Over the last ten years, vitamins and sunscreens have been added to a large number of cosmetics and toiletries around the world, from lipsticks, creams, lotions and sun care products, to makeup, nail care, shampoos and conditioners. In the last three years, a number of the leading cosmetic marketers have even added "beauty supplements" to their product lines. These are dietary supplements containing vitamins and minerals, which are intended to correct deficiencies that can negatively impact on skin, hair and nails.
The strong interest in vitamins, sunscreens and minerals is not surprising in view of the stressful environment surrounding us--pollution, UV radiation, and the vitamin and mineral deficiencies many American men and women suffer from. A study published in 1993 in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences revealed that the majority of women in the United States have diets that fall short of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamins A, E, Bs, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
However, the most important factor influencing the vitamins and sunscreens revolution currently taking place in the global cosmetic industry, is the consumer who is interested in health and nutrition, and is demanding more performance from beauty products and more accountability in product claims and advertising. Such changing trends, where good health could manifest itself in hair, skin and nails, strongly favor the use of vitamins and sunscreens in cosmetics and toiletries.
Vitamins and Sunscreens--Overview
Although the association between vitamins and good health has long been established, vitamins were not widely used in cosmetics and toiletries. The reason for such practice was due to the strong emphasis on decorative cosmetics, which cover up imperfections and signs of advancing age, rather than on protection against damage caused by the environment, or the correction of such damage.
Similarly, UV filters, which provide skin and hair with protection against photodamage, were incorporated mainly …