While unhealthy skin care lotions and nostrums abound, this panel of industry experts remind us why natural skin care is booming and what it can offer your customers.
• Chris Alexander, General Manager, BodyHealth, Clearwater, FL
• Lynda M. Doyle, MS Human Nutrition, Senior Vice President, OmniActive Health Technologies, Morristown, NJ
• Corey Friese, Vice President, Product Strategy, Vital Proteins, Elk Grove Village, IL
• Danielle Hedquist, Marketing Director, White Egret Personal Care, Odgen, UT
• Dan Lifton, CEO, Quality of Life Labs, Purchase, NY
• Rob Maru, Vice President of Innovation and Brand Development, Reserveage Nutrition, Boca Raton, FL
• Wendy Meyerson, Owner, Natur-Tyme, Syracuse, NY
• Ramani Wonderling, PhD, Associate Director for Scientific Relations in Diagnostics, Abbott, Lake Forest, IL
While conventional skin care and the anti-aging segment have been lagging in sales for the last couple of years, research from the Mintel Group (Chicago, IL) shows interest in natural formulations has grown, especially because “trusted and easily recognizable ingredients alleviate concerns about chemicals, pollution and unfamiliar ingredients.”
Consumers are increasingly drawn to milder, more natural formulations and those that shield against pollution, Mintel points out, noting that 14 percent of shoppers surveyed realize that pollution affects the health of their largest organ, the skin.
Lifestyle is also becoming more recognized as important to skin health, with 44 and 36 percent of respondents agreeing that hydration and diet influence the skin, with 26 percent saying that diet is more important than skin care products. Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed note that stress influences the appearance of their skin and, along with this, 30 percent of consumers seek out anti-aging products featuring anti-stress claims.
“The link between diet and skin is evident, and as consumers increasingly associate their lifestyle with their skin’s appearance, product formulations with added food-based ingredients and vitamins stand out among the competition,” added Mintel’s Shannon Romanowski, category manager for health, household, beauty and personal care.
Vitamin Retailer (VR) asked a selection of experts about solutions for, and insights, into natural skin care.
VR: What is the state of the market for natural skin care products?
Doyle: Skin care is booming with the global market estimated at roughly $121 billion. Skin care is the largest category of the global cosmetics sector, comprising of roughly 35 percent of the total market.
Alexander: While the demand for conventional personal care solutions is flat, consumer interest in natural skin care products is growing, especially in light of increasing awareness of the skin-damaging and aging effects of stress, everyday chemicals and environmental toxins.
Hedquist: This market is booming! There is so much growth and expansion. More and more customers are demanding high-quality, safe skin care products with ingredients that are wholesome and easy to under-stand.
VR: What are the latest ingredients used for skin care products, and has that changed recently?
Maru: Collagen is the main ingredient consumers are seeking today, but not all collagen is created equal. Many advances in technology and science have resulted in more bioavailable forms, as well as more clinical trial evidence on their performance.
Doyle: The most recent and exciting change is that it’s not just about anti-aging anymore. Uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation are just a few benefits that are driving the market. The rise in Beauty Balm and color-correcting creams reflect this trend, and with the beauty-from-within category gaining momentum, products including lutein and zeaxanthin isomers—which have demonstrated skin health benefits—are providing untapped opportunities.
Friese: Some of the latest ingredients being used for skin care include ingestible collagen, hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, shea butter and cleansing ingredients, such as green tea and apple cider vinegar. Many of these skin-boosting ingredients have been around for a while, but are increasing in popularity as consumers continue to search for natural alternatives.
Hedquist: We have found that there is a higher demand for paraben-free, non-GMO (genetically modified organism), allergen-free and traceable ingredients. Customers are just as concerned about what isn’t in their products as with what is. Coconut is growing, as is activated charcoal. The market is constantly changing, following the trends and research on the latest miracle ingredient.
VR: What research on ingredients for skin health are retailers and consumers interested in?
Lifton: The research that retailers and consumers are most interested in is human clinical data. While test-tube and animal studies may help identify promising ingredients worthy of further study, it is human clinical studies that allow us to make foolproof predictions about how any given substance will function in the human body. Think about how chocolate is delicious for you, but poisonous to dogs. We have to be mindful of the fact that humans differ from animals in anatomy, physiology and metabolism when we’re reviewing research.
Maru: The research needs to show an efficacy period, and be validated in double-blind, placebo-controlled human studies showing significant results in a short period of time, i.e., 60 days or less.
