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Beautify your skin from inside out? The beauty ingestible debate…

mudd's women - beauty ingestibles

Source: Startrek.com – “Mudd’s Women”

On October 13, 1966 an episode of Star Trek titled Mudd’s Women, whose plot revolved around three women who took illegal beauty enhancing drugs and seduced the crew of the starship Enterprise, aired on NBC. Now, thanks to the efforts of South Korean scientists and the Asian beauty industry, it looks like yet another Trek-inspired technology has become reality (and perfectly legal, at least in Asia.)

Beauty ingestibles, as they are commonly termed, essentially function like over-the-counter aspirin or vitamin supplements that are formulated specifically to enhance your appearance. There are reportedly entire stores in Asia dedicated solely to the sale of beauty ingestibles, and the ingestible industry earns well over $1 billion annually. So, why have so few even heard of these in the United States?

Are FDA regulations stalling the beauty ingestible market?

One of the most plausible explanations for ingestibles’ lack of popularity in the U.S. is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be hesitant to approve or even pass judgment on whether it has the authority to regulate the beauty ingestible market given that ingestibles do not fit neatly into any specific category under its purview. Are ingestibles new drugs that require dozens of clinical trials? Are they dietary supplements subject to FDA regulations on over the counter vitamins? Are they cosmetics and not subject to FDA regulations at all?

As many American cosmetics companies large and small have recently discovered, the FDA does not like products that blur the line between these three categories, nor does it recognize the term “cosmeceutical” as anything other than a drug. If this is the case with beauty ingestibles, companies that want to market them in the U.S. would be legally restricted from advertising any claim that their products affect the structure or function of any part of the body or provide any health or nutrition benefit.

Or have ingestibles been in the U.S. all along and we just didn’t notice?

It’s also possible that the beauty ingestible market in America is alive and well, and is just taking a different form than an over the counter pill. If you think about it, the concept of enhancing beauty from the inside out isn’t all that farfetched, nor is it all that different from going on a diet to lose weight or going on a juice cleanse to purify your body of toxins.

What if you were to try and boost your skin’s collagen levels by drinking a bowl of collagen-rich bone broth? Would that not qualify as a beauty ingestible? What about tanning pills or sunscreen pills? The FDA actually has approved several varieties of each (as drugs, not cosmetics), and while they aren’t very well known, they do exist.

avocado hemp regenerative cream tre'yoursIt’s also an irrefutable fact that a little over 100 years ago most all medicines came from plants, not laboratories. Aspirin, arguably one of the most common over the counter drugs in the nation, used to be made from willow trees. The medicinal properties of the oil extracted from the hemp plant (which is legal, can be refined to contain no THC, and has known skin care benefits as well) have also come to light in recent history thanks to the nationwide movement to legalize medical marijuana.

How to beautify your skin from the inside out

avocado adk face creamIf you live in America or another country where beauty ingestibles have yet to become the billion dollar industry they are in Asia, there is still plenty you can do to beautify yourself from the inside out using more conventional practices. For example, did you know that vitamins A (retinol palmitate), D3 and K2 work in tandem to maintain your skin’s health, vitality, and youthful appearance? Or that avocado oil is recognized as a natural sunscreen with one of the highest rankings by the Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology for sunscreen effectiveness?

The research is out there if you know where to look, and so are natural beauty products (both topical and ingestible) that take advantage of that research in their formulations. They may be prohibited from flat out saying that they fix skin problems x, y, and z, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth a try.

 

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