Trend Watch: Cosmetic and personal care ingredients borrowed from Traditional Chinese Medicine

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Trend Watch: Cosmetic and personal care ingredients borrowed from Traditional Chinese Medicine
It’s a trend that unites global beauty rituals with homespun wisdom. And the long-standing practice and emerging science that substantiate the benefits of TCM ingredients appeals to beauty consumers worldwide.

Multi-level marketing company Amway recently announced that its Amway Botanical Research Center is expanding work with TCM ingredients to find new ways to use the materials in personal care and beauty product formulations.

“TCM is really a life philosophy,”​ Jia Chen, vice president of the Amway Botanical Research Center, explains in an item on the company news blog. “It’s about your diet, it’s about nature and the spirit, it’s about the way you treat your health and life.”

The company already uses TCM ingredients in its Nutrilite brand supplements and nutrition products. Now Chen and her team are “expanding that research, evaluating plants used in TCM for their potential benefits in future…Artistry beauty products,”​ according to a press release about this R&D initiative.

The Michigan-based company boasts annual revenue of close to $10bn and operates worldwide. So the TCM beauty products will presumably have an extensive reach.

Near and far

The appeal of global beauty is well known but more and more all things local and artisanal are capturing the attention (and dollars) of many discerning consumers here and abroad. “Instead of seeking the latest thing, many shoppers for beauty products in China are now looking to their cultural past for traditional Chinese medicine and its natural ability to enhance skin,” ​writes Sun Yuanqing in a recent article on chinapost.com.

In much the same way that beauty from the heartland​ is gaining market share here in the States, TCM is increasingly popular in Asia. Yuanqing points to L’Oréal’s Yue Sai brand in her article​, noting that over half of the brand’s online shoppers are in their 20s—a sign that TCM beauty is popular with younger consumers and will, as a result, have credence for years to come.

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