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Beauty Inside & OutBeauty Inside & Out
December, 25 2004


From hydroxy acids to skin whiteners, vitamins, moisturizers and enzymes, cosmeceuticals have exploded in recent years, as has the controversy associated with them. The European Cosmetic Trade Association values the EU skin care market at nearly €10 billion, with the largest growth in the anti-aging category, and "keeping looking young" is the most important factor for cosmetics consumers across Europe, Japan and the United States, according to research by Mintel.

Science and skin care are drawing closer together as the big cosmetic houses begin to go down the path of cosmeceuticals. However, the boundaries between cosmetics and medicine are being challenged, making it increasingly difficult to define the term cosmeceuticals. Lynn Dornblaser of Mintel offers an explanation. "Cosmeceuticals include products that enhance beauty from the outside—cosmetics, skin care—through ingredients that provide additional health-related functions or benefits, or products that enhance beauty from the inside—and often are drinks or dietary supplements," she explained. Dornblaser maintains that the products offering specific benefits would include wrinkle reducers, skin firming agents and products that help hair growth. "In the very broadest terms, those are cosmeceuticals, and I think there are dozens and dozens of examples of them," she said..

Consumers are familiar with skin care products with vitamins C and E, retinol and hydroxy acids, which have been popular in products at varying levels. Now, innovative research is focusing on the study of neuromediators, a means of transporting information between the skin and the brain. According to Laurent Misery, head of dermatology at the University Hospital of Brest, in Brittany, France, neuromediators enable the nervous system to control skin functions. The latest discovery is that skin cells can manufacture their own neuromediators, which could have many potential applications in dermatology and cosmetic science. .

Martin Raymond of The Future Laboratory observes that the influence of "happiness" on physiology is so important that big business has begun to pay attention to its anti-aging effects. "Recent studies into neuro-dermatology at the Guerlain skin care laboratory have discovered that the skin secretes endorphins just like the brain, which stimulate certain cells involved in the fight against aging," he explained. For the company’s latest product, Happylogy, the Guerlain research team developed a complex that is supposed to release endorphins within the skin..

According to Raymond, cosmetic companies are teaming up with the pharmaceutical industry to find ways of delivering small dose ingredients that do not require medical regulations. The latest research indicates that cosmetic companies are looking at how to introduce steroids and hormones into lip balms, which, used over time, could help to improve body mass, nail and hair growth..

Raymond also has seen evidence that stem cell and biotech procedures could be used to rejuvenate skin and reverse the signs of aging or the effects of exposure to pollution and smoke. "The notion of cultivating youth and longevity in the lab is not as far off as you may think," he explained. "Biotech will compete directly with the pharmaceuticals and cosmetic businesses." For example, Procter & Gamble’s latest Olay product, Regenerist, includes amino peptides that are used on burn victims and have been shown to have powerful anti-aging properties when combined with antioxidants and sun protection. .

Following the success of Botox in reducing wrinkles by injection, cosmetic companies are looking to develop products that mimic its action. Already, Faux-Tox by DDF (Doctor’s Dermatologic Formula), has cult status. The formulation contains a protein complex called Argireline to minimize muscle contractions by 50 percent, giving the ironed-out effect without the comedic paralysis. .

The most likely influential angle over the coming five years will be the links between internal health, beauty and anti-aging. "The next big beauty trend will be ‘skingestibles,’ which will literally promote beauty from the inside out," Raymond predicts. .

Mintel has already been tracking a number of product launches globally in this area. "Perhaps the oldest or most common one would be products with gelatin to aid nail strength and growth," states Dornblaser. "A wide range of additional products that can be considered cosmeceuticals by this definition, and this is by far the more exciting group of products." The most significant development to date has been the L’Oréal and Nestlé joint venture to produce a range of foods that will aim to improve the appearance of skin, hair and nails. The first product, which launched in France in March, is Innéov Fermeté, a nutritional complement developed for women over 40 who are concerned about skin firmness following menopause. It contains Lacto-LycopèneTM, which has been formulated with a combination of vitamin C and soya isoflavones to allow lycopene to be easily absorbed into the body. The product is guaranteed by Nestlé`s quality control and L`Oréal`s experience in dermatological research. One of the pioneers of this approach, Nicholas Perricone, MD, developed a three-tiered program almost five years ago. His range of anti-inflammatory skin care, plus nutritional supplements and dietary advice has proved particularly popular among the baby boom generation. .

Beauty drinks are also appearing on the market with Japanese cosmetics company Shiseido marketing products under the Shiseido Beauty Foods name. Collagen EX is a beauty-positioned drink with marine collagen, ceramide, elastin, DNA, chondroitin, adlay extract, ginseng and other revitalizing ingredients. "These types of products have had their origins in Japan, and while we still see a number of them from there, we increasingly are seeing developments in Europe and the United States," explained Dornblaser. Raymond concluded, "In the future, a balanced diet and supplements will be seen as part of a beauty routine as well as an aid to health." .

Imogen Matthews is a consultant to In-Cosmetics, which took place April 1–3, 2003, at Porte de Versailles in Paris. The Future Laboratory participated in the Industry Trends Presentations during the show. Cosmetic companies are starting to look closely at the pharmaceutical industry for ideas that would result in skin products with the ability to reverse signs of aging and mimic invasive cosmetic procedures.
Credit : Imogen Matthews

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