Since time immemorial, people have looked to gold as an alchemy that provides a wide range of life-enhancing qualities and exceptional benefits.
Going back centuries, medieval doctors and apothecaries used very finely ground gold in their most expensive potions. The Chinese saw gold as an “immortal substance,” associating it with longevity and vitality. Going farther back, in Ancient Egypt, mummies were fitted with gold teeth, as dental issues were prevalent in Egypt in those days.
While gold facials are a recent invention, there is ample evidence that dates back as long as 2500 B.C. of gold used in traditional Chinese, Indian, and Arabic medicine.
So it is in modern times that gold is looked to as a highly valued ingredient in gold facials. People indulge themselves as they slather skin-soothing elements and real gold on their faces, hoping for a rejuvenated complexion that exudes eternal youth.
Businesses that provide these facials assert that gold has many skin-boosting properties. But does science-backed evidence support these claims?
What is a Gold Facial
A gold facial is one of the most indulgent spa treatments available. Nowadays, you can find gold facials and gold face masks offered at high-end spa treatment businesses everywhere. Based on all available evidence, gold facials are good for you.
Although gold facials can differ depending on where you receive one, they generally follow a traditional facial regimen – cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, etc. They also include one of the most self-indulgent add-ons ever invented: a gold mask. Depending on the technique implemented, a gold face mask could encompass the aesthetician massaging sheets of 24-karat gold leaf onto your skin. They might coat your face with colloidal gold, a liquid solution with gold nanoparticles suspended in it.
The gold facial has skyrocketed in popularity since 2006, when a Japanese company pioneered a method for helping the metal penetrate surface layers of skin.
There is a consensus among aestheticians that gold has undeniable firming and anti-aging benefits. It is believed that gold’s antioxidant properties combat environmental toxins and restore skin that is sun damaged.
After receiving a gold facial, clients may find their skin feeling softer and more supple as a direct result of accelerated cell regeneration and elastin production.
However, dermatologists warn that some people could have an adverse reaction, especially those who experience contact dermatitis when wearing jewelry.
Benefits of Gold for Skin
Among the skin-improving benefits that advertisements put forth about gold are:
- Reducing inflammation and redness
- Protecting against free radicals
- Supporting collagen production
- Combating aging
“Though scientific evidence is lacking, gold is thought to have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties,” says Doctor Peterson Pierre, a dermatologist with the Pierre Skin Care Institute in Westlake Village, CA.
Other skin-care experts extol gold for improving the condition of your skin and bringing about a more youthful appearance.
“Gold has so many benefits when it comes to skin,” explains Doctor Maryam Zamani, an aesthetic doctor and founder of MZ Skin. “Working to stimulate the production of your natural collagen levels, it can help to reduce long-term collagen loss.”
Manufacturers of gold beauty products claim that gold flecks warm your skin to help promote circulation. The vast majority of gold skin products are composed of colloidal gold. These are nanoparticles suspended in liquid that are small enough to penetrate your skin.
Skin-care companies swear by the noticeable improvements that gold facials produce that people covet. Among these improvements are:
- Reducing wrinkles
- Calming inflammation
- Increasing absorption of other skin-care products
Despite these universal findings among skin-care experts, there are some dermatologists who remain skeptical of gold’s benefits, particularly when it comes to a lack of documented research.
“There is no scientific data that gold can do any of this when applied to skin,” says Doctor Tsippora Shainhouse, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in private practice at SkinSafe Dermatology and Skin Care in Beverly Hills, California. “Gold may have some antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but there is no evidence that it’s better than any other more commonly used ingredients that have more scientific data.”
Key Ingredients Added to Gold Facials Equal Greater Effectiveness
Although gold facials do seem to benefit your skin, gold is aided in this skin-rejuvenated process with the inclusion of certain specific skin-nutrient ingredients. These common substances added to gold that enhance its effectiveness include the following:
Glycerin – Studies suggest that glycerin can boost your skin’s barrier function to lock in moisture and protect against irritants.
Antioxidants – Antioxidants, similar to vitamin C, have been shown to neutralize normally occurring free radicals in order to treat sun damaged skin, skin aging, and inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis.
Peptides – Peptides are naturally occurring amino acids that are composed of proteins in your skin. Research, including a 2009 review, indicates that peptides could help repair skin aging and sun damage and improve your skin’s barrier function.
Alpha-hydroxy Acid (AHA) – AHAs, like glycolic acid and lactic acid, are commonly used in skin care peels to regenerate and thicken skin as a treatment for acne, scars, dark spots, and age spots.
Hyaluronic Acid – This substance, which your body naturally produces, binds to water. Research proves that hyaluronic acid may play an integral role in increasing your skin’s hydration and decrease the appearance of wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid may also treat mild to moderate eczema by improving your skin’s barrier function, according to a 2011 study.
What’s more, “tiny nanoparticles in colloidal gold also give skin a shimmery glow that might make it appear immediately brighter and slightly bronzed,” says Doctor Tsippora Shainhouse.
Shainhouse adds, “This visual effect can make skin tone appear more even and younger, as the particles reflect light.”
Agora — The Future of Skincare
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