| Andrea Abrell |
BERLIN (dpa) – Gold, tourmaline and platinum are materials for fine jewellery, but the cosmetics industry is now using them in exclusive skin-care products.
Valuable substances from the depths of the sea such as caviar or pearls can now be found in luxurious creams.
Fine delicacies such as truffles are also used as ingredients. Such products are not cheap, but they’re becoming ever more popular.
“In the cosmetics sector, women indulge in these so-called small luxuries regularly,” said Martin Ruppmann, managing director of the VKE cosmetics federation in Berlin.
A study carried out by the German federation found that almost one third of women would go without buying jewellery in favour of luxury cosmetics. A quarter would be willing to go without a trip to a concert, a film or the restaurant for the same reason.
The most important reasons for buying a luxury potion given by those polled were fine ingredients (64 per cent), trust in the brand (56 per cent) and a higher quality of product generally (55 per cent).
“There is an important emotional aspect to this: Half of the respondents feel happier and more relaxed when they buy luxury products,” Ruppmann said.
But just how effective are these substances? What, for example, does caviar do for the skin?
“Caviar extract contains amino acids and trace elements which nourish and regenerate the skin,” according to dermatologist Inka Fechner. “The phospholipids in caviar support the skin structure. Creams with these ingredients are therefore suitable for mature skin.”
Dermatologists often see young women using very rich anti-aging products too soon in life. That is not good, as they over-nourish the skin.
“The symptoms are called perioral dermatitis – small pimples around the mouth, which can be very persistent,” said doctor Fechner. “This is often a sign that the skin can’t take it.”
Creams and serums that contain pearl extracts and gold particles are mostly designed for demanding, mature skin. This is partly because they promise something extra. Fine lines and wrinkles can make the skin surface look dull and tired. Gold and pearl extract coat the skin with a delicate veil, thereby giving the skin more luminosity.
The beauty effects of certain little wonder-workers taken from the seas have long been known, said dermatologist Uta Schlossberger.
For example, pearl extract is used as part of traditional Chinese medicine. It’s used in a mixture with sea-water minerals and many trace elements such as zinc, selenium, lithium, phosphorus, iodine, iron and magnesium and over 20 different amino acids to nourish the skin and keep it supple.
“This unique composition may accelerate the natural metabolism of the skin, reduce blemishes and decrease redness,” said Schlossberger.
“In addition, pearl extract can durably and intensively regulate the skin’s moisture, accelerate skin renewal and increase the vitality of the skin.”
Even the precious metal gold has already been dermatologically examined. Scientists have found it has an antibacterial effect, something which can affect the appearance of the skin.
However, so far the scientific evidence isn’t there to say the same for caviar. “There are currently no published studies that support the effect of caviar extract,” admits Fechner at her office in Oldenburg.