Chocolate has many benefits. But can it make you prettier?Eating chocolate has been linked to heart health, lower blood pressure and reduced stress. But Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise, cofounders of the plant-based meal program Sakara Life, believe a daily indulgence can deliver visibly plumper, more youthful-looking skin.
This month, Sakara is introducing Beauty Chocolates. Supercharged with 70 mg. of plant-based, collagen-promoting phytoceramides, the team said a daily dose is clinically proven to deliver visibly plumper skin.
The Beauty Chocolates are Sakara's latest addition to its existing collection of Clean Boutique products and plant-based meal program, which was launched in 2012 out of the cofounders' New York City kitchen. Since its founding, Sakara Life has mushroomed into a multimillion dollar business, shipping more than 50,000-plus meals nationwide and gaining celebrity attention from the likes of Lena Dunham, Chrissy Teigen, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson.
Sakara Life centers on the philosophy that food is medicine and, consequently, what you put into your body forms the building blocks for the rest of your life. DuBoise and Tingle continue their "food as medicine" conversation with their loyal following of "Sakaralites," on S-Life, their online magazine, as well as across various social media platforms — their personal accounts included.
Sakara's Beauty Chocolates join Sakara's lineup of beauty-promoting foods such as their Beauty Bars and Beauty Waters. "Beauty foods is a category where we plan to continue to bring the best ingredients to support beauty and antiaging. We want to make it easy, fun and enjoyable to the consumer," said Tingle.
In addition to the inherent benefits of chocolate (cacao is a superfood), the candy was a no brainer. "I'm a chocoholic," joked DuBoise. Getting more serious, she said she is passionate about developing the beauty food category because of her own experience watching her mother's generation focus on diet for waistline instead of for nutritional value. Furthermore, in the past, the remedy for beautiful skin has exclusively been topical creams or makeup — never food, she said. Sakara seeks to change that perception of beauty by focusing on the development of beauty from the inside out.
"Interestingly, what we have found is that a side effect of getting healthy is more beautiful skin," said DuBoise. "Although we've been taught beauty is a process you do to the outside, whether that be with lotions or with makeup, beauty really does come from within. The nourishment you are giving your body is what helps you glow from the inside out."
Building on DuBoise's sentiments, Tingle relayed her first-hand experience with years of cystic acne. After countless dermatologist visits, prescriptions and lasers, she realized her diet could be to blame. She credits changing her diet with healing her skin.
Beauty Chocolates are not your average Hershey's Kisses — they are far healthier versions formulated with organic raw fair-trade cacao nibs, organic coconut sugar, organic raw cacao butter and a proprietary Ceramosides Ceramide Wheat Extract.
Ceramides are natural lipids in the cell barrier that help the skin retain moisture and remain soft, supple and youthful in appearance. The plant-based phytoceramides found in Sakara's Beauty Chocolates are said to replenish and moisturize skin from within by restoring this cell barrier, which, in turn, helps the skin to better retain hydration, smooth wrinkles and boost collagen production.
"While animal-based collagen is a popular ingredient in many beauty foods, we wanted to create a clean, plant-based option that wouldn't cause any adverse effects," the founders said.
In a clinical study, participants taking 70 mg. of phytoceramides per day (the dose in a single Sakara Beauty Chocolate) for just 15 days experienced improved moisture levels, reduced wrinkles, improved skin elasticity, overall improvements in skin appearance, reduced pulling sensation in the skin and less transepidermal water loss. Although results were seen in two weeks, improvements kick into high gear with longer usage. "And they are so good, you want to keep taking them." A jar with one months' supply retails for $45 or two jars for $80.
Sakara's Beauty Chocolates are available for purchase on the brand's web site, which offers the opportunity to tell the brand story. Distribution will expand to Amazon and the entrepreneurs have not ruled the possibility for Sakara pop-up shops in the future.