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Beauty inside and out: New high-tech ingredients for supplements and cosmetics

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Supplements and cosmetics dedicated to beauty must continuously differentiate through marketing, branding, and novel ingredients. Both dietary supplements for hair health and topical cosmetics continue to gain traction with steady annual growth.

This uptake can be attributed to a renewed focus on healthy aging. The demands of hectic lifestyles take their toll on the body and can lead to inadequate nutrition, dehydration, lack of sleep, and hormonal imbalances, all of which can contribute to accelerating aging. Environmental factors, such as pollutants and UV radiation, can exacerbate this, impacting overall skin and hair health.

Oxidative stress, caused by an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants within the body, can damage cellular components such as DNA, proteins, and lipids, resulting in weakened skin structure and reduced hair health. By taking a ‘whole body’ approach to reducing imbalances within the body while supporting balanced inflammatory responses, oxidative stress can be reduced to mitigate these undesired effects.

Increasingly, consumers are turning to more holistic approaches, seeking ingredients with proven efficacy to promote health at a cellular level. The gut-skin axis is one such emerging area of research that explores the bidirectional connection between the gut microbiome and skin health and is already opening new avenues of innovation.

“In recent years, we have recognized the demand for beauty-from-within,” says Archit Veeravalli, Gencor’s Head of Corporate Strategy. “One of the goals of Gencor is to offer a wide range of health benefit categories tailored to meet the needs of multiple products for each brand we work with.

“Gencor has consistently invested resources into beauty-from-within to meet the growing needs of our customers for this health benefit category.”

As consumers seek effective alternatives to ‘harsh’ active ingredients that can impact the body’s inflammatory response and balance, how can manufacturers optimize opportunities in the beauty-from-within space?1

Factors impacting hair health

Hair health is a growing focus within beauty-from within. In 2022, the global hair health supplement market was estimated to be $651 million USD, with a projected compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7% from 2023 to 2030.2 ​Although hair loss is generally associated with aging, younger people can also experience premature hair loss.

A recent study aimed to estimate hair loss in healthy men. It showed that 42% of men experienced moderate to extensive hair loss.3​ Additionally, the study highlighted a correlation between hair loss and aging: 16% of men aged 18-29 experienced hair loss, increasing to 53% for men aged 40-49.3

Oxidative stress is a significant factor that contributes to hair loss. Increased levels of free radicals in the body can contribute to cellular aging, limiting the cell’s ability to repair and reproduce naturally. This ongoing damage can disrupt the hair growth cycle, leading to thinning and loss.

However, aging is not the only contributor to hair loss. As with skin health, factors such as diet, stress, hormone imbalances, pollution, and lack of sleep can all compromise hair health. “Gencor’s tireless commitment to R&D produced a novel ingredient relevant to formulators in this space,” adds R.V. Venkatesh, Gencor’s Co-Founder/Managing Director.

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Ageratum conyzoides: A botanical ingredient for hair health

To address this, Gencor introduced HairAGE™, a novel, alkaloid-free extract of Ageratum conyzoides​, or tropical whiteweed. The botanical is widely distributed throughout various tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, including several parts of India. It was there that Madras University recommended Gencor investigate this ingredient for hair health based on its traditional use.

In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled human clinical trial including men and women, just 250 milligrams per day resulted in a statistically significant mitigation of hair recession as well as favourable changes in biomarkers such as serum prostaglandins and in men specifically, 5-alpha reductase (5-AR).4​ The oral trial comes on the heels of two already published clinical studies on the topical use of HairAGE, which revealed benefits for hair.

HairAGE ​offers a sustainable and effective alternative to traditional treatments. The product aims to mitigate hair recession in men by addressing hormonal changes and supporting a balanced inflammatory response in women. 

Beauty-from-within: Promoting skin health

The skin consists of three primary layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. In healthy skin, these layers are well organized and function effectively to provide protection and regulation, which in turn supports the overall condition and appearance of the skin.

Skin health is crucial for several reasons. As the body’s largest organ, healthy skin can perform its protective barrier function, shielding it against external hazards such as pathogens, UV radiation, and physical elements.

Like dietary supplements for hair health, the topical cosmetics market isn’t slowing down either, with an estimated 4% annual growth from 2022 to 2023.5​ Gencor recognized the need to expand its portfolio to repurpose some ingredients typically used for oral ingestion and encompass topical application as well. 

