All that Glitters

Gold as a skincare ingredient: yes it’s sparkly, but does the science stack up?

All that Glitters

Gold. Always believe. But, when it comes to skincare, be a little sceptical.

The appeal of gold as an ingredient is more emotional than scientific. But then Christmas is all about emotion. And my desk was short of decoration (bah humbug) until the glass jar of Bio-essence 24k Bio-Gold Water arrived to add sparkle. Flecks of gold suspended a light, transparent fluid (water is the number one ingredient, but there are other actives in there that make it thicker than your average tap).

If we had to categorise it, it’s probably a toner. Toners are yet to convince me they have any long-term skin benefits. Especially the mild, gentle, drippy ones.  But I have fond memories of when I was a teenager and Clinique Step 2 was proper astringent and made your skin zing in the morning. If you’re feeling party-weary the Bio-Essence Gold Water will help to wake you up a bit.

If you enjoy results from products with gold in them (La Prairie Cellular Radiance Pure Gold Concentrate is a joy to use) it’s likely that, while the gold gives glow, there are other ingredients in the mix (and, probably, more of them) that are boosting your skin. The Bio-essence pack talks about gold as an antioxidant, but the formula also contains Liquorice root extract − a tried-and-tested antioxidant known to help protect skin from the free radicals that cause oxidative stress.  It talks about balancing sebum, but also contains Witch Hazel − a proven active for calming and regulating oily skin. And there’s more of these in the product than gold.

At full RRP the Bio-essence Gold Water is £16.99, and there’s currently a third off at Superdrug. Meanwhile La Prairie won’t leave you with much change from £500, so if it’s instant glitter and glow you’re looking for this party season, give it a go.

The Bio-essence range is available from