The average woman over 35 looks in the mirror and what does she see? A person comfortable in her skin, who has weathered change, reached milestones and come to know who she is. Sheâs also seeing some wrinkling and sagging in her skin, a dulling of the luminosity that marked her appearance in yearâs past. Sheâs not appalled and sheâs not depressed, but she is determined to look as healthy and attractive as she can for as long as she can.
The signs of physical aging often prompt mid-life consumers to change their lifestyle in order to improve the way they feel and their chances of longevity. They will also spend more time grooming in order to minimize the visible effects of aging, according to âFear of Aging, 2003,â which is the latest report from Datamonitor, New York, NY. The report continued on to say that older consumers were especially open to adding dietary supplements to their health regimes to retard the mental and physical effects of aging, as well as âtrading upâ in terms of luxury topical skin care products that fight (or cover up) signs of aging. The report advised marketers, âIt is important to realize that todayâs mid-lifers are going to look and behave much younger than previous generations. They are redefining the process of aging. Instead of retiring, many are choosing to stay at work longer because they can, while others are going back to school. They are proud of their age and there is recognition that they have survived the test of time.â
Finding the Fountain of Youth
So what are âmidlifersâ looking for and buying to maintain a youthful feeling and appearance? Both topical and ingestible products. A recent report titled âAnti-Aging Products,â from market research company The Freedonia Group, Inc., Cleveland, OH, indicated, âDemand for formulated appearance-enhancing products is projected to increase over 12% per year through 2007 to $2.5 billion. New product introductions and the passage of the relatively affluent baby boomer generation through middle age (when age-related changes become more apparent) will stimulate demand for value-added, age-defying products.â The report continued, âFor the skin, wrinkle-removal injections, including Allerganâs BOTOX, and age-defying lotions will experience stellar growth, with gains of 16% and 11% per annum, respectively, through 2007. Anti-aging chemicals expected to record double-digit annual growth through 2007 include memory-enhancing neurological agents; botulinum toxin for wrinkle-reducing applications; and coenzyme Q10, soy extracts and a host of small volume herbal extracts, including lutein, lycopene, black cohosh and red clover, used in both dietary supplements and cosmeceuticals.â (See Table 1)
Cosmetic and skin care companies both in the U.S. and abroad are beginning to address the older consumerâs desire for product lines that marry cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals to smooth and improve skin. Avon is one such company.
Avon, the aptly monikered âcompany for women,â has been fully vested in the idea of beauty from the inside out. According to the company, its Avon Wellness line âis a destination for women and their families that promotes a healthy lifestyle.â The âone-stop shopâ that is Avon Wellness, âfocuses on products that help people feel healthier, look better and slow down the effects of aging.â Product lines geared toward these concepts include VitAdvance nutritional supplements, the Slimwell Weight Management line, Bally Total FitnessÂ® exercise equipment, Rykaâ¢ sneakers and the new Healthy Remedies brand of therapeutic products, which are designed to address health issues ranging from muscle aches to cold relief.
âWomenâs health and well-being is a natural extension of Avonâs beauty focus,â said Avon CEO Andrea Jung at the time of the Avon Wellness launch. âOur research around the world shows that women today are vitally concerned about inner health as well as outer beauty.â
Two new additions to the Avon Wellness line are Healthy Remedies Balancing Lotion, and VitAdvance AquaNew. One you smooth on, the other, you swallow. Healthy Remedies Balancing Lotion was created for the menopausal woman, to help alleviate the discomfort associated with that particular time in a womanâs life. Said Avon Spokesperson Andra Mielnicki, âAvonâs Healthy Remedies Balancing Lotion is proven to reduce the discomforts of night sweats and hot flashes in 14 days when applied twice daily to the entire body (including neck, legs, hands, arms and chest).â Additionally, the company claims the menopausal lotion contains ingredients, which diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, uplift the neck area and moisturize dry, sagging skin. Some of those ingredients include black cohosh, soy extract, and vitamins A and E.
VitAdvance AquaNew is touted by Avon as an âeasy to swallow tablet that is a high quality skin supplement.â The supplement is designed to replace âmoisture generating componentsâ that diminish as women age. Augmenting the skinâs natural moisture balance are a nourishing complex containing hyaluronic acid, and a revival complex containing green tea leaf extract and glutathione. The product is meant to be taken once a day with food to enhance an anti-aging skin care regimen.
