Nutricosmetics Promise Healthier Skin

Today’s savvy spa-goers know that a well-rounded beauty regimen includes more than just high-quality topical skincare products. They know that beauty also comes from within, which is why nutricosmetics, oral-based beauty-enhancing supplements, make up one of the fastest-growing categories in the industry. “By combining nutricosmetics with a healthy diet and topical skincare routine, they complete the missing link between healthy aging and natural beauty philosophies,” says Paula Simpson, cofounder of ZSS Skincare. 

While eating organic and healthy foods can help supply the body with the nutrients it needs to perform daily functions, it’s not always enough. According to M’Lisa Jackson, president of M’lis, it can be difficult to get the micronutrients needed to boost healthy skin solely from diet, as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), processed food, environmental toxins, and ineffective digestion and absorption contribute to skin damage. That’s what makes nutricosmetics so important. They not only provide benefits to the body but can also treat a range of skin, hair, and nail conditions, thus reshaping how we look at clinical approaches to treating these issues. Here we share how nutricosmetics—beverages, powders, and pills—have evolved to address a variety of skin conditions and more.

These Conditions Apply

Working to improve the health of the body with effective ingredients, nutricosmetics have shown promise in addressing many common concerns, such as acne, aging, hormonal imbalances, inflammation, environmental damage, and even stress. Tackling a range of issues, Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare features a variety of Harmonized Waters, which contain scalar-wave technology, a form of radio-frequencies that, when ingested, vibrate above the skin and treat numerous skin conditions including acne, eczema, rosacea, dermatitis, sun damage, and more. “We just finished a clinical trial where we improved acne by 60 percent in four weeks using only Skin Perfection,” says founder and CEO Ben Johnson, M.D.

Restoring hormonal balance in the body can also promote a clear and healthy complexion, and some of today’s nutricosmetics, like M’lis Balance Natural Hormone Therapy, are incorporating hormones, such as wild yam-based estrogen-like compounds, to revitalize aging skin and help relieve PMS and menopausal symptoms.

The proliferation of collagen supplements is one area of the nutricosmetics market that is exploding in popularity and shows little sign of slowing. It’s no surprise when you consider that collagen helps give skin its strength, elasticity, and structure. It is greatly affected by environmental stresses such as sun exposure, nutrition, skin damage, and exposure to toxins such as pollutants, cigarette smoke, and recreational drugs. As people age, the production of collagen decreases, and the skin loses its natural elasticity and firmness, resulting in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging.

According to Marc A. Ronert, M.D, Ph.D., president and medical director of Image Skincare, nutricosmetics have been used for thousands of years, dating back to ancient cultures that consumed foods like chicken feet to introduce more collagen into their diets. So while the concept of nutricosmetics isn’t a new one, the technology found in those used today has certainly come a long way. Image Skincare, for example recently debuted the Yana Daily Collagen Shots, which rely on bioactive collagen peptides that help increase collagen by up to 65 percent in 60 days and help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, increase skin moisture, and repair skin on a cellular level. “In clinical studies, this bioavailable form of collagen has been shown to significantly reduce wrinkle volume, and increase elasticity and skin hydration levels,” says Ronert. “Due to the absorption ability of hydrolyzed collagen, significant increases in fibroblasts, leading to increased density of the skin, have also been demonstrated.” Pure Gold Collagen is another liquid beauty supplement formulated with hydrolyzed collagen, which helps the body to form new collagen structures. Because collagen is an essential nutrient that modern-day food-processing has stripped from many people’s diets, Vital Proteins has also introduced a variety of collagen-boosting powders, such as Collagen Beauty Greens, Marine Collage, and Collagen Peptides.

While collagen supplements certainly help turn back the hands of time, so, too, can the growing number of nutricosmetics designed to repair DNA. Over time, cells become damaged, so it’s important to support the DNA repair process to keep skin looking younger and healthier. Fortunately, there are supplements like the Healthycell DNA Repair Complex, which contains enzymes, minerals, phytonutrients, and vitamins to help repair it. Of course, it’s best to avoid damage in the first place, and that is where supplements designed to combat photoaging, such as Lycored’s Lycoderm, come into play. It contains carnosic acid and tomato extract to protect the skin from DNA damage due to sun exposure and prevent further damage caused by the sun. Today’s supplements don’t stop there, however. They also work to brighten sun-ravaged skin. For instance, GliSODin Skin Nutrients Advanced Skin Brightening Formula contains borage seed oil, CoQ10, lemon balm, and lycopene to promote a bright, clear complexion, minimizing the damaging effects of sun exposure.

Shape Shifters         

Regardless of the condition spa-goers want to address, they are no longer limited to popping a pill. Consumers today can shop for liquids, powders, and even gummy candies and soft chews to get the same benefits. According to studies from Transparency Market Research, today’s consumers prefer liquid nutricosmetics over pills, because they can easily be incorporated into their busy

lifestyles. They also tend to trust the effectiveness of liquids more than pills. Though pills and liquids are the most popular forms of nutricosmetics today, powders are gaining momentum. According to Tim Mount, director of education at NeoCell, food recipes that incorporate healthy ingredients mixed with supplements are the next big thing. “The convenience of functional foods is appealing to consumers, because of the reluctance to add another tablet into an existing health regimen,” he says.

