Acai Fruit: Beauty Trend 2008

What: This Amazonian fruit is finding its way into as many beauty products as health food recipes.

What the experts say: According to the January 2008 issue of Allure magazine, “Curvy supermodels aren’t the only Brazilian imports turning heads. The antioxidant-packed berry has impressed both health and beauty experts. While ingesting acai is thought to boost memory and prevent heart disease, cosmetic companies are exploring the benefits of slathering it on hair and skin.

What we say: Beauty companies are always looking for the next “it” ingredient to help bolster sales. Remember seaweed, green tea and vitamin C? While the beauty benefits of acai are just now being explored, it’s hardly worth it to spend money on high priced items containing this berry. (For a budget minded option, look for Herbal Essences Color Me Happy Shampoo and Conditioner, which uses acai to prevent fading.) However, in Allure, dermatologist Jeanette Graf mentioned that, “topical products contain a modest amount [of acai] because higher concentrations would stain skin and hair.” If you like the taste, for now maybe you’re better off just enjoying the benefits of acai fruit in a smoothie or sorbet instead.