Skincare brands are continuously searching for the next “hero” natural ingredient that can differentiate them in the market. Gac, with its high levels of the antioxidant lycopene (70 times greater than tomatoes) and vitamin-A precursor beta-carotene (10 times greater than carrots) will appeal to consumers looking to make their skin healthier. Why is this important? According to Technavio, North America is the fastest growing region for beauty drinks in the world, now registering second overall in market size. The pursuit of “feeling well” is a complicated interplay among many different “wellness” factors (physical, mental and nutritional). How healthy the skin appears is influenced by internal factors like diet, stress and the amount of sleep, as well as external aggressors of which ultraviolet radiation from the sun and pollution are readily recognized as damaging by consumers. As illustrated in Mintel’s Global Beauty & Personal Care Trend, Gastronomia, consumers are interested in natural/organic ingredients from fruits and vegetables, preferably locally grown, to help their skin look healthy. US Millennials, in particular, have a strong appeal for “green” labeling and it is most pronounced when compared to Baby Boomers. Brands like Yes To, Lush, and The Body Deli emphasize organic or raw – even vegan- ingredients that are often being prepared in small batches. In the case of The Body Deli, processes are employed to optimize the bioactivity of the ingredients in the formula. This positioning taps into a requisite ingredient safety requirement by the consumer. Self-assurance over ingredient quality and safety has also led to the emergence of Do-It-Yourself skincare start-ups, such as LOLI, that qualify their ingredients (e.g., EcoCert certification). Food for the skin – a focus on beta-carotene ilike Organic Skin Care Carotene Essentials Body Lotion Yes To Baby Naturals Body Lotion AMC Juices Beauty & Go brand offers an array of beauty drinks that comprise a proprietary source of antioxidant-rich polyphenols (MacroAntioxidants) obtained from the skin of fruits. Over 80% of consumers in leading Southern European markets believe that antioxidants from foods can reduce the effects of ageing and nearly a quarter of them gravitate to antioxidant bodycare products to purchase. This is why crowdfunded Xoi Juice is set to create a new beauty drink with the Southeast Asian Gac superfruit. Gac offers a new antioxidant storyline with anti-ageing benefits as well as aligns with Southern Europeans’ belief in the importance of antioxidants inside and outside to maintain good health and feel well. The pulp and skin of Gac are not currently used although the pulp has been described to contain high levels of carotenoids. What we think As brands seek to distinguish themselves with new/exotic ingredients, Gac fruit (extracts or concentrates) can be used in food for the skin products to attract purchase in its home of Southeast Asia. The potent antioxidant fruit Gac can also be introduced into Western markets’ products to promote a strong skin health message with anti-ageing benefits. Gac fruit’s beta-carotene levels are 10 times greater than carrots and can be converted to an active form of vitamin A in the skin. With BASF increasing the cost of vitamin A by 20% in Q1 2016, Gac fruit can be considered a possible substitute or at least an option to reduce vitamin A levels to curb the expense of skincare formulas. The “waste not” concept continues to expand and evolve as a business proposition where more consumers, in particular the younger generations, are striving to be environmentally conscious. Along this theme, all the nutritional benefits from the different parts of the Gac “superfruit” have not been clearly defined with the pulp presently being thrown away. The pulp along with the other parts of the fruit could account for a significant source of bioactive compounds for use in food, drink or skincare. David Tyrrell is a Global Skincare Analyst, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel. He provides analysis of consumer skincare needs and behaviors, ingredient and product assessments and competitive insights that impact business interests of skincare companies across the globe. You might also be interested in: What’s the next big US skincare ingredient?