Not only is caviar a decadent treat — it can benefit your hair, skin, and nails, too. (Photo: Getty)
Diamonds, sapphires, pearls, 24K gold, and platinum may sound like the makings of a dream jewelry collection, but these luxuries can actually be incorporated into your beauty routine. Regal? Totally. Gimmicky? Sure. But one upscale delicacy does offer unique beautifying properties: Caviar. It turns out the salt-cured fish eggs are, in fact, an indulgence for your hair, skin, and nails as well as your taste buds.
A number of beauty products on the market tout caviar extract as a pampering beauty ingredient. What exactly is caviar extract? “My understanding is the extract is not the roe itself, it’s the stuff that’s around them,” says New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Sejal Shah. “This extract has vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids as well as antioxidant properties.” Individually, each of these elements have great potential beauty benefits.
You probably never thought about putting caviar in your hair before, but here’s why it’s worth trying: “Antioxidants counter the damage done by UV radiation and free radicals,” says Shah. “We know that hair — just like skin — can benefit from UV protection. With amino acids, there is evidence that they have a very hydrating and conditioning effect, and it is probably very hydrating for the hair.” Alterna, a high-quality hair care brand, has an entire line of luxurious, caviar-infused products that do just that. Its Caviar Replenishing Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner ($32 each) contain Omega-3 fatty acids that deliver hydration, softness, and shine to dry strands for an anti-aging effect. (Now you can toss those yucky supplements). Alterna’s Caviar Replenishing Moisture Hair Masque ($42) is another beneficial treat that transforms your hair after just one use — bye-bye seasonal summer damage.
For the skin, Shah says the amino acids in caviar extract can promote tissue repair, improving both the texture and tone. “Caviar extract contains omega 3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties,” says Shah. “I also found one study that looks at a caviar cream and proves there can be benefits in anti-aging effect,” says Shah. La Prairie is another acclaimed luxury line that maximizes the benefits of caviar extract. Its Skin Caviar Luxe Cream Sheer ($430) gently resurfaces the skin while nourishing and soothing it.
Some nail polish treatments contain caviar extract, too, like Nails Inc. Base Coat and Top Coat with Kensington Caviar ($15 each). “I suspect it has a hydration effect that may counteract the damage you might get from nail polish,” says Shah. Something to keep in mind: “The extract is towards the end of the ingredient list, meaning it’s a minimal amount in there.”
Shah says you can definitely see benefits from caviar products. “Like with any product, if you stop using it the benefits are going to go away. But use it more long term, and the benefits will continue.” Bottom line, should you try caviar topically? “If you’re not using antioxidants or feel you need more moisture, a caviar product can be beneficial and worth trying. Why not!”