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With growing obesity and chronic health issues in the spotlight recently, the public is becoming more health conscious and demanding better food choices and programs to fit their hectic lifestyles. Health and wellness are at the root of the spa industry, and the foundation of optimal health is nutrition. In a spa environment, nutritional products and programs offer a key component in the body/mind/spirit experience.

According to SpaFinder’s fifth annual State of Spa Travel survey released in November, more consumers are seeking out resort and hotel spas for health and wellness purposes over aesthetics or pampering alone. This survey goes along with recent global marketing reports that predict the nutricosmetics (nutritional beauty supplements) sector will grow exponentially over the next five years in North America. Thus far, the North American market has been slow to adapt to the concept of nutricosmetics, partly due to the lack of education, lack of available distribution channels, and ineffective market messaging, such as unrealistic claims that lead users to expect instant results similar to topical products.

Unlike topical skincare products, nutricosmetics are taken orally and work systemically at the cellular level to support a healthy skin cell renewal cycle, which slows down as we age. They also protect the skin from environmental stressors, such as UV-induced skin damage; protect the structural foundation of the skin from age-related degradation; control inflammatory or reactive skin conditions; and, in some cases, promote nail and hair health or slimming benefits.

With a fairly new category of products being introduced to the spa market, education is critical for success. Nutricosmetics work differently from how topical products treat the skin. They enter from the inside and move toward the outer layer of the skin. It is within those deeper dermal layers where skin cell renewal takes place, and the structural components, such as collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, maintain skin hydration and resilience. It is through the combination of topical beauty regimens, along with nutritional supplementation, that the skin is best protected from the signs of premature aging.

Although the spa industry incorporates wellness, this newer concept of nutricosmetics may offer challenges for spas, particularly with effectively positioning and retailing the products. In my experience, before offering nutricosmetics in your spa, consider the following: What is the most common skin health complaint or most sought after treatment? Would nutricosmetics help treat these concerns? Are your clients seeking at-home care to support spa treatments? Would nutritional intervention assist in attaining better results for your clients? Will your clients understand how nutricosmetics work in conjunction with spa treatments and skincare products? Will this be a philosophy that your staff can promote and sell effectively?

It is well known that effective retailing is successful in spas that complement their products with their clients’ needs. If this is something your clients want, then it is important to match the nutricosmetic brand with your current spa philosophy. If your services are more natural, choosing a highly technical and sophisticated nutricosmetic is not a good match. Rather, seek out products that work alongside your mission, such as antioxidant teas or botanical-based tinctures that include similar ingredients as those used in topical spa menu treatments. For example, to support the effects of a hammam treatment, consider a nutritional cleansing product. The combination of treatments work together for better results, and the nutritional support can revitalize energy levels and provide a sense of wellbeing. If you offer medical-based services, choosing a nutricosmetic with technically driven ingredients or strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory formulations can support healing and enhance results for more invasive services such as laser skin-resurfacing treatments. 

To ensure your product launch is well embraced, seek partnerships or advice from nutrition, cooking, or wellness experts, as they can help with merging the “beauty from within” concept with your current spa services. Along with the product launch, introduce a standardized beauty nutrition program, offer expert wellness events, or food/cooking demonstrations to drive the message of total wellness, with a focus on dietary plans or menus to support skin health conditions. By pairing with the most appropriate nutricosmetic for your menu, you have the opportunity to embrace this category of products and provide a one-stop oasis to support beauty, wellness, and healthy aging.—Paula Simpson


@bio: With global recognition as a nutrition, weight loss, and product development expert, Paula Simpson has dedicated her time to educating the spa, medical aesthetic, and beauty industries on the importance of nutrition and supplementation. Through her background in product development and natural health regulations, Simpson cofounded a leading nutricosmetic brand. For more information, visit or you can contact her directly at [email protected]


Inner and outer beauty are easy pills to swallow thanks to these supplements.


Éminence Organic Skin Care VitaSkin Firm Skin Vitamins: These multi-phase release capsules contain ingredients to help protect the skin, as well as antioxidants to combat free radicals.


GliSODin Advanced Skin Brightening Formula: Developed to reduce uneven skintone, these pills help the healing process associated with facial skin resurfacing.


Murad Pure Skin Clarifying Dietary Supplement: Containing nutrients needed for strong healthy skin, this supplement provides a powerful internal defense against breakouts.


Pevonia Botanica ClariPlex Vitamin Supplement - Clear & Maintain: Part of the Power Repair Spa Vitamins line, this supplement helps fight blemish formation and prevent scarring.


Revercel Pure Omega-3: This fish oil supplement improves the health of the cardiovascular, neurological, and immune systems while keeping skin looking radiant.


Sanítas Skincare B Complex Power Blend: This product provides the optimal blend of all the B vitamins to help promote healthy skin and relieve the effects of anxiety and stress.