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Ingestible beauty products are becoming big business and here’s why

While using the right moisturisers and conditioning treatments are vital for keeping skin, nails and hair hydrated and healthy this season, it’s important to incorporate ingestibles into one’s beauty regime.

The demand for ingestible products is growing steadily and this market category is expected to be worth US$ 8.30 Billion in 2030. “People are more conscious of what they put into their bodies, not only for beauty, but health and longevity too,” says Toni Carroll, founder and CEO of nutricosmetic brand My Beauty Luv.

Toni talks to GLAMOUR about how she founded My Beauty Luv and the latest trends in the beauty industry.

Hello Toni, please tell us a little about your experience in the beauty industry?

I started way back in 2001 as an art director for a professional beauty trade publication. This was my first taste of the pro beauty market and I was hooked. I then went on to work for an organisation that hosted Africa’s biggest beauty and hair trade and consumer expo. That was loads of fun and I dealt with a large variety of beauty and haircare brands. Since then I’ve worked in the wellness space, at a private gym, and even had my own kickboxing dojo (can you believe!). In 2014 I started one of the very first online professional hair care stores in South Africa, 'Hair Today Hair Tomorrow', whilst still working in a corporate job. I was a partner in a hair salon and had access to all the professional hair care brands. The aim was to provide quality, professional-grade products to the then “new” and exciting online e-commerce community. Years later, after I decided to leave working for a ‘boss’, I started my own distribution company selling health, wellness and beauty products into salons, pharmacies, big retailers and various other retail outlets.

Toni Carroll, founder and CEO of nutricosmetics brand, My Beauty Luv. Image: Supplied
Image: Supplied

How did the My Beauty Luv brand come about and why?

Whilst still dealing exclusively in the professional hair care market, I recognised a gap: the need for a holistic approach to hair health. With this in mind, I began introducing ingestible health products to my platform. As I delved further into ingestibles, my investigations led from the original focus on hair, to skin and nails, and ultimately overall inner beauty.

This spring I embarked on creating my own brand of nutricosmetics as I found there were no professional, salon-grade beauty supplements in the marketplace. Having worked in the professional salon space I saw the need to supply an ingestible (inner) product range that would work in conjunction with the salon’s external treatments. My Beauty Luv brand was born in 2018 and started with just 1 product – our premium hydrolysed collagen from France. Now almost four years later, we have 7 main products in the range, 3 of which are exclusive to us and a first-to-market. We will be launching another 2 highly specialised products within the next 6 months.

Please tell us a little about why you chose the ingestible beauty route?

After intense research I realised that the nutricosmetic industry completely aligned with my personal life belief that what you put in is what you’ll get out. Holistic beauty encompasses our external body, internal health, mental state, and our connection with our surroundings and other people. I felt that the ingestible market highlighted my passion for nature and beauty. The power that pure natural ingredients give our bodies, and the overwhelming health & beauty benefits is EXACTLY what I want to give people. Having come from an art and marketing background – I graduated from AAA Collage in JHB back in 1999 – I’ve always had a knack for identifying new opportunities way before the mainstream have even heard or experienced them. I knew ingestible beauty was going to be the next big thing, or rather the next evolutionary step within the beauty sector, and it was a natural route for me to take my passion to the next level.

Please tell us about your latest offering My Beauty Luv (Brainy Beauty®) and how it relates to mental health?

This is a game-changer and I’m relieved to see that mental health in general is starting to lose the stigma that has surrounded it for so many years. Our modern society and way of life has catapulted mental health issues and we are now facing a serious crisis globally. The top dispensed prescription drugs worldwide are for depression and anxiety-related disorders. If, as a species, we think this is normal, well it most certainly is not.

Instead of jumping on the bandwagon of the typical feel-good, anti-anxiety supplements that are commonly found out there, I wanted to create a product that focused on the nootropic side of brain health, with the secondary action assisting with mood, anxiety and depression. Brainy Beauty® is an advanced brain-enhancing product that helps to shuttle energy into the brain cells for superior cognitive performance. The unique ingredients (two of which are exclusive to us) are high performing in terms of mitochondria enhancement and are well documented for their abilities in the fields of neurological, psychological, cellular energy and mental health sciences. The formula ensures a distinct boost in brain function & activity, mental clarity & performance, neural longevity and overall well being. All four ingredients work synergistically together for optimal function. There really is nothing like this currently in SA.

Due to the seasonality of one particular ingredient (which is grown to medical-grade standards), we are only able to produce limited quantities and so once a batch is sold, there will be a waiting period until the next batch is ready. As with all My Beauty Luv products, our focus is on the QUALITY of the ingredients, and we certainly wanted the absolute best, once again, for our advanced nootropic Brainy Beauty®, even if this means the product is only available in limited quantities and for specific periods in the year.

Mental health is one of those areas of human wellbeing that is multi-faceted. So many areas and factors in an individual’s life will contribute to that person’s mental wellbeing. Taking a nootropic supplement is only one part of the total protocol that is necessary to improve one’s state of mind. A balanced and rewarding lifestyle is imperative to our wellbeing.

It's an exciting time in the Pan-African beauty space with a range of beauty brands entering the market. What's your take on the current scene and what are you enjoying about the boom?

What’s not to love about Africa and her raw, wild beauty! There’s a reason people come back year after year to visit our shores, regardless of the political situation or the vast corruption and inequality that plagues the continent. The essence that is Africa is something sublime and personal. With most of the exciting beauty brands that are birthed on this continent, I really do feel that this essence is captured in each and every one. Us Africans have such a sense of entrepreneurship, and we all have a story to tell – I do believe that just as we witnessed the explosion of the K and J-Beauty scene, we are at the start of the ‘A-Beauty’ revolution. I love the fact that we can compete on the world stage offering advanced and effective beauty products, manufactured with African heart and soul.

What's your go-to night-time skin routine?

I start to wind-down around 6pm after my gym or yoga session. This starts with a fabulous long bath where I relax and listen to my metaphysical teachings. My night-time skin routine consists of a highly specialised night cream or serum which I pat onto my skin and then proceed to use my hand-held micro-current device. An hour before bedtime I have my ingestible beauty drink which consists of two big heaps of magnesium orotate, l-glutamine and l-glycine. I mix this up in filtered water and take my tart cherry and collagen capsules with it. I sleep like a log every night, except when my kitty decides she wants to serenade me at 3am! 😊

What beauty or skincare trends are you loving at the moment?

Although not entirely a new trend, I’m enjoying the surge of advanced sheet masks that are becoming more available. These are not the typical ones that you can find everywhere. I like to use an advanced professional-grade sheet mask once a week (or before a big event) and when the mask is in place, I then take my special hand-held red light skin device and use this over the sheet mask, moving it all over my face. This particular device I have also has a great vibration which assists in ingredient penetration. I have found that frequently using a combination of home devices (galvanic, micro-current and red-light), along with various specialised & targeted creams, serums, and masks, is a winning formula for more mature skin like mine. It may be over-stimulating for younger skin, but for women over 35 this multi-pronged stimulation approach is a winner!

*For more information visit My Beauty Luv.

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