“The conversation is moving towards acceptance and celebration and as an industry, we are moving away from anti-ageing,” said Lisa Carroll, director of Australian ingredient manufacture, Native Extracts.
“Our products, be it topical or ingestible will no longer focus on lifespan. We have already achieved that. Now we will focus on healthspan. We are all going to live longer, so everything we do will come down to feeling and looking the best we can for as long as we can.”
Considering this shift, the company believes there are opportunities within the perimenopausal demographic, which remains largely untapped by the cosmetics industry.
“This is probably the first time that you’re going to have women in the 50 to 70 age bracket that have careers, are financially secure. These women have recognised that it's okay to take care of themselves. Compared to other generations have invested in taking care of themselves and will be much more active than they were a generation ago.”
In particular, Carroll noted that there was a huge gap in the hair care space.
“Here’s where we can look at things like miniaturisation, where often with perimenopause and hormones it causes the gaps to get bigger between the follicles. You'll see a lot of women with thinning hair or can only grow their hair to a certain length. It’s because it's very weak and sparse. And there’s not a lot of products that can help.”
She expects that like other categories, consumers will demand effective natural solutions.
“We’re doing a lot of work in the hair space because that whole sector is shifting. It started with food then cosmetics and nutraceuticals. But hair really needs to get moving away from synthetics and work with nature.”
A plum discovery
The company believes it has found a solution in the Queen Garnet Plum, a stone fruit that was cultivated in Australia through cross-pollination and has become renowned as a superfruit with its extraordinary high levels of anthocyanin.
“The Queen Garnet Plum was supercharged, not just through the cross-pollination, but because of the extreme conditions, which meant they had to become efficient at making and creating and storing the phytocompounds they need to sustain their survival. It’s truly an Australian agriscience innovation,” said Carroll.
The company recently announced that it had collaborated with Nutrafruit, the license holder of the Plant breeders' rights (PBR) of the Queen Garnet to launch what it believes is the world’s first topical Queen Garnet extract and essence.
The plum has been shown to be a rich source of cyanidins and quercetin, a flavonoid known for its antioxidant properties.
“Quercetin is one of the most studied flavonoids in its potential to rejuvenate our metabolism, but some recent studies suggest that cyanidins may potentially have up to five-fold greater benefit for supporting healthy metabolism as we age,” said Dr Even Stephens, senior biotechnology and nutrition specialist at Native Extracts and adjunct fellow at the University of Queensland.
The company utilised its cellular extraction process which allows it to gain the natural molecules from within the cell as they exist in the fruit.
“We flood the cell with a water and glycerin matrix and then we apply pressure that allows all the water-soluble compounds, and their derivatives to gently transfer across the cell membrane and be suspended in that liquid medium.”