Metals In Skin Care: Frivolous Luxury Or Beauty Boon?

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Danielle
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I have a love for shiny objects that is not easily hidden. With my ring collection and absurdly bejeweled phone case (not to mention gold tooth), it's a bit of an obsession. But would carrying this fascination into my skin care routine actually benefit my skin? So began my exploration into products containing gold, silver, copper, and aluminum. 

For each metal and its beautifying claim, I tested out a handful of products to find out which ones make skin, hair, and lips shine the brightest. 

GOLD: For deep moisturization and firming. 

Tatcha products enhanced with 24K gold. 

Tatcha products enhanced with 24K gold. 

Orogold 24K Multi-Vitamin Night Nourishment

Orogold sent me a few of their favorites, but this was my favorite. A rich cream set apart by the sheer number of vitamins packed into it, the scent is strong, but not unpleasant. With its antioxidants and thick feel, it's ideal for nighttime. 

Tatcha Deep Hydration Firming Serum, Blotting Papers, and Lip Balm 

Tatcha employs 24-karat gold in the name of tradition. Its Water line mixes gold leaf, red algae, green tea extract, camellia oil, and rice bran, a combination that derives from ancient Japanese beauty practices. The Deep Hydration Firming Serum is beautifully packaged and actually works. A mere half-pump at night plumps and treats with a high dose of antioxidants and humectants. The blotting papers and lip balm are also divine, and are now a permanent staple in my purse.

Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Mask 

After a thick layer of this my skin felt super soft, even following a week of tropical sun exposure. I love the combination of super-humectant glycerin and hyaluronic acid, paired with ground peridot, a gemstone rich in magnesium, which is vital for healthy skin.

VERDICT: After a few nights of a fully golden skin care routine, I can say these products are all perfectly fabulous, and not much more expensive than non-golden formulations. I think the gold does help moisturize, but wouldn't go so far as to say it is what makes these products work.


SILVER: Heals and purifies with antibacterial properties. 

DHC's Platinum Silver Nanocolloid Lotion ($28), Milky Essence ($27), and Cream ($27) 

DHC's Platinum Silver Nanocolloid Lotion ($28), Milky Essence ($27), and Cream ($27) 

DHC Platinum Silver Nanocolloid Lotion, Milky Essence, and Cream 

DHC is a Japanese line packed with olive oil. With a faintly metallic odor, the products suspend silver and platinum in a mix of humectants, flower extracts, and nourishing oils. The cream is light and fresh, resulting in a soft finish. Ingredients derived from olive oil help deliver hydrolyzed collagen.

Heritage Store Colloidal Silver Soap and Shampoo

I'm a big fan of Heritage Store products. Rich in silver and essential oils of rosemary and tea tree, both the soap and shampoo contain salicylic acid. Affordable and widely available online or at health food stores, the smell alone is ABFAB and deserving of a re-purchase. 

VERDICT: I did notice a healing effect on active acne when using these products. I would probably also use them for eczema if I had a flare up.

COPPER: Replenishes moisture and helps regrow thinning hair. 

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Perricone MD Blue Plasma Peel 

This is THE most recommended product in my circle of beauty junkies. The formula contains salmon roe enzyme, and though I hate the smell of fish more than life itself, after a few short moments it’s gone and I can feel the smoothing, moisturizing effect of the copper peptides. When a much-hyped product is this great immediately, I can’t wait to see what else it will do.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skin Care Strengthening Shampoo & Nourishing Scalp Conditioner 

Dr. Dennis Gross' Root Resilience line is not cheap, but it is impressive. The Strengthening Shampoo and Nourishing Scalp Conditioner both lend their protein, botanical extracts, and balancing ingredients to pamper hair and scalp. Ginger and thyme stimulate the scalp while yeast balances moisture. The copper peptides are purported to affect hair as minoxidil does, helping to regrow hair in thinning areas.

VERDICT: With clinical backup, these products seem to benefit most from their metal ingredient.


Aluminum: Exfoliates and purifies with antibacterial properties. 

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Lierac Micro-Abrasion Exfoliating Cream

I loooove the texture of this scrubbing cream, which mixes alumina crystals with urea, a humectant that can help skin maintain its amino acid stores and hydration. The fine particles give you a thorough scrub, and you really only need a pea-size dot to get the job done. Despite my recent conversion to chemical exfoliants, I think I will be finding room to use this stuff weekly.

VERDICT: Aluminum crystals are a really perfect exfoliant. Antibacterial claims aside, using it to scrub is very effective.

My Favorites 


Tatcha Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm is just divine.

Perricone MD Blue Plasma has me believing in a daily peel.

Dr. Dennis Gross Root Resilience Strengthening Shampoo has the herbaceous and scientific power to save my poor thin hairs.

Heritage Store Colloidal Silver Soap totals $3.50 per bar so I can see this being a long term affair.

  • Anyone tried any of these babies before?
  • How about other gold/silver-based products? 

Photos: Darnell Scott