Acerola: An Emerging Superfruit


With our boundless appetite for anti-oxidants, acerola is emerging as a promising superfruit. While this cherry-like fruit’s health claims are prevalent in drinks, yogurts and soups, acerola’s radiance claims have yet to be exploited fully in the beauty category.

Acerola (INCI: Malpighia glabra (and) Malphigia punicifolia) first appeared in skin care (Japan) and soap/bath (France) at least five years ago. Coty was one of the first mass-market brands to feature acerola. More recently, niche skin care brands such as Elemis, Sheerin O’kho, Omorovicza and nude have used it in facial care, and it has moved into hair care and cosmetics. Mintel reviews how some of the newest selective beauty products are capitalizing on this vitamin C-rich fruit’s potential.

Elemental Herbology is a niche UK brand based on oriental medicine’s Five-Element Theory, which is grounded on balancing the energy of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The company has created one line for summer, one for winter and essential therapies for year-round use. The Elemental Herbology Summer Facial Essential Soothing Oil Free Facial Hydrator SPF 12 is designed to balance, protect and repair summer skin. It contains green tea; vitamins A, C and E; acerola fruit and kakadu plum to help protect against oxidative damage and repair sun damaged skin.

French perfumery Marionnaud (AS Watson) launched an ECOCERT-certified organic skin care range this summer. The entire line is formulated with a complex of virgin plum oil and acerola. The virgin plum oil is an antioxidant and the acerola is said to be 20-30 times richer in vitamin C than the orange. It claims the acerola activates the microcirculation of the face and gives the skin an immediate glow. The Nourishing Moisture Cream is designed to protect dry skin from environmental factors.

In Japan, Albion introduced Elegance Brightening Berry Mask. This medicated whitening mask contains acerola, raspberry and blackcurrant extracts as well as strawberry juice and olive leaf extract. It claims to “accentuate the skin's brightness and give it an immaculately smooth, fine texture.” The mask may also be used before applying makeup in the morning.

Within hair care, Latin American brands primarily formulate with acerola. However, in France, René Furterer has added a Shine Enhancing Shampoo to its Fioravanti range. It claims to offer “extreme shine to dull hair.” The product is free from silicone and formulated with Fioravanti essence and vitamin C-rich acerola vinegar, to neutralize limescale and tighten the hair fiber. It also has an anti-pollution cationic complex said to prevent particle deposits.

UK salon-based hair care brand Realhair also features acerola in its Real Masque Enriching Haircare Treatment. This weekly intensive treatment for all hair types highlights the wellbeing benefits of the berry’s B1, B6 and C. The product also contains African moringa tree seeds, red seaweed and babassu oil.

Tarte is among the first color cosmetic brands to feature acerola. It is one of five key actives in its t5 superfruit complex; a proprietary blend of antiaging goji berry, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory acai, redness-reducing pomegranate extract, acerola extract to enhance clarity and soothing maracuja. The complex is used in the brand’s cheek and lip color. The Très Chic Mini Cheek Stain Set is a limited edition set containing three mini cheek stains. The dermatologically-tested products have a natural cassis fragrance and are free of oil, alcohol, parabens, preservatives, mineral oil and phthalates.

In Japan, Helena Rubinstein of L’Oreal launched Wanted Shine Eye Bright Beauty Lipstick in Cherished Coral as part of Eye Bright Beauty Fall 2008 Collection. This SPF 10 lipstick is formulated with royal jelly and acerola fruit extracts to moisturize lips. This product also claims that acerola has regenerative and nutritional qualities.

Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) tracks new product launches, trends and innovations internationally. Mintel Cosmetic Research tracks mass market and luxury cosmetic innovations in France and the United States. For additional information regarding either Mintel GNPD or Mintel Cosmetic Research, visit or call Mintel International at 312-932-0600.

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