Ingestible Nutricosmetic Ingredients Go Topical

October 9, 2012

Looking for the next beauty trend? Look for nutricosmetic ingredients that can be used topically.

If consumer acceptance of beauty-from-within nutricosmetics is growing, where should a company searching for the next big beauty thing look to next? Think topical again, advises industry consultant Ameann DeJohn.

“To be most innovative, think about whether an ingestible ingredient can also be a topical ingredient,” DeJohn said at May’s SupplySide MarketPlace trade show in New York. Also, she advised, get ahead of the competition by asking ingredient suppliers which of their ingestible ingredients show promise for topicals. (One such ingredient DeJohn mentions is resveratrol, if the right delivery system is found to maintain ingredient stability topically.)

In what may seem obvious but bears repeating, DeJohn states: “Many ingredients work differently when applied topically as opposed to ingested.”

“There are some ingestible ingredients that sound like a good idea to put on your skin, but they don’t do anything,” says Mike Bush, vice president, business development, for probiotics supplier Ganeden Biotech (Cleveland). “For instance, live probiotic cultures don’t do anything on your skin because they have to germinate in a closed environment like the gut.”

Ganeden is promoting a topical beauty ingredient it has now branded as Bonicel. “Like many great beauty ingredients, it started out in food,” the firm says. While not a probiotic, Bonicel is made up of the metabolites derived during fermenting of Ganeden’s patented and trademarked ingestible probiotic strain GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086). Bonicel contains compounds like lactic acid, bacteriocins, hydrogen peroxide, and enzymes, which are all produced as byproducts of the Ganeden BC30 fermentation process.

Ganeden is now entering its second human antiaging study on Bonicel’s topical benefits, which are said to include improved skin hydration and elasticity, and decreased fine lines and wrinkles. And, Bush adds, because both Bonicel and the ingestible Ganeden BC30 provide anti-inflammatory benefits, when both are used in tandem “there are some synergies there, which you’ll start seeing launch in products combining a ‘beauty from within’ coupled with a topical product.”

The key, Bush emphasizes, is to make sure that there is clinical topical-application evidence for the ingredient you’re using.

Bergstrom Nutrition (Vancouver, WA) says there are topical beauty promises for its OptiMSM methylsulfonylmethane, already used in food, supplements, and beverages. “While OptiMSM is well-recognized within the joint-health category, there is an increasing amount of evidence regarding its ability to reduce oxidative stress. Data suggests that this property would be applicable in both ingestible and topical products,” says Rod Benjamin, director of technical development. Already, Bergstrom has been promoting studies showing that OptiMSM works as a cosmetic preservative.

Nichole DeBlock, marketing director for Nutraceuticals International Group (Paramus, NJ), reports promising new topical skincare results for fucoxanthin, a carotenoid in brown algae, in a study published last year in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. (The firm’s supplies FucoPure fucoxanthin extract.) “The study done on hairless mice found that topical treatment with fucoxanthin prevented photoaging as evidenced by wrinkle formation and epidermal hypertrophy in the skin of UVB irradiated hairless mice,” she says.

And Shaheen Majeed, marketing director for Sabinsa Corp. (East Windsor, NJ), which specializes in botanicals and Ayurvedic herbal extracts, says that “Most of Sabinsa’s cosmeceuticals were developed only after we developed the oral grade of the product.”

“For example,” he says, “we developed pterostilbene 5% and 30% for the oral market, and quickly developed pTeroWhite (pterostilbene 90%) for the skincare market.” The cosmetic version offers UVB protection and skin-lightening effects. Other Sabinsa ingestible ingredients now in topical cosmetics include curcumin (SabiWhite) for skin lightening and coconut water (Cococin) for hydration and skin/hair care. The company’s vast cosmetic ingredients brochure of natural ingredients-a majority of which are also found in supplements and food-cover everything from skin lightening and sun protection to natural moisturizing and hair care.

“One more thing to point out is that it’s not as easy to just start using something you take as a pill on your skin. A different set of toxicity data must be developed,” Majeed adds. “You can’t simply take an ingestible toxicology study and assume it’s okay for skincare.”