Could chocolate actually be good for your skin?
The irresistible attraction to skincare that has a sugary side.
when I was in my teens, my beauty routine was an ode to early-onset diabetes. I had cookie-scented body lotion, shampoo that smelled like grape bubble gum and enough chocolate-flavoured lipgloss to last until retirement. My tastes have evolved; I no longer smell like a box of sugar cereal. Now, most of my favourite moisturizers, lipsticks and skin creams are unscented or unisex in tone—that is, until winter rolls around. Then I suddenly find myself reverting back to childhood, finding solace in dessert-inspired delights.
The recent change in the weather sent me straight to our beauty closet for a seasonal switch. M.A.C lipsticks, which are all scented with vanilla, are my go-to for day or evening. The Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer that smells like fudge? It has a new home: my face. And then I discovered the motherlode: Fresh Beauty Cocoa Body Exfoliant, a skin-smoothing, antioxidant-rich body scrub containing cocoa and coconut shells that looks—and smells—like chocolate-cake batter.
It’s not the first time that Fresh founders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg have gone gourmand when creating skincare and body products. The late ’90s saw the launch of their trail-blazing Sugar collection, which was inspired by childhood memories of their respective grandmothers, who used the sweet stuff as a natural antiseptic to heal cuts and scratches. The cult favourite Crème Ancienne Honey Mask is made up of nearly 40-percent honey— 21/ tablespoons’ worth in each jar.
2 (Honey is a moisture-retaining humectant with natural enzymes that gently exfoliate the skin.)
My fascination with Fresh’s dessert-like cocoa scrub isn’t completely unfounded. Studies have shown that cocoa is an ingredient with major mood-boosting effects, so I have science to justify my lifelong chocolate connection. Glazman calls the endorphins released when we ingest cocoa “pleasure molecules,” which are otherwise known as beta-endorphins. “It gives you a sense of well-being,” he says. “When you have a bite of chocolate, it’s not just the flavour you love; it’s the effect it has on you.”