Doyle: Research demonstrating specific benefits rather than simply “anti-aging” or “moisturizing” results are of most interest to retailers and consumers. Consumers’ choices are driven by the results they can expect to see. Anti-aging, as an example, has become a multi-dimensional term encompassing wrinkle reduction, addressing hyperpigmentation, firming, brightening and evening out skin tone. Research focused on specific benefits will resonate with consumers and retailers alike.
Friese: As with any research or study, consumers and retailers are interested in real-world applications and results. For example, studies like the benefits of using coconut oil as a moisturizer. Ingredients that are not deemed natural, such as benzoyl peroxide, tend to have more research surrounding their effectiveness and safety, as they’ve been used in the skin care industry longer than many natural ingredients. To that end, there needs to be more research on natural ingredients and their effectiveness for skin care.
VR: What part of the category is made up of beauty from within products? Has this value proposition finally sunk in with consumers?
Doyle: Of the $9.6 billion spent in the natural and organic personal care industry, skin care is a third of the market and the category is growing. Results are what drive consumers for their skin care supplements—for example, hair, skin and nail formulas are popular because consumers can expect to see results relatively quickly. So, growth in this category may be predicated on noticeable benefits in a specific period of time. OmniActive’s Lutemax 2020, as an example, has been shown to increase skin tone, elasticity and skin brightening in as little as 12 weeks. And while traditional deliveries, including capsules and gummies, are still very much a stronghold in the category, the expansion into drinks, chocolates and even yogurt offers added excitement and new opportunities to entice consumers.
Friese: Beauty from within products are still in the minority due to the abundance of topically applied products. While there is still a lot of awareness that needs to be spread regarding the efficacy of “beauty from within” or ingestible skin care ingredients, the market is a lot larger than it was five to 10 years ago. Products that contain collagen or hyaluronic acid, for instance, are very popular nowadays, and consumers are realizing that an external and internal beauty regimen is the most effective.
Alexander: Not enough. Retailers have long known how important our inner health is to our outer appearance, and growing recognition of this among shoppers is driving more interest in beauty-from-within supplements and foods that contribute to overall health, in addition to whatever benefits they may convey to the health of our skin. However, more products are needed that build and repair skin proteins with amino acids.
Hedquist: Ideally, all products in the natural skin care category would encourage beauty from within. Our skin is our largest organ, and that means we need to take care to nourish, protect and hydrate this vital part of our bodies. The microbiome concept is growing, and for good reason. Our skin is delicate, so we must be careful about what we apply to it, and using products that nourish from within have the biggest benefits. This value proposition is finally getting the credit it deserves, as more customers are seeing the importance of deeply nourishing our skin.
VR: What are the newest trends in natural skin care?
Doyle: Anti-aging has become a multidimensional term that addresses benefits such as wrinkle reduction, hyperpigmentation, firming, brightening and evening skin tone. As a matter of fact, for most consumers, managing the appearance of their skin rather than looking younger is increasingly the primary motivation driving their skin care purchases. Redefining supplements for “age management” rather than “anti-aging” may be more relevant, and attractive to consumers. Another trend is “whole body” skin nutrition—not just the face, neck and arms. This is a major benefit for the beauty-from-within category, as supplements can provide a convenient way for consumers to get skin health and beauty support for the entire body.
Maru: The trends seem to favor oral delivery systems in conjunction with topical products. There is also dem- and for vegetarian and vegan-friendly products. As an alternative to collagen supplements derived from animal sources, Reserveage Nutrition’s new Plant-based Support Collagen Builder features vegan-friendly nutrients. Ingredients included are our proprietary blend of amino acids, vitamin C from organic amla gooseberry extract, silica from bamboo and antioxidants from white tea. In addition to support skin hydration, vegan phytoceramides are included.
VR: What specific challenges, controversies or obstacles are there for manufacturers and marketers in the natural skin care space?
Hedquist: The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) is stepping up their game in our market, and that means you need proof of each attribute you’re claiming. This ensures customers are not being misled and retailers don’t have to worry about carrying a misleading product. This creates unique challenges, though, because what used to be an acceptable claim is now shifting, so there is more demand for research, and more caution for marketers. There is a lot of pressure for transparency from manufacturers, so they must be accountable for exactly what they are using and where they are getting it from.
Lifton: At Quality of Life, we don’t ask you to take our supplements on faith. Faith is irrelevant when you have research. As a company committed to developing evidence-based products, Quality of Life is the only company in the nutritional supplement industry that can make the guarantee that: every ingredient in every one of our products is backed by human studies and delivered in dosages consistent with clinical research.
Friese: One of the primary challenges facing manufacturers and marketers of natural skin-care products is increased competition, and not just from the large companies selling synthetic or conventional skin care ingredients. Just like the natural food industry, start-up companies are popping up every day promising to offer a cleaner, more effective formula than the other.
