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Beauty Ingredient To Know: Caviar

February 05, 2021 Charlotte Cho

If you’ve perused any beauty website in the last couple years, and especially within the six months or so, you’ve likely seen a peculiar, marine-based ingredient swimming about— caviar! Yep, I’m talking about fish eggs.

“You’re likely far more familiar with caviar in the context of fine dining than of skin care,” notes Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a dermatologist at
“Caviar is salt-preserved, non-fertilized fish eggs, and folks have been eating it on crackers longer than they’ve been applying it to their faces. However, in addition to being a delicacy in the food world, it would appear that caviar does have benefits for the skin.”

That’s right. It’s not just a fancy pants marketing ploy to get you to spread fish eggs on your face. Researchers have found that caviar in beauty products—which typically presents in the form of fish egg extract—can do good things for your skin.

For example, caviar has antioxidant properties that protect and nourish the skin, and it also contains omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, which moisturize and improve skin texture.

Caviar is a highly effective moisturizing agent, in fact, and is primarily used to hydrate the skin and make it more soft and supple. Pair it with other ingredients that have been proven effective and you’ll find yourself with some seriously potent products.

“While marine-based ingredients, like algae, salts, minerals and seaweeds, have been used in skin care for decades, caviar has only become popular in more recent years,” notes Dr. Schlessinger. “In addition to skin care products, you’ll find many caviar-infused treatments on the menu at spas.”

While a trip to the spa is great, you can find caviar in so many beauty products. For example, NEOGEN’s Code 9 Gold Black Caviar Essence & Gold Tox Tightening Pack Kit contains both caviar essence and gold flakes, two luxury ingredients, as well as niacinamide, collagen and sodium hyaluronate. Together, these ingredients work to tighten and tone the skin while giving you an intense dose of moisture. It’s a real treat to use this product, not just because of the ingredients, but because I store it in the refrigerator and apply it a bit different than most essences—via soaked exfoliating pads. I especially appreciate the set of tweezers it comes with (along with the tweezer stand) which help to keep everything more hygienic. The whole application process feels very thought out and refined.

It's not just in face goop thought! Two other caviar-infused goodies actually come in the form of BB creams. There’s the MISSHA Perfect Cover BB Cream and SKIN79 Super+ Beblesh Balm VIP Gold. The former comes in a tube with a dispenser that helps you get every last drop out. It’s thick and creamy without being too heavy and provides a dewy finish with excellent coverage. Skin79’s caviar-infused BB cream is just as good. In addition to caviar extract, it contains gold and other moisturizing ingredients that nourish and hydrate while evening out your complexion.  

—Wendy Rose Gould


Wendy Rose Gould is a beauty writer and photographer who lives in the middle of the desert, where sunscreen and moisturizers mean more to her than perhaps to the average human. She vividly, and fondly, remembers the first time she used a B.B. cream: in Seoul during a one-year stint she did back in 2009. She currently serves as contributing editor at xoVain and is an editorial writer at Refinery29, ModCloth, and other outlets. For Wendy, a lazy makeup day usually involves at least six products and probably a cat eye. Follow Wendy at @Wendyrgould.  

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Soko Glam co-founder and chief curator. Licensed esthetician sharing the love of all things K-beauty.

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