Do Crystals Really Work?
The healing, energizing and protective benefits of crystals are questionable. But if, like many Hollywood fans and wellbeing gurus, you buy into the scientific or spiritual benefits behind the stones, here’s how to make the most of them. By MALENA HARBERS
Whether you believe in their power or not, crystals are still very much a thing – Adele has revealed that she holds crystals in her palms while performing on stage; Victoria Beckham keeps them backstage during fashion week; while Miranda Kerr, who filters the products in her Kora Organics skincare line through rose quartz, also stashes a small heart-shaped crystal in her bra. Even members of the NET-A-PORTER beauty team cleanse their crystals in the moonlight and keep them close by. But do they really work? The jury is out on that one but, either way, crystals can provide a source of comfort and have become a well-used wellbeing tool for many of us. Interested? Here’s what you need to know…
What do crystals actually do?
Well, there’s limited science behind their power. No legitimate studies have been conducted to back up the claims that crystals emit vibrations that affect our minds and bodies, but some stones can conduct energy. In 1880, French physicist Pierre Curie (Marie Curie’s husband) discovered that putting pressure on various crystals – including quartz, topaz and tourmaline – created electricity. This phenomenon, called the piezoelectric effect, is why crystals are used as essential elements in computers, TV screens, iPhones and satellites. While it’s important to remember that crystals are created within the earth by crystallization, a scientific process, the mystical aspects of crystals are equally notable, says jewelry founder Jia-Jia Zhu. “We work with crystal quartz that dates back 300 million years – every single piece has its own unique characteristics, depending on how it was created through time and the environment around it.”
How do you use crystals for the first time?
When you first get your crystals, it’s recommended that you cleanse them of any previous energies they may have picked up. “I love bathing them in natural salt water, whether it’s a running river or a creek – any natural source will do,” says Zhu. “Alternatively, soaking them in salt water at home with natural salts is great as well. Then, on a day of the new or full moon, leave them out – ideally outside – and set an intention for each crystal. Once you’ve set the intention, let it go and move on with your day.”
How do you use crystals in everyday life?
According to Zhu, each type of crystal has a unique energy and purpose. “Think of clear quartz as your everyday, go-to crystal,” she says. It’s known as the master healer that boosts the benefits of all your other crystals, too. “What’s so special about it is that it can be attuned to your needs depending on the day. Its healing properties help with energy blockages and bringing your true inner voice out into the world.” Look to black tourmaline or smoky quartz if you’re in need of grounding, which “offer focus and clarity”. For courage and strength, however, choose aquamarine. “It’s the stone that’s used for protection when traveling, and opens the channels of clear and heartfelt communication,” says Zhu. Rose quartz activates the heart chakra and promotes unconditional and self-love, while amethyst is ideal for keeping in your home, as it rids the space around it of negative energy. Citrine works on positivity and optimism, and is also the stone of prosperity, so is a great one to keep with you at the office or your place of work.
Where should you keep crystals?
Simply put, anywhere that feels right for you – “that’s the best practice,” says Zhu. “For example, when I’m placing crystals around my home, I first allow myself to be drawn to the crystal and I allow it to guide me on where to place it. It’s a great practice that allows us to tap into our intuition and not be intimidated by it – there’s no wrong answer.” When she’s away from home, Zhu keeps clear quartz in her handbag, too. “It supports me at all times – you should keep whichever crystals feel good with you.” Skincare expert Tata Harper incorporates her crystal healing time into her bath routine. “I like to add rose quartz, malachite, pink opal and chrysocolla, both in the water and around the tub, so that I’m fully immersed in calming and loving energy while I’m bathing. I then enter the water and close my eyes, taking time to express gratitude for the moment.”
Are crystals good for your skin?
Today, a lot of your tools and devices will be using crystals – they’re doing the job whether you want the extra element of crystals or not. Angela Caglia, who has incorporated rose quartz into her Crystal LED Face Mask, says the stone stays cold, so it’s excellent for de-puffing. “It’s almost a cryo-crystal-like experience,” says Caglia. Rose quartz is best used in the morning to awaken the skin, while a jade roller or gua sha massage tool is said to be beneficial for reducing inflammation and redness. Emma Goodman – Hailey Bieber’s facialist, known as the Skin Witch – suggests using a dark stone, like Bian stone, if you prefer to do your gua sha before bed (don’t keep a rose quartz by the bed, as it stimulates the heart chakra and could keep you awake at night). “It’s used a lot in Chinese medicine to help drain the body. It’s also connected to the root chakra, which is not only grounding, but that’s your chakra of support and finances,” she says. There’s also science to support the benefits of using crystals in skincare beyond the finely milled quartz often found in exfoliators such as 111Skin’s Rose Quartz Exfoliating Mask. Magnetized tourmaline, for example – a key ingredient in La Mer The Cleansing Foam – energizes skin to improve cleansing efficacy and boost circulation, while amethyst – found in Charlotte Tilbury’s Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir – has calming properties and can help with inflammation, too.
The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown