Gold Skincare

Are there benefits to GOLD Skincare?

Is Gold infused skincare just a fad or does it deserve any merit? Gold skincare isn’t that new, Geishas used 24k gold on there skin to give a luminous, radiant glow and Cleopatra is said to have slept in a Golden mask. Gold is said to be an Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory,  Anti-bacterial for skin and of course give you a luminous glow.

Professionals may dispute whether there are any benefits for your skin as not a great deal of research has been done, but maybe the real benefits are emotional rather than scientific? We just love seeing a Golden glow on our faces! but my thoughts on this are if something brings you joy, then why not?

24k Gold DustI’m seeing either 24k gold powders, Gold Leaf and Colloidal Gold being increasingly used in many brands including Peter Thomas Roth, Bioessence, Prai, Tatcha, Carita, Mimiluzon, Nuface and Ziip to mention a few, but there are many more. What is the Science behind Gold topically applied on the skin?

The Science on Gold

There’s not a lot of science to support Gold’s skincare claims, but here is what I could find….

A study appearing in the “The Journal of the American Medical Association” reported the effect of gold leaf on low blood-flow skin ulcers. Findings showed a significant improvement in mouth lesions and skin ulcers suggesting an increase of blood flow to the area.

Gold is thought to have antibacterial properties and to help transport oxygen molecules into the skin for cell renewal to treat ulcers and inflammatory conditions of the skin. Some skin-healing benefits of gold were demonstrated in a study by the University of Miami School of Medicine, which found that concentrations of gold administered in skin inhibited prostaglandin synthesis, an inflammatory trigger.

An online publication in 2014 shared some new insights into how gold nanoparticles (< 100nm in size) could possibly penetrate the outer skin barrier (epidermis) and migrate into the deep layers (dermis and hyperdermis).

Colloidal gold which consists of micronised gold particles suspended in distilled water or other liquids has been used in alternative medicine since the 19th century. Also known as Nano Gold and appearing as a red or yellow coloured liquid, it has been used both internally as well as externally. Externally, the tiny gold particles from the colloid penetrate through the cell membranes easily and work effectively towards providing relief from the symptoms of several health disorders. Colloidal gold is believed to repair and strengthen the skin. Gold refracts and reflects light making the skin look younger and more radiant.

Although there is not a lot of research that shows how much gold penetrates the skin, it does look like some gold particles do penetrate if prepared in a specific way. The 24 karat gold is said to be soft enough for better skin penetration.

Using Metals for Conductivity

I am an electrical facialist, so anything that can improve conductivity to the skin interests me. Metals conduct electricity very well, In order. Silver 100%, Copper 95% then Gold 70%. Ziip and Nuface make a conducting gel with 24k Gold and micronised Colloidal Gold. The Gold will give glow and improve conductivity of the currents to the skin’s tissues.

Recommended conductive gels to use with a home Micro-current or Nano- current.

  1. Nuface Gel Primer 24K gold complex Brighten – also has pigment reducing ingredients.
  2. ZIIP Golden Conductive gel  – a luxury price tag but a little goes a long way and the glow lasts even after you have removed it, but it can be left on overnight.

Gold Skincare, Masks, Serums and Powders

  1. Peter Thomas Roth 24k Gold Mask
  2. Mimiluzon Glow collection
  3. Bioessence – do a whole range based on 24k Gold, the Gold infused water is a lovely tonic.
  4. Tatcha Gold and Camelia Collection – I love the Gold leaf blotting papers.
  5. Prai 24K Gold Collection

Environ also do a Gold needling device for home use, which is great as the Gold provides a more anti-bacterial environment.

I think for me, the benefits of using real Gold in a formula is the conductivity for your at-home micro-current devices, and the illuminating radiance it could give your complexion, especially pre-event skin prepping.

Environ Gold Dermaroller

Gold is by no mean the Gold-standard in anti-ageing but it is a nice ingredient to calm redness and illuminate the skin. For me, as I age I really long for that youthful incandescent glow at age 40, and Gold is a cheats way of achieving this. But don’t forget the rest of your healthy ageing arsenal of ingredients: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Peptides, Growth Factors, Hyaluronic Acid, Lactic Acid and Botanicals.



Release Your Facial Tension

facial tension rollerMuscular Tension in the face is a common problem, especially as we get older. In some people it seems to be an area where all the stress accumulates and can result in your face feeling tight and uncomfortable.

