Why the Beauty Industry Is Betting Big on Supplements

Below is an article via BOF (Business of Fashion) that I would like to share with you guys on this growing epidemic with supplements. Is this another beauty fad or is it here to stay? I have tested various supplements from ItWorks, so this article grabbed my attention.

With a new cast of indie brands going all-out and prestige beauty’s biggest retailers going all-in, are ingestible supplements a flash in the pan or a true industry disruptor?


Goop’s ‘The Mother Load’ supplement | Source: Courtesy

By Sarah Brown

June 14, 2017, 05:30

(Shortened Verison)

What’s to account for all this growth? There are three key factors:
1. Beauty, health, and wellness are converging.
“It was bound to happen,” says Richards. “It’s a lifestyle choice.” This Spring, Free People opened a beauty and wellness shop within their fitness-centric Soho Movement store with the thought that, “If you believe in yoga, you’re going to buy the wellness supplements. Because we think they go hand-in-hand,” says Richards. “It just makes sense.” It’s working: They plan to open 20-30 more shop-in-shops by year’s end.
At Bobbi Brown’s new justBOBBI concept shops at Lord & Taylor, the makeup artist-turned-life guru offers a mix of everything from her perfect pair of jeans (Hudson) to WelleCo’s Super Elixir, Dr. Frank Lipman’s Be Well supplements, and of course, her new book, “Beauty from the Inside Out.”
At Sephora, vice president of Skincare merchandising Priya Venkatesh says, “We are excited about this category and its potential because we’ve seen how lifestyle trends continue to spill over into beauty. There’s greater awareness of how what goes in the body can affect the outside, with clients increasingly equating beauty with health and wellness.”
“It’s becoming all-encompassing,” says Grant, who notes that rather than supplement companies creating messaging around their products being an extension of one’s doctor, “now it’s an extension of health. It’s feeding into a slightly different dynamic than before.” She sees evidence of the trend blossoming throughout the beauty sector. “We’re not seeing plastic surgery booming,” she says, “but where beauty is growing is in more basic care categories like high SPF products, cleansing, and masks: Health, wellness, and care have dialed up to be the trend to drive beauty.” Even makeup’s continued acceleration, says Grant, has something to do with people’s desire “to look healthier — naturally healthier, quicker.”
2. The belly-beauty connection.
It’s this simple: What you eat has an effect on how you look. “For so long we’ve looked at beauty as one-dimensional, as what you put on your skin. With this wellness revolution, people have noticed that when they look after their body in a more holistic way, their skin benefits. Skin, hair, and nails are the last places to get nutrients, so if you’re not receiving enough nutrition, they’re the first to suffer,” says Oates, who has worked on papers with the two microbiologists she employs studying the relationship between rosacea, acne and gut health, and recently published her first cookbook. (I also must recommend British makeup artist Wendy Rowe’s “Eat Beautiful,” which has a terrific glossary, cheeky commentary, and beautiful photography.)
“People are saying, ‘Ok, I’ve had acne all my life, all of a sudden everyone has a dairy or gluten allergy. What can I do to balance all of that?’ You can attain great skin by changing what you put in your body,” says Richards.
The interesting thing here is that people are approaching the new beauty supplements not so much as “medicine” — the way one might dutifully take vitamins for, say, iron or calcium deficiency — but as an extension of their beauty (which, remember, now also means health) regimen. It’s another step, the way adding a toner is another step.
“The consumer just knows more now,” says Grant, “that you can’t fix it all from the outside.”
3. The M-Word: The younger generation is on board.
“Historically,”’ says Lewis, “the largest audience for supplement users was 55+ — they’re aging and starting to have more ailments; doctors are telling them to supplement their diet. Now we’re seeing younger populations, especially millennials, concerned with treating their bodies right, and talking about how that can have an effect on certain aspects of their life, starting with how their skin looks.”
Eating fresh has grown among younger consumers, reports NPD, and among people who take supplements specifically for beauty benefits, 26 percent are between the ages 18 and 34 — whereas 17 percent are 35-54, and 14 percent are over the age of 55 — According to CRN’s 2016 survey.
That said, not everyone is climbing on the bandwagon. Tara Foley, the founder of Follain, the “zero-toxin” beauty retailer with stores in Boston, Nantucket and New York, has adopted a wait-and-see mentality. For now, “We’re not getting into vitamins,” she says. “I know eating clean changes everything, but the vitamin and supplement industry is even less regulated than the beauty industry. It’s like the Wild West. We’ll share information with our consumers from herbalists and nutritionists, but we’re not going to sell that stuff yet. We can’t stand behind any of it.” With traditional skin care, continues Foley, “I know the questions to ask. With vitamins, I don’t yet — and I don’t think anyone does.”
It’s true: Pretty much anyone can enter the market (it’s the same for beauty products). According to the FDA’s website, regarding dietary supplements, it is each company’s responsibility to ensure that “the products it manufactures or distributes are safe,” that any claims they make “are not false or misleading,” and that they comply with FDA regulations “in all other respects.”
While supplements do not require FDA approval before they enter the market, once they get there, there are significant regulations. But that still does not guarantee a good product. “It’s important which manufacturers you choose,” says Goop’s Lewis. “You want to make sure you have the highest quality product. Any good lab has been CGMP-certified [the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices]. They do strenuous testing on the front and back end, from raw materials through packaging.”
Clinical tests and trials — which are optional — are also really important, adds Lewis. “Without that, no one knows what they’re putting in their body. With our vitamins, we were very careful. We do not claim any benefits that have not been specifically tested in trials. We would never say, ‘we’ve heard this supplement works this way.’”
Still, how does one know who, and what, to trust? Seek out companies that are transparent. Ask questions; expect answers. “Companies that are doing it right are sharing all of the information they can— ‘our product comes from here; we’ve conducted these studies,’” says Lewis. “When you put something inside your body, it’s a whole new ball game. The stakes are higher. You have to find the right materials, someone to make it for you. You have to trust everyone with whom you’re working. It’s not easy, and it’s certainly more expensive. Companies doing it with quality are up for a much tougher ride. Those are the big barriers.”
Another barrier: Unlike a bronzing powder, the radiant glow of actual inner health takes some time to appear. “People want things that have immediate results,” says Grant. “That’s been a challenge for the market overall because it’s about taking better care of yourself, and that takes time.”
That said, those who are genuinely committed to pursuing a deeper level of health and wellness — members of our juice-cleansing, coconut water-drinking, meditation app-using, athleisure-wearing, yoga/spinning/boxing/Pilates-taking culture — tend to be patient. The supplement companies are just hoping there are lots of them, armed with not insignificant amounts of disposable income, out there.
What does the future hold? Will the big establishment brands eventually get in on the action — once the indies have the customer conditioned — and take it to scale? Are beauty supplements a business worth betting on?
“It’s a trend right now, and growing fast,” says Grant, before pausing to mention the cautionary tale of the electric cleansing brush category — the fastest-growing, white-hot must-have a few years ago which has now all but flat-lined. The difference as I see it, and the bigger picture, is that beauty supplements don’t represent one singular category, trend or behavior, but are part of an entire way of living — and shopping. Also, unlike the cleansing brush, supplements must be re-purchased each month. And they’re expensive.
“Ingestibles are going to continue to grow because they’re having an effect; people are seeing a difference,” says Lewis. And as long as they see a difference — in their skin, their hair, their sleep patterns, their weight, their energy levels, their sex drive (there are supplements for everything) — they’ll most likely be open to trying more things as the category continues to innovate. And with that, I am off to take my daily shot of The Beauty Chef’s (reluctantly TSA-approved) Inner Glow powder.

 

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