PEA, or palmitoylethanolamide, is a fatty acid amide that is naturally produced by the body but can also be found in small quantities in several foods, such as eggs, peanuts, and soy. The benefits of this molecule can be largely attributed to its ability to support a balanced inflammatory response as well as provide relief from occasional discomfort through the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-α).

Optimizing bioavailability

Historically, the material’s application as a dietary supplement has been limited by its relatively poor bioavailability.6​ However, through a collaboration with Pharmako Biotechnologies (Frenchs Forest, Australia), Gencor has improved upon its Levagen®​ product to make Levagen®​+, a cold water-dispersible form of PEA with almost twice the bioavailability of standard Levagen.7​ The improvement was achieved by implementing LipiSperse®, Pharmako’s proprietary excipient technology that helps reduce particle aggregation and clumping of lipophilic ingredients in water.


While Levagen+ has enjoyed success worldwide with 12 human clinical trials published for oral ingestion in various health benefit categories, the same LipiSperse platform that improves bioavailability also lends itself to topical application. Levagen+ is well suited to topical cosmetics in forms such as gels and creams. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial published in 2024, individuals applying moisturizing cream infused with a small amount of Levagen+ found a significant improvement in skin dryness and redness compared to the placebo-compromised moisturizing cream without Levagen+.

Levagen+ is not the only ingredient that benefits from Pharmako’s LipiSperse technology. The technology was also applied to turmeric extract to make HydroCurc®, improving absorption and cold-water dispersible powder rich in curcuminoids featured in LYMA’s ‘ultimate health & beauty supplement’.

“Not only does HydroCurc have improved bioavailability, but it does so with a low excipient load of only 10%, allowing brands to deliver a high concentration of curcuminoids still,” notes Chris Bailey, Gencor’s Director of Scientific Affairs.

Nature-inspired ingredients

As individuals age, supplementation becomes increasingly important. Gencor specializes in developing botanical and nature-inspired ingredients, many of which are inspired by Ayurvedic wisdom and backed with rigorous science to deliver natural, pure, and clinically studied ingredients.

With a strong emphasis on research and innovation, Gencor offers a broad-spectrum portfolio of branded ingredients and standardized single-herb extracts that are clinically shown to support the specific needs of aging adults.

​Our customers often task us with only bringing new updates on our ingredients into meetings. Gencor’s research pipeline continues to inspire new launches bolstered by the marketing claims our latest clinical trials bring to the table,” notes Molly Joo, Gencor’s Vice President of Sales.

By leveraging the potential of these nature-inspired and botanical ingredients, manufacturers can successfully align with beauty-from-within approaches to support health and wellness with quality ingredients that are effective, safe, and accessible to consumers.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These ingredients are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This material is educational in nature and is not intended to serve as regulatory and/or legal advice.


1. ​Clayton, P.; Venkatesh, R.; Bogoda, N.; et al. (2021). Ageratum Conyzoides L. Extract Inhibits 5α-Reductase Gene Expression and Prostaglandin D2 Release in Human Hair Dermal Papilla Cells and Improves Symptoms of Hair Loss in Otherwise Healthy Males and Females in an Open Label Pilot Study.​ Journal of Cosmetology & Trichology. Volume 7:1.
2. ​Grand View Research. Hair Growth Supplements Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Single Ingredient, Multi-Ingredient), By Form (Powder, Tablets), By Distribution Channel, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2023 – 2030.
3. ​Rhodes, T.; Girman, C. J.; Savin, R. C.; et al. (1998). Prevalence of male pattern hair loss in 18-49 year old men.​ Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.], 24(12), 1330–1332.
4. ​Clayton, P.; Bogoda, N.; Rao, N.; (2023). Efficacy of an Oral Ageratum Conyzoides Formulation on Increasing Hair Growth and Decreasing Hair Loss in Males and Females: A Randomised Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study.​ Trichol Cosmetol Open J. ; 6(1): 1-6.
5.​ Sia Partners. Top 2023 Cosmetic Trends.
6.​ Vacondio, F.; Bassi, M.; Silva, C.; et al. (2015). Amino Acid Derivatives as Palmitoylethanolamide Prodrugs: Synthesis, In Vitro Metabolism and In Vivo Plasma Profile in Rats.​ Plos One.
7.​ Briskey, D.; Mallard, A. R.; Rao, A.; (2020). Increased Absorption of Palmitoylethanolamide Using a Novel Dispersion Technology System (LipiSperse).​ Journal of Nutraceuticals and Food Science.

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