A 'healthy glow' is an increasingly sought-after goal for users of skincare products, both topical and digestible, yet there is no one single definition of what “glow” actually means.
The maker of carotenoid-based supplements set out to explore how consumers understand the concept with a survey earlier this year involving 507 people in the UK, US, France, China, Japan and Korea, who had purchased a skincare product in the previous 12 months.
Respondents were presented with a list of eight possible skincare goals and asked to rank them in order of importance.
'Natural appearance' was rated important to 77% of consumers, followed by 'smooth texture' (76%), 'healthy glow' (72%), 'youthful appearance' (64%), 'even complexion' (61%), 'overall / holistic wellness' (56%), 'radiance' (53%) and 'reduced redness' (37%).
This confirms that 'glow' is a key goal for skincare consumers and suggests they are more likely to use the term than 'radiance'.
Lycored says these results are in line with previous research on the growing importance of naturality and the diminishing appeal of simply appearing younger.
Another key finding was that consumers understand ‘glow’ in very holistic terms – as a quality with emotional and mental elements as well as physical ones. When asked which words they most associate with the idea of a healthy glow, almost half (47%) of respondents picked 'overall / holistic wellness', not far behind physical characteristics such as smooth texture (56%) and even complexion (51%).
More than a third associated mental or emotional wellness with a healthy glow, and almost all (97%) agreed with the statement: 'Good mental and emotional wellness is a necessary component to achieve a healthy glow'.
Consumers in Asian countries were particularly likely to see glow this way - 75% of respondents in China, 56% in Japan and 51% in Korea associated the idea of a healthy glow with overall or holistic wellness, compared with 36% of those in the UK and France and 38% of those in the US.
Similarly, consumers in China and Japan were significantly more likely than those in other countries to say that overall or holistic wellness was a goal they wanted to achieve from their skincare regime.
How to get the glow?
Lycored's research revealed very high awareness of the importance of nutrition in achieving a healthy glow. Almost all (98%) respondents agreed with the statement 'Good nutrition is necessary to achieve a healthy glow'. And when they were asked which five factors (from a list of ten) were most likely to give them a healthy glow, the second highest score was for healthy diet / nutrition, which was picked by 65% of survey respondents, second only to getting the right amount of sleep (66%).
These factors ranked higher than hydration (56%), skincare products applied to the skin (39%) and exercise (36%).
When asked to rank four foods in order of how likely they thought they were to give their skin a healthy glow, those rich in Vitamin E, such as almonds and sunflower seeds, were ranked highest, with 79% of respondents placing them in their top two.
They were shortly followed by foods rich in carotenoids, such as carrots and tomatoes, ahead of foods rich in collagen.
Interestingly, consumers in France, the only Mediterranean country in the research, were particularly likely to believe in the skincare benefits of carotenoids, with over half (51%) ranking foods such as carrots and tomatoes as the ones most likely to give their skin a healthy glow.
In fourth place were foods infused with rosemary, which 11% of respondents ranked in either first or second place. Given that rosemary polyphenols can play a role in photoprotection, there may be scope for more education on their benefits for skincare.
In a trend that Mintel calls ‘Gastronomia’, the boundary between food and supplements is becoming less distinct and more and more skincare products now contain food ingredients. The research company identifies a “surge of face and neck care launches in the U.K. and the U.S. that mention food”
Lycored says it is increasingly approached by companies seeking to add ingestible products to their topical ranges.
"Many have taken the holistic approach a step further, creating combinations of ingestibles, serums, masks, and even medical devices to offer a comprehensive, 'twincosmetic' package for all beauty and skincare needs," says the report.
Lycoderm is Lycored’s proprietary blend of tomato phytonutrients and rosemary leaf for skincare supplements, which the company says is calibrated to maximize the synergy between these natural ingredients.
The product is rich in the carotenoids lycopene, phytoene and phytofluene, as well as Vitamin E.