What a Pill! As the link between outer beauty and proper nutrition strengthens, new supplements and other ingestible beauty products continue to expand in the U.S. Christine Esposito • Associate Editor
WITH 65% of adults reporting that hey take dietary supplements, it’s clear that when it comes to
improving their overall health with supplements, Americans get the concept. The daily
vitamin is as much a part of their morning
routine as coffee. If they feel a cold coming
on, they’ll down some Echinacea. Lacking
energy? Maybe they’ll add iron pills.
But when their hair or skin looks lackluster, U.S. consumers are more comfortable turning to topical products. According
to a 2009 Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) survey, just 15% of supplement
users take dietary supplements for skin,
hair and nails.
Yet industry insiders say this is changing—and many of them are putting their
money where their mouths are in terms of
product development and investment in
the marketplace. Nutricosmetics and nutraceuticals continue to debut—albeit at a
slower pace than in 2008-2009, most likely
in reaction to the recession—and the retail
scene is evolving too. Companies pushing
the beauty from the inside out message are
expanding their distribution online and
setting up brick-and-mortar operations, too.
All of this, stakeholders contend, is
boosting awareness and should help further
educate U.S. consumers about the connection between well-balanced nutrition and
outer beauty—and ultimately increase sales.
Making the Connection
Any dietician will tell you that you are what
you eat—and what you don’t—and this
plays a role in health, both inside and out.
According to Douglas“Duffy”MacKay,
vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs for CRN, a lot of things that are good
for us in general—like omega- 3 and antioxidants—are also good for skin, hair
“Skin is a mirror to inside. It really is
‘this bone is connected to that bone.’ If the
internal stuff is working well and feeling
good, the skin reflects that,” MacKay said.
“Looking into some of the science, it makes
a lot of sense—skin, hair and nails are con-
stantly turning over and growing; skin cells
slough off. Having the right biochemical
tools, nutrients and bioactives to support
that growth is a basic principle.”
Those who have been at the front of the
nutraceutical and nutricosmetics movement
have witnessed the evolution of the market-
place; U.S. consumers have become much
more receptive to those basic principles.