The Head of Global Health Division at Lycored reveals the company’s journey to pioneer the nutricosmetic market internationally and gain the new consumer’s trust in the product
Golan Raz, Head of Global Health Division at Lycored
Ingestible skin care is a trend that has been growing for some time, but has really been taking off recently. Lycored, the international company founded in Israel, has been working hard to gain consumer trust in the product and bring quality to the global market.
Lycoderm is Lycored's first step into the ingestible skin care market, and the product is based on the UV-protective properties of carotenoids contained in tomatoes. The UV protection that Lycoderm offers is an island of distinctiveness in a sea of collagen-boosting products on the market.
The company has operations in Japan, France, China, Israel and the US, and Golan Raz, Head of Global Health Division at Lycored, is well read on the state of the landscape today. Speaking about the decision-making process behind the global company's international efforts, he explains: "When it comes to geographical presence, [we are] driven by the alignment between our brand philosophy, product portfolio and the openness of the specific region to benefit from our vision and products."
All markets are open and welcoming. However, not all of them are as "mature" in their trust in ingestible skin care
For Raz, some regions are more ready to accept these innovations. "All markets are open and welcoming," he says. "However, not all of them are as "mature" in their trust in ingestible skin care as the next generation of cosmetics. In that respect, Japan, Korea and France are the most developed countries, although other markets are quickly closing the gap."
Trying to build trust in the product where it is an unknown entity is part of Lycored's journey in the sector. The movement is beginning to take off in the US where the company is focusing its attention. Raz says the country's ingestible skin care market is increasing 60% year on year.
Lycored already has multiple patents in the US, the most recent one covering omega-3 fatty acids and tomato-derived lycopene. The company is in the process of turning tomato-derived lycopene into products and formulations marketed for brain health.
Millennials spend the most on skin care, but are least likely to be happy with their current products
"The only reason Lycored gets new patents in the most competitive dietary supplements arena is our passionate commitment to discover the next most effective natural ingredients," Raz explains. "It is saying to consumers, brands, contract manufacturers and other industry members that they can trust us to keep being innovative."
A step behind the US, the UK is still hesitant about ingestible skin care. The partnership between Lycored and UK distributor Safic is intending to help bridge this gap.
For Lycored, the goal is about more than developing and researching products. Raz explains: "It is first and foremost about our commitment as individuals, as a team and as a brand, to rethink the concept of beautiful as we continue to illuminate the idea that what you eat affects your skin and glow."
Research from the company has reinforced this philosophy, turning up surprising results. Raz says they found that consumers are motivated more by a desire to be healthy and to feel good than to look attractive to others.
The only reason Lycored gets new patents in the most competitive dietary supplements arena is our passionate commitment to discover the next most effective natural ingredients
"Consumers have a high awareness of the importance of nutrition for skin health, and ingestible skin care is seen as mainstream by most consumers, in particular, those in younger age groups," Raz points out.
Looking into these age groups, Lycored research shows millennials spend the most on skin care, but are least likely to be happy with their current products. Along with men, they are also the group most likely to want to spend less time applying skin care products.
Lycoderm is based on the UV-protective properties of carotenoids in tomatoes
Taking all the information onboard, Lycored began two campaigns; the #rethinkbeautiful campaign and the Letters of Love tour. These were two movements by the company to reinforce the idea that beauty means something different to everyone. Both campaigns went to locations around the US and the UK, strengthening the company's "not-only-for-profit" ethos, while also building brand awareness.
"We are using our involvement in the skin care industry to do more than just educate consumers on the role nutrition plays in how we look and feel," Raz says. "True beauty comes from within. And this past year, our team saw an opportunity to show the warm heart behind our hard science."
Furthermore, it is important to many consumers that their skin care products are both natural and clinically proven. Lycored has vertically integrated its supply chain. Raz explains: "This is simply saying that we are committed to getting as close as we can to the soil itself. By owning each step in our production processes, we're able to account for every detail and guarantee the utmost safety, sustainability, and efficacy."
By owning each step in our production processes we are able to account for every detail
To illustrate this view, Raz puts forward the idea of the difference between tomato lycopene that is made from industrial tomato paste and one made from freshly harvested tomatoes.
"Getting closer to the soil isn't just a romantic concept. It is first and foremost about saying that we know where the product came from and what it is truly made of, as well as how to backtrack if important questions concerning quality arise," Raz clarifies.
For the Lycored Livestream initiative, the company has installed a webcam that overlooks its tomato fields. This webcam is now streaming live, sharing daily natural events with viewers around the world.
There seem to be a great number of ingestible skin care products that focus on collagen, but Lycored has taken a different route, taking inspiration from its "hero fruit".
The blend of whole-food tomato extract and rosemary leaf extract in Lycoderm has been attuned to maximise the synergy of the ingredients. Raz breaks down the contents of Lycoderm to show how.
"Our standardised extract contains the optimal concentrations of lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene, and carnosic acid to help support skin health and appearance," he says.
Lycoderm takes the unconventional approach of protecting collagen rather than boosting it
Lycoderm takes the unconventional approach of protecting collagen rather than boosting it. The combination of these carotenoids and nutrients were developed to protect skin and support the maintenance of natural collagen across a broader range of UV light, including UVA and UVB wavelengths.
"Our proprietary mix has been proven safe and effective in several clinical trials to continue supporting the growing demand for ingestible skin care solutions," Raz says of the skin care-focused nutraceutical, commonly referred to as a nutricosmetic.
More and more consumers, as well as brands, understand the importance of bioavailability. So, when a technology developer like Lycored communicates that it is invested in demonstrating true human bioavailability, it makes the brand's promise to its consumers more solid and confident.