In an effort to provide clients with more than just pampering and relaxation, many of today’s spas have also incorporated health and wellness offerings, such as nutrition consultations, fitness classes, and oral-based beauty-enhancing supplements known as nutricosmetics. Combining the health benefits of nutraceuticals with the cosmetic benefits of cosmeceuticals, nutricosmetics treat the skin and body from the cellular level by promoting skin cell renewal and revealing healthier looking and glowing skin. “Nutricosmetics promote the concept of beauty through nutrition and a healthy body,” says Julie Radicioni, president of Inovacure. “They aid in skin rejuvenation and protection, enhance skin appearance, and provide other health benefits, such as increased metabolism and energy and joint pain relief.” It’s these benefits and more that have made nutricosmetics one of the fastest growing categories in the beauty and wellness industry.
Nutricosmetics, which are available in a variety of forms, including liquids, capsules, powders, and even chewing gum and gummy bears, are not intended to replace proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. They are designed to complement topical skincare treatments, help protect skin from environmental stressors, and support healthy skin, hair, and nails. “Topical skincare products play an important role in the maintenance of good-looking skin, but a healthy skin matrix really has to start from the inside,” says Al Quadri, president of Collagen M.D. According to international beauty nutrition and nutricosmetics expert Paula Simpson, nutricosmetics work systematically by bypassing the digestive system and making their way into the bloodstream toward the dermal layers where blood vessels bring oxygen and nutrients to skin layers for healthy cellular renewal and protection. “Although proper nutrition and a balanced eating plan is a starting point for optimal health, oral beauty supplements offer the right nutrients for healthier skin,” says Simpson. “To get this amount of nutrients from diet alone can be difficult on a daily basis. Nutricosmetics may contain amino acids, antioxidants, botanical extracts, minerals, and targeted vitamins in their composition that may have a protective or restoring effect on the health and appearance of skin.”
Because every nutricosmetic brand is different, effectiveness depends on a number of factors, including ingredients and dose protocols. Collagen M.D. Advanced Connective Tissue Formula, for example, is a powder supplement that is formulated with a combination of biotin, folic acid, hyaluronic acid, peptides, vitamin B12, and vitamin C to help support the metabolic needs of aging skin. “The formula is easy to digest and highly bioavailable,” says Quadri. “Mix two scoops into a blender with any combination of juice, water, fruits, or vegetables for a delicious age-management smoothie.” Similarly, Bliss’s Blisslabs Nutricosmetics is a range of powder, liquid, and capsule supplements that target some of the most common skin and body issues. The Youth As We Know It Vitality Blend, a powder, contains grapeseed extract, lycopene, and resveratrol to support cell vitality and defend against free radicals and age-accelerating oxidative stress. The Total Bliss ‘Zen’ at Work focus- enhancing calming drops contain chamomile, magnolia bark, and vitamin B6 to promote relaxation and concentration while soothing the stomach. “We’re taking a whole new approach to beauty and wellness with Blisslabs Nutricosmetics,” says Sandy Lemmerman, associate vice president of global brand development at Bliss. “Combining the nutritional know-how of industry specialists with our spa expertise, we created these supplements to perfectly complement Bliss beauty regimens, along with a well-balanced diet, an exercise program, and a healthy lifestyle. Made with cutting-edge, top-quality ingred- ients, they’re designed to address a bevy of beauty woes from head to toe.”
Beneficial for clients of all ages seeking glowing skin, hair, and nails, nutricosmetics are ideal for aging clients who want to feel and look younger and healthier and for the younger generations who want to prevent signs of aging. “There is a shift occurring in the medical industry where people are not satisfied with doctor and physician services and are looking for alternative ways to stay healthy,” says Radicioni. “More and more consumers don’t want to treat symptoms and take medication; they want to prevent health issues from occurring. Spa treatments, along with nutricosmetics, are the natural path to follow for consumers.” Nutricosmetics, like NeoCell’s bioactive collagen supplements, can also be used to help heal and speed up recovery time after skin procedures, and maintain the results of peels and lasers. “They help rebuild and reorganize the skin matrix so skin stays firm and full,” says Shannon Hirtzel, marketing manager at NeoCell. “They can help prevent fine lines and other skin issues while promoting glowing and healthy skin. At NeoCell, we like to say that beauty is an expression of health, and this resonates with people, because it makes them realize they have to keep their skin healthy at a cellular level.”
Spas typically offer nutricosmetics as an in-spa addition to treatments to help clients achieve the most optimal results or in the retail area to help clients maintain results at home. According to Radicioni, many spas that carry the Inovacure Vitality Cocktail Anti-Aging Formula offer it automatically in an anti-aging package as an added value. The collagen-based concentrated drink helps improve skin texture and quality, reduce signs of aging, improve elasticity of skin, and maintain optimal skin moisture. “The drink can be added to any glass of juice, smoothie, or water,” she says. “This will treat skin at the dermis level—working from the inside. It provides customer retention from one to several months and offers the perfect solution for customers who want to feel and look young and healthy.” At Spa My Blend by Clarins at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, guests relaxing in the spa’s lounge are encouraged to try a glass of water with a few drops of one of Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare’s Harmonized Waters, which are formulated to help treat various skin and body conditions. Guests can also order a drink on the beverage menu containing the Inovacure Vitality Cocktail, which can be served either with or without alcohol. According to spa director Jill Carlen, offering nutricosmetics has helped the spa’s business, because it provides guests with alternative wellness options and encourages repeat business. While the spa does not incorporate nutricosmetics directly into any services, therapists at the spa recommend them to clients to help them enhance and maintain the benefits of their treatments, and they are available for retail. Also, the therapists have all tried the supplements and offer firsthand recommendations to guests. “Guests want results, and when a therapist can say ‘this really worked for me,’ they are more eager to try it themselves,” says Carlen.
While nutricosmetics are growing in popularity at spas nationwide, many clients are still unaware of their benefits, which is why education is key. At Bliss spas, estheticians consult with clients to analyze their skin prior to recommending a treatment or products. Based on the clients’ issues, which may be lack of sleep, dehydrated skin, or stress, topical products are recommended, and the nutricosmetic is then chosen to enhance the results of the products. While most healthy spa-goers can benefit from nutricosmetics, it is important to be aware that they are not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women and should never replace a well-balanced diet. Also, any clients with a medical condition should always consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any nutricosmetic or dietary supplement program. “Today, spa-goers are moving beyond topical esthetics to support natural beauty and healthy aging,” says Simpson. “Dietary and lifestyle factors are increasingly in the spotlight for the positive impact they can bring toward our outer appearance. The spa offers the intersection where clients can access holistic beauty and wellness programs. By pairing with the most appropriate nutricosmetic for your spa, you have the opportunity to embrace this category of products to provide a one-stop oasis in combining beauty, health, and wellness.”