In a cosmetic world awash with new ingredients to smooth skin, defy lines and reverse the ravages of time, there is one ingredient that promises glowing results. Quite literally.
The use of gold in cosmetics and skincare harks way back to ancient Chinese history –used by the queen of the Ch’ing dynasty in medicinal massage – through to the heady days of Cleopatra’s reign. According to the history books, Cleopatra slept in a gold mask at night and ancient Romans used the precious metal as a salve for many a skin problem. Furthermore, Geishas are also recorded in the annals of history as rubbing pure edible gold leaf on their skin to enhance the complexion.
These days, Nicole Kidman and Cameron Diaz are the queens of the gilt complex on their complexion, dipping into the indulgent stuff via facials and skincare.
So how does this heavy metal work to inhibit the signs of age?
Belinda Besant, National Training Manager for La Prairie Skincare explains that the colloidal gold within their La Prairie Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold helps to hinder the protein enzyme that causes collagen and elastin degradation, thereby helping maintain the skins elasticity and firmness. “Gold is also a potent anti irritant, helping to prevent the skin from reacting to daily assaults,” she notes.
It’s also been credited in working synergistically with the body to help blood flow and oxygen, and medicinally gold has been noted as a powerful inflammation reductor in arthritis treatment. This may actually be the key to its skincare kudos as any anti-inflammatory compound is going to benefit the skin by calming irritation, which is a chronic cause of age.
“As a precious metal, gold is an expensive ingredient however its demand in skincare does not wane as it delivers potent anti ageing benefits,” assures Belinda.
Léopoldine Lemesle, Senior Brand Manager for L’Oréal Paris Cosmetics, says the gold element of their L’Oréal Paris NutriLift Gold Serum Foundation, brings a true golden glow to the skin, and works in tandem with other luminosity delivering ingredients. “The gold micro particles are used for a radiance boosting lift,” explains Léopoldine.
Be warned though, not all cosmetics and skincare actually contain gold, even if their name does. Take bronzer for example, there are a litany of ‘Golden Glow Givers’ on the market, but this is a purely marketing jargon, but one that is quite transparent once you read the ingredients.
So whatever your desire – whether it be a superficial glow or a subcutaneous boost – gold proves an indulgent winner with a treasure trove of options out there. While the surface radiance enhancing benefits will appeal to many skin types, “it is those that are concerned with multiple signs of ageing that will see the biggest benefits to the skin,” concludes Belinda.