Gold Face Cream: Anti-Aging Skin Care Miracle or Expensive Hype?

Posted on May 27, 2010, 10:57 AM

Will the precious metal help turn back the hands of time?

Gold Face Cream: Anti-Aging Skin Care Miracle or Expensive Hype?

When it comes to anti-aging, it's no newsflash the dermatologists, cosmetic companies and those of us who're over, say 25, are constantly searching for the new "it" product or procedure that will help keep father time's wrinkly paws off our faces. And, in an era where we're voluntarily shooting poison and fillers into our faces in an attempt to look good, it should come as no great shock that what's being heralded as the "it" ingredient du jour is gold. Yep. GOLD. As in, not silver.

High end cosmetic companies like Chantecaille and La Prairie boast products in their uber-expensive lines that contain the precious metal because they claim that gold has anti-aging, anti-acne and anti-inflammatory properties. But, does it really?

Not according to dermatologists who say that not only will it not help to improve your skin but it can actually harm it! Two New York based dermatologists, who did research on gold's role in skin care spoke to the New York Times about the fad. "At best they do nothing," said Dr. Judith Hellman, about gold-infused face creams. "At worst, the can give you irritation of the skin." Dr. Jeannette Graff concurs. "There are absolutely no scientific studies that show the gold has any effect in firming or revitalizing the skin, nor that it reduces wrinkles or gives skin a plumped, golden glow," she told the Times. And, in fact, gold was singled out as 2001's "allergen of the year" by the American Contact Dermatitis Society.

Seems that when it comes to keeping our faces line free, we're kind of lackadaisical when it comes to doing our due diligence -- or maybe it's just the promise of a fresh face that wreaks havoc on our rational sides -- how else would you explain the fact that the follow up to La Prairie's Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold ($580 per ounce) is the its Cellular Cream Platinum Rare that sells for $1,000 for 1.7 oz. jar?

Happily, for those who just have to try it, there is an affordable gold treatment to be had. LaRocca Skincare sells a line that won't break the bank Gold Gel is a steal by comparison at a mere $135 per ounce. Among other claims, the gel is purported to help stimulate cell regeneration and repair sun damage. And, the Christine Valmy International School of Skin Care (there are several around the country) teaches it students how to apply a gold collagen mask that can be had for a paltry $13.50. Marina Valmy who runs the spa her mom started says that her mask isn't toxic because the metal isn't absorbed into the skin but, rather, sits on top of it where it can conduct heat and help increase skin's circulation which, in turn, allows it to absorb the other, more active, ingredients.

While it's true that gold has a long, storied past, having been used by everyone from the ancient Egyptians to the Chinese who believe in its healing properties, is this latest craze, that doesn't seem to have any solid science behind it, just wishful thinking?

What do you think? Would you plunk down big bucks to try a gold-infused cream or is it just the "Emperors' New Clothes" in a jar?

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