It’s no secret that the beauty industry is always pushing a new, innovative, and (more) effective ingredient and its alternative. While some of these are deserving of their popularity, many are just a passing fad. One such ingredient that has gained immeasurable popularity in the recent past is gold. Given our affinity towards the metal, we’re inclined to believe that the infusion of gold into skin-care has tangible benefits. But does it really? We talk to experts to find out for ourselves.
Dr Madhuri Agarwal, Founder and Medical Director of Yavana Aesthetics, explains that the inclusion of gold in skin-care products is an ancient practice and does offer few beauty benefits. “Colloidal gold (which is in the form of nano-gold particles) is commonly used in beauty products as it guarantees easy absorption,” she explains. Elaborating further on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of gold, she says, “Gold works to stimulate skin cell activity and improves the penetration of other active ingredients in skincare.” However, she agrees that since gold is a metal, it may cause allergic reactions in some users.
Dr Ankur Sarin, Co-Founder of Sarin Skin Solutions, has a different take. “Gold might be beneficial,” he’s sceptical. “However, such findings haven’t been documented in scientific journals with an impact factor. As dermatologists, we don’t use gold frequently.” But he gets the hype around gold in beauty products, which can be attributed to its ‘superficial’ ability to shine. “Certain products with gold particles tend to reflect light and make the skin glow,” Dr Sarin adds.
While experts stay divided on gold’s efficacy as a skin-care ingredient, there are an increasing number of brands that are adding it to their product portfolio, not just for skin care but also for hair care products. Another major factor that adds to its popularity is the high price point, which makes gold-infused products aspirational. While it is an expensive addition to your vanity, it has effective and in-expensive alternatives. “Most often, the other active ingredients in your skincare products are the real heroes,” Dr Agarwal concludes.
Find ELLE’s latest issue on stands or download your digital copy here.