Are gold face masks worth the hype?

They look pretty, but do they actually work? LIZ HAMBLETON reports on the science behind Instagram’s 24-karat gold face mask obsession

Gold helps treat skin infections and acne-prone complexions, as well as boosting cell renewal
Mimi Luzon
Celebrity facialist and esthetician

Most Instagram beauty trends disappear as quickly as we scroll through our feeds – one exception being the gold face mask movement. Fusing the latest sheet-mask technology with the ancient healing qualities of gold, the proven results certainly make this more than just a highly photogenic craze.

“Gold has so many benefits when it comes to skin,” explains Dr Maryam Zamani, an aesthetic doctor and founder of MZ Skin. “Working to stimulate the production of your natural collagen levels, it can help to reduce long-term collagen loss.”

But it’s the short-term benefits that have made gold face masks a skincare essential for pre-event prep. “Gold helps boost the microcirculation of the skin, leaving it energized and radiant,” says Dr Yannis Alexandrides, a top plastic surgeon and founder of 111Skin range. And, although it’s about as decadent as a skincare trend can get, it’s not a case of style over substance: gold is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. “It helps treat skin infections and acne-prone complexions, as well as boosting cell renewal,” says Mimi Luzon, a celebrity facialist and esthetician known for her luxurious 24-karat gold masks. Gold nanoparticles have even been proven to have a stabilizing effect on active ingredients, making them more potent when combined.

So, which of these proliferating products should you go for? These gold face masks are more than worthy of a selfie, leaving skin as bright as their star ingredient.

The gold face mask to lift

One of the most famous and luxurious gold face masks, Luzon’s 24K Pure Gold Treatment lifts the skin and reduces wrinkles (it’s a favorite with models Irina Shayk and Sara Sampaio). Gold leaf is applied on top of a liquid mask to infuse the lifting ingredients into skin, before both disappear as you massage them in. “Use it after a light at-home peel for the best results,” advises Luzon.

The gold face mask to calm

Makeup artist Lynsey Alexander swears by deeply penetrating sheet masks such as 111Skin Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask on shoots and backstage at shows. “They refresh the skin, leaving it soothed and hydrated enough to skip moisturizer,” she says.

The gold face mask to brighten eyes

Powered by 24k gold and detoxing seaweed, Chantecaille Gold Energizing Eye Recovery Mask revitalizes the delicate eye area after a long day or lack of sleep. It’s particularly good to soothe and de-puff skin after a long-haul flight.

The gold face mask to prep for makeup

MZ Hydra Skin Gold Facial Treatment Mask is ideal pre-makeup. Loaded with gold nanoparticles, vitamin C and collagen, it’s a backstage go-to. “I find it best to apply this while you're lying down, to really let the nourishing ingredients sink in,” says makeup artist and face-mask-obsessive Naoko Scintu.

The gold face mask to strengthen

Omorovicza Gold Flash Firming Serum is perfect for sensitive skin. Not only does it calm any irritations and redness, but the combination of the anti-inflammatory colloidal gold and added vitamin C boost collagen and restore elasticity to give skin super strength and tone.

The gold face mask to glow

It’s not just about sheet masks and gold leaf; traditional liquid masks infused with gold offer a brilliant glow-giving fix. Dermaché Labs Roloxin Gold Lift tightens pores and leaves the skin laced in a pretty gold sheen.


The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown.