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Nue Co
Courtesy of The Nue Co.

Ingestible beauty is the future and The Nue Co. is leading the way

Founder Jules Miller on the modern body and skincare predictions

“Culturally, we have spent the last 50 years disconnecting – our mind and body have been broken into separate entities,” Jules Miller, founder of supplement brand The Nue Co tells us. “We have separated ourselves from nature in favour of technology and we have divided out the ideas of ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ beauty. We are more divided than ever before, and our mission is now to help people reconnect.” 

For Miller, this reconnection comes by way of the all-natural supplements her brand The Nue Co. offers. Founded three years ago, the impetus to start the business came when Miller was struggling with personal health issues including IBS. Taking every and any supplement suggested to her, she found that they weren’t necessarily helping. It was then that her grandfather, a doctor and a lecturer at Cambridge University who helped create the B12 vitamin supplement, suggested she look deeper into the ingredients she was actually consuming, setting into motion a journey that ultimately led to Miller starting her own brand creating supplements that are as close to their natural form as possible.

Since then, The Nue Co. has released 23 products targeting everything from digestion and de-bloating to sleep and skin hydration. After initially launching in the US, the brand made its UK debut this week, a homecoming for born-and-bred Londoner Miller who is hoping to convert the cynical Brits to her supplement way of life. 

Here, we speak to her about how modern health concerns differ from previous generations and what the future of beauty and wellness looks like. 

Are people more unhealthy now than they have ever been?

Jules Miller: Yes and no. Considerable advances in medicine and science have meant that we have more resources than ever before. Everything from vaccinations to antibiotics means that we have the tools to protect us from viruses which in the past could have killed us. 

However, in many ways, we’re under a considerable amount of more stress. The World Health Organisation has cited stress to be one of the biggest threats to our health (it follows pollution). The digital age has meant we are more connected than ever, work follows us around in our pocket, social media means we are ‘on’ all the time, artificially stimulated 24/7. People are working longer hours, demanding more from their mental and physical selves. This cortisol (the ‘stress’ hormone) rollercoaster has been linked to a whole host of health concerns. In fact, in the USA life expectancy dropped for the third year in a row due to stress-related causes. 

Aubrey De Grey of the Sens Foundation cites that the one thing that all centenarians have in common is that they do not respond to stress in the same way as the rest of us. 

How does stress affect our bodies?

Jules Miller: There is no exaggeration in saying that stress affects every single function in our body. At a base level, consistently raised cortisol levels cause inflammation in the body. This can translate into hormonal issues leading to everything from sleeplessness or breakouts, to impaired immune function or adrenal burnout. Stress is one of the single largest threats to our health in the 21st century. 

Why are pro- and prebiotics important to introduce back into the body? 

Jules Miller: There’s no health without good gut health. We carry trillions of bacteria – both good and bad – within our gut, this complex ecosystem is known as the microbiome. The formation and diversity of our microbiome has been linked to immunity, allergy, digestive health, autoimmunity, mood, and the development of our central nervous system.  

There is evidence to suggest that we have a much less diverse microbiome than previous generations. Diets based around processed foods, high prevalence (even overuse) of antibiotics, and something known as the hygiene hypothesis all contribute towards a less health and diverse microbiome. The theory of the hygiene hypothesis links back to the idea we’ve become too clean for our good. The British epidemiologist David Strachan was the first to suggest that the exposure to infections, dirt and bacteria during childhood would provide a good defence against allergies and autoimmune issues in later life. 

Our Prebiotic + Probiotic is one of our bestselling products. Since it contains both a pre and a probiotic (known as a synbiotic) it helps cultivate existing good bacteria in the gut and delivers more bacteria. Rather than using live strains of bacteria which tend to die off, our formula works with bacteria spores – these lie dormant until they reach out small intestine which they become to multiply and ‘activate’. 

What is the gut-skin relationship? How can taking supplements affect the skin?

Jules Miller: The skin is often thought of as a mirror to the health of the gut. Interesting studies have shown that people suffering from digestive issues often have a high prevalence of acne or other inflammatory skin conditions. For example, a recent report indicated that small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a condition involving inappropriate growth of bacteria in the small intestine, is 10 times more prevalent in people with acne rosacea than those without. 

Supplements can help, but they need to be targeted towards particular concerns. For example, I would recommend a different routine for someone with acne versus eczema. The baseline is always our Prebiotic + Probiotic, it’s a powerful 15 billion spore dosage which balances the microbiome, I take it consistently. 

We then have two additional skin solutions: Skin Filter and Skin Hydrator. I like to think of them as your ingestible moisturiser (Skin Hydrator) and your ingestible retinol (Skin Filter). Each formula contains clinically studied extracts with proven results. Unlike many skin supplements, both deliver results in 30-60 days. 

What is the future of supplements and ingestible beauty as a whole? How do you see this progressing?

Jules Miller: In time, all products that are made with the purpose to help support or improve our health will be made using only ingredients that are not harmful to our health or the planet. It’s a really simple thought, but the majority of the supplements on the market have what we call ‘questionable’ ingredients. These ingredients have some studies that in time they could potentially cause us harm. 

Are there any advancements in the technology of supplements that you are excited for?

Jules Miller: Extremely interested in advancements in non-beauty related anti-ageing technology. I want to live until I’m 100 and I want to be fit and healthy until the very end! 

Based on your understanding of skin science how do you think skincare is going to change in the future?

Jules Miller: As consumers, we are becoming more educated, and in turn more demanding. We’re willing to invest more in our health – so long as it drives true and lasting results. I believe that the concept of ingestible beauty is here to stay, outside of supplements, the way we eat and live our lives has a huge impact on our hormones and our skin. There’s no science required here, just education and consciousness. In terms of topical, the future isn’t just science, it's marrying science with nature – to provide solutions that are effective, and proven but also safe for our health. 

How does the UK market differ compared to the US? Are health concerns different here?

Jules Miller: Returning to the UK, my home and where my inspiration for the brand began, is very special. I’ve learnt a lot whilst living and running a business in NYC. Whilst almost 80 per cent of Americans take a daily supplement or vitamin, only 45 per cent of Brits follow suit. From our experience, we found that most Americans believe in the power of supplements, and it was just a case of shedding light on the importance of pure, high-quality ingredients and the potential danger of fillers and preservatives. For the UK and EU however, I believe our job is different.

I can’t tell you how many friends, mentors or editors I’ve met in the UK who have enthusiastically tried our products and sent me a note saying, ‘Wow! It actually works!’. That’s what I love about us Brits; we want to see the proof in the pudding. 

Right from the get-go, it has been of vital importance to me that every product works, and works fast. Using clean and sustainable ingredients shouldn’t be a USP, it should be a standard in an industry that promises to improve our health. Our focus as a company has always been to make a substantial difference in our customers’ health, so whether you’re bloated, stressed, breaking out or losing sleep, our products deliver – and they do so within 30 days.