Gold Facial and Gold in Skincare
“Go for Gold”, advised my esthetician as a solution to my dull, lifeless skin. “Gold stimulates collagen and enhances complexion”, she alleged convincingly, leaving me with no doubt regarding the gold facial treatment.
‘Gold’, the most expensive natural resource and the most precious metal, obviously is the benchmark against which the worth of everything else is measured. It is the ‘gold standard’, ‘gold medal’ and even ‘heart of gold’. We associate everything perfect with gold.
So we have gold facials, gold radiance creams and even gold cleansers and gold scrubs as the gold standard of beauty. And why not, Cleopatra, the reigning queen of flawless beauty and radiant skin, used 24 K gold masks on her face while sleeping.
Even our Kings and queens in ancient India wore numerous heavy ornaments made of pure gold to cover their bodies instead of clothes. The science behind use of gold in skincare is, gold imparts a youthful glow and as per Ayurveda, gold can treat various skin conditions.
Gold Facial Review: My Bad Experience
So when my esthetician advised me to go for a gold facial, I readily agreed. As I lay on the table, letting her hands work the magic of gold on my tired and lackluster complexion, I imagined being Cleopatra enjoying the luxury of ultimate skin care and waking up with imperial beauty of flawless skin and wonderful glow.
However, when the treatment finally ended after full one hour, the exact time a Bollywood movie reaches climax and the heroine learns a horrifying fact about her life, I discovered an equally horrifying fact about my skin and my gold facial treatment!
I was nowhere near Cleopatra, not even my original self! I looked horrible. There were bruises all over my face. My skin had turned all blue and red from the heavy massage. “Don’t worry; this will soon subside in a day or two. Glow generally comes after 2 or 3 days of a facial treatment”, my esthetician consoled after perceiving my state of mind.
Glow never came. What showed up instead were ugly pimples and unsightly boils. Yes, I got a bad break out due to allergic reaction from so called ‘gold particles.’ Gold can cause allergic reaction in some people.
Products used: Nature’s Essence Gold Kit
Duration of treatment: 45 – 60 minutes
Cost of treatment: INR 1000
Truth about Gold Radiance Creams
Now about the latest buzz of using real gold in skin care products by many leading beauty brands such as Ponds and Shahnaz Husain. Since, these products are from reputable beauty brands and cost heavily, the billion dollar question is: Are they really worth their expensive ‘gold’ price?
The answer is, absolutely not.
First, for the hefty 1000 bucks you are paying for gold is actually not pure gold and even if it is gold it is not absorbed by your skin. The gold molecules are too big for your skin to absorb. They remain only on the top layer of the skin, giving you a temporary glow. The moment you wash your face, all glow is gone.
Second, gold has been found to be a contact allergen after the latest 2001 scientific research. It can cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis in certain individuals with sensitive skin. On these gold creams and gold facials, Judith Helman, New York based dermatologist said, “At best they will do nothing and at worst they will give you irritation”.
Third, if you carefully watch the ingredients, you will notice that the active ingredient in both Ponds and Olay skin care range is NIACINAMIDE, i.e., vitamin B3, which is also there in many other reasonably priced skin care products. So be it Olay Total Effects, Olay Natural White, Ponds Gold Radiance or Ponds White Beauty, the main ingredient is niacinamide, a proven anti ageing and skin whitening ingredient rest all is marketing!
So the next time you hear your heart beating for the gold, remind yourself of the good old phrase, “All that glitters is not gold”.
PS: The article was originally published on Aug 11, 2013 and now three years later, my stance on gold facials and products still remain the same. The incident still bugs me to this day. So girls, the lesson learned here is do your proper research before you undergo any kind of skin or facial treatment. And if you’re looking for that so called ‘glow’, let me tell you it won’t come from ‘gold’ but from something as simple as improved blood circulation and skin tone correcting ingredients such as AHAs, BHAs, and retinoids.