Sweet treats in the beauty aisle

March 11, 2008

Food in beauty products

As I get older, I’m noting that compromise is becoming a recurring theme in my life. For instance, in a recent relapse into 20-year-old thinking I bought a Clash Guttersnipe T-shirt online. As soon as it arrived in the mail, I knew I’d made a mistake and it went straight into my son’s drawer.

The compromise I make most often happens one afternoon or so a week at Starbucks when I order a Decaf espresso latte made with non-fat milk. Decaf, since I need to get to sleep by midnight and,  for me, afternoon caffeine means that won’t happen. Non-fat because I’m always counting calories.

This coffee choice is just the tip of the iceberg for people like me who want (almost literally) to have our cake and eat it, too. Every day, I see more examples of marketers trying to satisfy our cravings for food indulgences with products that promise to satisfy our cravings without exacting a price of fat or calories. From Diet Coke to low-fat cheese, we’re a society of compromisers.

The most interesting examples of this trend aren’t in the grocery aisle, though. To me, the cosmetics sector — catering almost exclusively to women — is fascinating. These companies know that style-conscious women are likely to be body-conscious dieters, too. The result is a plethora of products that try to satisfy our cravings for the treats we can’t eat by infusing beauty products with lovely food scents. Genius!

And there are many, many more to choose from out there in the marketplace:

Candy Lips: the “sugary sweet and calorie-free” lip gloss

Coconut Frosting Shampoo

Chocolate-scented and flavoured skin care products from chocolate whipped cream lotion to a mocha scrub designed to remove your calluses.

Don’t let my snarky attitude fool you. I’m not above falling for this gimmick myself. Do you see those products in the picture above? They’re all from my own toiletry collection.