I Had Real 24-Karat Gold Applied to My Face In the Name of Clearer, More Radiant Skin

Woman getting face painted in gold

If you love luxurious, decadent beauty treatments, there are plenty of facials that suit your tastes. Some incorporate chocolate, others incorporate champagne — but what’s more opulent than 24-karat gold? Recently, I’ve been noticing more and more brands incorporating this fancy ingredient into everything from beauty elixirs and sheet masks to creams and, yes, even facials. Itching to see what the hype was myself, I paid a visit to esthetician Margaret Tomaszewicz at European Skin and Massage Studio℠ in Santa Monica, California to test drive her 24 Karat Gold FacialTM ($165 for 60 minutes, which you can seamlessly book on

The 24-Karat Gold facial is more than lavish: it pampers your skin. The treatment is said to soften the appearance of fine lines and sun damage while improving the look of pores and skin elasticity. Tomaszewicz has 30 years of industry experience and a wealth of knowledge on gold. She says the ingredient has anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties, which can reduce the level of acne-causing bacteria to prevent blemishes from forming. “Gold is good for everybody,” she adds. “It helps with red skin, fine lines, and boosting collagen.” 

The facial begins with a cleanse to prepare the skin, followed by a WODATM Brilliant Enzyme Mask ($32) for light exfoliation. Then Tomaszewicz massaged my face with an antioxidant face oil to prepare my skin to absorb all of the other soon-to-come ingredients. “If there is dry skin, or the skin isn’t oxygenated, it cannot absorb,” she explains. She also works on the neck and shoulders because, in her words, “When you are relaxed, you look better” (something I need to remind myself of daily).  

After some quick extractions, Tomaszewicz administered a hyaluronic acid-infused oxygen spray to moisten my skin for the ultimate Instagrammable facial moment: gold leaf! Tomaszewicz quite literally takes sheets of 24 karat gold that she sources from the US MintTM and presses them onto my face, covering my forehead, cheeks, chin, and décolletage. She then massages the gold into the skin until it fully absorbs — basically disappearing into my pores right before my eyes! The gold leaf casts a gorgeous glow all over my face, a trick Tomaszewicz says that Marilyn Monroe used to swear by to illuminate her skin. 

After I stepped out of the European Skin and Massage Studio oasis, I was greeted with super radiant, fresh skin that looked as if I had spent a long weekend away. While this facial is all about hydration, plumping, and glow, it’s also a wonderful choice for those with acne-prone skin because of gold’s ability to calm acne irritation. I can attest to this: after my treatment, there wasn’t a pore or blemish in sight. In fact, I was so impressed by the 24 Karat Gold Facial that I even snagged a WODA Celebrity 24-Karat Gold Mask to use when I’m craving a gilded glow at home. While it’s not quite as decadent as the gold leaf, there’s something to be said for rocking a mask made with the world’s most coveted metal while watching reality television.

Complimentary service was provided to the author for the purpose of writing this article.

Price may vary from the time this article was written.

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