I must admit that I feel a certain connection to the nutricosmetics category—kind of like that science fair project that gauged the progress of a cell in a Petri dish: If it did what you hypothesized—thrive and morph into a unique organism—you could win the blue ribbon. If it didn’t, well, there was always next year.
For a long time, I was left relying on that next-year optimism, as the nutricosmetics category struggled to pick up momentum in the United States. Then in 2011, growth and education around the category started to become apparent as it saw an 11 percent sales increase in natural products stores.
Though nutricosmetics in the United States have yet to rival the success they’ve seen in the Japanese or European markets, the awareness among health-conscious consumers makes it a category worth watching this year, next year and beyond.
The innovative, more complex approaches to beauty supplements I saw at Expo East 2012 in Baltimore only reinforced that consumers understand this category more and more and manufacturers are exploring new ways to deliver quality.
Hot new products in the nutricosmetics category
Delicious Living readers often tell us that they look to certain nutrients found in whole foods for beauty benefits. The question to this month’s natural products giveaway was: Does beauty come from within? Check out some of our readers’ answers.
This, of course, is the core idea behind nutricosmetics: What you put in your body affects your skin, hair and nails.
But it’s also important to realize that certain key beauty or antiaging nutrients aren’t available in in whole foods, or not in high enough quantities. These nutrients include collagen, omega-7s, resveratrol and hyaluronic acid. Beyond that, foods can't always provide the best combinations of these nutrients.
This is where I noticed brands excelling at Expo East, introducing new products that don’t just highlight one stellar beauty ingredient but efficacious combinations. Collagen, just as it has been in Japan for years, seems to be even more important to the U.S. category. But it’s no longer just about collagen. These supplements offer more.
NeoCell Collagen Beauty Builder
The latest from NeoCell smartly boasts the words, “Beauty is an expression of health.” The capsules not only contain 6,000 mg types 1 & 3 collagen—a protein known for its ability to keep skin taut and reduce the appearance of wrinkles—but also “nature’s moisture magnet” hyaluronic acid and 3,000 mcg biotin for hair and nails health.
According to the company, “These nutrients have a synergistic effect and have been show to help skin radiance and hydration, hair thickness and nail strength, as well as help fight the aging process.”
NeoCell also launched its Beauty Burst that contains collagen, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C. I haven’t been a big fan of candy-like nutricosmetics... until now. I have to admit these taste great—like a Starburst, only sans artificial flavors and with 2,000 mg of an ingredient that promises to smooth out your wrinkles. Mmmm.
Reserveage Ultra Collagen Booster
A new super-powered beauty supplement from Reserveage is taking the company beyond its resveratrol reputation. Its Ultra Collagen Booster (the name says it all, doesn’t it?) features three branded beauty-from-within ingredients.
One is BioCell collagen—a research-backed collagen all star. The other is a new ingredient created specifically for the beauty-from-within industry called Dermaval—a complex blend of fruit and vegetable extracts. Finally, it incorporates Pro-Longevity Resveratrol Blend, the company’s proprietary blend of trans-resveratrol (the most potent and effective form) and full-spectrum, polyphenol-rich ingredients.
Together, Reserveage says these ingredients support skin’s firmness, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and plump skin.
The company also launched a combo product under its Fembody Nutrition Brand. Its Hair, Nails & Skin Beauty Activator provides high doses of bamboo extract, biotin, cysteine, and opti-MSM (a form of bioactive sulfur), along with a beauty antioxidant complex including ALA and green tea and mineral minerals such as zinc. All in a once-daily formula.
Which nutricosmetic ingredients or products do you think are standouts?