If I’m going to treat myself to something, you can almost guarantee it’s not going to be jewelry. I have a really horribly habit of losing fine jewelry, which is fine if it was the gift of a particularly bad boyfriend, but sometimes you want to keep the bling without a care in the world of who it was from. While my track record with gold bracelets and rings isn’t fantastic, gold in my skin-care is something I figure I can take care of properly.
And with so many brands adding the glitz into their formulas, I had to ask a dermatologist A.) what it even does and B.) is it worth the cash I could be spending on clothes or a nice dinner, which is what I’d usually treat myself with anyway.
While there are many touted benefits of putting gold in skin care, dermatologist Dr. George Sun feels the primary benefit is to “add a luxurious look and feel to the skin product.”
You could argue he has a point, as what’s fancier (and glitters more?) than gold?
However, he also adds that while rigorous studies are lacking, some of the reported bonuses of having gold in your product could include anti-inflammation, antioxidant properties, reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, and enhancement of penetration of cosmeceutical actives. "One small study in 2010 demonstrated that gold may enhance penetration of other skin actives,” says Dr. Sun.
New York City based dermatologist Dr. Kim Nichols further agrees it could be beneficial in reducing inflammation, but that doesn’t make it a miracle maker.
"Gold is not the all-in-one skincare ingredient, but gold does allow the skin to feel smooth and even, volumizing the appearance of the skin looking extra luminous,” says. Dr. Nichols.
As for who should use it—AKA if it will agree with your skin type—Dr. Sun tells me it’s probably best for dry or aging skin. "When extensively combined with other moisturizing actives along with stem cells, growth factors, and peptides , gold can help with repair of the natural skin barrier while providing a luxurious and rich experience for the skin upon application,” he adds.
If you have sensitive skin, are pregnant, or are currently on Accutane, however, Dr. Nichols says to avoid the ingredient. If you have any questions, talking to your derm is never, ever a bad idea.
So where can you find it? In products galore, really, but a few formulas include Avon’s ANEW Ultimate Supreme Advanced Perfomance Crème ($50; avon.com), Chantecaille Nano Gold Energizing Cream ($420; nordstrom.com), and MD Sun Collagen Lift ($650; mdsun.com), so you can see it really runs the gamet of pricing.
Is it a nessisiry? Nope. Definitely not. But if you're feeling super luxe, are in the mood to work on preventing wrinkles, and have the extra cash and cabinent space, it might be worth a Benjamin or two.