NEW YORK — Procter & Gamble’s most recent deal signals that a healthy diet is as important in achieving good skin as a regimen of applying vitamin-rich lotions.

On Thursday, P&G announced it was teaming up with nutritional supplement maker Pharmavite LLC to make vitamins under P&G’s Olay brand. Pharmavite, based in Northridge, Calif., makes the Nature Made brand of vitamins and minerals, as well as the Nature’s Resource supplement line.

Olay Vitamins will consist of a line designed for wellness needs and another formulated for beauty needs. Olay Vitamins are expected to be distributed to mass retailers in the next four to six months.

P&G’s deal follows L’Oréal’s announcement last June that said it was partnering with Nestlé — one of L’Oréal’s key shareholders — to form a joint company to market nutritional supplements for skin, hair and nails, called Laboratoires Inneov, based in Paris.

Avon joined the category in May 2001. Aveda was the first beauty manufacturer to enter the category in the Nineties, a time when nutritional supplement category growth was in the double digits.

But sales of these types of products have dimmed in recent years in the mass-distribution channel. According to ACNielsen, vitamin sales for the most recent 52-week period ended March 22 were $3.6 billion, up 0.9 percent, excluding Wal-Mart.

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