Doyle: There are a couple. For one, translating research into relevant marketing messaging that resonates with consumers. More specifically, research that shows benefits in a specific period of time so consumers can see the results. It’s not enough to say a certain ingredient is good for the skin. Consumers want details. Also, consumers are increasingly looking for tailored skin care formulas and the concept of “one-size-fits-all” formulations run the risk of excluding certain consumer sectors like Millennials, who look at customized formulas more favorably.
Alexander: Legitimate companies with science-backed products need to break through both the grandiose claims of hucksters who are peddling anti-aging fountains of youth and the cynicism of consumers who have been hoodwinked into buying these questionable nostrums.
VR: What do U.S. retailers need to know about your products or ingredients for skin health?
Doyle: Lutein and zeaxanthin isomers–collectively known as the macular carotenoids–are found throughout the body and abundantly in the skin. With this in mind, OmniActive undertook a study to see how Lutemax 2020 can contribute to skin health. The study—called Beautiful Skin Forever—showed that taking just 10 mg of Lutemax 2020 for 12 weeks demonstrated a rare combination of benefits. Specifically, Lutemax 2020 increased overall skin tone, skin lightening, minimal erythema dose, MED—the amount of ultraviolet light that elicits a burn response. Higher MED means greater protection from UV light and skin elasticity. And unlike other carotenoids, like beta carotene, Lutemax 2020 does not lead to carotenoderma, yellowing of the skin from supplementation. Supplementing with Lutemax 2020 provides a whole-body approach to skin care in a small dose.
Lifton: Quality of Life’s Oligonol is a healthy aging formula that supports normal circulation, which has benefits in both skin health and appearance. Derived from the Asian superfruit lychee, Oligonol is a breakthrough anti-aging antioxidant that is clinically proven to get your blood moving. Blood flow to the skin helps with elasticity, which allows this unique nutritional supplement to reduce consumers’ skin wrinkles and brown spots.
Although dry, prickly skin may be an uncomfortable reality for many, knowing that there’s a wide range of irritants for those who have sensitive skin may make finding a remedy for these symptoms seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, there’s safe, effective and completely natural help for your customers’ skin. Made from a special strain of patented, heat-sterilized Lactobacillus acidophilus, Exequel supports healthy skin from the inside out. Exequel works to soothe dry, sensitive skin and helps to improve the skin’s appearance, allowing users to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Hedquist: White Egret’s Vitamin C Hyaluronic Acid Serum is an incredible product that was carefully crafted to offer a multitude of superior benefits to your skin. Hyaluronic acid hydrates, firms and beautifies the skin. Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals, keeping a youthful look for your skin. We also use vitamins E and A and aloe to help soothe and protect skin against environmental exposure. All of White Egret’s skin care products (except our 100 percent pure Olive Squalane Oil and Colloidal Silver Spray) are formulated with a natural balance of over 72 Ionic sea minerals that provide a multitude of benefits for your skin.
We carry a Charcoal Mask to cleanse your skin before applying our Vitamin C Hyaluronic Acid Serum and a hydrating Retinyl Night Crème to apply before you go to sleep. This “Trio of Beauty” is key in keeping your skin youthful, nourished and balanced. We also carry a Pure Magnesium spray for your skin that has our iconic balance of over 72 Ionic Sea Minerals, as well as Colloidal Silver Spray and Olive Squalane Oil.
Friese: Collagen Peptides, as well as other Vital Proteins’ products, provide a valuable foundation for any skin care routine. Collagen has been thoroughly studied and its effectiveness for provided skin moisturizing, building collagen structure, and reducing wrinkles is second to none.
Maru: A leader in the beauty from within category, Reserveage Nutrition strives to be first-to-market with the most effective, science-based products, taking its inspiration from the world’s healthiest cultures and the best clinical research. Our family of brands includes: Reserveage Nutrition, RE-BODY, ResVitale (GNC exclusive line) and CocoaWell. Committed to sourcing high-quality ingredients, traceability and transparency, we’ve been recognized with 30 industry awards for product excellence.
Skin serves the multifaceted role of regulating body processes, such as temperature and sensation, and protecting internal organs. Skin often offers a glimpse of our inner health, which is why it is important to nurture it. Reserveage is committed to providing consumers the highest quality products to support their “beauty from within” journey!
VR: How does your company support retail sales?
Lifton: Quality of Life keeps open communication with our retailers so that we’re available to support them in any way they may need. Whether that be providing shelf talkers, offering special promotions or coupons, advertising in their publications or in their store, or helping to organize and run an in-store educational event, we offer continued support to our retailers.
