Gold has been the symbol of immortality since ancient times. It never rusts, tarnishes or corrodes. Egyptian queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra both are rumored to have used gold masks every night. And we know gold on your skin is Instagram-worthy.
But is gold really good for your skin?
There have been plenty of anecdotes about gold in skincare. And lots of companies use it in their products. A few even offer gold leaf masks at a hefty price tag. But until recently, there have been very few actual studies that look at what gold does in the skin.
From Anecdote to Scientific Fact
For over a century, the highly skilled gold leaf artisans at the Yoshitaka Gold Foundry in Kanazawa, Japan, knew the secret of gold leaf for their skin. They found that daily contact with gold leaf and the paste used to make washi paper that separates and protects the exquisitely thin sheets of gold, left their hands much more youthful, supple and radiant than the rest of their skin.
Even the elderly artisans noticed the effect.
They quickly started experimenting with it on their faces too. They found the combination of washi paste and gold leaf quickly improved their complexions.
Their secret skincare recipes were passed from mother to daughter, through generations of gold artisans.
In 2004, Mayumi Tachikawa, daughter of the foundry owner, was so impressed with the beautiful skin of the gold workers, that she developed those secret recipes into a modern, elegant skincare company.
She knew the gold workers used gold leaf because it had a beneficial effect on their skin. But Mayumi wanted the scientific proof behind it.
So in 2017 her company, Makanai Beauty, sponsored a study at the Graduate School of Medical, Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences at Kanazawa University.
They studied the effects of gold flakes on fibroblast cells. These are the cells that secrete collagen, and are responsible for maintaining the extracellular matrix, or the structure, of the skin.
The study showed that gold leaf helps to increase production of fibroblast cells by up to 137%, compared to the control group. So now we know it’s a scientific fact - using gold leaf can produce stronger, healthier skin.
Other studies have shown that gold has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It will calm swelling, redness and acne inflammation.
It protects against free radicals that cause signs of aging like wrinkles, sun damage and sagging skin.
It helps treat skin infections, and boosts the microcirculation of the skin for that golden glow.
It’s ideal for sensitive, hyperpigmented and acne scarred skin. And it helps to repair skin damage while adding radiance and glow.
Really, can you ask for much more?
What are people saying who have used gold leaf on their skin?
London journalist Suzanne Baum says, “...my skin was visibly more even-toned, smooth and vibrant. The dark circles under my eyes...had faded and my cheeks felt more plumped up.”
From our own experiments, our friend Angela says, “My skin feels amazing, soft. I literally see the glow on my face.” Rhonda added, “My skin feels extremely soft and supple and relaxed.” And Paula said, “My skin feels soft, it feels rejuvenated. I feel like I don’t want to put on makeup!”
Personally, I’ve been using the Makanai products for about 2 weeks, and I have to say I REALLY see a difference in my skin. It’s much brighter and more evenly toned. It glows! My pores are more refined. I can hardly see those fine lines around my eyes! And my skin is much firmer, less saggy. Those marionette lines are almost gone!
I’m so thrilled with these results!
So modern science says YES!
And proves what Makanai Beauty has known all along - that gold leaf is truly beneficial, and helps to promote youthful, radiant skin.
Susie Kuse is Passionate About Great Skin and Co-Founder of Indie Beauty Market. She has been in the spa and beauty industry since 2002. She loves to help people understand that a little daily self-care goes a long way toward great skin, health, beauty and happiness. And it’s important to keep your products safe, effective, healthy, clean, sustainable and ethical.