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Centuries later, gold skincare is making a comeback

Is it post-pandemic indulgence or a wish to reconnect to the natural world? Gold-based beauty has a rich history and surprising benefits

People are looking for ways to self-indulge, pamper themselves, and focus on self care after the traumatic year and a half we’ve all experienced. It’s no wonder gold skincare is a burgeoning trend; gold has always been associated with luxury, making it an appealing ingredient for consumers. Though gold skincare isn’t anything new, Taryn Hoffman, Beauty & Wellness Strategist at Fashion Snoops says it has started to grow more over the last year or so. “Lately it’s gotten a lot more attention over social media which has led to this trend,” she tells Dazed Beauty.

Gold skincare refers to skincare products that have been infused with real gold to create luxurious skincare products with specialised benefits from the gold. 

According to dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, gold has anti-inflammatory properties and has long been used in healthcare. For example, it is taken by mouth for conditions like arthritis and blistering skin diseases. “Gold also has antiaging and skin brightening properties and is being incorporated into topical skincare products,” he says. “By reducing inflammation in the skin, gold is thought to improve aging, minimise wrinkling, and brighten skin tone.” Being a natural element, gold is a great option for people looking for natural skincare.

Hoffman says that gold is an antioxidant and possesses antimicrobial properties. Therefore, the main benefits of gold in skincare are that it helps in reducing skin inflammation and redness, protects the skin against free radicals, supports collagen production, and helps to fight physical signs of aging. “From what I have found, there hasn’t been a substantial amount of research done on gold skincare safety, but in general we know it is fairly safe and there aren’t any major concerns with using it in skincare,” says Hoffman.

So why is this trend happening? At Fashion Snoops, Hoffman and her team have seen consumers diving into this trend because they are looking for ways to self-indulge, pamper themselves, and focus on self care after the traumatic year and a half we’ve all experienced. “There’s a deep need to heal, and so we see personal wellness and self care rising, and trends like gold skincare gain popularity as they speak to luxury and indulgence,” she says. Not only that, but there’s also a rising trend in using natural elements for beauty and wellness that we’ve seen continue to grow since the pandemic.

“Consumers are shifting to more traditional and culturally-rooted practices and ingredients, honing in on generational wisdom and becoming more inspired by ancient rituals, too. “We know that gold has been used in traditional Chinese, Indian, and Arabic medicine for thousands of years, so there’s a renewed interest in these treatments and their benefits,” Hoffman adds.

The trend forecaster has found that since the pandemic wellness has become necessary in all aspects of our lives, and we’re seeing more and more brands shift to wellness-focused mindsets. “Not only does this trend speak to self-indulgence, which many consumers are leaning towards as we move out of quarantine and slowly get closer to what life was like before the pandemic, but it speaks to self care and creating a lasting ritual that consumers can find pleasure in,” Hoffman says.

“There’s a deep need to heal, and so we see personal wellness and self care rising, and trends like gold skincare gain popularity as they speak to luxury and indulgence” – Taryn Hoffman

Gold skincare has been used for years, and there is evidence that has found gold being used for beauty and wellness purposes dating as far back as 2500 B.C. according to Hoffman. “So this trend originated from ancient practices in China, India, and Arab, but it’s coming back now due to consumers’ increased interest in traditional beauty methods and ingredients and their need for self care and deep healing,” she says.

“Over the past couple years, we’ve seen an increase in people wanting to connect with nature and natural elements, which has been perpetuated by the pandemic that left us all inside for months, through these ancient remedies and generational rituals,” Hoffman explains. 

There’s so much wisdom that stems from these ancient cultures and consumers are becoming more interested in learning about it; People want to reconnect with nature and find the value in natural materials and elements, they want to explore and discover ancient traditions and learn from different cultures. “There’s something about these holistic methods that really draw people in and consumers are yearning for the trusted benefits, natural escapism, and ritual experience of ancient traditions.”

Gold is being used in face masks, eye patches, serums, cleansers, and more. “Many brands are infusing gold extract into their formulations, meaning the gold is blended into the product while it’s being manufactured and it can be almost visually undetectable,” explains Hoffman. “Many other brands are also adding 24-karat gold flakes into their serums, masks, and other products so consumers can see the gold flakes which can add a more luxurious aesthetic to the product.”

Brand wise, Hoffman says that Peter Thomas Roth has a great gold mask, and what makes it special is that it actually features two kinds of gold: 24K and colloidal gold. Another brand leading in this trend is Chantecaille, who infuses their Gold Recovery Mask with powerful botanicals and silk extract to provide extra antioxidant benefits. Soon Skincare is another trending brand with their Golden Eye 24K Gold Hydrogel Eye Patches. Not only are the eye patches stunning with their shimmering gold texture, but they are also infused with caffeine, niacinamide, and vitamin E so they have a plethora of benefits. And next up, Hoffman expects to see more elements and natural minerals make their way into skincare including ingredients like silver, copper, magnesium, and zinc.

Topical application of gold containing products is generally considered safe. However, gold allergies rarely occur. If you develop redness, itching, burning, or a rash, wash off the gold mask immediately and visit your dermatologist for evaluation.