13 Jan 2022 --- Lycored has unveiled new research in its white paper, Beautiful Diversity: Meeting the needs of people of all skin tones. It explores the ways beauty and personal care needs differ depending on an individual consumer’s skin tone.
The manufacturer of carotenoid ingredients for ingestible skin care surveyed 1,285 consumers in the US and UK in August 2021. All had purchased a product for their skin over the past 12 months. Basing its method on the Fitzpatrick scale, Lycored asked its survey participants to define their skin tone in one of five categories: dark brown or black; brown; light brown; white – darker; or white – pale or fair, with equal numbers of participants in each of the five categories.
Click to EnlargeThose with darker skin tones are less likely to believe that the beauty industry is truly inclusive. Source: Lycored.YES “For a long time, the beauty industry was strongly focused on the needs of consumers with lighter skin tones,” says Zev Ziegler, Head of Global Brand and Marketing in Health at Lycored. “Products such as foundation and concealer were only available in light and tan shades. Recent developments, not least the Black Lives Matter movement, mean inclusivity has become one of the most important concepts in the beauty, skin care and personal care industries.”
Lycored’s survey found that 73% of consumers in the US agreed with the statement: “Products that provide the same benefits for people of all skin tones offer a platform for inclusivity.” But the study revealed significant differences in the perception of how inclusive the beauty industry is today. In the UK, 64% of respondents with dark brown or black skin said they do not believe the industry is doing enough to reflect the needs of people of all skin tones. Among white respondents, this figure dropped to 24%.
Based on its research, however, Lycored indicates that there is the perception that manufacturers are becoming more inclusive. From its findings, 62% of US respondents and 56% of UK respondents stated they believe the industry has become better at meeting the needs of people of all skin tones in recent years.
“Nonetheless, it is clear that there is still much more work to be done,” shares Ziegler. In the UK, for example, 74% of survey respondents with dark brown or black skin said they thought it was harder for people with darker skin tones to find the right products, while just over a quarter (26%) of respondents with white skin said the same. “Our findings also suggest the possibility that many consumers with lighter skin tones are unaware of the challenges facing those with darker skin tones,” Lycored said in the white paper.
“Our survey made clear that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to how people across different skin tones and nationalities view beauty,” says Ziegler. The white paper states: “In both the US and the UK, respondents with the darkest skin tones were the most likely to prioritize healthy glow and radiance.” This was given as a goal for 67% of Americans with dark brown skin, compared to just 51% of those with pale or fair skin.
“Respondents with darker skin were also more likely to seek out skin care products with natural ingredients,” says Ziegler. “For those with lighter skin tones, meanwhile, there was a greater focus on avoiding redness and UV damage.” In the UK, this was a goal for 34% of survey respondents with pale or fair skin, Lycored details, compared to 17% of those with dark brown or black skin tones.
The case for ingestibles
In the US, almost three-quarters (73%) of consumers who defined their skin as dark brown or black had purchased a product designed for their particular skin tone. Over half (54%) of those with white skin had also bought a product that specifically catered to and matched their skin tone. From these findings, Lycored believes that ingestible skin care is an appealing market in the BPC industry as it strives to achieve inclusivity. “Ingestible skin care is an ideal solution,” Ziegler suggests. “It doesn’t come in different shades; instead, it is about promoting beautiful, healthy skin from the inside out and achieving a healthy glow. The survey shows that consumers of all skin tones are interested in ingestible skin care and recognize its potential to contribute to a more inclusive version of skin care and beauty.”
Click to EnlargeThe study suggested differences in purchasing habits linked to skin tone. Source: Lycored.Lycored produces plant-based ingestible skin care ingredients that are designed to offer benefits for consumers of all skin colors and tones. Its Lycoderm solution is a nutrient complex that strives to balance the skin’s response to environmental stress. Ziegler highlights that participants in a placebo-controlled trial in 2020 showed a significant reduction in wrinkle severity and fine lines after 16 weeks, and 81% reported that their skin felt smoother.
The brand’s Lumenato product is described as a vegan-friendly collagen and ceramide booster which is sourced from golden tomatoes. Ziegler details that Lycored’s most recent placebo-controlled study found that it delivered significant benefits for those with an impaired skin barrier, including improvements to skin smoothness and hydration as well as reductions in redness and pore size.
In 2016, Lycored created its Rethink Beautiful initiative. Launched with an aim to challenge traditional notions of beauty, the company seeks to promote inclusivity and positivity as well as ingestible skin care. “Embracing diversity is no longer optional and brands are working much harder to meet the needs of all their customers,” says Ziegler. “Our research shows that ingestible beauty products can offer a powerful possible platform for true inclusivity, adding to the ways the industry can strive to meet the beauty needs of everyone.”
By Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe, BPC Insights Senior Journalist