Believe it or not: 24K gold facials are a real thing. Celebs like Bar Refaeli have been swearing by their skin-brightening and tightening benefits for years. But is it worth the hefty price tag?
As a lifestyle editor, I truly believe in the benefits of regular, at-home face masks. However, I'm usually slathering my visage with something of the drugstore variety—you know, in the baller $10-$20 range. So when I was presented with the idea of rubbing my face with an indulgent $700, celeb-approved version, I was already feeling my Real Housewife alter ego come to life.
Kailey Strachan for E!
The whipped, metallic formula felt nothing like the honey-like, liquid gold consistency that I was envisioning. On my skin it felt instantly cooling with a faint tingling sensation. There was no tightening feeling like you experience with a clay mask. As the mask dried, it actually didn't harden at all. It kind of just morphed into a finely-milled, powdery-soft texture.
While my cat, Pancakes, and I were kicking back, waiting for the mask to work its magic, I figured that I would reread the supposed benefits of the 24K gold and diamond dust mask that now enveloped my face.
The mask is called the Orogold Cosmetics 24K Cryogenic Diamond Mask—cryogenic meaning "very low temperatures." Makes sense since the mask continued to feel cool the entire time that it was on my face. Ingredient wise, in addition to the aforementioned diamond dust and 24K gold flakes, the list was actually quite short—which a natural skin-care freak like me can appreciate. There was nothing I couldn't pronounce. Skin nurturing botanicals and vitamins included avocado oil, vitamin A, seaweed extract, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and caffeine.
The next morning, I woke up to noticeably suppler, dewier skin. There was no redness or irritation like I expected. Even with my makeup on, I was immediately greeted by a coworker in the office who complimented me on my glow. (I'll take it!)
Kailey Strachan for E!
The next night I tried an equally as indulgent gold sheet mask by the same brand, the 24K Deep Tissue Rejuvenation Mask, to see how it stacked up. I did the math, and this sheet-like version rings in at about $84 a pop—also not cheap. This mask, with sea algae extracts, collagen and hyaluronic acids boasted collagen-boosting benefits. Wearing it was a completely different experience from the first. The silicone-like, gold sheet was individually sealed and drenched in liquid serum.
Out of the package, the cold, slimy mask felt pretty disgusting on my face, like a dead, floppy fish. Against my skin, it looked even more terrifying, like I skinned a goldfish. It didn't help that it kept slipping around like one either. Once I had it on for a few minutes it started to adhere to my face shape, and the cooling sensation (similar in feeling to the other mask) kicked in. I started to feel the serum-y goodness seeping deep into my pores. I took the mask off after 15 minutes, not washing off the serum since I really wanted to soak up the anti-aging benefits. I applied my makeup over the serum and had luminous skin for the rest of the day.
All in all, I feel pretty sold on the 24K gold face mask situation. Would I spend $700 on such a face mask? Maybe if I win the lottery. Am I going to use every last ounce of this formula as recommended twice weekly until I've scraped the very bottom of the container? You bet I am.