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Don’t Go For The Gold

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Few words in the English language suggest as much luxury as the word “gold”.  It’s everywhere this season, bringing a little luxe to eye-shadows, handbags, shoes, jewelry and yes, skin care. But does gold have useful topical application? It depends on who you ask. If you ask premium skin care companies like La Prairie and Chantecaille, they absolutely do.

La Prarie and Chantecaille use a substance known as “colloidial gold”. This is gold broken down into nanoparticles and suspended in a liquid-y substance known as a colloid. These nanoparticles are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye and can pass through the skin to deliver the benefits of gold to the deeper dermis level. Gold is purported to contain anti-aging properties, to stimulate collagen production and lightening age spots.

However, dermatologists are tarnishing gold’s manufacturer-created reputation of being a highly effective anti-aging ingredient. Several dermatologists believe gold has no topical application for the skin.  In fact, it is a well-known allergen. As Jeannette Graf, MD has pointed out in the New York Times, the American Contact Dermatitis Society gave gold the dubious distinction of being the “allergen of the year” in 2001.

With colloidial gold making an appearance in skin care, you now have the honor of spending large quantities of money only to develop a rash and other forms of skin irritation. Instead, it’s a better idea to spend a fraction of the money and get something that actually works as an anti-aging regimen: Vitamin A derivatives, alpha hydroxy acids and, the most important product of all, sunscreen.

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  • Elizabeth Quesnelle
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