Beauty and the feast
Let's play a little word association, beauty buffs. When I say 'skincare', what immediately springs to mind? Moisturiser? Antioxidants? I bet you don't think 'marshmallow'. But maybe you will by the time the global 'nutricosmetic' trend hits a table near you.
In Japan, the dermally-deficient are already snacking on Eiwa Confectionery's collagen-infused marshmallows. And washing them down with a Love Body cola that claims to burn calories while boosting your cleavage.
Word association: weird.
But it's not just cosmetic kook from the land of vending machine underwear and the spot-slaying MP3 Player. The posh Rufflets Country House in Scotland has an anti-wrinkle lunch on the menu and, in the very home of skincare itself, the French are spreading Noreva Norélift anti-ageing jam on their breakfast brioches and sipping Danone Essensis, a fermented milk and fruit drink crammed with omega 6, green tea extract and vitamin C. Meanwhile, never to be outdone, the US has its own line of complexion confections too: six Borba Gummi Boosters a day are said to keep the cosmetic surgeon away.
If there was ever any doubt that the trend is really about to explode, L'Oreal has reportedly inked a deal with Coca-Cola to release a cosmeceutical tea sometime next year. Food gorgeous food!
But are you set to swallow it? Skin-plumping marshmallows and cleavage cola might sound suss, but the idea of functional food isn't that far-fetched. Or new. Dr N.V. Perricone has been telling us all about the facelift in the fridge for years and everyone knows we are what we eat. The real question seems to be if we really need gimmicks and beauty-branded 'skingestibles' to feed us a nutrition no-brainer.
Dr Joe DiNardo, the US toxicologist and skincare researcher who developed an idebeone skincare supplement (due for release in Australia later this year), says eating for beauty is simply a part of our culture's health-conscious movement.
"Nutricosmetics are an extension of multivitamins and the natural food supplements [like] St. John's wart, echinacea and so on," he explains.
But DiNardo also notes that, as with other dietary supplements, beauty-boosting pills and potions won't work wonders on everyone. "If you have a healthy, balanced diet, you are probably getting all the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs," he says. "However, depending on the amount of abuse [you've done] your skin, such as sun damage, you may require additional antioxidants to minimise the oxidative damage that has been produced."
So other (back)side effects of skincare sweeties be darned! If you're going to have a treat, it might as well be even a tiny boost for your skin, right? Just hold the weird marshmallows and make mine an antioxidant-loaded dark chocolate, thanks. Mmm skincare…