The brand, launched in 2017, sells a soda product with unfiltered apple cider vinegar which they market as prebiotic and gut-healthy. Allison Ellsworth, co-founder and chief of brand at Poppi told CosmeticsDesign she developed the product after having personal success with apple cider vinegar to alleviate some health issues.
While direct impacts on gut health are the lead marketed benefit of the product, the brand also puts a strong secondary emphasis on skin health. Across Poppi’s website and social media, the brand advertises its possible ingestible beauty claims.
“Research has clearly shown the connection between gut health and the appearance of your skin,” Ellsworth said. “Apple cider vinegar found in Poppi may help balance your skin, which can refine complexion, stop breakouts and reduce inflammation.”
Research is thin, may suggest prebiotic impact on health skin
Ellsworth said Poppi’s main source of ingestible beauty claims is research supporting prebiotic impacts on improved gut health leading to the skin health improvements the brand advertises.
A 2019 review of scientific literature covering pro-and-prebiotic impacts on skin health and diseases, Lolou et al, concluded that benefits to skin health were determined in several studies of pro-and-prebiotics, both in some simple mechanisms and a few more complex ones.
Lolou et al also said the mechanisms of pro-and-prebiotic impacts on skin and skin disease still need to be fully understood in order to apply them in a clinical setting.
Research on the ingestion of apple cider vinegar and its effect on the skin appears to be very limited, though the Cleveland Clinic says unfiltered apple cider vinegar, or vinegar with “the mother,” is a natural probiotic.
Marketing focuses on gut-skin relationship
Ellsworth said within their marketing plan, which focused on showcasing their gut health claims, Poppi aims to capture ingestible beauty claims by focusing on research around the general connection between gut health and skin health.
“We call Poppi ‘bubbles with benefits,’ because its gut-friendly properties can help nurture the gut and in turn help support skin clarity,” Ellsworth said. “Poppi’s apple cider vinegar is pure and unfiltered, so it contains the ‘mother,’ as well as polyphenols and prebiotics from pectin.”
In the brand's next steps, she said they aim to expand their flavor range and focus on their multifunctional gut health claims.