Nutricosmetics increasingly ‘acceptable’ to dermatologists, but more scientific evidence required – veteran practitioner

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Lyco White Ultra is a nutricosmetics formulated by IDS. ©IDS
Lyco White Ultra is a nutricosmetics formulated by IDS. ©IDS

Related tags Singapore Beauty from within Skin

The use of beauty-from-within supplements, or nutricosmetics, is becoming “more acceptable” to dermatologists, but more scientific and safety evidence is needed to encourage widespread use, says a veteran dermatologist.

This is according to Dr Tan Siak Khim, who is more commonly known as Dr SK Tan, founder of Singapore-based Innovative Dermatological Solutions (IDS) established 20 years ago, and also the head of The JYSK Group.

The group operates across skincare, dermatology​, and aesthetics realms under the brand names IDS Skincare, IDS Clinic, and IDS Aesthetics.

Dr Tan told NutraIngredients-Asia ​that while acceptance on nutricosmetics has been growing, there were still various factors ingredient manufacturers would need to work on to appeal to these professionals.

What we are concerned about is efficacy. And so, there has to be more scientific studies which can back up the claims. The second thing is that these studies must be credible. 

Another thing that is also lacking, is the fact that some ingredients may cause allergies or side-effects, but I don't think there are enough safety studies conducted in this area. 

Recently, the company launched a skin-whitening oral supplement targeted at promoting skin health and addressing pigmentation.

The product, known as Lyco-White Ultra, is in fact, an upgraded version of its previous formula known as Lyco White launched in 2015. 

While consumers are starting to gain an interest in nutricosmetics due to information found on social media, Dr Tan said dermatologists who wanted to start their own product line faced a major problem around sales volumes.

“One problem in developing not only nutricosmetics but topical skincare as well, is that the average dermatologist does not have the sales volume to manufacture a customised formulation.

“As such, they will have to buy from a third-party manufacturer and use private labelling,”​ Dr Tan said.

Patients' acceptance

According to Dr Tan, patients are overall receptive towards nutricosmetics especially when the products are prescribed by doctors.

He has been recommending the Lyco White product as a prophylaxis and as a complementary treatment to pigmentation problems. 

“We are different from the mass market retail in the sense that we have a personal relationship with the patients.

“As such, they will accept the advice of doctors and this is especially the case when they are consulting the doctors for very specific problems and we recommended something that is related to the problem.”  

The upgraded formula contains a higher amount of bioactives, including 1,500mg of white tomato extract, which is 50 per cent more than the original formula.

It also contains a higher dose of the plant extract polypodium leucotomos – from 300mg to 1,000mg.

Another difference is the addition of 100mg of pine bark extract into the new formula.

On top of that, the recommended dosage amount has been reduced from three capsules to one tablet. 

The ingredients used have been shown in various studies to have a skin lightening effect because of their antioxidant actions, said Dr Tan.

“Tomato extract contains two very strong antioxidants, phytoene and phytofluene. It has been shown in various studies that these compounds have a skin lightening action because of its antioxidant actions. It also acts on the melanin pathway,” ​he said, adding that the extract has been sourced from an Israeli firm which was the pioneer of tomato extract for skin whitening.

Upcoming NPD

Moving forward, Dr Tan revealed plans to expand the nutricosmetics line by exploring the anti-acne space.

“We want to find something that is able to reduce sebum production and also something that is non-prescription but able to prevent hormones from overstimulating the oil glands. These are the two targets that we are looking at.”

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