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Cosmetics You Can Eat

…Or drink for that matter. Skin care on the rocks, anyone?
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In case you missed it, ladies everywhere are munching on their cosmetics like hot messes straight off that show, My Strange Addiction. They’re upping their dose of anti-aging products and literally popping perfume capsules in the bathroom chased by double shots of collagen. And it’s not that they’re headed to rehab – their beauty products are 100% edible. They’re known as nutricosmetics and they’re going through the roof.

The nutricosmetics – or the “beauty from within” – industry is projected to reach $4.24 billion in global sales by the year 2017, according to a new report done by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. “Driven by the increasing desire to move beyond conventional beauty solutions,” the report describes nutricosmetics as the “intersection between nutrition and personal care.” In other words, instead of slathering these fancy products all over your body every morning, you can now choose to swallow a pill, guzzle a drink or even drizzle a little ‘magic liquid’ onto your yogurt, to achieve the same results.

“People need to equate inner health with outer beauty," says Jessica Mulligan, National Sales Manager for NeoCell, a leader in the natural supplement and skincare industries. "We choose foods and supplements to help keep our heart and other vital organs healthy. The same goes for our skin, which plays such a big role in how we look and feel." Not coincidentally, one of NeoCell’s most popular nutricosmetics is collagen. For those who don’t tune in to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills regularly, collagen is responsible for younger, firmer looking skin and healthier, stronger hair and nails. Of course it can also give you big fish lips like Taylor’s, but that’s another story.

Currently, Japan and Europe dominate the nutricsosmetics market, with lines such as IMEDEEN (manufactured by Danish pharmaceutical company, Farrosan) offering anti-ageing skincare tablets to “help you look younger for longer” and Tan Optimizer capsules that promise to give you a longer lasting, natural glow with less sun. In Japan, Kracie Foods sells a line of collagen and vitamin C coated fruit snacks, while global cosmetics company Shiseido offers a collagen-enriched beauty drink (although it’s only available for purchase in Japan).

In the United States, however, nutricosmetics are only gradually beginning to gain acceptance. NeoCell’s collagen can be found online in a variety of forms, to include their Super Collagen+C Tablets, Super Collagen Powder and Collagen+C Pomegranate Liquid, so consumers have a lot of options to choose from. The company also offers other innovative (and edible) supplements, such as Hyaluronic Acid, which Mulligan describes as “nature’s moisturizer, and a lubricant for skin cells, eyes, joints and connective tissues.”

NeoCell isn’t the only player in the US nutricosmetics game to find success though. Celebrity esthetician Scott-Vincent Borba struck it big with his “healthy skin from within” Borba beauty supplements, and best-selling Skin Balance Waters. He even sells Skin Balance Gummi Bears.

 But the question on everyone’s minds is, do these products really work? It might all sound very Willy Wonka to pop pills to ward off grey hair and frown lines, but the FDA hasn’t yet given nutricosmetics its stamp of approval. in the US (like they have in Europe and Japan), the verdict is still out.

Elizabeth Mitchell is a freelance fashion, beauty and lifestyle writer living in Los Angeles.

Elizabeth Mitchell is a freelance fashion, beauty and lifestyle writer living in Los Angeles. Although she doesn't have a southern accent, she swears she grew up in North Carolina and attended NYU where she graduated with a nearly perfect GPA. In 5th grade she won the D.A.R.E. essay contest, which is a pretty huge deal if you ask her. Liz now bides her time writing for way too many websites to name, trying free samples and actively avoiding the kitchen. She's also obsessed with the color neon. Follow her on Twitter @emitchell456.