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Tosla: Optimizing Skin Health Through Nutricosmetics

Published March 27, 2022
Published March 27, 2022

Optimizing skin health is the new marketing mantra for beauty brands, as the concept of beauty from the inside out has become mainstream among consumers. This shift has given rise to nutricosmetics, with penetration of the category finally reaching the shelves of traditional beauty retailers. Collagen is a superstar among ingestible ingredients for its versatility, and Tosla is a leading manufacturer of high-performing liquid collagen for the food-tech sector. 

Witnessing the blurring of lines happening on the ingredient front, Tosla is bringing its battle-proven liquid collagen formulations and innovative full-stack product development and production services to the beauty industry. To better understand the sector's unique requirements, Tosla tapped beauty and consumer goods industry veteran David Carvalho as the new Chairman and CEO, who brings three decades of experience to the role.

BeautyMatter caught up with David to discuss the collagen opportunity and dive into what makes Tosla a nutricosmetic innovator. 

You recently joined Tosla as Chairman and CEO and bring three decades of beauty experience to the role. What was it about the opportunity that compelled you to join and lead the business? 

I spent most of my career working on the topical beauty that all consumers know today. Some of these products are actually very efficacious, which is why women have been using skincare products for ages and why men are hopping on the bandwagon. But a powerful new trend has emerged that focuses not only on cosmetic appearance but on health—the healthier you are, the better you look! This has led consumers on a path of exploration focused on beauty from the inside out.  Interestingly, ingestible skincare products have become the foundation of this trend. 

I decided to embark on this journey because I was intrigued by Tosla’s success in the food tech sector and their ability to translate those innovations and learnings to the beauty industry. I believe this trend is the future of skincare and that Tosla can deliver very high satisfaction to beauty-focused consumers. 

Tosla has pivoted from the food tech sector to blurring the lines between food and cosmetics, while many beauty brands are expanding into the ingestible category. Given Tosla's experience, what advice would you give beauty brands contemplating the development of nutricosmetics? 

Tosla made the right move, and they brought with them many years of experience, and some very unique technology, which we are now adapting to beauty. This combination of the strong food know-how and the beauty expertise is what makes Tosla different than all the other possible partners. My advice to the brands that want to jump on this trend is not to think about just “throwing something out there,” but to think about who can partner with them to deliver a product that is superior and is based on a technology that will live for many years—this is the right way to step into this category and build a strong and sustainable beauty business in ingestible skincare. And Tosla does offer this.

"Tosla is about innovation, efficacy, marketability, palatability, convenience, safety, and stability."
By David Carvalho, Chairman + CEO, Tosla

For centuries, Chinese women have viewed collagen as a "fountain of youth," eating collagen-rich foods for beauty benefits. Some remain skeptical about the benefits of ingesting collagen. Can you explain the science behind the ingredient? 

Today, we have the technology to label a specific atom and then observe it in tissue after ingestion. Collagen peptides provide building blocks for the skin dermis and stimulate skin cells, called fibroblasts, to produce new collagen fibers, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. In addition, several clinical trials have demonstrated a positive correlation between hydrolyzed collagen ingestion and increased skin hydration, elasticity, reduction of wrinkles. The consumer satisfaction with hydrolyzed collagen is actually very high, and it is even higher with our Tosla formulations.

Collagen has become the superstar of ingestible ingredients because of the plethora of benefits for the skin, hair, and nails, but it doesn't come without challenges. How has Tosla addressed the palatability issues of the ingredient? 

Indeed, covering the unpleasant taste of collagen is challenging, even more so when you consider that our products come in super-concentrated liquid formats. Today, in powder formulations, most brands use sugar or other masking ingredients, which can be difficult to digest or contain very high calories. We have achieved this using our proprietary VELIOUS masking technology, a unique expertise that we have that allows us to create very pleasant taste, also with very low calories, as our products use sweeteners together with the “little secret” of the technology.

The clean beauty movement and shifting consumer behavior require brands to be transparent down to the ingredient level. Can you provide insight into how you address this requirement for your partners? 

The “clean” concept became a must in topical skincare formulations—it is a real consumer demand and a cost of entry now. However, nobody is really thinking about this concept in ingestible skincare, and the reality is that it is a must as well to have formulations that are “clean” of several ingredients. Of course, this clean concept has been informed by and adapted to the ingestible category, and not all the formulas can be like Tosla’s, which are sugar, lactose, and GMO and gluten free, for example.

How else does Tosla differentiate itself in the competitive collagen market?

We want to offer our clients a collagen product that was well-thought through. We focus on innovation—this is the key driver of our NPD.

Tosla is about innovation, efficacy, marketability, palatability, convenience, safety, and stability. Only when all the points have been exhaustively met is the product completed. We even invest time and energy in conducting clinical, sensory, and stability studies to prove the supremacy of our products.

The merging of beauty and wellness, coupled with the consumer focus on skin health, has mainstreamed the concept of inside-out beauty. What do you think is next for the ingestible beauty category? 

This category in my opinion is still in its infancy stage, and there are many products out there that are not up to the task. Also, most of the products available are more positioned as “health” than “beauty.” Many retailers have also not jumped on this opportunity yet; some have only started to scratch the surface. I think that the “what is next” is exactly the growth and development of the ingestible skincare beauty category, with better and more innovative products, like Tosla’s, more brands and more competition, and a broader availability. 

What consumer behaviors are you watching that you believe will impact product development of neutraceuticals in the future?

As consumers learn more about ingestible collagen products, they will become stricter and more selective in their choices. This will drive companies and brands to more innovative and sophisticated products, that will also deliver on the key consumer needs in beauty (aging, hydration, protection from oxidative stress, pigmentation, etc.). This was the natural evolution of topical skincare as well. And in ingestible skincare, there is also the aspect of consumer experience when taking the product, and our liquids offer a far better experience than powders, gummies, or tablets.