Are Beauty Products With Gold Ingredients (Literally) Worth It?

Leonora Epstein | May 25, 2010 - 1:10 pm

Unsurprisingly, beauty products and treatments containing gold—whether in flake, powder, or liquid form—cost quite a bit. You can expect to pay about $400 for a fancy face lotion, and as much as a crazy $1,000 per ounce for certain La Prairie products. Consumers of luxury love these beauty aids both for their opulent nature and also for their purported benefits, which include the usual: anti-aging, firming, improved complexion. However, it looks like they might not be worth their weight in gold (har, har). After having a severe allergic reaction to a golden collagen facial mask, one New York Times writer investigated the story behind the metal’s use for personal care. Dermatologists, she found, tended to speak out against gold products, explaining that “gold cannot help you, but it absolutely can hurt you, causing inflammatory reactions like contact dermatitis (which may be what happened to me). In high doses, gold can be toxic, but these products probably don’t contain enough of it to make that happen, doctors say.” As one derm so bluntly put it: “I would tell people to put that money into gold that they can wear around their neck or on their fingers.” Just a heads-up for all those golden girls out there. [NY Times]