THE IN-TRAY

Why gold is good for your skin

A NEW GOLD ACCESSORY? ALWAYS. GOLD-INFUSED SKIN CARE? TELL US MORE. THE RAREFIED INGREDIENT, USED FOR GENERATIONS, IS RISING AGAIN. ASIDE FROM IMBUING SKIN WITH A MOMENTARY GLOW, 24-KARAT BEAUTY CAN OFFER REAL BENEFITS FOR YOUR COMPLEXION.

Ever since Instagram confirmed gold-infused masks were the backstage secret to the runway glow of Victoria’s Secret models, gold skin care has been trending—again. The mask in question, favoured by angels Romee Strijd, Josephine Skriver and Lily Aldridge, as well as actresses Margot Robbie and Priyanka Chopra, is the 111SKIN Rose Gold Mask. Originally conceived as a limited-edition release for the holidays, the mask soon became a permanent feature of the innovative brand’s line-up.

“We never thought it would be a permanent addition because it is extravagant,” says 111SKIN founder Dr Yannis Alexandrides. “It has 24-karat gold particles that have an iridescent effect on the skin that is very subtle but effective. Makeup artists love it because it gets the best out of the skin, so you can use less makeup. It also helps to calm inflammation and makes the skin look more youthful.”

It’s no wonder the 111SKIN mask is the new gold standard for event prepping, but if you’re intrigued by the idea of soaking your skin in the precious metal there’s so much more to explore. While the immediate glowy tint gained from gold-imbued products plays a major part in people falling head over heels for them, they also offer real skin benefits. “Gold is a natural antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties,” adds Dr Alexandrides. “It can calm swelling and redness caused by blemishes or other irritations and it protects against the free radicals that lead to wrinkles and visible sun damage.”

Egyptian queens were early adopters; Neferti and Cleopatra apparently used gold masks to heal their skin. Lately, it seems as if beauty is indulging in a new golden age. Like fine jewellery, many of the leading gold products are designed in miniature. Skin care temptations, including Chantecaille Nano Gold Energising Eye Serum and Nano Gold Firming Treatment, take advantage of nanogold technology. Developed specifically for skin care, the process breaks down the metal into particles small enough to be easily absorbed into the skin. Colloidal gold (suspension of gold nanoparticles in water) can restore broken connections within the cells of the skin and encourage their regeneration. The upshot: a younger-looking complexion.

Once you start digging for it, there’s gold everywhere. bareMinerals Ageless Genius Firming & Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream and This Works Skin Deep Golden Elixir, a body serum, both use gold to instil skin with a gorgeous glow. Japanese-inspired beauty brand Tatcha uses colloidal gold in its Gold Spun Camellia Lip Balm and Camellia Beauty Oil for a slightly different reason. “In Kyoto, I met an 80-year-old geisha with the most beautiful complexion,” says Tatcha founder Victoria Tsai. “She told me her secret was to rub pure gold leaf onto her skin. Gold transfers almost a filter-like shimmer to the skin, and there’s something so luxurious about it.” Similarly, the golden flecks in NuFACE 24K Gold Gel Primer are blended with a slew of other anti-ageing ingredients to add radiance to the skin. Gold is also used in the packaging of beauty products, lending them a cool, clinical glamour. The Hourglass No.28 Lip Treatment Oil uses an anti-bacterial, gold-plated applicator to ensure the ultimate smoothing effect while transferring the product onto lips.

While the inclusion of gold might seem like a fancy gesture, its antioxidant powers go beyond the purely cosmetic. That said, the opulent nature of these products remains a draw card too: you feel good about using them and look forward to the indulgence, which is never a bad thing. Finally, there’s the immediacy of what a golden hue can do for iridescent, highlighted and healthy skin. When it’s that shimmer hit you really want, we recommend reaching for Too Faced Melted Gold Liquified Gold Lip Gloss. It takes a dose of real Au, and creates lips that look wrapped in gold foil. The ultimate in golden girl goals.

Words by Alexandra Whiting
October 2018

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