Let's get one thing straight: Shailene Woodley did not inspire Juice Generation's new line of clay- and charcoal-infused drinks. Last November, the NYC-based company will be launching three pressed juices containing charcoal and two shots made with clay. The line was named the Beauty Bombs since both of these nontraditional ingredients offer detoxifying, skin-brightening benefits. According to the health brand's founder Eric Helms (who started the company with a sole juice bar in 1999), it was a coincidence that the actress came out in support of eating clay earlier this year. Juice Generation began working on this project back in January 2014 after the success of its sea buckthorn shots, which are said to help acne. The label was on the hunt for the next buzzy ingredient to infuse into greens, fruits, and nut milks.
"Our female customers were very receptive to the sea buckthorn and the benefits to the skin, so it planted a little seed in my head about beauty," Helms told us. "People are really embracing juice – not only to help their health, wellness, and energy levels, but also to benefit their skin, hair, and nails."
Once he heard that a leading Hollywood lady was publicly endorsing the trend (she even brushes her teeth with clay!), it solidified his gut instinct that he was on the right path. "We really looked into the beauty world, and asked, 'what's happening?' There were all of the charcoal masks and facial cleansers. We thought, 'how can we take that once step further?' Not only what you put on your skin topically, but also what you ingest plays such a role on how [the ingredients] affect your skin. And there was such good synergy between clay and charcoal."
As beauty experts, we have to agree that Helms's analysis of the beauty sphere was pretty spot on as we've recently written stories on how to include both clay and charcoal products into your grooming routines. Juice Generation's lineup includes three 16 fl. oz. charcoal drinks ($10 each): Activated Lemonade (aids glowing skin), Activated Greens (boost antiaging), and Activated Proteins (whitens teeth and balances bad breath). The group rounds out with two 1 fl. oz. skin-hydrating clay shots ($4): Bentonite clay with alkaline and rose waters and French green clay with cucumber water. The entire offering deals with drawing out impurities and detoxing from the inside out. It's progressive and sure to, um, satisfy the skin care community.
But we had to questions: does it really work? Can a few sips counteract the damage of the environment or a night of cocktails on the epidermis? Helms assured us that while it wasn't a clinical study, his team did thoroughly test it, meeting with dermatologists and holding focus groups for about three months. People drank the juices every day to see how it affected their skin and appearance. "The feedback was extremely positive across the board," he noted. "People were excited about the idea of drinking a black lemonade or black green drink — and that it tasted good!"
Speaking of the taste, after gulping down the Activated Proteins drink, our team described it as an almond-and-date milkshake with a slightly chalky texture. "The charcoal drinks are very tasty," Helms confirmed. You do not taste it at all. There is a slight, slight bit of grit that you can [identify] as the texture of the charcoal. The clay . . . it is what it is. You do get the pleasant flavor of cucumber and rose water, but I have to say, they're not the tastiest. It's also a one-ounce shot, so it's meant to be consumed very quickly." It makes sense: like an alcoholic shooter, these clay shots are meant to go down fast (and not always easy) but offer a more saturated dose of benefits. And if you're worried about the gastrointestinal aftermath, Helms assured that since there is less than a teaspoon of clay or charcoal involved, it's safe to consume the juices daily with no negative effects.
"Juicing for beauty just seems to be the natural extension of juicing," Helms summed up. "People want to have clear, glowing skin and it just seemed like a natural synergy to have [clay and charcoal] within a juice. Frankly, we couldn't believe someone else hadn't done it before we did." Itching to try this trend? You can order order your detox juices in November from juicegeneration.com.