Food based ingredients are emerging as a key trend in the cosmetics industry, with many beauty companies targeting the growing market and creating product lines that incorporate natural ingredients.
One ingredient that Western manufacturers has rediscovered is cocoa, 3000 years after it was first discovered. It is now used in many skin treatments in a variety of salons and finished products.
Paris based company Zelda Gavizon uses chocolate as the main component in its 'Chocolatherapie' treatments with spokesperson, Gabriel Jacquet, stating that 'Cocoa has a lot to give, the Cocoa pod has over 800 complex molecules with 30 of them being beneficial to the skin'.
Antioxidants contained in the cocoa shell are said to help delay the signs of ageing, activate fat-burn and have a psychologically stimulating effect. Prompting Jacquet to state that the 'ingredient is more than just a gimmick and is in fact a cosmetic asset'.
Jacquet claimed that this discovery evolved after a consumer trend for fruit based face creams emerged from London in the new millennium, described by the company as 'tasty treatments'.
However, it is not just chocolate that is being embraced, rice based cosmetics are also set to feature in the beauty industry, with the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) in Malaysia having recently agreed a proposal to embark on a joint venture with a local company in Kedah.
Infomfe, a manufacturer of personal care products, is also targeting the trend by using Marula oil in scalp treatments. The oil comes from the fruit of the Marula tree and has been used as a food and beverage by South African people for centuries.
The stone within the fruit contains kernels, which are rich in oils that are a natural source of Olieic Acid, an important property for healthy skin and helps to bring added shine to hair.
However, perhaps the most significant food and cosmetic collaboration is the partnership between food giants, Nestle and beauty leaders, L'Oreal to create the 'beauty from the inside' product range, Inneov, targeting the Nutricosmetics category.
Food based ingredients make up part of the fast growing market of organic and natural based cosmetics, a market that is set to continue to grow in coming years.
A recent report by market research company, Organic Monitor, estimated that the European market for natural and organic cosmetic products is currently growing at 20 per cent a year, and set to surpass a value of €1bn, the increased activity is likely to give way to big changes, including the rise of food based cosmetics.
Many of the brands that target the natural and organics cosmetics, are also likely to pick up on product launches for cosmetics containing food ingredients. This is likely to lead to ingredients such as organic chocolate, hemp and products containing exotic plant extracts becoming more and more popular.