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What can cosmetics with particles of real gold and silver?

The precious metals gold and silver, which are considered very precious, are attributed a wide range of applications due to their special properties. Luxury cosmetics brands in particular like to use real gold and silver particles to enhance their products and promise an additional skin care effect. But do precious metals really have an effect on the skin?

In traditional Chinese medicine, gold has long been used to activate qi and increase vital energy. In cosmetics, however, gold and SIlber is used in colloidal form, i.e. as water, or as microparticles. Due to its ability to bind up to 300 times its own weight in water, gold is used in cosmetics primarily to bind moisture in the skin,” says Dr. Derendorf, a dermatologist in Munich. It is said to increase the elasticity of the skin, prevent skin aging and have antibacterial and antioxidant effects, which, however, have not been scientifically proven. As a precious metal it is particularly well tolerated and therefore also suitable for allergy sufferers.

Silver helps with acne and neurodermatitis

"Silver has a scientifically proven antibacterial effect and is used as microsilver in creams and ointments. In dermatology, it is used primarily in the treatment of acne and neurodermatitis due to the frequent overgrowth of staphylococci on the skin," explains the expert. It is important to note that a specialist should always be consulted for the treatment of such skin problems.

Gold and silver in cosmetics are not visible

The great anticipation at the time of purchase is often followed by disappointment when opening the jar, as no sparkling particles shine at us. "This is because the precious metals are used either in colloidal form, i.e. as water, or as microparticles", Dr. Derendorf knows. These are not visible to the naked eye. If you do find visible particles in your care product, they are not the real precious metals, but mostly substitutes that have been added for optical reasons.

Since mid-2013, nanoparticles in cosmetic products must be declared as such on the packaging. And there is a reason for this, especially in the case of silver particles, Dr. Derendorf knows. "Silver may only be used as microsilver. Nanosilver would be so small that it could enter the body and cause toxic effects. Microsilver, on the other hand, does not penetrate the epidermal barrier and can therefore be used in skin care products without risk."

Woman creams herself
Especially for sensitive skin you should get good advicePhoto: Getty Images

Allergy sufferers should be careful

General caution is advised when using the product if you are prone to allergies or have a damaged skin barrier, so that the particles could penetrate the skin unintentionally. "Sometimes the consistency of silver creams is also found to be unpleasant, as they often leave a greenish haze on the skin and are very greasy", adds the dermatologist.

A cosmetic effect of gold particles in the Kosmetik is not scientifically occupied, with silver looks it there differently: Studies show that corresponding particles have a positive effect due to their antibacterial properties and are therefore successfully used in creams and ointments, but also in deodorants and foot care products.

With expert advice from Dr. Derendorf, specialist in dermatology and venereology. Dermatology practice at St. Anna Platz in Munich,

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