Gold is one of the hottest new ingredients in skin care right now. As gold colloids in moisturizers and sunscreens, eye creams and lip balms, you will find it flaked, liquefied and as nanoparticles. For the adventurous, you can drink it as a super nutrient or eat it on the most exotic of Indian sweet meats. You will find it on the finest of acupuncture needles and surgical equipment used for heart surgery. Or, for those seeking pure pampering pleasure, receive it as part of one of the most decadent facials as a gold leaf mask.
Today there is disagreement between many dermatologists and other skin care professionals as to the benefits of using gold. But we know that for centuries gold has been considered the king of metals and its healing powers have been revered by most of the greatest world cultures from the Egyptians to the present day. Gold has been worn by our kings, queens and greatest beauties, it not only as a universal symbol of wealth and luxury, but for the added power and charisma it seems to bring to its wearer. Gold has been used over the years for physical complaints as diverse as gout and arthritis to heart problems and bulimia. It has been attributed to being able to work with the mind for the elimination of ego conflicts and feelings of futility. On the most subtle of levels, it is said to balance the heart chakra, open the third eye, attract wisdom and success and allow our inner most beauty to radiate into the world – the very radiance we associate with youthfulness, vitality and passion.
No matter what you may choose to believe as skin care professionals, you should be at least aware of the claims that are being made for this most precious of metals. According to many professional skin care experts, gold can:
- be an essential nutrient that slows down collagen depletion and the breakdown of elastin in the skin, and maintaining a more youthful appearance.
- stimulate cellular growth of the basal layer to regenerate healthy, firm skin cells and provide a tightening and toning effect.
- reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- lessen scarring and skin blemishes.
- reduce the appearance of sun damage and age spots.
- have antibacterial properties that positively impact on acne conditions.
- reduce under eye circles and puffiness under the eyes.
- help lighten pigmentation and generally whiten or lighten the skin.
- decrease skin inflammation.
- fight off damaging free radicals to help prevent premature aging of the skin.
- act as a skin-oxygenator that promotes healing.
- help remove toxins and repair oxidation damage caused by stress and pollution by stimulating lymphatic drainage and blood circulation.
- have the ability to increase the radiance of the skin, enhancing the complexion and making the skin shine with health and beauty.
- aid with other skin care ingredients within to allow for maximum absorption into the skin.
With so many positives, it is fascinating to know doctors say gold can be very irritating to the skin. In fact, in 2001 gold was named “allergen of the year” by the American Contact Dermatitis Society; this is interesting for a metal that is usually thought of as so unreactive. Once again, this may go to show that just because an ingredient is pure and natural it does not mean it is not active and can cause reactions or enhance the reactive qualities of ingredients with which it is being used.
Scientists would say that there is no way that the gold in gold flakes or gold leaf could penetrate the skin. However I have to admit that the tiniest of gold nanoparticles in gold colloids can and do reach the cell and can have impact on cell metabolism. Gold is being seriously studied in our medical institutions right now for a possible treatment for cancer and drug resistant tumors as well as being used to teach us more about how our cells work. Did you know we have minute amounts of gold in every cell, but the cells around our heart have the richest supply? The supporters of gold supplementation say that gold not only revitalizes the body but brightens the mind and helps us feel more connected. Could there indeed be a whole new meaning to someone have a heart of gold? No doubt time will tell and maybe it will once again tell us what the ancient Chinese believed: gold is the key to both a youthful mind and body. It is one of the sources of that inner glow and vitality we call lasting beauty.