The desire for beauty is not a new phenomenon; for thousands of years, people have been searching for ways to slow or even halt the ageing process. However, trends have changed, and consumers today want products that are not only natural and effective, but also sustainable. The preference for plant-based substances, driven primarily by the increasing popularity of vegan lifestyles, has expanded beyond the food and beverage industry, and is now having a major impact on the personal care and nutricosmetics markets too. As a result, both segments are booming.
According to forecasts, the global nutricosmetics market size will more than double by 2030 at a CAGR of 9% from US$7,343m in 20211. Increased health awareness is also driving consumers to seek out alternatives to traditional medicines and therapies, with COVID-19 reinforcing belief in herbal medicine and nutraceuticals, thus further strengthening a back-to-basics mentality. In addition, more young people are showing an increased interest in beauty-from-within solutions. The Asia-Pacific region is the dominating nutricosmetics market globally, with major growing economies such as India, China and Japan driving revenue generation for the segment.
Another cause for the growing market is an ageing population, according to Andrea Zangara, head of scientific communication and medical affairs at Euromed: “An increasingly ageing global population means that two billion people are expected to be older than 60 by 2050, according to the WHO. However, these people not only want to reach old age, but also enjoy a good quality of life. Healthy ageing and maintaining youthful skin are both important issues for this target market, as appearance is ultimately the first indicator of one’s age. Therefore, beauty-from-within concepts have good prospects.
“Nutricosmetics already have a big market share of the beauty segment in Asia, thus providing strong opportunities for botanical extracts too – especially with the growing interest in plant-based products. Such market development is not surprising given the fact that botanical compounds are regarded as a health-supporting gift from Mother Nature. Pomegranates, for instance, are a symbol of health and longevity in many cultures around the world. For thousands of years, they have been used both as food and traditional medicine.”
Consumers today are drawn to supplements with ingredients that are already part of their diet. One such candidate is pomegranate — a nutraceutical powerhouse, rich in polyphenols such as punicalagins. These bioactive secondary plant compounds offer unique antioxidant and age-defying properties that have a positive effect on various bodily functions. Much of the existing research on polyphenol-rich pomegranate extract has focused on its cardiovascular health benefits; however, additional advantages, including support for healthy skin, have also been observed. For example, researchers found that it decreases melanin production through the inhibition of tyrosinase activity in vitro, and increases skin moisture by stimulating hyaluronic acid synthesis in vivo.
Fighting free radicals
Sunlight, stress and an unhealthy diet can have a negative impact on the appearance of skin. This is due to the free radicals that form when it is subjected to these harmful environmental factors, and by the natural process of ageing. One of the most important triggers of skin ageing is UV radiation, to which we expose ourselves, often unwittingly, whenever the sun shines. According to a recent in-vitro study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences, Euromed’s natural pomegranate extract Pomanox may reduce undesirable signs of skin ageing, such as hyperpigmentation, dryness and loss of elasticity, by reducing melanogenesis and oxidative stress while modulating collagen and hyaluronic acid metabolism.
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