Lauren Leduc, vice president of Frutarom's health division. "While cosmetic companies penetrate the beauty-from-within market, dietary supplement manufacturers are expanding their product lines to include cosmetic applications. All are focused on applications with active natural ingredients. It is an important and strategic move for Frutarom to bring its expertise to the skin care market."

He adds, "We've been seeing which ingredients from our existing line are friendly for the cosmetics industry. We feel that the timing is right, because we're seeing growing demand from cosmetic companies who are trying to replace some of their current ingredients with more-natural options."

Not every ingredient suited for food or supplements will work for cosmetics. "There are some technical challenges," says Jocelyn Mathern, technical manager for Frutarom USA. "A lot of nutraceuticals are from plants, and they may have a funky color or smell or solubility issues. So you can't just take anything and put it into cosmetics. There definitely has to be some R&D done." Ideal dosage amounts must also be tested, she says.

Frutarom's TopicRange ingredients can be used both topically and orally. The line is divided into two categories: antiaging and suncare, or oily and acne skin.

The acne and oily skin line focuses on four key ingredients, three of which are based on ingredients used in dietary supplements-pumpkin seed (good for bladder control and prostate health), flax (has benefits for menopause and prostate health), and willow bark (good for bone and joint health). All are suited for topical skin creams.

Other ingredient suppliers also continue to explore the marriage between nutritional ingredients and beauty. P.L. Thomas says that it started taking note of the nutricosmetic trend a couple of years ago. Since then, the company has asked the ingredient suppliers it works with to present the skin benefits of their products.

P.L. Thomas also examined its existing product lineup to see what works for beauty. "For instance, we had rosemary, which has been used in food and supplements for a long time," says P.L. Thomas's Brandao. "Our supplier had evaluated what rosemary could do in the cosmetics industry. And we started working with the oils and fats in rosemary as a natural preservative in cosmetic formulations to extend shelf life."

She adds, "I think you're going to see more ingredient suppliers doing studies for the skin on products that were previously used only in the supplements or food industries."

One food-based topical cosmetic product that P.L. Thomas introduced this spring is Lipowheat, based on, as its name suggests, wheat. Wheat contains ceramides, which are also present in the outer layer of the skin. Ceramides help to keep the skin hydrated, but due to aging and environmental stress, they tend to decrease in supply through the years. Lipowheat seeks to replace some of those ceramides to keep skin soft and supple. Unlike some ceramides on the market, naturally derived Lipowheat is not synthetic.

From Food To Beauty
Consumers in Europe and Japan are widely credited for being more accepting of the beauty-from-within concept. These consumers are already used to consuming things like nutraceutical supplements and beauty beverages. They are also more likely to accept novel food ingredients in cosmetics.

However, predicts Bremen from Noah's Naturals, "Americans will catch on to the nutricosmetic trend in the next year or two. Women will start to truly believe that what you put inside your body will affect what happens to your skin on the outside. Only brands that offer both types of solutions will be the leaders in this new category."

Meanwhile, expect innovative beauty companies to continue searching the nutrition industry for new ingredients to use in beauty. Terra Naturals' Workman says that she initially discovered WGP 3-6 when researching the food industry to find skin care ingredients that were as "green and clean" as possible. "The food industry has had to be more creative about what's safer to put in the body, simply because there are more restrictions in the food industry," she says. "That's why we opted to seek out food-based ingredients."

It makes sense that trends in the food industry and the cosmetic industry will align. "The best things for our bodies come from nature," says P.L. Thomas's Brandao. "Natural and organic ingredients are taking hold in the food industry now, and the consumer wants the same kind of ingredients in her beauty products."