“The upward trend in Beauty-from-within products is now hitting North America,” he said. Data from Euromonitor estimated that in 2015, the US ranked seventh for its beauty supplements market, estimated at about to $76 million.
With few contenders in the category compared to East Asia—the biggest beauty supplement markets are Japan, China, and Hong Kong—Canadian ingredient company InnoVactiv is filling the market void and bringing over Nippon Flour Mills (NIPPN)’s branded ceramide Myoceram across the Pacific to the North American market, to be introduced at the upcoming Engredea 2017 show in Anaheim, CA.
“Beside our other dietary supplement ingredients, innoVactiv is involved in the skin segment through its topical ingredients. So crossing the bridge with a beauty-from-within ingredient only made sense to us,” he added.
Ceramides: The waxy substances produced by our body—and plants
Popular ingredients in the beauty-from-within category are mostly animal-derived ingredients like gelatin and collagen, so InnoVactiv saw an opportunity with the plant-based ceramides derived from rice and corn, marketed to increase hydration and reduce trans-epidermal water loss.
“Ceramides are natural waxy substances produced by our body, but they also exist in other living organisms such as plants where they help prevent desiccation,” Bérubé explained.
“In our skin, ceramides constitute 50% of all skin lipids and are produced by specialized enzymes (called ceramide synthase). After production, ceramides are excreted from our skin cells in a well-ordered manner in a structure called lamellar bodies.
“The organization of ceramides and other lipids in lamellar bodies creates multiple folds of lipophilic and hydrophilic nature. This is what makes the skin so hard to penetrate for any chemical entity, and so hard to escape for our precious water content,” he added.
Liquid and powder form for formulators
The ingredient comes in both powder and liquid formats, and according to Bérubé, it could be formulated into a wide range of finished products, from gelcaps to powder to RTD drinks, gels, and so on.
“We offer both a rice and corn origins, each coming with its human clinical proof of efficacy. In all cases, the product is not derived from wheat (a food allergen) and does not contain gluten,” he added.
The human clinical trials, conducted by NIPPN, showed that both forms can “significantly increase hydration and reduce trans-epidermal water loss,” Bérubé said. “The moisturizing effects can be seen on the entire body surface, and all trials included measurements at various spots to ensure that the benefits were truly felt everywhere.”