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How often do you pick up your face cream, turn it around, and study its list of ingredients?

If you regularly review what’s in your skin care products, you may have noticed something new in your lotions and potions: gemstones.

Gemstones and crystals have been admired for their supposed energy healing benefits for centuries.

These days, they’re even being added to skin care formulations, and these products are growing in popularity.

“Gemstone beauty treatments had a popularity boom right at the start of 2021 that’s rippling throughout the year, though they’ve been of interest for a long time,” says Elle Macleman, a skin care biochemist at The Derm Review.

Proponents believe these ingredients can provide a wealth of skin benefits, like promoting a youthful appearance, healing blemishes, and reviving a dull complexion.

Do they live up to the hype?

They work at an “energetic” level, according to Sharon Hilditch MBE, who has formulated crystal infused skin care products for beauty brand Crystal Clear since 2008.

“Everything contains vibrational energy, from our own bodies to stationary objects, which are constantly fluctuating at varying frequencies,” Hilditch says.

It’s believed that the potent energy within these crystals has the power to influence human energy, both at a physical and spiritual level.

While there isn’t any evidence, believers say this high vibration energy has the power to transform skin woes, like:

  • redness
  • inflammation
  • breakouts
  • fine lines

Some people even like to repeat an affirmation or set an intention while using these products, and believe doing so improves their effectiveness and amplifies any purported healing properties.

One popular school of thought suggests that any benefits experienced from crystals are the result of a placebo effect.

An older study presented at conferences in 1999 and 2001 concluded that any healing benefits of gemstones are likely due to the power of suggestion.

In the study, 80 participants received booklets explaining what sensations they might experience while holding crystals. Half of the group received fake crystals.

The study found that the volunteers holding a fake crystal were just as likely to report sensations as the group who received the real gemstones.

In skin care specifically, a 2021 study analyzed the effects of microdermabrasion, a procedure that resurfaces the skin by using abrasive crystals along with a vacuum.

Researchers discovered that it prompted the formation of new skin and improved permeability, but this could be the case for any high quality exfoliant.

Moreover, Macleman cites a 2012 study that reviewed the potential benefits of tourmaline encrusted underwear on atopic dermatitis. She notes the results didn’t suggest a strong beneficial link.

There’s no scientific evidence to support the healing benefits of crystals, and even less that proves their efficacy in skin care. However, they may be an effective exfoliant.

In the beauty world, the jury’s out on the effectiveness of crystal infused beauty products.

While the effectiveness of crystals isn’t supported by evidence, gemstone beauty products are often combined with ingredients that have proven results.

Hilditch believes gemstone extracts are a powerful addition to your skin care routine, and she has built a business on the concept.

“I have always believed in the power of crystals combined with scientific ingredients to bring about a product that offers the best of nature meets science,” Hilditch says.

She notes that the minerals found in crystals may have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, though this hasn’t been proven.

In addition, finely crushed up stones have exfoliating properties that may:

  • slough off dead skin cells
  • remove impurities
  • improve skin texture
  • promote a clearer, brighter complexion

“Powdered gems make excellent exfoliation scrubs. We use them in our Crystal Clear Face & Body Polish, as they offer a clean, gentle but extremely effective exfoliation while leaving the skin glowing and resurfaced,” Hilditch says.

She says she’s seen great results using corundum crystals, like ruby and sapphire, on her clients and customers for the past 26 years.

She says they “make the perfect skin resurfacing crystal, as when they are blasted at the skin, they are able to very precisely lift up dead skin cells,” she claims.

In her professional opinion, the use of crystals in skin care is “endless” and the results are “excellent.”

Macleman remains on the fence.

“There is no evidence to suggest that any gemstone has any benefit to the skin or hair, other than the power of suggestion and placebo. There is no evidence to suggest that they have any energetic properties,” she says.

However, she does add that she thinks there’s power in belief.

“If someone thinks a product is going to help them to improve their energies, then it likely may, especially if it already contains many other helpful ingredients that improve the skin,” Macleman says.

She also notes not to underestimate the power of ritual.

“Some studies have suggested that the formation of rituals, like skin care, can be beneficial to stress levels,” she adds. “Of course, stress can affect the health of your skin, so if you enjoy using gemstones, then go for it. They’re beautiful.”

Some common crystals, gems, and metals used in skin care products include:

Though there’s no evidence to support it, some people believe that these crystals have the beneficial properties mentioned below.

Amethyst

Amethyst is said to:

  • ward off negative energies
  • have cleansing properties
  • remove toxins
  • reduce oiliness

Often listed as “amethyst powder” on skin care products, this gemstone extract is believed to improve skin tone and texture by exfoliating dead skin cells.

Want to give amethyst skin care a try? Try the Herbivore Botanicals Amethyst Exfoliating Body Scrub or Naturopathica Amethyst Peace Mask.

If you’re feeling splurgy, you may want to try the Circell Skincare Amethyst Eye Mask.

Tourmaline

Tourmaline is said to:

  • energize
  • boost radiance
  • detoxify
  • soothe blemishes

Try these tourmaline-infused options:

Rose quartz

Rose quartz rollers have become increasingly popular in recent years, though they’ve been around for a long time. Rose quartz extracts are sometimes found in creams and serums, too.

Rose quartz is believed to:

  • enhance self-love
  • cool and calm the skin
  • be connected to the heart chakra

Products that contain rose quartz include The 7 Virtues Vanilla Woods Gemstone Perfume Oil and Gemstone Organic Rose Quartz Face Créme.

For a blend of rose quartz, silver, gold, and even pearl, try Själ Balans Deep Pore Cleanser.

Jade

Another crystal often used as a skin roller, jade is believed to be a calming stone.

It’s thought to:

  • soothe sensitive and irritated skin
  • boost vitality
  • offer protection from harm
  • promote harmony
  • enhance luck

Other gemstones

If you want to explore the effects of other metals and gems, consider these products:

So, are gemstone-infused beauty products worth the hype? There’s no scientific support to suggest that they are.

Anecdotally, many people swear by the energetic properties of crystals. Plus, they may be an effective exfoliant.

While Macleman isn’t sold on gemstone skin care products, she says there’s no harm in trying them for yourself.

“If you enjoy them for their aesthetic and novelty factor, then enjoy them,” she advises.


Victoria Stokes is a writer from the United Kingdom. When she’s not writing about her favorite topics, personal development, and well-being, she usually has her nose stuck in a good book. Victoria lists coffee, cocktails, and the color pink among some of her favorite things. Find her on Instagram.