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Spencer Pratt crystals
Image courtesy Bravo TV

We tried the best in new age skincare

Crystal-infused beauty is everywhere, but are the purported benefits magic, or just good marketing?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (pun intended), you can’t walk into a beauty boutique without spotting some form of crystal-infused, spiritually-charged oil, cream or mask: crystals have become de rigour not only in our lives but also in our skincare regimes.

While Wicca and other ancient nature-based spiritualities are more than just a trend, beauty companies have been borrowing elements of their traditions, leading to a meteoric rise of new age beauty. Crystal-infused beauty is everywhere, and it begs the question: are the purported benefits magic, or just good marketing?

As part of my life-long quest for inner peace and outer beauty, I incorporated healing crystals into my everyday skincare. As a beauty junkie who isn’t totally sold on the powers of these mystical rocks, but who is also open-minded enough to give them a chance, I figured I was objective enough to give a fair verdict. Also, any excuse to fill my bathroom cupboard with more creams, gels and mists is a plus.

When gems and crystals are added to skincare products, they supposedly help your cells on an energetic level, as well as a physical one. Pundits of the occult claim that because everything in the universe (including crystals, humans, and skin) has a vibration, engaging with crystals acts as a tuning fork that recalibrates your energy flow. In skincare, crystals and gemstones enhance the energy and benefits of product’s ingredients.

I decided to stick to my HG (for the uninitiated, ‘holy grail’) cleanser and moisturiser, but I brought in a little mysticism with Aurelia’s Brightening Botanical Essence, which is infused with crystal quartz, in the morning and the Calming Botanical Essence, infused with rose quartz, in the evening. I also incorporated something from everyone’s fave, Glossier, in the form of their Quartz Haloscope highlighter. Quartz is the hit ingredient in occult beauty because it’s considered a “master healer”, meaning it can be used to heal any condition. Rose quartz emits vibrations of unconditional love and beauty. It’s said to reduce signs of stress on the skin, like redness and puffiness.

Every few days I supercharge my routine with Herbivore’s Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask, a gentle exfoliating mask that contains micronized Brazilian Tourmaline gemstone “to give a glowing complexion”. Tourmaline detoxes the skin, increases circulation and helps with cell regeneration.

Naturally, I had to involve crystals in their most common, physical form by way of a Jade Face Roller. Jade has been used in Chinese skincare for thousands of years, and rolling it on your face every day helps improve your skin’s lymphatic system (i.e. it makes it look less hungover).

I have no qualms with the products, but I can’t say they lead to spiritual enlightenment. Admittedly, the prospect of adding some magic to my skin made my morning and evening skincare routines more special. In a sense the products made me feel more grounded, and there was a sense of mindfulness when applying them. I can’t attest to whether that was the crystals doing their job, or just the placebo effect of knowing they were supposed to be “healing” me. The jury’s still out on that one.

It may seem like a ridiculous trend, but most of us are willing to do pretty weird shit in the name of better skin

As I was relatively new to crystals, I decided to consult an expert and booked a Goddess Facial with energy healer and reflexologist Neeley Moore. The facial infuses Gua Sha sculpting techniques to “open meridians of the face and promote rejuvenation from within” and promises “smoother, younger and radiant looking skin with a deep healing of your soul.” This was not like your average facial, and there was no blackhead extraction in sight. Moore kneaded, massaged and gently pummeled my face with a variety of crystal tools for an hour, using the Zone Face Lift elixir infused with amethyst. After only one session I can’t say my skin suddenly looks perfectly poreless or airbrushed, but the whole experience was definitely grounding.

Western medicine brushes off crystal healing as a mere pseudoscience, and I can’t deny most gemstone-infused beauty products look like a gimmick. Simply adding rose quartz to a highlighter doesn’t necessarily mean it will bring you inner enlightenment, or a more dewy glow, for that matter. However, enthusiasts (and thousands of years of tradition) swear by energetically-charged beauty. It may seem like a ridiculous trend, but most of us are willing to do pretty weird shit in the name of better skin, so adding some positivity and mindfulness to your skincare routine doesn’t seem that bad in comparison to slathering it in acid or getting it pricked with teeny tiny needles.

There’s something to be said about mixing science with spirituality in the form of skincare, and although crystals might not make your face look as good as Angela Bassett’s, they’re a pretty decent antidote to our hectic urban lifestyles and digital existence. With no scientific evidence backing crystals, and doctors still suggesting that any powers are imaginary, benefits are purely anecdotal. But for many, that doesn’t matter: new age beauty works if you’re willing to believe it does. Sceptics need not apply.