Skin Deep Concerns

In spite of their popularity, some still question the effectiveness of nutricosmetics on the skin, hair, and nails. Most of the concern stems from not knowing whether the nutrients are actually reaching their preferred destination. It’s important to remember that nutricosmetics should not be used alone in a beauty regimen, as they work best in combination with topical products and a healthy diet. “It’s important to apply nutrients topically, as less than one percent of what we ingest makes its way to the skin,” says Celeste Hilling, CEO, cofounder and product formulator of Skin Authority. There is also concern about the amount of active ingredients listed on the label. According to Mark Menolascino, M.D., key medical opinion leader at the nutriceuticals company Lycored, there are many low-quality nutritional supplements on the market, so spas should opt for a trusted company that invests in quality control when choosing nutricosmetics. “We also want to look at the ingredient list of not only what is in the supplement but also the other ingredients,” he says. If there are more than three or four ingredients, especially dyes or chemicals, that are hard to pronounce, it is likely a lower-quality formula.

According to Ronert, whether referring to traditional topical skincare or nutricosmetics, the effectiveness comes down to the ingredients that make up the formulation and the delivery system. “If the ingredients used are clinically proven to be effective, and the delivery system gets those ingredients to a part of the body where they can do their job, the product will be effective,” he says. “If the formulation fails on either of those key points, it likely won’t make much of a difference at all.”

Reality Check

Nutricosmetics provide numerous benefits to the skin, hair, and nails, but it is important to remind clients that they shouldn’t expect to see immediate results and that a dedicated regimen offers the best chance for success. Nutricosmetics give your spa a unique opportunity to provide clients with a complete wellness experience that goes beyond topical treatments and is right on trend. Says Mount, “Beauty from within has been one of the fastest-growing categories in the spa industry, and we expect that trend to continue for the foreseeable future, as more research is published on the benefits of beauty supplements.”

Ingredients to Watch

No matter what condition spa-goers are hoping to treat with nutricosmetics, there are some ingredients that are proving to be especially promising. M’Lis’s Jackson recommends digestive enzymes, evening primrose oil, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, vitamins C and D, and zinc as just a few of the micronutrients to help heal and support healthy skin. Lycored’s Menolascino is a fan of lycopene and other carotenoids, as they are great antioxidants for the skin and also produce a heart-healthy anti-inflammatory state in the body and provide protection from ultraviolet rays. Simpson, of ZSS Skincare, recommends biotin, botanicals, fatty acids sourced from marine and berry oils, hydrolyzed collagen, spices, turmeric, and vitamins C and E. “Pollutants from the environment, diet, and lifestyle can overstress and offset skin homeostasis,” she says. “At times, diet alone may not be enough to fully support skin metabolism; it is here that nutricosmetics can bridge the gap in nutrient deficiencies and stress overload.”

Internal Revenue

Get the inside scoop on how nutricosmetics from these companies can improve your clients’ health and appearance.—Darby Radcliff

1. Caudalíe Vinexpert Dietary Supplements: Protect against free radicals and reduce wrinkles with these capsules containing virgin borage oil, grape oil, grapevine resveratrol, and virgin onager oil.

2. Elemis Vitality Body Enhancement Capsules: Boost cellular and metabolic functions for long-lasting energy with these supplements formulated with ginseng, laminaria, kelp, sarsaparilla root, spirulina extract, and vitamin B.

3. EMK Renascence Skin Supplement: Help preserve and restore youthful skin elasticity and radiance with these daily supplements made with organic berries and 100 percent pure seabuckthorn oil.

4. Image Skincare Yana Daily Collagen Shots: Replenish collagen lost due to aging with this 28-day supply of single shot vials formulated with biotin, bioactive collagen peptides, phytocer­amides, and vitamin B6.

5. Jane Iredale Skin Accumax: These all-natural skincare supplements contain brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and vitamins A and C to effectively treat all types of adult acne.

6. Naturopathica Burdock Radiant Skin Tincture: Featuring burdock, Oregon grape root, and red clover, this antioxidant-rich supplement helps promote healthy skin by encouraging natural cell renewal.

7. Nutrafol The Men and Women Dietary Supplements: Help improve the health of hair and prevent thinning with these anti-aging capsules containing fish collagen, horsetail extract, and vitamins A and C.

8. Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare Harmonized H2O Skin Perfection: Create a flawless complexion with this distilled water dietary supplement, which helps balance skin inflammation.

9. Perricone MD Super Berry with Açaí Dietary Supplement Powder: Fight wrinkles and free-radical damage with this powdered supplement packed with energizing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients.

10. Repêchage Hydra Medic Nutritional Supplement: Promote acne-free skin with these daily nutritional tablets filled with natural freeze-dried spirulina, which is rich in phytonutrients and vitamin A.

11. Sanitas Colloidal Mineral Cocktail: Support the immune system with this liquid dietary supplement made with vitamins B12 and C and zinc.

12. SNC Laboratories Hair, Skin & Nail Support: Help skin retain moisture and elasticity with these supplements formulated with Cynatine HNS, hyaluronic acid, horsetail extract, and vitamin E.