Fed up with her sensitive dry skin and mid-life acne, 46-year-old Suzanne Baum tried the Mimi Luzon gold facemask loved by the A-listers
If you’re an avid beauty fan (or follow any of the top models on Instagram) chances are you’ve come across the trend for gold face masks. Yes, they look pretty – in fact they can help make your grid Instagram gold - but do they actually work?
As a beauty journalist, I’m well aware that the use of gold in products is meant to help boost the skin, leaving it energised and radiant but is a gold face mask all about the decadence/ social media points, or does it actually work magic?
"Gold helps boost the microcirculation of the skin, leaving it energised and radiant," says plastic surgeon Dr Yannis Alexandrides, founder of 111Skin. "It helps treat skin infections and acne-prone complexions, as well as boosting cell renewal. Gold nanoparticles have even been proven to have a stabilizing effect on active ingredients, making them more potent when combined."
So thumbs up from the doc. Perhaps the most expensive gold face mask on the market is that of celebrity facialist and aesthetician Mimi Luzon , who is known for her luxurious Pure Gold Mask facials. Social media has been awash with pictures of celebrities from Bella Hadid to Kaia Gerber prepping their skin in the run-up to Fashion Week in the care of Mimi, who flew from her native Israel to help the models get their glow.
So although Mimi’s magic hands weren't available this week, I tried her at-home version 24k Pure Gold Treatment available online at Net-a-Porter, for a spenny £275 ) to see if this holy grail mask could help solve my skincare issues. As well as severe dryness around my chin and forehead, I also suffer from middle-aged acne and the onset of lines around my eyes. The mask promises to brighten and hydrate skin as well as reduce wrinkles and lines, improve skin elasticity and tone, so I was more than willing to have a face-off with it.
After cleansing thoroughly I applied the anti-wrinkle mask that comes in the box - it contains an impressive list of skin-loving ingredients such as restorative peptides and hydrating hyaluronic acid, which are said to help draw the skins impurities out once the gold is applied.
After wearing the first mask for 15 minutes you apply the gold leaf. The gold is backed on paper which you cut in half and adhere to your face in sections before peeling off the paper. It felt a somewhat decadent process. I mean, I’m used to using a £15 face mask so to apply 24-carat gold on my face feels positively Cleopatra (said to have an early adopter of the gold leaf facial). You don't remove it like a normal mask but rather rub it in with water until all of the glittering gold is absorbed.
So did being dripped in gold work it’s magic? The answer is yes, yes, yes!
As someone who struggles with chronic dryness, my skin was visibly more even-toned, smooth and vibrant once I had washed off the mask. The dark circles under my eyes from too many late nights had faded and my cheeks felt more plumped up. Yes, they were puffy to begin with, but now felt less swollen and more defined with a rosy glow. In fact, my skin felt super hydrated and nourished, leaving me with a wonderful sense of wellbeing. Even the sore spots on my chin seemed to lose their redness.
I wondered if it was in fact that anti-wrinkle mask that made the difference to my skin as opposed to the gold leaf, so tried it on its own. I applied it overnight and washed it off in the morning; my skin felt a little bit sticky throughout the night and the next day, and I didn't have the same glowing soft look that the gold left me with.
It goes without saying the mask comes with a hefty price tag so this is very much a one-off luxury I would recommend using prior to a big event (a massive one like your wedding perhaps). It is a difficult price to justify but trust me, the skin-boosting benefits are incredible. And as for its anti-ageing effect, three days post-mask my skin looks as bright as the star ingredient, with my wrinkles visibly reduced. And it remains as smooth as a baby's bottom (I should know, I have three of them!).
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