Prolonged tension can end up dragging your face downwards! and make you look tired and drawn. Blood does not flow as well around stiff, tense muscles and nutrients and hydration will not be reaching the skin cells. This will make your skin dull and grey and can prematurely age you.

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Sleep – Skin’s Best Friend

Lack of Sleep can lead to the Premature Ageing of your Skin, as well as making you grumpy! Being aware of sleep and the role it plays in healthy ageing is vital to anyone concerned with getting older (aren’t we all?)

Do you ever stop to think of the effect too little or too much sleep has on the body? You only have to look in the mirror after a good or terrible night’s sleep to see where the term “Beauty Sleep” came from! The role of sleep and successful ageing is huge and so important for overall health.

Lack of Sleep Causes Inflammation
One revelation that has come to light is that sleep loss is pro-inflammatory, inflammation is characterized by the release of inflammatory molecules that damage the structure and integrity of the skin – reducing inflammation is now a key focus in anti-ageing skin care products.

Aside from inflammation, it has also been discovered that the stress that sleep deprivation causes has an effect on the skin’s barrier function (this can trigger or make worse Psoriasis, Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis), it’s clear then that the role that sleep has on maintaining healthy skin functions is important, but when it comes to looking good, the benefits of sleep don’t stop there.
The effect that sleep deprivation has on hormone secretion is interesting, growth hormone is produced naturally in the body by the Pituitary gland at the base of the brain, and more than 70% of it is secreted at night, mostly during deep sleep or slow wave sleep. Although growth hormone secretion has been found to naturally decline with age, poor sleep that is lighter and more disrupted will also impact on growth hormone secretion. There is a whole host of skin and hair complaints that low levels of growth hormone are responsible, as well as premature ageing.

The way you sleep also determines your wrinkle pattern. If you favour one side, your face may end up more pleated on that side. To help prevent this, try sleeping on a Silk Skin pillow case. Also cotton pillow cases can absorb moisture from your skin and your moisturiser, so you may not get the benefits and is a waste.

Sleep – The Lifestyle Prescription

  • Sleep Hygienic – keep your bedroom calm and tidy, with clean bedding.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures.
  • Avoid TV or computers in the bedroom.
  • Avoid stimulants (Caffeine, Nicotine, Alcohol) have a Chamomile or Valerian tea instead.
  • Try eating a Low Glycemic load diet – this will help keep blood sugar levels steady, foods such as chicken, eggs, tuna, nuts and seeds are linked to sleep inducing hormones melatonin and serotonin.
  • Regular exercise will help with anxiety and depression, and control excess glucose and cortisol (the stress hormone)
  • Try some Lavender Oil for inhalation (I put a few drops on my pillow) or in a warm bath before bedtime. You can also try this with Chamomile Essential Oil.

Looking Good The Morning After a Bad Nights Sleep!
If you have had a bad night and are looking less than your best, here are a few tips!

  • A quick bout of exercise can restore some glow to your complexion.
  • Eat some protein for energy.
  • Instead of your normal tea or coffee, try some antioxidant rich Green Tea with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, brightens and polishes your skin.
  • Dermalogica Total Eye Care  disguises tell tale dark circles.
  • Mineralogie Mineral Make-Up bounces the light off your face, creating a healthy, flawless skin.
  • Apply a rosy pink blusher, this makes you look less tired – try Mineralogie Pink Sand.
  • Massage your skin lightly to increase the micro-circulation and try a Yuroll Jade Roller around your eyes to help with puffiness and aid Lymphatic Drainage.

Cleansing Your Way To Great Skin

Cleansing Your SkinWhatever your skin type, cleansing is the key to healthy, clear skin. It really is the cornerstone of a skincare routine, but can be rather neglected. Research from the “International Dermal Institute” shows that most people spend less than 20 seconds cleansing their skin, this isn’t thorough enough to remove all the pollutants, oil and make-up that if not properly removed can sit on the surface and cause blackheads and undersurface congestion.

I always recommend to cleanse in the morning – this will remove any overnight sebum production and leave your skin fresh and ready for your moisturiser. It is essential to cleanse at the end of the day as well and for this I recommend a “Double Cleanse” – the reason for this is the first cleanse will remove all the environmental pollutants, grime, oil, make-up and sunscreen. The second cleanse that you perform will actually cleanse your skin and your pores. If you skimp on this and traces of either the above or any cleanser is left on the skin, then you may experience some lumps and bumps underneath the skin and more blackheads than usual with a dull appearance.

