Face Food: The New Trend in Beauty Products

By Jessica Rubino, Delicious Living

If you’re craving something new for your beauty regimen, you don’t have to look far. Many of the same fresh, nutrient-rich foods you love also enhance the body care products lining your natural retailer’s shelves.

The fun part: Companies are using creative ingredients that go past tried-and-true strawberries, tea, and oats (though we still love those, too). Today’s food-based beauty more closely mirrors what’s hot in the natural and organic food world, touting “superfoods” in hair and skin formulas for the same reasons they’re lauded as grocery standouts: unique antioxidant and nutrient content (or a shout-out from Dr. Oz). Indulge in these up-and-coming beauty trends.

Beautiful fats and protein

Do you give your morning smoothie and oatmeal a hemp seed or chia seed boost? You’ll be happy to know that these seeds’ omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids soothe eczema when you include them in your diet; they also nourish and protect skin when applied topically by creating a moisture barrier, which regulates your skin’s oil production, and helping regenerate the skin cells necessary for a healthy, glowing complexion.

Likewise, plant-based protein from sources like quinoa and amaranth strengthens hair and repairs damage, thanks to their amino acids and vitamins and minerals—working from the inside out and outside in.

Probiotics for your face

Whether in baby food, snack food, or dog food, “fresh” is more appealing than ever; after all, it’s the ultimate antidote to decades of overly processed products and mystery ingredients.

The same holds true for a new wave of fresh—yes, that means perishable—beauty products. Though you’re used to heading to your bathroom rather than your kitchen when it’s time to apply skin care, items that actually require refrigeration can indicate minimal processing and a high level of purity, which help preserve the skin-nourishing nutrients.

One example: Probiotics, living organisms typically found in yogurt and kombucha, now appear in beauty products such as skin-renewing facial washes and masks. Recent studies show that when applied to skin, prebiotics and probiotics can balance good and bad bacteria to fight breakouts and other irritation; many also offer antiaging benefits.

Gluten-free and more

For the 3 million Americans with celiac disease (and the many more with severe nonceliac gluten sensitivity), gluten-free isn’t a choice—it’s a medical necessity that impacts purchasing decisions beyond food.

Is gluten-free beauty legit? Though gluten protein molecules are too large to be absorbed topically, some people react to wheat on their skin, particularly when it comes to items that can easily get inside the body, such as toothpaste, mouthwash, and lip balm, says Channon Quinn, director of industry programs at Gluten Intolerance Group of North America. That’s why the Gluten-Free Certification Organization is seeing an uptick in personal care companies pursuing its “Certified Gluten-Free” seal, signifying that, as with food, the product contains 10 ppm gluten or less. “Customers make the demand, and the manufacturers, not wanting to lose customers, make the changes and get certified,” says Quinn.

You’ll find similar certifications and attention paid to body care formulas for vegan, vegetarian, and even paleo enthusiasts. The latest trend: Non-GMO Verified body care products. “We’re seeing more and more of our beauty brands make a point of calling out their non-GMO status on their packaging. This makes it so much easier for [committed non-GMO shoppers] to find what they’re looking for,” says Tiana Ukleja, health and beauty category manager for Pharmaca.