Last Updated on August 7th, 2019
If your concept of the ideal way to fight acne is lying on the sofa eating bonbons, then Frutels sounds like the product for you. Frutels has launched a line of edible cosmetics including a chocolate bonbon that is designed to fight acne.
The makers of Frutels tell us that their chocolate bonbons stop acne before it starts with a vitamin-rich formula designed to fight hormones, stress, and dietary excess. Unlike vitamin capsules and vitamin pills that are hard for the body to digest and that deliver nutrients hit-or-miss in the lower digestive tract, the nutrients in Frutels are carefully mixed with antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. They are sugar-free, 100% vegetarian, suitable for people who keep kosher or hallal, and contain no artificial ingredients.
A “majority” of people who use the product, the Frutels people tell us, see their acne clear up when they start eating the bonbons. The worse your acne, the more chocolate you eat, one or two Frutels a day if you have mild acne, three or four Frutels a day if you have moderate acne, and five Frutels a day or more if you have severe acne.
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First of all, dark chocolate really does cause acne in some people1. It’s not the fat in dark chocolate that’s the culprit, it’s the theobromine, the chemical that makes you say “mmmmmm” when you eat chocolate. It’s more than a little surprising that even a sugar-free version of dark chocolate would not have this side effect.
And then there is the matter of those vitamins and minerals that are in Frutels. Each Frutels contains calcium, iron, and magnesium, but less than 1/10 of 1% of your recommended dietary allowance (RDA)2.
Each Frutels also contains a little fiber, about 6/10 of a gram, and a lot of vitamin C, E, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (biotin), and B12 (cyanocobalamin). Just a single bonbon provides 80% of a day’s supply of vitamin C, 90% of day’s supply of vitamin E, and up to 440% of some of the B vitamins.
The problem is, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Getting more than 100 IU of vitamin E a day (the equivalent of four Frutels) can actually increase sebum production. Eating two bonbons at the same time would give you what the US Food and Drug Administration considers to be an unsafe dose of potassium. Excessive potassium poses health risks3 and can result in heart abnormalities, even death. And that “natural” sweetener isn’t stevia. It’s a synthetic sugar alcohol that can give you gas4 and also play havoc with your blood sugar levels, but only the day after you eat the product, so it’s harder to track down the cause.
Frutels, however, is just one of many new lines of edible cosmetics. Some other popular edible cosmetics on the market include:
Many edible cosmetics contain ingredients that only the most adventurous gourmet would consider eating, such as dehydrated pork placenta (which is not, we hasten to point out, in any of the products mentioned above). There are even edible beauty products from China that contain dehydrated human placenta. There are also beauty beverages you can take to wash down your beauty edibles:
Not to mention the four SkinBalance beverages promoted by Vincent Borba.
Acne care products and skincare products are good business. The total market for skincare products has proven to be recession-proof. Driven by emotionally manipulative marketing that focuses on shaming perfectly normal experiences, like aging and acne, the global cosmetics market is expected to bring in $429.8 billion by 2022.
Edible cosmetics can be great fun. Most of them won’t do you any harm, as long as they aren’t loaded with vitamin E and sugar alcohols and they don’t contain exotic ingredients that make most people gag. Frutels may help improve your skin slightly if you consume only one or two per day (definitely not the recommended five for severe acne), but make sure you don’t give up acne skin routines that really work5 for fad products that don’t. For day to day acne care, we still recommend cleansing, exfoliation, and bacterial control, especially with Exposed Skin Care.
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