A great Product to start your first cleanse is Dermalogica PreCleanse, this is a lightweight oil made from Olive and Apricot Kernal Oil and fortified with Kukui, Borage and Rice Bran Oil. It is a Hydrophillic (water loving) and once it has liquified sebum and oil based debris on your skin, it rinses clean away without residue and the essential oils give it a fresh lemon smell. The reason oil based cleansers work so well is that oil attracts oil, whilst oil repels water – making this an excellent cleansing medium that leaves your skin ready and receptive for its second skin type specific cleanser. Please note, not all oil cleansers are equal and some will not rinse away, PreCleanse has been specially formulated to go milky when in contact with water and rinse clean away, Olive oil on its own will  not do the same!

PH Balanced Cleansers

The PH of your cleanser is very important as our skin is naturally acidic at around 4.5 – 5.5 on the PH scale. This helps keep our skin protected from bacteria. A PH balanced cleanser will not strip the skin and leave it feeling comfortable and calm instead of tight and itchy. Soap is out of the question as it is far too alkaline and will strip the skin’s natural protective barrier and leave it tight and uncomfortable, the skin will often compensate if it can by pumping out more sebum leaving you slick and shiny. All Dermalogica Cleansers are PH balanced as are my other brands.

I have tested the PH of some other well known so called simple cleansing products, and was very surprised to find that some have the same PH as CIF cleaning product – which was very alkaline. You can buy a PH testing kit and try some of your own skincare products, some of the results may shock you!

How To Apply Cleanser

Regardless of the formulation, massage your cleanser onto the face and neck in small circular movements, work around the nooks of your nose and spend at least a few minutes of massaging in/or foaming up, this is a great time to give your skin a circulation boosting massage. Either rinse away with warm water or remove with a damp muslin cloth, I like these as they are have a slightly exfoliating action and feel great against your skin.

Which Cleanser is Right For You?

This obviously depends on your skin type and condition, but it also comes down to personal preference. Some people will not feel clean unless they use something that foams up, although oils and lotions are excellent cleansers it does come down to what you like to use. I always feel that good products whether they foam or not should be rinsable and leave skin feeling comfortable. You may need to tweak your cleanser with the seasons and as you age – I switch to a creamier cleanser in the winter time as my skin is a lot less oilier than summer.

Going to bed with your make-up on is one of the worst things you can do to your skin! (even if it is a mineral make-up) Please try, even if you may have had one glass of wine too many, to manage one cleanse, it is better than none.

If you need some advice on what cleanser will suit you, please ask as I am happy to advise.

Skin Absorption – What Gets In?

Skin absorption is a route by which substances can enter the body/bloodstream through the skin. How many times have you read that the skin absorbs 60 % of what we apply to it? I was actually told this at college! This is one of the many skin myths that has been hyped by the media and also the Organic/natural companies as it supports their ideals that it is better to apply less chemicals to your skin! Unfortunatly for them, this simply isn’t true.

In general the primary function of the skin is to act as a barrier that prevents the invasion of external materials, especially the large molecules of skincare products. Cosmetic companies have to work very hard to develop formulations that can actually be absorbed through the epidermis to deliver all the claims that they make! and the line is frequently crossed of  “is it a cosmetic or a drug?”  a product cannot be too active for mainstream cosmetics, as they have the potential to irritate – this also depends on how resistant/sensitive your skin is, to how far ingredients can get. For example retinoids – the strongest forms are prescription only drugs, as they can affect the structure of the skin in a dramatic way.

Professors and academics whose sole job is to analyse skin permeability all admit to the fact that little can “slip” through the upper layers of the skin (epidermis). Most molecules in skincare products are far too large to even reach the Dermis, let alone pass into the bloodstream.

If we did absorb 60 % of what we apply to our skin, the human race would very likely not exist! not to mention absorbing all the water we bath in, and a sludge of creams and serums floating round our body! Our skin has to be highly effective at keeping body fluids in and microscopic bacteria out!

 However there are ingredients that can penetrate the dermis, and some drug delivery systems are in the form of trans-dermal skin patches, nicotine patches deliver nicotine to the bloodstream, the synthetic sunscreen Octyl Salicylate has very small molecules and studies have shown continual application for 48 hours results in 1.58 % being absorbed –   hardly 60 %.

For more information on specific ingredients visit  The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM), they generate, evaluate and distributes scientific data on the safety assessment of fragrance and raw materials in cosmetics, shampoos, creams and other personal & household products.

The Skin-Forum is also an organisation dedicated to studying skin permeability.