When you first think of gold, it’s probably not in the form of a skincare cream or mask. Not surprisingly, the question then becomes how do you make it usable to the skin. While gold flecks may give the skin a radiant glow, they’re unlikely to do much else, considering the fact that they’re not necessarily penetrating the skin. As it relates to gold-infused products, the formulation plays a key role in the effect it has on the skin. “Gold-infused products are only beneficial to the skin when processed through an organic extraction process that removes the metal, leaving only the vital minerals of gold,” says Tiffany Andersen, founder and CEO of Gavée Gold. “Only then can they be absorbed into the skin.” Many skincare lines, such as Knesko Skincare, rely on colloidal gold to aid in penetration. “Colloidal gold is essentially minute particles of gold suspended in a liquid formula,” says Knesko’s Lejla Cas. The company uses nanotechnology, which allows the precious metal to be broken down into smaller particles that can be absorbed by the skin.
Still, gold seems to be a staple in the luxury skincare industry. Want to know why gold never seems to lose its luster? Here, some experts share what makes it such a popular ingredient, and why it continues to make such a statement in the skincare arena:
“Gold is rising in popularity among the wellness and esthetic community for its natural healing properties. There is a definite luxury factor when it comes to gold. It is symbolic of romance, beauty, and royalty. It has been renowned for its decadence throughout the ages.”—Metaxia Dalikas, owner and member of the board, Lira Clinical
“Its amazing benefits for so many skin concerns makes it a popular ingredient, particularly for its anti-aging properties. It helps to calm the skin, reduce redness, and generally brightens the complexion.”—Margaret de Heinrich de Omorovicza, cofounder, Omorovicza
“For us, it is popular because it’s quite potent in its therapeutic benefits with a vast history of usage in Ayurveda that pre-dates the current trend. In Ayurveda, they even take it internally for a vast array of health benefits.”—Nick Irani, director of operations and brand development, Subtle Energies
“Gold has long been considered a treasure for its beauty and health properties. Cleopatra was said to sleep with a gold mask to enhance the suppleness of her complexion and improve her appearance. Gold is recognized as a symbol of purity and spirituality and helps allow beauty and happiness to flow into one’s life.”—Lejla Cas, cofounder, Knesko Skin
Spas across the world are taking note, too. More and more spas are offer gold-inspired treatments. Take a look at what gold-based care these popular spas have to offer:
- Considered the ultimate lunchtime pick-me-up, the Glow & Go ($85, 45 minutes) at Skin City (San Francisco) brightens and firms while also correcting sun damage. It incorporates Lira Clinical Mystiq Elite products, which contain colloidal gold and silver, and LED therapy.
- Nourishing dehydrated skin, the Nanogold Facial ($185, 50 minutes; $245, 80 minutes) at Driftwood Spa at Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara (San Diego) relies on a Knesko mask that has been fused with aloe vera, elastin, hyaluronic acid, marine collagen, and nanogold to firm, brighten, and hydrate the skin.
- The Ultimate Pure Gold Radiance Facial ($350, 90 minutes) at La Prairie Spa at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park relies on pure golden drops of Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold from La Prairie to revitalize and perfect the skin. A skin-type appropriate mask then helps to enhance the penetration of the gold serum, leaving the skin looking more radiant.
- The Gold Plumping Facial ($212, 90 minutes) at The Spa at Four Seasons Budapest (Hungary) is an indulgent facial involving a copper-enriched lactic-acid peel to boost collagen production, even skintone, and lighten pigmentation. After an anti-inflammatory gold serum from Omorovicza is applied, the skin is treated to a plumping massage and a gentle eye-contour massage with cooling Derm-A-Globes. The treatment concludes with a nourishing poultice of organic oats and wheat to hydrate the skin and a sprinkling of Gold Shimmer Oil.
At Premier57 (New York City), spa-goers can even take advantage of a sauna made of real gold. According to general manager Ellis Kim, the response has been great. “Some of the benefits from the gold sauna include its ability to improve mental sharpness and concentration through increasing the conductivity between nerve endings,” says Kim. In addition to treating rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, gold is also reputed to rejuvenate and brighten the complexion. Of course, with limited studies, it’s difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. One undisputed benefit, however, is the fact that gold generally leaves spa-goers feeling like royalty.