Is a Gold Facial Worth the Hype? Analyzing The Skin Benefits

The Role of Gold in Skincare: A Closer Look at Its Potential Health Benefits.

Jane Pardo | Updated December 30, 2023

Gold facials are extravagant treatments popular in high-end spas and beauty salons.

They’re also available as skin-soothing facial masks, creams, serums, and toners you can easily buy online and in beauty shops.

These glimmering facials are expensive, but are they beneficial for your skin?

Find out what gold-infused facials are and whether you should indulge in these luxury treatments.

What’s a gold facial?

Gold facials are skin care treatments that involve slathering real 24-karat gold all over the face. Spa estheticians either massage gold leaf sheets onto the skin or cover the face with colloidal gold. Skincare brands claim that gold beauty products provide skin-improving benefits, especially anti-aging.

Gold facial treatments vary from spa to spa. They usually include the following:

  • Cleansing
  • Steaming
  • Exfoliation
  • Extraction
  • Application of a 24k gold leaf sheet
  • Or an application of colloidal gold, an anti-inflammatory fluid solution that potentially helps improve skin regeneration

Gold facial treatments are a recent fad. However, the use of gold in traditional medicine dates way back to 2500 B.C.

Today, gold is not just a highly valued precious metal for jewelry, investment, and industry uses; it has found its way to luxury applications like skincare products and edible gold.

Gold facial benefits

Gold facials immediately brighten the skin and give it a radiant glow. This is mainly because of the tiny nanoparticles in colloidal gold that penetrate the skin.

These tiny gold particles reflect light, giving your face a noticeably glowing, slightly bronzed appearance.

However, it’s a temporary effect that will likely disappear once you’ve washed off the gold particles from your face.

Makers of gold facials also claim that these skincare treatments help:

  • Minimize wrinkle appearance and prevent premature aging
  • Boost collagen production
  • Soothe inflammation
  • Protect the skin from free radicals
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Improve absorption of skincare products

Skincare brands claim that gold facial treatments suit most skin types, including acne-prone skin.

Effectiveness of gold facial treatments

While there have been studies on how gold compounds could help reduce inflammation, there’s currently no conclusive research backing up the skin-boosting benefits of gold facials.

There’s no scientific evidence proving that gold facials work better than other well-known skincare ingredients.

Additionally, there are no FDA-approved dermatological applications for gold.

But do gold-infused facials work? Yes, they may provide certain skin benefits.

But that’s because these luxury facials combine real gold with anti-aging and antioxidant ingredients.

Most gold facial treatments fuse the following core skincare ingredients to help renew the skin:

  • Hydrolyzed collagen promotes collagen production to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, help protect the cells against harmful free radicals to prevent cell damage.
  • Peptides are amino acid strings that can help slow aging, improve the skin barrier, and make the skin more elastic.
  • Hyaluronic acid helps improve skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles, and hydrate the skin.
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are water-soluble acids that help exfoliate the skin, improve skin texture, and fade scars and dark spots.
  • Glycerin moisturizes the skin and protects it against irritants and environmental damage.

With these skin-improving ingredients, you’ll likely have softer, more supple skin after a gold facial treatment, thanks to intense hydration and accelerated elastin production.

DIY gold facial mask

If spa gold facials are too expensive, try more affordable gold beauty products like facial masks to rejuvenate your skin at home.

gold facial

How to apply a gold facial mask

Gold-infused facial masks are available online, so you can spoil yourself from the comfort of your home.

Follow these steps when applying a gold facial:

  • Cleanse: Gently rub some cleanser onto your face and neck to remove dirt and impurities. This process helps skincare products better penetrate your skin. Wash it off with water and pat the skin to dry.
  • Scrub: Remove dead skin by lightly scrubbing your face and neck in circular motions. Leave the product on your skin for 1 to 2 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with water. Pat dry.
  • Massage: Dab some cream on your skin and slowly massage for 5 minutes.
  • Apply the gold-infused mask: Gold facial masks are available in sheet, wash-off, and peel-off forms. Use your fingers or a brush when applying a gold peel-off mask on your face and neck.
  • Peel off: Remove the gold mask once it dries completely, and rinse your skin with cool water. Gold facial sheets usually don’t need rinsing. Simply massage the leftover gold essence on your skin.
  • Moisturize: Hydrate your refreshed skin with moisturizer to complete your at-home gold facial treatment.

Types of at-home gold facial treatments

DIY gold facials are easy to apply at home.

Here are the common types of gold-infused facial products:

Gold facial masks

  • Available in soft, cream form
  • Apply a generous layer on the skin

Gold facial sheets

  • Premade individual gold facial masks
  • Put the mask directly on your face
  • 1 sheet per use

Gold facial kits

  • These kits generally include a gold-infused cleanser, scrub, cream, gel, and face pack.
  • Complete, all-in-one facial treatment

Gold facial costs

Gold facials stirred intrigue in recent years not only for their stunning selfie-worthy glow effect but also for their hefty price tags.

  • Luxury gold facials cost more than a thousand dollars when they first made headlines.
  • Today, you can expect to pay some hundreds of dollars for a full gold facial treatment, which could be pricier if it includes a complete body massage.
  • At-home gold facial products cost less.

Give gold masks a try if you have a tight budget.

What to remember when getting a gold facial

Facials are a relaxing experience when you want to pamper yourself after a busy week.

Keep these things in mind when considering a gold facial:

  • When going to a spa, choose a licensed esthetician with experience applying gold facials to ensure your skin-restoring session goes smoothly.
  • When buying online, read reviews first to check what others are saying. It’s best to get a gold facial mask crafted with authentic 24k gold and skin-boosting ingredients. Be sure to review the directions thoroughly for proper application.
  • Know your skin type, whether you have dry, oil, or combination skin, to choose the best gold skincare product that suits you.

Additionally, be sure you’re not allergic to gold before applying any gold-infused skincare product, particularly if you have sensitive skin.

  • Apply a tiny amount of a gold facial product to the inner part of your forearm for three days. Observe any redness or adverse reaction.
  • Or consult a dermatologist and ask for a patch test, which involves wearing a small patch on your skin for two days.


How often should I have a gold facial?

A spa gold facial treatment is ideal once every four to six weeks. DIY gold facial masks can be used once a week or more. Continue your regular skincare routine in between sessions. Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing are excellent daily regimens.

Does a gold facial treatment have side effects?

A gold facial treatment generally has no side effects if you’re not allergic to gold. However, stop any gold skincare application immediately if you experience rashes, redness, itchiness, or swelling, which are allergy symptoms.

Final thoughts

Gold facials can revitalize your skin and give it an opulent glow, thanks to the combination of skin-nourishing and anti-aging ingredients.

The infusion of 24k gold may appear more as a luxurious addition, as scientific data is yet to back up the claims of skincare brands.

But if you’re looking for an exquisite skincare experience, there’s certainly no harm in getting a gold facial to spoil yourself once in a while.

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Written by Jane Pardo

Jane Pardo

Jane Pardo is our senior gold & silver expert. Jane lends insight into precious metals investing, collecting, testing, and maintenance.