This month, a new offer is available on Sephora's shelves. It is called O2 D-BIOTIC and it is a range of cosmetic products, including face cream, eye cream and make-up remover. The new brand replicates the structure of yogurt to nourish your skin and provides the benefits of a probiotic. While historically, milk has been a key ingredient in body care (think Dove Cream Bar), this launch marks a new step forward in the relationship between yogurt and cosmetics in Europe.
Until recently, probiotics (the live micro-organisms in yogurt that act as positive bacteria) were more commonly known for supporting digestive health, improving immune systems and regulating the body’s yeast levels. However, studies have shown that they also promote healthy skin and hair – a secret that Japan has been aware of since 1935, due to the success of its probiotic yogurt-drink Yakult.
Danone was the first in Europe to make this claim with its yogurt, Essensis. A clinical study determined that daily consumption of Danone’s Essensis not only provided nutritional and antioxidant benefits, but also improved the quality of user’s skin. While Danone Essensis was not as successful as anticipated and shelved in 2009, probiotics have since surged in popularity: Mintel cosmetic research just identified probiotic products as emerging trends for skin care and hair care products. Indeed, products like Korres (skincare) and the Davines (hair care) are good examples of this trend beginning to take off.
It is too soon to tell if O2 D-BIOTIC will see the same success, but the time seems right for probiotic cosmetics to rise in popularity – that is, if O2 D-BIOTIC manages to communicate and brand the product appropriately. Yogurt as food and yogurt as cosmetics has never before before converged this closely and it is likely that this trend will provoke consumer's interest in additional functional food offers.