Chocolate and Champagne are definitely two tasty Valentine’s Day staples that will make any pair of lovebirds happy. But aside from pleasing your palate, these holiday favorites can actually bring surprising advantages to your beauty regimen. And while it may seem more than strange to slap chocolate on your face, or yes, wash your hair with Champagne, doing so can give you access to benefits you usually can’t get from your favorite creams or serums.
Chocolate doesn’t always have to equal an unwanted sugar rush, especially since darker chocolate variations help prevent free radicals from damaging our skin.
“Chocolate is high in flavonoids, especially dark chocolate,” explains Dr. Debra Jaliman, board-certified NYC dermatologist and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From A Top New York Dermatologist. “These are antioxidants that help to inactivate free radicals which damage the collagen and elastic tissue in our skin. Free radicals are usually caused by pollution, UV light and cigarette smoke.”
In addition to flavonoids, cocoa flavanol is considered beneficial for skin health, too. Flavanols are usually naturally found in cocoa, and are often referred to as nature’s superfruit.
Rebecca Lee, registered nurse and founder of the natural health resource, RemediesForMe.com definitely highlights the benefits of flavanols, as she references a recent 12-week study conducted by the American Society for Nutrition, finding that regular consumption of cocoa flavanols has positive effects on both facial wrinkles and skin elasticity.
How to try it:
To properly indulge in all things chocolate, experts like Dr. Debra Jaliman recommend making a chocolate facial mask to help your skin absorb such benefits. Made with ingredients you probably have right in your pantry, you can enjoy a skin perfecting treatment, without the steep price tag.
“To make a moisturizing antioxidant mask you can use two tablespoons of Greek yogurt, with one tablespoon of honey, and add two tablespoons of melted dark chocolate,” Jaliman says. “Leave it on the face for 15 minutes, and then wash off with a warm washcloth.”
Champagne makes another fun beauty DIY ingredient, as it contains both skin and hair benefits you'll definitely want to take advantage of. But unlike wine, Champagne can get flat quickly. So to properly utilize your bubbly, Kristin Fraser, the founder and CEO at natural beauty company The Grapeseed Company, recommends using Champagne as a toner for tighter pores.
“Champagne has carbon dioxide which helps tighten pores and tone the skin,” Fraser says. “It also works well as a body soak, especially after a long, hard day.” Though, I'm sure most of us aren't ready to throw down on the amount of bottles it would take to bathe in Champagne.
Fraser also notes that Champagne functions as an effective clarifying treatment that works great on buildup, and gives unbeatable shine to dull tresses.
“You can also use Champagne as a clarifying hair treatment, Fraser adds. “It works well on blondes, and can work wonders against buildup and dull color.”
How to try it:
For the most shiny of locks, Kristin Fraser encourages trying a clarifying Champagne hair rinse to give hair that gorgeous shine. Here’s what to do when you can’t drink the whole bottle yourself.
“Combine half a cup of Champagne or sparkling wine with a quarter cup warm water, and one tablespoon of grapeseed oil in a Pyrex or bowl/dish that's easy to pour from,” Fraser says. “Then rinse hair with warm water in the shower, and pour Champagne rinse mixture over your hair and let sit for three to five minutes in the steamy shower."
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