Beautiful in Asia: APAC beauty-from-within opportunities growing ‘beyond appearance’ – SuanNutra

By Audrey Yow

- Last updated on GMT

There is still significant scope for beauty-from-within growth in Asia spanning localised, personalised and life-stage innovation © Getty Images
There is still significant scope for beauty-from-within growth in Asia spanning localised, personalised and life-stage innovation © Getty Images

Related tags Beauty from within skin health Skin nutraceuticals

There is still significant scope for beauty-from-within growth in Asia spanning localised, personalised and life-stage innovation, says ingredient supplier SuanNutra.

Pop culture influence, social media, and beauty tourism are some of the main reasons for the global spread of Asian beauty trends, with Korean and Japanese ones being the most prominent.

At the same time, the worldwide movement of body positivity and inclusivity has reached South East Asia and offers hope to those who have been affected by unrealistic beauty standards.

This led SuanNutra to observe that enhanced self-awareness in Asia Pacific has reshaped local consumers’ perception of beauty.

As for their assessment of East Asia, Japan emphasises natural and holistic care, China is focused on freedom and independence, and South Korea gravitates towards health and wellbeing.

“In Asia, people are starting to embrace the concept that being beautiful doesn’t stop at being attractive in appearance, it is also about health, freedom, and embracing your sense of self,” says Ignacio Cartagena, Vice President of SuanNutra Asia Division.

With Asia playing an increasingly influential role in today’s global beauty and fashion industries, more localised solutions and trend-setting products will enable industry players to seize market opportunities.

This is why Cartagena believes there are still significant growth opportunities despite the strong presence of Korean and Japanese brands in the region: “We absolutely do not agree with the view that these markets are becoming saturated. In fact, Japan and Korea are the cornerstone of our Asian strategy, in which our local partners, like Willfarm in Japan, are key.”

Cartagena noted that Korean products are celebrated for their cutting-edge technology, drawing from natural ingredients and scientific advancements to deliver visible results.

On the other hand, Japanese skincare is deeply rooted in tradition, with a commitment to simplicity and holistic well-being. It places a strong emphasis on nurturing the skin's health from within, often through a combination of timeless rituals and carefully crafted products.

“We foresee a flourishing future for us. What is key is to be able to provide something different and valuable for each type of customer. The challenges are present, but so are the opportunities,” said Cartagena.

The beauty of personalisation

In line with the notion of body positivity, consumers want to see ‘realness’ rather than idealised appearances. That means practical holistic solutions that deal with issues faced by consumers at every stage of their lives or traditionally taboo areas that most tend to shy away from.

This is where the trend of personalisation becomes relevant, and includes offering solutions for areas where consumers may hesitate to seek help in, such as menopause, ageing and beauty supplements for men.

For example, some men wear makeup to enhance their facial features, but for those who are not comfortable with this and prefer a more subtle approach to looking good, they would choose to ingest supplements to boost their complexion.

“There huge opportunities in bringing personalisation to beauty from within products, such as designing and providing solutions for each stage in our lives. For instance, healthy living and longevity are valued by consumers in Asia Pacific, where those aged 45 and above account for 33% of the total spending in this segment. This figure is projected to exceed 41% in 2040. So, ingredients focused on menopausal women, or any support to stop the effects of skin ageing have high demand,” said Cartagena.

The firm is now using artificial intelligence to better understand how their branded ingredients work in different population sectors. Armed with valuable market knowledge, the firm aims to launch two new branded products every year.

Supplying ingredients for Asian needs

Ensuring optimal skin health is relevant at any age for all ethnicities and genders. Whether they are adolescents grappling with acne or women navigating menopause, each demographic has distinct skincare needs that can be effectively addressed through targeted supplements featuring meticulously curated ingredients.

SuanNutra has a range of beauty-from-within branded ingredients in their portfolio that offer solutions to different skin needs, and they have all been backed by clinical trials.

Nutroxsun is focused on supporting the skin in its mechanisms of protection against radiation, Zeropollution on anti-inflammation and response to any external agent, both on the skin and scalp, and Eternalyoung focuses on understanding the natural ageing mechanism and trying to delay it.

This blurring of lines between beauty and health is also evident in scalp and hair wellness, where there are demands for products that prevent premature ageing of the hair follicles and hair loss.

Hair loss is typically perceived as a condition that plagues older generations, but young consumers are increasingly struggling with problems like thinning hair or balding at an earlier age due to fast-paced lifestyles, stress and unhealthy diets.

“Demand for early-age hair loss remedies and preventative treatments from younger consumers is accelerating the growth of hair loss treatments in Asia Pacific, where the market was valued at around USD700 million in retail sales value in 2023 and grew at a CAGR of 14% between 2018 and 2023. This is why Minoxidil, an FDA-approved treatment for hair loss, is a dominant active ingredient in Asia. Also, major brands like L’Oréal are expanding into hair loss as an adjacent category to hair care products,” said Cartagena.

SuanNutra also observed that while collagen remains the top choice for beauty products, other entrants like mushroom, botanical extracts, omegas, and probiotics, are gaining popularity among Asian consumers.

To Cartagena, who was CEO of Monteloeder before it merged with SuanNutra, R&D and marketing investment is a must when trying to break into a market.

In Korea, they have already obtained health claims approval for Nutroxsun and MetabolAid, and now their goal is to do the same for ZeroPollution and EternalYoung.

SuanNutra’s future plans include providing new solutions for scalp health and women’s health that are backed by clinical studies done among female populations. They aim to provide a holistic approach to skin health and analysing how better sleep contributes to that.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Krill oil supports six key areas of healthy aging

Krill oil supports six key areas of healthy aging

Content provided by Aker BioMarine | 26-Feb-2024 | White Paper

The global population is getting older—according to WHO by 2050 the world’s population over 60 years will double and the population above 80 years will...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more


Nutra Champions Podcast

Nutra Champions Podcast