The well-known skin care line OLAY, which is marketed by Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH, partnered last spring with vitamin and supplement manufacturer Pharmavite, Northridge, CA, to create OLAY Vitamins, a vitamin line meant to âsupport beauty from within.â âThis is the first vitamin line to support beauty from within,â said OLAY Vitamins spokesperson Helen Mah. âThe only affordably priced cosmeceutical line available to U.S. mass market retailers, OLAY Vitamins is formulated exclusively for women to address both their inner health and outer beauty needs.â At the time of the lineâs launch last year, Bill Brace, OLAY marketing director, stated, âAs a leader in the field of skin care for over 50 years, OLAY is dedicated to helping women look and feel their best.â He continued, âWhile we already offer some of the very best products available to improve skin from the outside, we became intrigued with the scientific research linking nutritional intake and skin health. Joining with Pharmavite was the obvious choice because they have a high quality reputation and an unparalleled expertise in understanding womenâs nutritional needs. OLAY vitamins closed the link between inner beauty and outer beauty for women to look and feel their best.â
The OLAY Vitamins brand consists of two sub linesâseven Beauty Nutrients for skin health/appearance and eight Wellness Nutrients to support a womanâs inner health needs. OLAY Beauty Nutrients support skin structure renewal and cell renewal, and include antioxidants, which are the skinâs best defense against premature aging. OLAY Wellness Nutrients are vitamins and nutritional supplements formulated for a womanâs unique wellness needs. According to the company, women can expect to see improvement in the appearance of their skin after four weeks of taking OLAY Vitamins. Among the host of products in the OLAY Vitamin line is Even Complexion, a nutritional supplement created to even skin tone and soothe skin. Ingredients in the product include vitamin A, vitamin E, selenium and lycopene to help neutralize free radicals, which can cause uneven color; PycnogenolÂ® to aid in soothing skin; and vitamin C and D, plus zinc and copper to provide nourishment to the skin.
Skin care lines known widely in the U.S. for their topical anti-aging products are prospering in Europe and Asia with product lines that focus on promoting beauty from within. Japanese cosmetic giant Shiseido offers an array of nutritional drinks and supplements meant to beautify the skin and body. Called Shiseido Beauty Foods, the line is composed of 18 different SKUâs, each offering to address different beauty issues. A weight loss tea called Gymrind contains magnesium and vitamins B1 and B2; a drink called Collagen Ex is purported to stimulate the bodyâs collagen production with a combination of marine collagen, elastin and nucleic acid (DNA), chondroitin and vitamins B2, B6, C and E. The promise of the product is a younger, firmer complexion. Most recently, Shiseido partnered with Coca-Cola Japan to bring a range of products to market that target âbody consciousâ consumers. The intial products will include a beverage called Body Style Water and a lotion called Body Stylish Mist, and both are being launched this month. The products contain grapefruit juice and caffeine. The concept behind the products hinges on Shiseidoâs theory of certain fragrances being able to affect fat-burningâalso referred to as its âaroma theory.â
LâOreal, Paris, France, joined forces with NestlÃ©, Vivey, Switzerland, almost two years ago to form a joint venture company called Laboratoires Inneov to develop nutritional supplements with a cosmetic bent. So far, the company has developed and launched âInnÃ©ov Fermete,â a nutraceutical Laboratoires InnÃ©ov claims can âimprove the quality of skin, hair and nails by supplying nutrients essential to their physiology.â InnÃ©ov Fermete is primarily intended for women over 40, who wish to address sagging skin. The productâs formula includes lacto-lycopene in combination with vitamin C and soy isoflavones.
Both Lynn Laboranti, M.S., R.D., of the Professional Education Department of Pharmavite, and Dr. Amy Newburger, a New York City, NY-based dermatologist and the author of Looking Good at Any Age, shared their thoughts on midlife women, skin care and the wisdom of combining nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals to promote healthy skin. âI believe that todayâs woman is looking for a holistic solution. Vitamins and topical solutions can work synergistically to make women look and feel their best,â stated Ms. Laboranti. Added Dr. Newburger, âI think the addition of nutraceuticals to existing cosmetic lines is a good idea. Iâve certainly seen an improvement in the health and appearance of the skin of my patients that have used OLAY Vitamins.â
Discussing the increased interest in nutraceuticals, which promote anti-aging, Ms. Laboranti said, âAs baby boomers age, they become more concerned about their health and appearance and I believe dietary supplements will gain momentum in the future. I also believe that the rising cost of healthcare will lead women to take supplements for prevention. In addition, I think women will seek alternative measures to plastic surgery, Botox, etc. Vitamins are a more natural solution.â
What skin care issues would Dr. Newburger like to see addressed in the future by cosmeceutical/nutraceutical lines? âIâd like to see products and ingredients to improve the skinâs ability to withstand pollution and environmental factors,â she said.
About the author
Mary Jane Tenerelli is a freelance writer based in East Northport, NY. She is also contributing editor at License! Magazine. She can be reached at E-mail: [email protected].