Sinful Ingredients for a Better Complexion

Nutrition, we know, plays an important role in the state of our skin. We can often see this reflected in the glow emitted by the most health-conscious people among us—you know the ones: their skin is dewy and flawless, and they look years younger than their birth certificate states. But cosmetics companies are taking an extra step, harnessing these edible compounds and applying them to the skin through creams, serums, and more. And yes, of course we still need to eat well to look and feel our best, but if the icing on the cake of great skin is the icing-like texture of the latest lip balm or body scrub, we will gladly slather it on, thankyouverymuch.

Caviar—before the salt-curing process endured by the roe we nibble between sips of champagne—is actually quite good for us. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids that, when applied to the skin in our cosmetics, can help boost its elasticity, and protective barrier. Luxury skin care brand La Prairie, boasts caviar extract from the Baerii sturgeon, as the star ingredient in its Skin Caviar and White Caviar lines, and explains that the extract has been shown to boost the skin’s production of ceramides—an important lipid component that makes up the skin’s outermost layer—by a whopping 25 per cent, boosting its appearance, and its resiliency. That outer layer is, after all, the barrier between our complexions and external aggressors.

Skincare, thankfully, also gives our less-than-healthy indulgences a chance at redemption. We wouldn’t exactly consider chocolate a health food (though we cling to any news that a daily square of dark might be guilt-free), we’ll gladly bathe in its key ingredients. Cocoa’s high flavonoid concentration offers a protective antioxidant shield, its cocoa butter is the ultimate hydrator, and sugar—a natural humectant—locks in moisture. Fresh has recently launched a rich chocolaty body scrub that includes crushed cocoa beans for exfoliation, and a sugar-infused lip treatment to keep winter skin at its best. And while a post-dinner espresso habit (paired with that daily dark chocolate square?) might rob its sipper of beauty sleep, the beans themselves work wonders on the body. Radical Skincare uses coffee seed extract in many of its formulations, which has been shown to improve collagen levels in the skin. The high concentration of caffeine contained in the coffee also boosts circulation and, when used in an eye cream, can help to improve dark circles and reduce puffiness.

So when the holidays spark those inevitable cravings for sinful treats, detour to your beauty cabinet and indulge without a morsel of guilt. And then, maybe, go and have that square of dark chocolate and a taste of caviar, too.


La Prairie Caviar Spectaculaire: As a holiday treat, the iconic Swiss luxury skincare brand has enlisted the expertise of the house of Baccarat to craft a limited-edition crystal decanter as an exquisite vessel for the brand’s cult favourite Skin Caviar Luxe Cream. Once the cream has been enjoyed down to its last drop, the container can be removed, and the dish can be enjoyed for years to come as a server for the delicate roe. The collaboration is so exclusive, only 1,500 of the cabochon blue vessels have been created, and only 100 of them are available in Canada. ($2,500 each.)



Fresh Cocoa Body Exfoliant ($54) and Sugar Nourishing Lip Balm ($35) are two fantastic ways to keep skin supple and soft all winter long. The exfoliant will gently remove dry skin cells, allowing hydrating emollients to lock moisture into the healthy layers of skin below. For winter months, use the power of the sugar-enhanced lip balm to keep lips from chapping whether you’re outside in the cold, dry air, or battling equally drying indoor heating.


Radical Skincare, a beauty brand dedicated to providing paraben-free products with an honesty policy and a ton of research to back up every claim, makes use of potent antioxidants, housed in formulas that won’t irritate sensitive, allergic, or even post-op skin. Radical’s Eye Revive Crème ($135) contains the brand’s proprietary ingredient, Trylacel, which implements extracts of green coffee to fight the signs of aging and protect the skin.