Indulge in beauty: The tempting world of food-inspired cosmetics

Published: 21-Nov-2023

Embrace the joy of making beauty a delightful, sensorial experience!

Cosmetics make for a delightful gift, especially during the festive holiday season. Whether it's a vibrant bath bomb or a luxurious body lotion, the world of beauty products is filled with creative wonders. A particularly intriguing trend that has emerged in recent years is the realm of food-inspired cosmetics. While these products undoubtedly captivate with their whimsical designs, it's important to navigate the regulatory landscape governing their creation.

Designing beauty products that resemble treats can be an exciting venture, but there are essential considerations to bear in mind. Let's delve into the exciting world of food-inspired beauty products!

What kinds of cosmetics take inspiration from food?

From bath bombs resembling cupcakes to soaps that mirror a piece of cake, the spectrum of food-inspired beauty products is both diverse and delightful. The allure extends beyond the products themselves to include imaginative packaging. Picture a smoothie body wash or a powder mask housed in a tub reminiscent of an ice-cream container! These creations not only cater to beauty enthusiasts, but also appeal to those seeking a touch of whimsy in their self-care routines.

Some finger-licking good inspiration:

  • Too Faced: Notable for their Chocolate Bar eyeshadow palette, which features eyeshadows with a cocoa scent.
  • Lush Cosmetics: Renowned for their bath bombs that often resemble fruits, like their Peach Crumble Bubble bar.
  • I Heart Revolution: Offers a range of makeup products with packaging inspired by various sweets and desserts.
  • The Body Shop: Offers a variety of products with enticing scents, including body butters inspired by fruits like mango and strawberry.

The imagination of formulators knows no bounds when it comes to creating these unique products. The popularity of these products highlights the limitless possibilities that exist in the world of beauty formulation, where creativity and innovation go hand in hand.

Why let food inspire your next beauty product?

The charm of food-inspired beauty products lies in their ability to inject a sense of playfulness into daily self-care rituals. The whimsical designs evoke a lighthearted and fun aesthetic, transforming mundane beauty routines into indulgent experiences. For consumers, the joy of using these products usually goes beyond the nourishment they provide for the skin and hair; it's about the sheer delight of incorporating a touch of fantasy into their beauty regimen.

Indulge in beauty: The tempting world of food-inspired cosmetics

Regulations around beauty products that resemble food

There are concerns, however, that consumers could get confused by the packaging, scent, or appearance of these products, mistaking them for actual food. Lisa Heida, our Digital Marketing Manager, experienced this mix-up firsthand: back when she worked at Holland & Barrett, she saw a woman confidently taking a bite out of a scent chip meant for melting in an oil burner. These chips were leaf-shaped and brightly colored, with appealing names such as "piña colada", "cinnamon", and "strawberry". Hopefully, the woman's mistake was a one-time flavor adventure she won't be repeating anytime soon — a reminder that sometimes, the line between beauty and bites is thinner than we think!

Authorities have been prompted to intervene to protect consumers from confusion or harm. In the EU, Lithuania ordered a ban on cosmetics that too closely resemble edible items, following a UK brand that sold a variety of bath products the authorities thought looked edible and could pose a danger to children. The company appealed to the decision, arguing that the packaging materials made it clear that the products were not edible and the regulations required Lithuanian authorities to carry out testing to prove that, if ingested, the products would be dangerous. On June 2, 2022, the decision from the high court concluded that Lithuania could, in fact, bar the products as being potentially hazardous.

The main cosmetic regulations in the EU are contained in Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 covering cosmetic products. That regulation covers all the basic stuff including the labeling, prohibited ingredients, etc. It also says that a product must be safe "taking into account Directive 87/357/EEC". This covers products that look like food, but are not food. It's a safety issue for products, "which, although not foodstuffs, possess a form, odour, colour, appearance, packaging, labeling, volume or size, such that it is likely that consumers, especially children, will confuse them with foodstuffs and in consequence place them in their mouths, or suck or ingest them, which might be dangerous and cause, for example, suffocation, poisoning, or the perforation or obstruction of the digestive tract."

When formulating food-inspired beauty products, meticulous attention must be paid to ingredients, ensuring they adhere to safety standards. Additionally, it's essential to strike a balance between creativity and clarity, avoiding any potential confusion between the cosmetic and food realms. Thorough testing and compliance with regulatory guidelines are paramount to guarantee the product's safety and marketability.

Denatonium Benzoate: Balancing creativity with safety

In the pursuit of crafting enticing beauty products inspired by food, the inclusion of the ingredient denatonium benzoate is a safety measure worth noting. Often added to cosmetics, this bitter tasting compound serves as a deterrent to prevent unintended consumption, especially by children. This ingredient adds an extra layer of protection, discouraging ingestion.

The importance of clear labeling

Clear and comprehensive labeling plays a pivotal role in ensuring consumer safety and averting potential confusion. Beauty brands must be diligent in providing explicit information on packaging to avoid any misunderstanding regarding the intended use of the product. Clearly stating "Not Edible" or "For External Use Only" helps communicate the non-consumable nature of the cosmetic item.

Additionally, incorporating vivid imagery or symbols that signify skincare rather than edibility can further assist consumers in distinguishing between beauty products and actual treats. Transparent ingredient lists also contribute to informed decision-making. As the allure of food-inspired cosmetics continues to grow, responsible labeling becomes an indispensable aspect of the industry, safeguarding both brand reputation and consumer well-being.

Indulge in beauty: The tempting world of food-inspired cosmetics

Embrace the delicious journey of crafting food-inspired beauty products

We don't want to discourage you from formulating playful, aesthetically pleasing products, but it's good to be aware of the regulations and some of the measures you can take to ensure the safety of your customers. Experimenting with creating these formulations is a journey that invites boundless creativity and joy!

Here are some tips to get started:

  • Immerse yourself in the rich palette of nature's ingredients. Consider incorporating natural scents like vanilla, strawberry, or cocoa to infuse your products with a tantalizing aroma.
  • Experiment with vibrant colors inspired by fruits, desserts, and confections to add a playful touch to your formulations.
  • Use nourishing ingredients such as honey, yoghurt, or avocado oil to provide both skincare benefits and an indulgent experience.

As you blend, mix, and create, let your imagination soar! Imagine the excitement of unwrapping a skincare treat that mirrors the whimsy of your favorite dessert.
Looking for more inspiration? Have a look at the formulations listed on Covalo, like JRS's White Chocolate Face Primer, Lucas Meyer Cosmetics' So' Sweet Whipped Butter, or Gattefossé's Banana Peel formulation.

In conclusion

When venturing into the world of food-inspired beauty products, it is crucial to tread carefully through the regulatory landscape. From innovative formulations to clear communication, crafting these enchanting cosmetics requires a harmonious blend of aesthetics and accountability.
Embrace the joy of making beauty a delightful, sensorial experience!


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