Beauty Meets Wellness Initiative

Beauty meets wellness Initiative

We live at a unique time where beauty, health and wellness are rapidly converging in meaningful ways.  The understanding that beauty is more than just “skin deep” is seeping into the global consciousness – a deep realization we can only be our most beautiful selves when we are in our most healthy state – physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually, professionally and spiritually.

The beauty and anti-aging industries were valued at US $999 Billion in 2015 according to the Global Wellness Institute’s newly released Global Wellness Economy Monitor, January 2017.  This represents an approximate 27% share of the Global Wellness Economy.

According to Dr. Mehmet Oz: Beauty isn't some vapid and superficial pursuit that exists solely to sell products, wag tongues, and produce drool. Beauty is actually precisely perceived, purposeful, and rooted more in hard science than in abstract and random opinion. From the time we started prancing around the world with our body-hair parkas and leafy lingerie, evolution has pushed us to be more beautiful. And that's why beauty serves as the foundation for our feelings, our happiness, and our existence. In fact, beauty doesn't reflect our vanity as much as it does our humanity.  Beauty is health...

This kind of traditional beauty—the outer kind—really isn't just about looking good. Outer beauty serves as a proxy of how healthy you are; it's the message you send to others about your health. Beauty was the best way to figure it out (and in a tenth of a second, mind you). Now, if you take the concept of beauty a few steps deeper, you realize that inner beauty—the idea of feeling good and being happy—also has tremendous health implications in every aspect of your life.

What is your belief about beauty? What we believe ultimately impacts what we decide. What we decide determines our outcomes in life.  Sometimes we live life hiding behind beauty, trying to cover something up, trying to be something different as opposed examining our belief system and choosing confidence, and acceptance of who we are in order to live our best lives. 


The vision of Beauty Meets Wellness Initiative is to (1) identify the intersection between beauty and wellness, (2) create a new narrative which defines well beauty, and (3) generate evidence-based information and resources which help reposition beauty as a positive and dynamic contributor to the health and well-being of consumers worldwide.


To scientifically connect beauty with wellness by developing expert knowledge and resources to:

1.  accelerate the beauty industry's ability to create new markets which anticipate and surpass the evolving needs of today’s health conscious consumer, and

2.  facilitate positive change in the state of his or her health and well-being.

2017 Briefing Paper
The briefing paper is a snapshot of this industry sector including valuable information on latest trends, challenges and initiative accomplishments. Read full paper HERE


Mike Bruggeman


Neal Kitchen, PhD

initiative Chair

Mike Bruggeman, CEO, Organic Male OM4
Michael (Mike) Bruggeman is CEO of Organic Male OM4 and a visionary pioneer of men’s spa services and retail sales development. Mike’s experience is rooted in a solid wellness background, having worked in hospital administration for 22 years prior to entering spa operations and founding OM4. He also is the COO of Natural Beauty Group.



Vice Chair

Neal Kitchen, PhD, VP of Strategy and Development, HydroPeptide, United States
Neal Kitchen, Ph.D. serves as VP of Strategy and Development for HydroPeptide and has an extensive research background in epigenetic regulation, cellular signaling responses, and aging mechanisms at the molecular level.  He now leads the company’s efforts to accelerate the development of clinically proven anti-aging skin care products using peptide and epigenetic technologies that focus on the improvement of the skin’s cellular health.  

playground leaders

initiative members


Karen Ballou


Jose Villegas


Mary Bemis


Milana Knowles


Mark Wuttke


Rona Berg


Alison O'Neil


initiative playgrounds & objectives

The Beauty Meets Wellness Initiative has identified four playgrounds or incubators of change and objectives for the next three years.

GWI BMW Playgrounds Image.png


Explore the connections between beauty and wellness, and identify “hot spots” and best practices where beauty is already making significant contributions to the wellness economy, as well as identify any disconnects.


  1. Provide evidence that the $999 billion beauty and anti-aging industry actively contributes to wellness lifestyles worldwide and is no longer a superficial proposition.
  2. Identify the next trends in well-beauty and provide a pathway for personal care companies, spas and ancillary beauty service providers to successfully navigate the change.
  3. Understand the consumers’ view of beauty and wellness and discover how to leverage digital in furthering the mission and vision of the initiative.

In conjunction with Dr. Chaterjee’s research, (1) identify the new vocabulary of beauty or “beauty alphabet,” and (2) discover the product and service attributes that appeal most to today’s wellness consumer.


  1. Provide valuable language and resources that can be used by product line manufacturers, spas, and ancillary beauty service providers to (re)design products and services and market to the next generation of wellness consumers.
  2. Look beyond today’s needs and identify the quantum leap that will propel new product development and the industry “beyond beauty.”
  3. Identify how culture, belief systems, gender, sexual orientation, and generational differences affect our perceptions and behaviors around beauty and wellness.

Explore the relationship between beauty and mental well-being – or the impact beauty has on self-esteem and image – which are the most important factors in an individual’s ability to lead and enjoy a successful life.


  1. Prove the statement: “You cannot have wellness without beauty.”  Provide evidence that feeling beautiful or handsome is directly linked to feelings of confidence, expression of results in the world and the development of:
    a. Self-esteem (me)
    b. Social connection | relationships (us)
  2. Explore the dark side of beauty, where the industry’s “cover girl” messaging has contributed to a “pathology of perfection,” especially during the primary development years in youth.
  3. Contemplate a scientific study using facial electromyography and/or physiological data from autonomic arousal, and subsequently matching to fMRI (functional neuroimaging) to see brain area activation, to paint a clearer picture of how beauty products and services affect mental well-being. 

Leverage epigenetics – the study of changes in gene expression without altering the underlying DNA sequence – and the skin microbiome to illustrate and communicate how beauty products can potentially impact cellular health and help optimize gene expression.  The field of epigenetics provides insight into how to reverse the “aged” epigenetic state of a cell and how to make the right kind of changes so the skin looks and acts younger from the inside out.  


  1. Illustrate how topical application and ingestion of key actives can help the body activate beneficial activities like collagen production and cellular renewal and turn off undesirable reactions, i.e. hyperpigmentation and sensitivity. 
  2. Proactively work with the FDA to identify an open space between the current definitions of cosmetics and OTC drug to allow experimentation and development of new definitions of cosmetics and marketing claims.

DEliverables 2017

  1. Support Dr. Chaterjee’s research and provide preliminary data at the 2017 Global Wellness Summit.
  2. Create an experiential activity for or at the 2017 Summit by asking delegates to not use beauty products for one day.
    a. Solicit reactions and impact data real-time at the Summit.
    b. Before the Summit, curate a series of selfie video-reactions to “no makeup day.” Compile for potential presentation or breakout.
  3. Conduct three World Café sessions in New York, London, and Hong Kong to solicit input on the vision, mission, playgrounds, and objectives of the initiative, correlate the data and provide a summary white paper on findings.
  4. Deliver a consumer insights study by leveraging brand and partner databases to get a read on several research areas from the consumer’s point of view.