Spreading Clean Beauty

Why ginseng could be the natural hero ingredient we need in a pandemic

Our skin speaks volumes about our overall health. Dryness, acne, and irritation can be signs of a poor diet, hormonal imbalances, or a weak immune system. Consumers understand that our skin is an important barometer for our holistic health, and in light of the global pandemic, this tendency has become even more pronounced. This is why we’re seeing a surge in NPD for immunity-boosting botanicals: for instance, in the food and drink space, 40% of new patents for immune-boosting products featured botanicals like ginseng (Mintel, 2020).

This is in direct response to consumer demand. In Thailand, 47% of consumers find immunity-improving functional benefits appealing (Mintel, 2020). Moreover, these consumers also want these functions to be derived from natural sources. Currently, 26% of US consumers are either currently taking herbal supplements to improve their immune health, or are planning to take them in the next year (Mintel, 2020). These trends send important signals to the skin care space, which we’ll discuss here.

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Look to all-natural hero ingredients

Consumers want products that support holistic health. They want these products to be multifunctional, caring from the inside out or outside in. Finally, they want these products to be natural. This is why we’re seeing huge growth in demand for familiar, ethically-sourced hero ingredients in skin care products. As the holistic health trend gains greater traction – particularly in a pandemic context – consumers perceive these ingredients as healthier and safer. In essence, there is a sort of ‘you are what you eat’ attitude that’s being transposed onto skin care. 

Let’s take ginseng as an example. Already hugely popular in herbal supplements and teas, ginseng is now making waves in skin care. Used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, the adaptogen is known to reduce stress, improve mental acuity and boost your immune system and mood. Now, dermatologists have discovered that the hydrolyzed iteration of the root contributes to collagen synthesis, alongside powerful antioxidant properties.

Moreover, the familiarity of ginseng sends a clear message to consumers. In Far Eastern markets, ginseng has comforting associations with tradition and herbal medicine. In the West, consumers also associate the ingredient with well-being and home-spun formulas. For instance, ginseng is amongst the ingredients that African American women actively look for in beauty products, alongside other old school hero ingredients like cocoa butter, coconut oil, and hemp oil (Mintel, 2020).

Pure, simple, multi-functional

Ingredients like ginseng have comforting associations, and indeed, soothing and healing effects. Herein lies another of this ingredient’s strengths in the current market context: it’s multifunctional. Considering the move towards clean, natural, and simple beauty products, consumers are pairing down the number of products they use. This tendency is set to be accelerated by the pandemic context, where many consumers will be looking to streamline their skin care routines to save.

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Ginseng meets this demand for multifunctional ingredients on a number of levels. For one, it is equally as potent in hair care products as skin care. For a while now, ginseng has been recognized as an effective conditioner and elasticizer. In a later study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, scientists found that a methanol extract from red ginseng roots exhibited hair growth stimulatory activity. 

Provital’s ginseng extract

Provital is always inspired by nature. By combining nature and science, Provital creates actives that meet consumer demand for ingredients they recognize, while delivering the efficacy they expect. Provital’s experts have been researching the powerful, multifunctional properties of ginseng to perfect a ginseng extract. This potent concentration of this traditional hero ingredient is ideal for both skin and hair care formats. Consumers want natural, simple, and multifunctional – and in a pandemic context, ginseng is a compelling possibility.

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