In the midst of this, a range of companies are adding anti-ageing products to their project suites. Biotechnology company Cellmid is working on therapies for chronic kidney disease in one part of its business, but selling anti-ageing and hair loss prevention products in the other.
Chief executive Maria Halasz says the company, which turned over more than $5 million last year, decided to secure licensing for the anti-ageing product Fillerina because it was clear customers wanted anti-wrinkle treatments but only a small slice of the Australian market was going straight to injectable treatments.
“It’s about two things: people don’t like to be injected, and then there’s the artificial nature of the injection results,” she says.
Customers are really only focused on two things in the anti-ageing market: wrinkle prevention and wrinkle erasure, Halasz says.
Cellmid’s Fillerina products are topical treatments containing various sizes of hyaluronic acid molecules, designed to smooth out skin from the outside rather than having a substance injected.
Halasz says the product, developed in Switzerland, has undergone 30-day safety tests and has a good risk profile.
The products complement Cellmid’s hair loss prevention product range, Evolis.
She says customers are increasingly going into pharmacies to buy their cosmetics and that Cellmid is well placed to provide an anti-ageing alternative in that space.
While not a complete alternative to the likes of Botox, the anti-ageing products do “complement” them and capture consumers who would never get more invasive treatments in the first place, she says.
‘They want a more natural approach’
Another player in the anti-wrinkle space is medicinal cannabis company Bod Australia, which is working on a range of novel anti-ageing products involving hemp, as well as selling its Bioeffect skin range through local department stores.
Chief executive Jo Patterson says the company, which made more than $350,000 in revenue last year, is working on skin treatments including cannabis extracts which, while not yet legal for sale in Australia, are being developed in Italy to sell into that market.
The “sophisticated” anti-ageing product will include developing products including a cannabidiol extract.
For the local market, products using hemp seed oil and manuka honey are what the business is excited about.
“People are looking to alternatives that are less invasive, that have less down time. Things that are more in keeping with their attitudes towards life – they want a more natural approach,” she says.
For Patterson, the company’s foray into the anti-ageing space is all about the popularity of the “wellness” movement.
“We come to it from a more holistic perspective,” she says.