The product, called Herbalife SKIN LycoGlow, is based on Lycored Nutrient Complex, which is a tomato extract from Israeli firm Lycored that is heavy on lycopene but that also includes other carotenoids found in the fruit.
“The science behind Lycored Nutrient Complex was very familiar to us,” said Dr Kent Bradley, MD, chief nutrition officer for Herbalife.
“While the product supplies lycopene, we find that there is value in the other carotenoids in the whole tomato, in this case phytoene and phytofluene. The value to us was that this was not a single nutrient but a complex,” he said.
Bradley said the new product also contains rosemary extract which supplies carnosic acid which is a powerful antioxidant. Together, the ingredients in the supplement, which is formulated as a once daily softgel, is said by the company to “balance the skin’s response to sun exposure and environmental stresses.”
Has time come for beauty from within?
Beauty from within is a category that has seemed perpetually on the cusp of significant growth in the US market. The new skin care product will be launched in the US and Mexico markets first.
Laura Chacon-Gorbato, Herbalife’s director of nutrition eduction and training, said her company believes that the time for beauty from within has finally arrived in North America. The new skin care product is the company’s second entry into the field, with the first being an offering based on collagen.
Both Dr Bradley and Chacon-Gorbato said the new product fits into Herbalife’s emphasis on ‘whole’ nutrition, that is, nutrition for the whole person based on ingredients from whole plants.
“When you think about our global nutrition philosophy, we are unique in that we recognize the power of health not only from macro and micro nutrients by also from phytonutrients,” Dr Bradley said.
“We have this global nutrition philosophy and what we talk about with our distributors is total wellness,” Chacon-Gorbato said. “We talk about the importance of inner nutrition to support the outer nutrition of the skin. Everything that they consume is going to show up in their skin, and healthy skin glows.”
Invading Nu Skin’s turf?
Herbalife is the world’s third largest network marketing company according to an annual listing by industry publication Direct Selling News. It is the largest devoted solely to the sale of nutritional products. A competitor, Nu Skin (No. 6 on the DSN list), based its early business success on aiding the accumulation of carotenoids in the skin. The company goes so far as to provide distributors with a scanner to measure carotenoid levels in the skin of consumers’ hands as a way purportedly to assess their overall antioxidant levels.
Dr Bradley said Herbalife did not bring out its new product in an attempt to being competing with Nu Skin in this arena.
“From a philosophical standpoint we are not focusing on a particular competitor and what they are doing. We are looking at the science and what distributors in our regions are telling us what their consumers are looking for,” he said.
“We look at what we think the marketplace is ready to receive,” he added.
Aiming at Asia
While beauty from within might finally be ready for prime time in the US (stay tuned), it definitely is big business in Asia. Dr Bradley said the plan is to eventually broaden the distribution of the new skin care product. The collagen product, for example, was launched first in North America and now is now offered in more than 40 countries. Herbalife now operates in 94 countries.