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Are Beauty Supplements Here to Stay?

Hum Nutrition cofounders Walter Faulstroh and Chris Coleridge stress the importance of building trust, education and engagement in the ingestible beauty category.

Are beauty supplements here to stay?

Hum Nutrition cofounders Walter Faulstroh and Chris Coleridge set out to answer that question after launching their ingestible beauty company, now sold at retailers such as Sephora and Nordstrom.

“The big question when we started the company was this idea of ingestible beauty has been around for thousands of years and is nothing new, we’ve seen many companies trying to build a company around ingestible beauty and it never took off, and we wanted to understand why.”

Coleridge and Faulstroh, who is also the company’s chief executive officer, identified three pain points for consumers buying beauty supplements — trust, education and engagement.

First, the pair identified a lack of trust between consumers and the vitamin industry. “Consumers were unclear on what the benefits [of vitamins] were, did they actually work and were the products pure or full of nasty ingredients? And they either had really high pricing, which was unattainable, or were suspiciously low,” said Coleridge.

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The second issue was a lack of education. Said Coleridge: “People were given no help picking the right vitamins, there was no connection with experts — it was almost impossible for people to work out what they should be choosing for themselves as an individual.”

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Then there was the issue of lack of engagement. “People weren’t really buying brands of vitamins, they were buying products and ingredients — ingredients sold on fear,” said Coleridge. “Like, if you don’t do this, this is is going to happen.”

Faulstroh and Coleridge thought if they could solve these three pain points, they’d have a successful supplement business.

For Hum Nutrition, eliminating negativity around vitamins and supplements was key.”

“In vitamins, we felt like the message was so negative — vitamins were sold based on fear,” said Faulstroh. If you don’t take this vitamin, you’ll be blind by the age of 70 or you’ll be limping. Quite frankly, beauty and negativity don’t go together — I personally am not motivated by fear, I’m driven by positivity. If you tell me what I can achieve by taking this, I’m all ears.”

Back to the original question about the longevity of the beauty supplement boom, Faulstroh stressed the importance of clinical trials and having a product that works. After reading an emotional testimonial from a participant in a clinical trial who experienced clearer skin after using Hum’s products, Faulstroh said, “It’s really inspiring people to be the best version of themselves and giving them the freedom to be that version of themselves, and that is so powerful.”