Hedquist: White Egret takes pride in our outreach to our retailers. Our support includes staff training, where we visit stores and do demos and discussions on our products, literature that educates staff on our products, unique displays that draw customer’s eyes to our products, and we also offer samples for retail owners and employees to try out and get acquainted with our products.
Maru: Partnering with our retail community is very important to us. In store, we offer education, which includes materials in store and field staff traveling from store to store, shelf talkers, coupons, endcaps, and shippers. We also provide marketing support, driving consumers to the store to shop! This includes paid print ads, PR, social media and digital marketing.
VR: What else would you like to communicate to health food retailers about your products for skin health?
Friese: We would like to thank our current retailers for supporting our mission. For those who haven’t heard of Vital Proteins, our collagen products are high quality, sustainably sourced, clean label and effective. We value our retail partnerships and strive to provide excellent customer service, speedy ship times, and in-depth educational support.
Hedquist: White Egret is an industry leader in mineral skin care and therapeutic candles. We ethically source our minerals from the Great Salt Lake using only solar evaporation. All of our products are non-GMO, sulfate-free, and paraben free, contain no artificial dyes or fragrances, and are manufactured and packaged in the USA with worldwide ingredients.
Alexander: We get bombarded through our skin by chemical pollutants and toxins that are absorbed. These chemicals come in the form of cosmetics, shampoos, deodorants, hair dyes, nail polish and lotions. Additional toxic hits come from flame retardants and chemicals in our clothes, bedding, furniture and even from the water in our showers.
At BodyHealth, we want to help shoppers find products that assist the body in naturally eliminating many of the toxins that build up, and that’s one reason we at BodyHealth offer a whole range of detoxification solutions, including an environmental Body Detox Spray, Intestinal Cleanse to help the body eliminate, Complete Multi + Liver Detox Support to provide essential nutrients for the body and support the detox pathways, Metal-Free Spray to purge the body of toxic heavy metals and more. VR
Wendy Meyerson’s Natur-Tyme Health-food Store and Natural Beauty Salon
Vitamin Retailer caught up with Wendy Meyerson, owner of Natur-Tyme in DeWitt, NY, who shared her insights into the skin health category and how her store and salon approach natural skin care.
VR: What ingredients used for skin care products are you or your customers most excited about now, and why?
Meyerson: Natur-Tyme customers’ (as well as myself) want effective anti-aging support but without the chemicals and additives. We are blessed that the natural products industry has so much to offer in this area!
VR: What skin care brands and products were your hottest sellers in 2016; what do these products offer that’s so appealing?
Meyerson: Natur-Tyme has select, key skin care partners that we work together with. We create customer programs such as offering free facials (with purchase of product) inside Natur-Tyme’s Enhanced Beauty salon (www.youtube.com/watch?v=dudphjt_tpe) or free product with purchase. MyChelle Dermaceuticals and Annemarie Borlind. In addition, Natur-Tyme has a small private-label skin care line: Peptide Serums, Argan Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, MSM, Rosehip Oil, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Glycolic Acid.
VR: What are the newest trends in natural skin care that you are seeing?
Meyerson: Not necessarily new, but over a decade ago, Natur-Tyme partnered with Jane Iredale mineral makeup. This was way before the trending of mineral makeup. This line provides diversity, anti-aging, and an array of colors and products to meet each customer’s makeup needs.
VR: What percent of your skin care sales are beauty-from-within products (like silica supplements) compared to traditional products that people put on their skin (like lotions, gels and crèmes)? Has this changed from when you opened?
Meyerson: We do see many customers coming in for products for hair-loss, wrinkles and nail concerns. We help educate the customer on the concept that what is going on inside reflects on what they are seeing on the outside. Nutritional support flows both ways!
VR: What else would you like to add about natural skin care?
Meyerson: Natur-Tyme is proud to have added a full service salon inside our 15,000-square-foot store. While cleaner salons are not unique, being inside a health food store is! Our mission is to offer our customers salon services with a conscience. The flow from the salon to the store floor is a beautiful synergy. Our Enhanced Beauty Area is staffed with licensed cosmetologists and estheticians so our customers are working with professional and educated staff.
For More Information:
Abbott Diagnostics, (800) 227-5767
BodyHealth, (877) 804-3258
Natur-Tyme, (315) 488-6300
OmniActive Health Technologies, (866) 588-3629
Quality of Life Labs, (877) 937-2422
Reserveage Nutrition, (800) 553-1896
Vital Proteins, (224) 544-9110
White Egret Personal Care, (800) 309-3277