By Andrea Ferrari, Editor, esprit Magazine Australia
Australia may not have an ancient culture of architecture, or artists and poets on the cobbled-street corners, but it does have extraordinary natural wonders and beauty. Think Sydney Harbour, Uluru, the Coral Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Perhaps this is what drives the nation to respect nature, live an outdoors lifestyle and eat locally grown fresh food. The ethical coffee culture in Australia has gone nuts – in a good way. Vegetarianism is mainstream, here.
Vegan has been a trigger word for consumers when shopping for their beauty products for several years. Natural and biodynamic are commonplace beauty formulation claims Australian consumers demand. As far back as 1985, Ulrike and Jurgen Klein founded Jurlique skincare on biodynamic principles. Germans, they searched for the perfect place to realise their vision, which led them and their four young children to the South Australian Adelaide Hills. Today the burgeoning sector in the Australian beauty industry is ingestibles.
‘Beauty from within’ is nothing new in itself. Our grandparents told us “you are what you eat”, and served up a daily dose of cod liver oil. You’d have to be living under a rock not to know the skincare benefits of consuming fish oils; the appearance related pros of gut health, and a look of wellbeing through creating and maintaining a healthy microbiome. With all this clinically proven information, supplement companies and skincare brands are finding common ground in formulating a myriad of ingestibles – mostly in powder form as well as capsules.
Leading the charge has been gut health with Carla Oates’ Beauty Chef range. GLOW launched in 2009, claiming it was the world’s first living, bio-fermented, probiotic inner beauty product. Australian founder Oates suffered from troubled skin as a teenager and, under the guidance of a naturopath, sought solutions in the kitchen. With first-hand proof she pioneered the philosophy of ‘Beauty Begins in the Belly’ commercialising it to make it mainstream rather than a cottage industry.
There’s a cleanse powder for clarity of skin, plus three Boost elixirs catering to certain concerns: collagen, antioxidant and hydration. Adding topical skincare to the mix brings customers a clarifying Probiotic Skin Refiner – a multi-purpose skin elixir that gently exfoliates, balances and hydrates skin while stimulating collagen synthesis for improved tone and texture. It encourages cellular turnover and helps reverse the signs of sun-damaged skin; and Beauty Fix Balm – a do-all for all skin types balancing and protecting the skin’s ecosystem and microbiome with live, bio-fermented plant compounds including coconut, legumes, grasses, seeds, honey and green ginger. The soothing formula also helps reduce inflammation.
Ten years on, the ‘beauty from within’ category now has numerous segments. Today’s burgeoning segment is collagen. Dubbed locally in Australia as the Collagen Queen, Anna Lahey co-founded an ingestible marine collagen range called Vida Glow launched in 2014, which has been enthusiastically received. Vida Glow only uses low molecule weight hydrolysed collagen, which is highly bioavailable and holds an absorption rate above 90%. Importantly, it is free from any heavy metals, toxins or pollution.
Numerous established brands are launching ingestible lines which whole new companies are being founded. Beauty from the inside out is looking like a solid growth category, and not simply a trend.