Fast forward a few centuries, gold is still a beauty elixir. You’ll find flecks of gold in outrageously expensive skincare creams promising to firm your face and erase your wrinkles.
Does it work? Is gold worth its weight or is just a glistening gimmick to attract skincare magpies?
How does gold benefit skin?
Here’s the tricky part: very few studies have bothered to study what gold does for your skin.
Brands tell you a different story, of course. They’ll say that gold has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
Where they get this info from? Well, from a handful of medical (not skincare!) studies.
The British Journal of Radiology says gold nanoparticles are emerging as a promising treatment for cancer. It seems it works for rheumatoid arthritis, too.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease. Inflammation is one of the main causes of aging. So it makes sense that gold can fight any problems caused by inflammation.
But we don’t know how it does this. Scientists have discovered it helps treats arthritis but don’t know why or how yet.
Some theories propose it works by deactivating the proteins involved in inflammation, while others suggest it’s merely a carrier that helps the active ingredients reach their intended destination.
One study on the effects of gold on rheumatoid arthritis found it can boost collagen production. In theory, that’s a good news. In practice, you have to consider how gold is delivered to your skin.
A few flecks of gold in a moisturizer are unlikely to be enough to firm your skin. What they do, instead, is catch the light and make your face glow.
FYI: a highlighter does the same and is cheaper.
Does gold have any side effects?
Yep. Gold is a common allergen. If you’re allergic to gold jewelry, avoid it in your skincare, too.
Get your gold fix from jewelry for now. Gold in skincare may be promising, but those flecks will only give you a beautiful glow.