Beverages and beverage mixes promoting skin health are breaking on to the market and targeting consumers’ desires to improve their appearances. These products include ingredients to improve skin hydration, elasticity, clarity, firmness and tone in addition to helping cell regeneration, decreasing the appearance of wrinkles and offering antioxidant benefits that all point to slowing down the aging process.

“One of the major driving trends is the healthy aging baby boomer market, which is so huge and is the biggest financial opportunity for most consumer goods people,” says Sharrann Simmons, North American senior marketing manager for Cognis Nutrition and Health, LaGrange, Ill. “Baby boomers have the most money to spend and are very concerned about being healthy but also looking younger.”

The idea of consuming a beverage or food to enhance looks is much more appealing to consumers than other invasive solutions.

“The market for beauty-from-within functional ingredients is growing yearly as more and more baby boomers seek out natural solutions to slow the aging process and younger adults buy products to prevent the onset of aging-related conditions,” says Martha Haas, manager of marketing and creative services at Nutragenesis, Brattleboro, Vt.

The beauty beverage category is ripe for innovations, suppliers say. Any product that can reduce wrinkles from the inside out is going to be exciting for the next couple of years, says Jocelyn Mathern, a technical specialist for the health unit at Frutarom North America, North Bergen, N.J. Products that offer multifunctional benefits in the areas of antioxidant cellular protection for skin health along with anti-inflammatory and anti-stress properties also will appeal to consumers, Haas says.

The beauty-enhancing offerings are expanding beyond skin health and in to hair and nail health and also overlapping with weight management and relaxation benefits too, says Heather Biehl, manager, HITS Health Ingredients at Wild Flavors Inc., Erlanger, Ky.

“Most consumers believe that weight correlates directly with beauty, and reducing stress can have a variety of positive benefits, including benefits that can be seen in skin health and anti-aging,” she says.

Beauty from within
Several ingredients, including vitamins, minerals and botanicals, are available to be formulated in beauty-enhancing beverages.

Increasing interest in antioxidants that nourish skin, hair and nails is helping to drive the inclusion of organic and natural superfruits and phytonutrients in beverages, Haas says. Superfruits, such as mangosteen, pomegranate and Indian gooseberry, have shown to be beneficial for enhanced skin care and restoration, she says.

Superfruits’ numerous vitamins, minerals and polyphenols, which capture and neutralize free radicals that can damage skin cells, make them great ingredients to include to support skin health, Biehl adds. Acai, acerola, sea buckthorn and lingonberry also are used for their antioxidant benefits in beauty-enhancing beverages, she says.

Antioxidants, vitamins A and E and coenzyme CoQ10, often are used in beauty-enhancing products as well. Vitamins A and E protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals, Biehl says. CoQ10 has shown to promote collagen and elastin production, which is why it is seen in many facial creams in the market, she says.

Some plant extracts, such as aloe vera, have also shown to revitalize hair, skin and nails, Biehl says. Other plant extracts, such as pine bark and green, red and white tea, provide polyphenols. Wild Flavors offers a powder blend of grapeseed extract and rooibos, green and white teas for use in beverage applications.

Botanicals, such as Nutragenesis’s Sensara also are appearing in beauty-enhancing beverages and supplements. Sensara is a blend of two generally recognized as safe-affirmed ayurvedic botanical extracts Withania somnifera, derived from ashwagandha roots and leaves, and superfruit Indian gooseberry, or Phyllanthus emblica. Sensara obtains Phyllanthus emblica from New Brunswick, N.J.–based Natreon’s Capros, a purified and standardized extract of Phyllanthus emblica and Withania somnifera from Natreon’s Sensoril, an optimal concentration of the desired active constituents found in the plant, the company says.

Sensara is unique in that it not only addresses the extrinsic causes of aging — through enzyme inhibition, iron chelation and cascading antioxidant activity — but also addresses the intrinsic effects of stress on the skin through stress reduction, Haas says. Clinically proven in in vivo and in vitro models, Sensara offers dietary supplement and functional food claims for skin and anti-aging, stress reduction, inflammatory response and multi-mechanism antioxidant action, she says.

In addition to superfruits and green tea, Frutarom offers collagens such as Collactive, which it is the exclusive distributor of in the United States. Collactive contains marine collagen and elastin peptides present in the same ratio as the skin. A clinical study found that when taken orally, Collactive significantly reduced lines and wrinkles, the company says. Collactive is standardized to 94 percent collagen and 6 percent elastin, and also includes antioxidant properties, Frutarom says.

Wild Flavors also offers collagen for use in beverage applications. “As we age, collagen in our bodies decreases,” Wild Flavors’ Biehl says. “Supplementation is beneficial for skin health and increased elasticity.”

Natural carotenoids also improve skin health, such as Cognis’s Betatene, which is high in beta-carotene and also antioxidants. Cognis has been promoting the carotenoid, natural lutein, for beauty-enhancing benefits as well. Lutein has been an ingredient well regarded for eye health, but more recently studies have emerged showing lutein aids in skin hydration and elasticity, Simmons says.

Carotenoids are not water soluble and are difficult to incorporate into beverages, cautions Biehl, whose company Wild Flavors also offers carotenoids. Emulsion technology enables the delivery of oil soluble carotenoids into a variety of beverage applications, she says.

Many of these ingredients are able to be used in a variety of beverages and mixes, and often in combination.

“The hope is to have an ingredient statement that is not a mile long, but I think when the ingredient statement is made up of things that are natural and recognizable, then that’s really acceptable to the consumer,” Cognis’s Simmons says.

Natural ingredients increasingly are important to consumers, Nutragenesis’s Haas says. “There is a growing trend for consumers to embrace healthier lifestyles and good health is often associated in consumers’ minds with natural ingredients vs. chemicals,” she says.

With easy access to information on the Internet, consumers also are becoming more educated about ingredients, and clinical research is important.

“Today, there are so many claims being made that the consumer is quite skeptical, and the science is becoming very important to convince the consumer that this is worth the money because everyone is watching every penny even more than they were before,” Simmons says.

Above all, the product’s message and ingredient benefits need to be clear and concise, Wild Flavors’ Biehl says. “If a beauty ingredient is not well known to the consumer, they won’t purchase the product,” she says. BI