We understand why celebs hit the Met Gala red carpet dripping in gold — right down to nails dipped in 24K gold dust. But why was the biggest beauty prep trend of the night gold face masks? Everyone from Kate Hudson and Stella McCartney to Bella Hadid and Alexander Wang posted photos of themselves wearing gilded masks that make our plain old sheet masks seem pretty ordinary. Here’s why gold is trending as a beauty must, asides from its gleaming good looks.
Gold is an age-old beauty secret. “Gold has been beloved for centuries, both for decoration, medicine and luxe beauty rituals,” says Victoria Tsai, founder of Tatcha, a skincare line inspired by the beauty rituals of geishas. The Arab News has it that Ancient Egyptians used gold as a therapy for the skin, and Cleopatra is rumored to have worn gold masks (although the New York Times threw cold water on that claim.)
No wonder beauty fans are drawn to gold in 2017. “People today are interested in products and ingredients with a beautiful story behind it, and there are few ingredients with as much heritage as gold,” Victoria at Tatcha says. “People are also very aware of the ingredients they are using, and their safety—gold is a natural ingredient that can easily be incorporated into any beauty routine.“
What are the benefits to skin from gold? The Golden Door Spa’s $68 Peel-a-Way Masque is chock-full of skin-friendly ingredients like honey, a natural complex from watermelon rind, Yogurtene probiotics, and lens esculenta (lentil) fruit extract. Another ingredient is colloidal gold. “Gold helps with your skincare with antioxidants and keeps free radicals moving, protects against cellular aging, and reduces redness and inflammation,” says Michelle Schlekewey, director of guest programs and services at California’s exclusive Golden Door resort.
Victoria at Tatcha is more cautious. “Science is still divided on the actual health benefits of gold,” she says. “To us, it’s fascinating from a historical perspective: in Japan, they have added gold leaf to food, gifts, and temples for centuries. It’s considered a sign of hospitality and generosity when given to someone, and elevates the everyday to the exquisite.” The New York Times spoke with dermatologists in 2010 and found sources skeptical about the efficacy of gold in plumping wrinkles. But La Prairie, whose Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold sells for $675 for one ounce (whoa!), told the Times that colloidal gold does help to maintain your skin’s elasticity and firmness.
Nothing gives you a natural shimmer like gold. The hand-laid 23-karat gold leaf in Tatcha products like its Gold Spun Lip Balm and the Gold Camellia Oil looks gorgeous in its packaging, but its shimmer works on your skin too. “High-purity gold will crush on application and impart a subtle gleam to the skin, one that conventional pigments cannot replicate,” Vicky says. “It lends an incandescence that flatters any skin tone.”
It’s a luxurious way to start a night out. The Spa at JW Chicago is rolling out a four-hour, ultra-luxe “24 Karat Gold” package to the public on June 20th. The service includes an 80-minute "24K Gold Collagen Facial" and a body envelopment with gold flecks folded into mineral-rich clay.And the glow from the treatment will keep going during your night out. "Getting that wrap before going out on the town is certainly an option because your skin will be left glimmering. We know how oil looks on the skin—it's beautiful. With a little bit of speckles in there and that gold, it leaves a beautiful finish," says Marie Parodi, the director of spa and fitness at the hotel.
So there’s a reason celebs started their Met Gala Monday evenings with gold face masks, and the glam factor doesn't hurt. “The Golden Door Peel-A-Way Masque is an excellent way to hydrate, plump and moisturize the skin, plus it is a glam way to start your evening out right,” Michelle of Golden Door notes.
For a more D.I.Y. kind of glow, consider Skin Owl's body +. The newly launched product adds a rose-gold sheen to a mixture of uber hydrating ingredients like apricot, jojoba, and pure plant oils. Brand reps recommend smoothing it on slightly damp skin for a little golden pick-me-up.
Plus, the Victoria Secret Angel-esque gold skincare selfies? Priceless.
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