Challenging consumer thinking on ingestible skincare


It goes without saying that providers of ingredients for supplements have to understand and respond to the needs of consumers

If we fail to do so, we fail to meet the needs of manufacturers. But, sometimes, we also need to push barriers and disrupt traditional consumer marketing, thereby changing conventional trade thinking. By doing so, we create new opportunities for our whole industry.

We’re frequently told to “love the skin we’re in,” but how often do we really practice that? In recent years, Lycored has come to realise that maintaining skin health and wellness is a lifelong journey that begins on the inside, the home of our “inner glow.” We created our proprietary carotenoid blend Lycoderm with that in mind. It’s been formulated with whole tomato fruit extract with carnosic acid derived from rosemary leaf to foster overall skin wellness.

Proven to be safe and effective in several clinical trials, Lycoderm works to foster overall skin wellness from the inside out to protect skin from the primary causes of ageing and damage while promoting healthy, resilient skin, supporting tone and texture.

Lycoderm offers consumers a range of health benefits. It has been shown to protect against UV damage and reduce the redness associated with sunburn. It also helps to prevent skin ageing caused by UV exposure and limits the induction of markers for inflammation. And it offers benefits for skin texture: after 12 weeks of supplementation in one trial, participants showed an increase in epidermal density, as well as a decrease in roughness and scaling. Moreover, ageing is an increasingly important trend in the nutraceutical market, and there is growing consumer demand for non-invasive treatments.

But, despite these apparent drivers and its many clinically demonstrated benefits, Lycoderm is constrained by the same barriers as other ingestible skincare products. The category has, to date, been seen as “a bit niche,” with consumers either not aware of the benefits that supplements can offer for their skin, or intuitively believing that a skincare product can only work if it is applied topically.

A strategy of disruption

Skin health starts on the inside and when we feel beautiful it shows. This is why we believe everyone should have the chance to define beauty for themselves and why we’re using our foray into the skincare industry to do more than simply introduce the world to our portfolio of products that enhance skin health and appearance.

Rather than just building a campaign, we want to rethink what it means to be beautiful and to challenge our perceptions about wellness, starting with some very promising results from our ongoing clinical studies for Lycoderm. This is why we’re on a mission to #rethinkbeautiful and want you to join us.

Our #rethinkbeautiful movement is built around one idea — beauty goes beyond skin deep. We’re seeking to change the perception of "beautiful," and start a conversation about what beauty actually is. By doing so, the campaign aims to free beauty from its proverbial box and create an emotional connection to ingestible skincare.

By shedding light on the concept of beauty as something greater than physical appearance, we aim to educate the public on how the same can be said for the role of ingestible skincare. The campaign messaging deliberately relates the idea of “Beauty from Within” to health and well-being — both physical and emotional. Its foundation is that what we feel on the inside shows through on the outside.

Social media phase

The campaign began with an extensive social media programme. Along with a dedicated landing page on Lycored's website, we created a film called “Beauty is What You Make It,” which highlights various individuals, male and female, sharing what beauty means to them.

To spread the word, we created two hashtags. The first was #rethinkbeautiful. The second was #Ifeelbeautifulwhen, which was used to engage influencers and Lycored's existing Brand Ambassadors. This was also deployed to invite people to share personal stories with the world.

Engaging Hollywood: letters for love

At the start of 2017, Lycored embarked on a new partnership with the Playing for Change Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create positive change through music and arts education. Working with them, we sponsored two letter writing stations at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, USA.

The aim of this Letters for Love initiative was to encourage people to write letters containing positive affirmations to themselves, echoing the message of self-love that originated with the #rethinkbeautiful campaign.

The letters were sent back to the writer when they least expected it in an effort to remind future them of the positive feelings they had at the time. We were honoured to know we would be sending their personalised notes back to them. The station was visited by a string of Hollywood stars, including Charlize Theron.

In addition to writing personal letters, they had the option to sign an enlarged replica of the postcard to share thoughts about what makes them feel beautiful. Those who signed included Tim Robbins, Armie Hammer and Jack Black, who wrote: “Beauty is the realisation that life is an insane miracle.”

Love is beautiful video

Most of us celebrate Valentine's Day by showing the people in our lives just how much we care. It's a wonderful impulse; however, this year we invited everyone do the same for themselves via a very special short film titled “Love is Beautiful.” It featured women, children and men being asked a simple question: “What do you love about yourself?” Much to their surprise they weren’t able to answer the question.

In contrast, when asked to describe people closest to them, they immediately listed what they cherished most in them. The idea was to encourage people to understand that seeing themselves the way others see them can be difficult, but is a good step in helping them to love themselves for the skin they’re in and get a truly lit-from-within glow.

To promote the film, we replaced 200 outdoor advertisements in a London market with 200 bright and inspiring posters bearing the message: “Your Heart Has No Limits.”

This was then distributed as a direct mailing to 8000 dermatologists, educating them about ingestible skincare to bring the campaign full circle.

Results and conclusion

The campaign has achieved some remarkable results. The first video was viewed more than 400,000 times, liked 2600 times and shared more than 2300 times. The first day of the “Letters for Love” initiative resulted in vast numbers of letters being sent by Sundance attendees. After the Valentine’s Day takeover, the brand saw 288% growth in “Letters for Love” digital love letters compared with the previous month. There was a 688% increase in “Love is Beautiful” video views in one week.

The campaign has also generated media coverage in consumer beauty and celebrity outlets including Popsugar, Entertainment Tonight and Hollywood Life. At each stage, we have tried to create an opening to communicate the benefits of Lycoderm.

We are currently undertaking more consumer research to build a detailed picture of where people are on the concept of Beauty from Within, and the messages that are most likely to shift their perceptions while we keep on trucking by hitting the road at upcoming “Letters for Love” events, including the Wanderlust Festival in Squaw Valley, California and Art Basel in Miami Beach, Florida.

Feedback we are seeing so far suggests that those who like what we are doing want to engage with our movement in a deeper way, and that our message of disruption is resonating powerfully. At the very least, we’ve started a conversation with consumers, and that’s always a good step in bringing about change.