Updated: Jun 29
We have all had more time on our hands to focus on self-care and try a few new things.
Whilst there has always been a close link between self-care and skincare, we have started to see a new link develop: ingestible beauty.
It comes in different shapes and forms, from capsules to gummies, drops, vials, powders, liquids, you name it.
The priority now is not only to look healthy, but feel healthy (a positive side-effect of COVID-19). With this huge focus on bringing the beauty to the inside, we have seen many brands including similar actives in their ‘in’ (e.g. hyaluronic acid, collagen, botanicals), to complement their ‘out’ for those added benefits.
Of course even supplements are regulated and fall under the Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003 (the UK Regulation continues to retain the EU legislation from 01 January 2021). Amongst the requirements of the Regulation there is a responsibility to educate the consumers on the actual benefits of taking supplements and to give a clear message that these should not be used as substitute for balanced nutrition.
A food supplement is defined as ‘any food the purpose of which is to supplement the normal diet and which is a concentrated source of a vitamin or mineral or other substance with a nutritional or physiological effect, alone or in combination and is sold in dose form’.
Beauty supplements may also fit within this definition.
Companies looking to add such products into their ranges should be aware that food supplements are not only subject to their own legislation and labelling requirements, but there are certain authorised claims which can be made on pack.
There are a few categories of claims:
Medicinal claims are those that state they can treat, prevent or cure disease. These cannot be made for foods and supplements.
Nutrition claims imply that the product has certain properties and such claims are only permitted if they are listed in the Annex of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 (NHCR), and meet the conditions of use. (e.g. the claim: ‘High in Vitamin’ is listed in the Annex and the condition is it must be at least 30% NRV).
Health claims state a relationship between food and health. There are several types covered by different Articles of the NHCR (e.g. 13.1 a role of a nutrient or other substance in growth, development and the functions of the body; 14.1b Children’s health and development). To use such claims, they must be listed as authorised in the EU register (which has also been adopted by the UK), and must meet conditions of use associated with the claim. It is important to note, however, the difference between ‘health’ claims and ‘medicinal’ claims. As mentioned already, the latter is strictly not allowed for food.
Beauty claims are essentially appearance claims (e.g. radiant looking skin). As they do not fall under the NHCR which only authorises claims relating to body functions. There is no list of approved beauty claims. However, such claims must not be misleading, need to be scientifically justified and substantiated by evidence.
Claims on pack need to be verified and even social media channels (which are classed as commercial communication) are subject to requirements of the Nutrition and Health Claim Regulations.
Of course the secret to healthier looking skin still includes applying topical products, but we are extremely excited by this holistic approach to beauty and self-care!
Written by: Elizaveta Luneva