Beauty, the inside job

The line is increasingly blurring between food and beauty, as the benefits of probiotics and fermented food find a new purpose. Today consumers are trying new ways to include the gut-friendly bacteria in their diet, whether it being in the form of kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut or through supplements.

With consumers taking a more holistic approach to health, beauty has shifted from the bathroom to kitchen. Contemporary research about the gut-brain-skin connection, coupled with the current ‘optimised me’ wellbeing trend, is helping the probiotics industry to grow in awareness and popularity. Toxic ingredients, synthetic preservatives, pollution and stress are altering the skin’s natural ecosystem, causing modern day conditions such as eczema and rosacea. With skin being the largest organ, it is now seen as crucial indicator of a proper functioning body. As a result, consumers are increasingly looking for an integrated and holistic approach. To find reassurance with simple solutions, they alter their diet, search for toxic-free products and try alternative remedies, including fermented foods and probiotics.

Proving itself to be a rising star, the probiotics market is expected to exceed $55 billion by 2024. (Global Market Insights, 2018) Forward-thinking brands have already had a head start at the game. Bobbi Brown, founder of the billion-dollar worth Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, recently launched her new brand, a beauty supplements and powder drinks range, Evolution_18.

The range includes ‘Afternoon Chocolate’, a powder protein drink, ‘Strengthen’, a keratin and biotin supplement for stronger hair, skin and nails, ‘Overnight Vanilla’, a hydration boosting dessert alternative and ‘Probiotic’, pills with 10 million live cultures. Positioning itself between nutrition and beauty, the brand is stretching itself to create its own category.

Another example of this holistic approach is the Australian entrepreneur Carla Oates also known as ‘The Beauty Chef’. Having suffered from eczema and allergies as a child, she was inspired by the transformation of her skin upon a diet change to create her multi-faceted brand, a collection of ingestible and topical probiotics line as well as healthy-cooking books.

The mounting scientific evidence and first-hand experience of consumers forces brands to come out of their comfort zone and to react to this emerging ‘inside beauty’ trend by providing innovative offers. The fluidity between different categories and ever-increasing demand from customers for holistic solutions will be drivers for further innovation. The market will gradually see a new category appear, linking beauty, nutrition and well-being together in one product.

The keyword for this emerging trend is elasticity. Taking design cues from both food and medicine, these ingestible cosmetics will be presented in drugstore chains, to underline their medicinal value, and in fruit and vegetable aisles, to stress the importance of the 360-degree approach to beauty.

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