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The connection between nutrition and beauty is increasingly supported and scientifically proven. In a context of foodification and nutraceuticalization, the boundaries between these two domains are gradually blurring. This is how nutricosmetics and the “In & Out” trend are emerging.

The nutricosmetics market

Some definitions

Nutricosmetics sits at the intersection of two markets: nutrition and cosmetics. It encompasses products that take the form of food supplements, developed for their beauty properties. The link between these different domains? Health. According to the WHO[1], health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Beauty, and the cosmetics market, can therefore be considered vectors of well-being and thus constituents of good health.

A growing market

In 2023, the nutricosmetics market was estimated at 9.3 billion euros. In Asia, its birthplace, shows the highest revenue and growth rates. [2] It is also a dynamic market: with an average annual growth of +8.7% expected between 2019 and 2025, it should continue to grow to reach close to 11 billion euros by 2025. Behind this promising evolution lie three major beauty promises: skincare, representing 50% of the market, haircare for 40% of the market, and finally, sun care, accounting for 10% of the market.[3]

Which active ingredients for which promises ?

The strategic positioning of nutricosmetics is evident in all its dimensions. A true co-transfer occurs between cosmetics and nutrition in terms of ingredients, promises, and trends.

Skin, the primary market for nutricosmetics

Skin-related products are the flagship products of nutricosmetics, and within this promise, there is a certain diversity. Some products focus on the anti-aging segment. Skin aging is due to oxidative stress, and vitamin C, It is often chosen for its powerful antioxidant properties to counteract it.

As people age, the amount of hyaluronic acid in the skin also decreases. Because of its ability to retain water, it is partly responsible for skin hydration, making it a valued active ingredient in nutricosmetics. However, the European community does not allow any health claims regarding hydration, so it is currently impossible for a product containing hyaluronic acid to claim a hydrating effect. Some caution may be necessary with certain products and their promises.

The active ingredients catalog used in nutricosmetics can be further enriched with collagen and vitamin D. The former is a skin constituent, whose concentration also decreases with age, and the latter is appreciated for its “healthy glow” effect. Together, they are frequently used to counteract the loss of radiance and plumpness in the skin.

A stressed or unhealthy skin microbiome, which can have a detrimental effect on the texture and appearance of the skin, has led to a significant presence of biotics in the market.


The promise of hair beauty

Once again, there are numerous promises revolving around hair beauty. Strengthening, hair growth support, and hair loss prevention are some examples. The search for volume or shine completes the list. Similarly to the skin segment, vigilance is required regarding the permissions for using these hair promises.

Keratin is a frequently chosen active ingredient, although, like hyaluronic acid, it does not benefit from any health claims. This protein, as the main component of hair, is crucial in protecting the hair against external aggressions such as sun exposure, brushing, or drying… Nutricosmetics tackle this issue by seeking to restore its protective role.

The summer success of sun care nutricosmetics

By offering products related to sun exposure and tanning, nutricosmetics also experiences success in summer. Some references focus on skin preparation, either during the period preceding exposure. Other products prioritize exposure time itself and the period that follows, respectively, with a self-tanning effect or a prolongation of the tan. The stars of their composition are melanin, which is responsible for tanning, and antioxidants for their protection against oxidative stress caused by UV rays.

However, it should be noted that these food supplements only complement the good practices to follow in case of sun exposure, and cannot, under any circumstances, replace the use of sunscreen or wearing clothes.

Nutricosmetics are complementary to cosmetics with “In & Out”

Very trendy today, nutricosmetics are unlikely to replace cosmetics altogether. They both complement each other in an “In&Out” synergy. Cosmetics correspond to the “Out” action. Indeed, it gathers products that act topically, outside the body. Nutricosmetics, on the other hand, seeks “Beauty from within” and thus assumes the role of the “In” action.

The synergy of these two markets is more than visible today: while more and more cosmetic brands are expanding their ranges into the territory of food supplements, food supplement laboratories are partnering with cosmetic brands. All these developments are thus moving towards offering a complete “In&Out” product range offer.

What do consumers expect from nutricosmetics ?

In 2021, 33% of food supplement consumers reported having already consumed food supplements for skin and hair [4]. The goal behind this consumption is undoubtedly the pursuit of beauty. Indeed, in 2022, 24% of food supplement consumers reported consuming them to “look more beautiful”. [5]

New criteria are also emerging in nutricosmetics. The current trend moves towards hyper-segmentation. Consumers are looking for personalized products: products specifically for men, for Afro hair… Sustainability is also becoming a prerequisite. The composition of products, the proportion of natural or upcycled ingredients, or the eco-responsible nature of packaging are subject to consumer scrutiny.

Nutricosmetics are another example of the increasing pursuit of health by consumers. It is not immune to market trends (upcycling, “greening” trends…) and should therefore lead to beautiful evolutions!

Are you interested in the nutricosmetics market?

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[1] Organisation Mondiale de la Santé, Constitution
[2] Brandessence Market Research and Consulting Private Limited. Market Research Future, Global Nutricosmetics Market, 2021
[3] Estimation Nutrikéo, 2021

[4] Le marché In&Out, Actif’s AZ 2022
[5] Le consommateur français des compléments alimentaires ; Actif’s AZ 2022