The Golden Ticket to Youth?
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The Golden Ticket to Youth?

Is the newest luxury spa treatment worth the hype?

The Golden Ticket to Youth?

The city of Dubai is no stranger to luxury. The over-the-top hotels, expensive designer shopping and record-setting skyscrapers are all calling cards of Dubai. The invitation-only World Luxury Expo is even hosted in Dubai’s famous Burj Al Arab luxury hotel, to share and present “masterpieces of renowned international brands.” And it must be working because the luxurious options for those who desire and can afford them keep on coming. Introducing, in tune with the Dubai philosophy of bigger, brighter, and more expensive, the 24-carat gold facial.

What Is the 24k Gold Facial?

The Jumeirah Zabeel Saray at Palm Jumeirah just introduced their buzz worthy facial this September. Margie Lombard, a skin care expert to the rich and famous, invented the pricy procedure. Here’s how it works. A 24-carat gold chain mask placed upon the client’s face is the main highlight of the facial. This is said to slow down collagen depletion and the breakdown of elastin. Collagen is a protein in skin that makes up the connective tissue. Many people may have heard of collagen in its relationship to cosmetic surgery.

While collagen has a number of medical uses, like bone grafting and tissue regeneration, it is also often used cosmetically to fill in wrinkles and in other ways to combat the signs of aging in the skin of the face. By adding these connective tissues back into the skin, it fills in and plumps up, minimizing the signs of age. Elastin is also contained in the connective tissues and it sounds just like what it is. Elastinis the substance that allows skin to stretch and go back to its original shape. Skin with less elastin won’t pop back into place, and over time, sags. It’s easy to see why these two components are in high demand and why Lombard claims that the facial produces regeneration and tightening of the skin.

For How Much?!

Sounds like a miracle, right? If it is, it’s an expensive one. The 24-carat gold facial will set one back a whopping Dh25,000 or US$6,800. For those prepared to fork over the money, at least the facial isn’t all they’ll be getting. Following the gold facial, the client is treated to a gold hamam, or steam bath. Next is a rose and argan oil massage, a milk and rose oil jacuzzi bath, and rounding it out, a lunch of, what else, caviar and champagne in a private suite. The day’s experience wouldn’t be complete until one leaves with a signature goody bag filled with premium spa products. The facial certainly includes many more amenities that most spa treatments and it should for the price. But the real question is: does it work?

Does It Work?

First of all, creator Margie Lombard doesn’t claim that the procedure will permanently change the facial skin or act as a substitute for cosmetic surgery. What she does say is that the tightening and rejuvenating results will last for at least three days and that combining the facial with her products will help the results last longer. She also states that the facial is good for wrinkle prevention in the long run and that the ingredients used have an effect similar to Botox. The downside is that, after spending all that money, the results are probably gone in three days whereas Botox injections last from four to six months. Many skin care professionals and gold facial believers do think this procedure works.

Gold has many properties that make it a logical ingredient to benefit the skin. In addition to the benefits to the collagen and elastin, gold is also said to fight free radicals in the skin, accelerate cell growth, and decrease inflammation. So seeing short-term improvements to skin would not be a surprise. However, some repots have actually noted the opposite, that gold used on the skin may increase wrinkles and disrupt cell production. Using all-natural ingredients in skin products can help avoid this. The good news was that in these studies, when the gold was removed, skin function went back to normal. This varying research shows that jury is still out on whether or not these gold facials really offer benefits. It is likely that they do not have enough gold in them to harm the skin, but irritation is at least a possibility.

If one is searching for permanent solutions and drastic changes, it is probably best to spend that amount of money elsewhere, where the results are meant to last for months or years instead of days. However, if one has the extra money to spend and a big event to look great and fresh for, like a wedding, this quick fix might be worth it to freshen up the skin. Plus, the pampering and extra perks can’t hurt the appearance. Just make sure to know what ingredients are being used and remember that new treatments do not have as much research into their procedure as methods that are tried and true.

Other Golden Options

If one is sold on the skin benefits of gold or just wants to try them out before committing lots of money, there are other options. Thankfully, less ritzy salons have caught onto the gold trend and are offering similar options for middle-of-the-road and downright inexpensive prices. The UMO gold facial at Sister’s Beauty Lounge in the Dubai Mall offers a less extensive but still relaxing facial for a much more reasonable price of Dh2,000. The facial still uses gold, but this time it’s in the form of thin, 24-carat gold foil strips that still offer the same benefits of gold to the skin. Additionally, there are a number of inexpensive, over-the-counter products that contain gold - if you want to experience the Au trend for a much smaller investment.


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