Top spas around the world are touting the benefits of 24-karat gold facials that use real gold leaf to firm skin, reduce wrinkles and provide a golden glow. At the exclusive Four Seasons Spa in Florence, Italy, the 24K treatment is said to harness the metal’s hydrating and revitalizing properties while rejuvenating, firming and lightening the skin. It's a two-hour luxurious experience that will set you back about $550.
Closer to home at the Nidah Spa in the Eldorado Hotel (Santa Fe, NM), the ultra-luxe beauty treatment is part of a regimen provided by UMO, a high-end Japanese skin care company. The firm has created a technology that dissolves the gold leaf so it can be massaged into the skin. The super-hydrating treatment lifts and firms the skin, reducing the appearance of sun damage and lines, according to spa director Susan Keene.
Elizabeth Taylor in her role as Cleopatra. Was she the first to use gold skin treatments?
According to UMO, gold has been revered throughout history for its beautifying and healing properties. Historians believe Cleopatra slept in a gold mask every night to maintain her youthful skin. In ancient Rome, gold salves were used for the treatment of a variety of skin problems. Gold was also regarded as the key to preserving a youthful appearance in ancient Chinese medicine, as the queen of the Ch’ing dynasty used a gold massage roller on her face everyday.
UMO explained that the science behind the success of gold in facial treatments is that the element has been successfully used for more than 80 years to treat rheumatoid arthritis by reducing inflammation. Gold’s anti-inflammatory properties also decrease skin inflammation, thereby slowing down melanin secretion and reducing age spots.