No one is exactly sure of how the word "sugar" came to be a euphemism for “kiss” but in this month when we celebrate love and sweet stuff, I thought we’d take a look at some sugary and sugar-inspired beauty products.

Sugar scrubs for the body have become especially popular over the past decade. While sugar as a beauty product has always been in use in some parts of the world (the Middle East, North Africa and India), the Boston-based cosmetics and personal care company Fresh is probably responsible for promoting the sweet stuff in North America.

While the company started with bar soaps in 1991, their Fresh Sugar line (launched in 1997) has come to define the brand. Using brown sugar and several natural oils as the base, the centerpiece of the line is the Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish. Not only does this gentle scrub exfoliate well, the oils leave your skin feeling silky soft, and the gentle lemony scent supposedly has aphrodisiac qualities. A gentler version is now available for facial use.

novalash candied lashes

NovaLash has developed "candied lashes."

Another fragrance that is decidedly sweet is Aquolina’s Pink Sugar. While many describe the top note of this scent as cotton candy in nature, the list of ingredients shows that the middle and base notes put it firmly in the “oriental” family: bergamot, Sicilian orange, raspberry, fig leaves, lily of the valley, licorice, strawberry, vanilla, caramel, and musk. Pink Sugar not only comes in eau de toilette, but also as a body scrub, cream, mousse, shower gel, perfume hair spray and in a deodorant.

Sugar is a natural healing agent. How often have you heard about dabbing honey on cuts to help them heal? With that in mind, some companies are using sugar as ingredients to help with a wide variety of cosmetic difficulties, as in Korres’ Sugar Crystal Antioxidant Eye Treatment which helps combat under-eye puffiness.

For centuries, sugar paste was used for hair removal. Currently on the market is a mini “wax” kit from Anastasia of Beverly Hills ($12 US at Sephora). You heat the sugar paste in the microwave for a few seconds and use it with linen strips instead of wax to remove unwanted hair. Since regular wax gives me welts, I’ve been using sugar to do my brows for years and find it works very well—without welts!

Benefit Cosmetics has a new blush product they call “Sugar Bomb”. Available in the same format as the popular Dandelion and Georgia blushes, Sugar Bomb contains four shades of blush in one box: rose, shimmering pink, soft plum and peach. Just swirl your blush brush across the four colours to create a new look each time.

Finally, for the very daring, Nova Lash, the originators of the eye lash extension system, have developed “candied lashes”. These individual lashes are crystallized, hand-dipped, freeze-dried splashes of colour available in brown, blue, green, pink, gold, purple and black.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!