A skin doctor’s review of the 24 karat gold facial

Skin & Beauty

You’ve probably heard of this luxurious and expensive treatment.

It is typically offered in high end spas and hotels in cities like Dubai, New York, Hong Kong and London at a price tag range of £350 - £950. It has been called the facial for the rich and famous enjoyed by celebrities e.g. Cameron Diaz, Nicole Kidman and Bar Refaeli to look paparazzi ready on the red carpet.

I’m no stranger to expensive skin treatments working in the industry as an anti-ageing and skin doctor but I want to make sure the treatment works. After all, time is limited so I want to make sure it is good return of investment for my skin - now and for the future.

BENEFITS

  • The Gold Facial is said to have anti-ageing properties, stimulating the cells of the skin leading to improved blood circulation and elasticity.
  • Gold helps to deeply hydrate the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes and marks on the skin.
  • Gold can slow down the depletion of collagen level in your skin cells which depletes from 25 years old.
  • Gold has a brightening effect, reducing the melanin production in the skin.
  • Gold has powerful anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which helps oxygen to enter the skin, reducing acne, redness and skin allergies.
  • Gold gives you a glow making the skin look healthy, fresh and radiant.

However I was still skeptical. Could the gold particles actually penetrate the skin?

So, when I had the opportunity to try the 24 karat gold facial at GOLDUST Beauty Lounge in Bali (www.goldustbali.com) , I jumped on it to see if it lived up to the hype and share with my readers of my experience.

MY TREATMENT

I was greeted by my therapist Ness who explained the treatment to me. It would take about 1.5 hours. In that time, I had:-

  • A lovely head massage to relax before putting the headband on
  • Double cleansing & exfoliation
  • Steaming & Extractions (which I love! My therapist did a great job as I mark pretty easily but there were no nail marks at the end)
  • Hot/Warm towel on the face before a heavenly face massage with their in-house special facial oil
  • Application of a special serum to allow better penetration of the 24 gold karat gold leaf
  • Application of the gold leaf mask (It is very delicate and actually melts in your fingers when you touch it. I had 4 in total. While doing my research of this facial, GOLDUST Beauty Lounge is pretty generous with their gold leaf as it managed to cover most of my face)
  • A foot/arm massage while the mask is left on (you can also excuse yourself quickly to the bathroom for the obligatory gold face selfie)
  • Massaging of the gold mask into your skin with the special serum
  • Finishing of with a day cream and sunscreen (do mention you would like the sunscreen as it is not routinely applied)

Immediate effect

My skin looked brighter, cleaner and my pores appeared smaller too. It felt smoother and firmer. Perfect for a special occasion. Now I would have expected that the least as it was a good facial. But would the gold have any further effect?

Later the evening and the morning after

This was a surprise to me. My skin felt SO MUCH tighter and felt SO smooth. I swear I looked 5 years younger. I couldn’t help feeling my skin all the time. I was glad the effects lasted until the morning after too. Now it is said the gold particles continue to work for 20-30 days after the treatment so it will be interesting to see the effects at the end of the month.

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So as a short term investment for my skin, I would give the 24 gold karat gold facial a thumbs up. However, would it work deeper in the skin and contribute towards my future skin too?

HISTORY

Historically gold has been used for various skin treatments by the Japanese, Romans and Egyptians. Egyptians believed the healing powers of gold could cure all manner of physical, mental and spiritual ailments. It has been said that the powerful Cleopatra used a gold mask every night to enhance her complexion and keep her skin youthful, glowing and beautiful.

Romans used gold preparations for treatment of skin lesions and sores. Japanese geishas have used the precious metal to lend a warm glow to their skin dating back at least 300 years. In ancient Chinese medicine, gold was the secret to youthful skin for it’s anti-inflammatory and healing properties.

Gold is also a traditional ingredient for Ayurvedic skin care for it’s benefits below.

RESEARCH

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 legions 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 disorders 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 consist of small, microscopic gold particles suspended in distilled water or any other liquid 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.

ALLERGIES

Allergic reactions to gold are rare and there has not been any reported cases from the gold facial. However after a survey of various dermatological clinics and hospitals, Dr. Thomas Fuchs of Goettingen University Hospital in Germany concluded that pure, unalloyed gold can trigger allergic reactions. The degree of allergy varies from immediate dermatitis on hands and feet from contact with gold items to reactions only after many years of skin contact.

This applies similarly to people who need to wear 24-karat or high quality gold jewelry to avoid having an allergic reaction with low quality or mixed golds in their skin care. Hence the importance of going to a reputable centre who offer the 24-karat gold leaf which has been shown to be safe.

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VERDICT

Personally I love the treatment. My skin felt really good afterwards. It’s also comforting to know that some of the active gold particles is absorbed into my skin and taking an effect for the next few weeks.

Professionally, I would say if you haven’t tried the facial, go for it. Facials are a great boost to your skin health, enhancing your daily skin routine. I agree it is an expensive facial so I’m glad it is only recommended once every 2-3 months.

However, being in Bali, the treatment only cost about $100 or £85 which is an ABSOLUTE STEAL compared to what you would pay in the luxury spas or hotels. So my advice is if you’re in (or close to) Bali, I highly recommend you book yourself in for a 24 karat gold facial with GOLDUST Beauty Lounge (www.goldustbali.com) , the only place who offers the treatment in this beautiful island. You will be glowing out of the lounge.

NB: The blog has not been sponsored and the opinion is entirely my own.

To your best self,

Comments

sarah

17.08.2017

Such and informative and interesting article. I have often wondered about the gold treatments, but i think i must give it a try!.