Have you noticed that gemstones are everywhere these days? While just a few years ago, it seemed they were abundant in the more metaphysical/spiritual circles, but lately they’ve been gaining mainstream exposure. Int he skincare world, again–they’ve been long embraced by the more holistic aesthetic modalities; but this past year at the spa shows I’ve attended, I’ve seen more gemstone infused products, gemstone-infusing water pitchers and bottles, and actual gemstone jewelry exhibited throughout the sea of otherwise still fairly conventional aesthetic products and treatments. I’ve touched on the subject of gemstones in skincare a few times, but I’m talking about it again today due to this influx of attention (or maybe I’m still feeling the vibes from the gemstone jewelry I bought at the Long Beach show–who knows!).
It’s a somewhat common sequence of events–an ancient practice goes relatively untalked about for years and years and then–Booom!–the secret gets out and everyone wants in.
Inevitably there are questions. Does it work? Is it expensive? Is it right for me?
I’ll try to make this one crystal clear for you.
Gemstones in skincare
When it comes to natural skincare, we mainly think of plants — cold-pressed oils, healing herbs, potent extracts… But precious (and ones considered “semi-precious”–I consider them all precious) gems are just as natural, and it turns out that they can also play a pretty magical (and scientifically-backed) role in organic skincare.
Use of minerals in skincare dates back to ancient Egypt, when the mineral malachite was used as eye paint (can you imagine how vibrant that color must have been?!) Even Saint Hildegarde of Bingen, an abbess and writer in Germany (1098-1179), recommended using amethyst to help remediate acne.
I’ve written about gua sha as well, a traditional massage technique that involves scraping or pulling on the skin with a smooth stone to move lymphatic fluids and release tension in the face. It is most commonly done using rose quartz or jade, and there’s evidence that shows that it increases circulation in the face, which can help relieve pain in addition to revitalizing the skin.
So it’s clear that we’re not the first era to discover that minerals and gems can play a role in your skincare routine.
It Seems woo woo, But…
Even some mainstream skincare brands use minerals in their products. For example, Aveda has a product that uses tourmaline to naturally energize the skin. I’ve seen these stones-of-many-colors pop up into organic products here and there over the years too, though they’re definitely getting more attention lately.
One of the explanations for why crystals have such a healing effect on the skin is that our bone structure is similarly crystalline. And if you want to get even more woo woo (clearly I do), many spiritual lineages of old and new believe that there are crystalline aspects to our DNA. Because gems and minerals have a naturally higher frequency, they can literally travel towards weaker skin cells, to balance them.
Here is another way to say it that involves a cool new vocab word (or it was for me, anyway): piezoelectricity.
Piezoelectricity is the charge that builds up in certain materials when they are exposed to mechanical stress. These materials include DNA, certain ceramics, and (you guessed it), both bones and crystals. This charge is reversible.
Crystals tend to hold their energy and have the natural ability to support energy fields. When you put them in your skincare, they transmit this energy to your skin.
So, where are the jewels?
Gems can be incorporated into skincare products in a few different ways:
- Water infusion – Gem is soaked in water before being used in a formulation. This is sometimes done under moonlight for additional benefits. The results of this infusion are also referred to as gemstone essences or elixirs.
- Oil infusion – The same process as above is done in oil instead of water.
- Tincture – An elixir is preserved with alcohol to extend its shelf life.
- Powder – A gem is ground into a powder and added into a skincare formulation.
A study done by the Journal of Cosmetic Science looked at the use of tourmaline in skincare–specifically its ability to raise skin temperature and thus increase circulation.
They determined that a product containing 1% of the gem powder was sufficient to provide this effect.
And while crystals have in common that they affect the skin through their vibrational energies, you may have guessed (or already knew) they each crystal has a unique effect on the skin. Some are specific to certain skin conditions and some might not work for everyone. How they work, similar to plants, also depends on that individual person’s physical and energetic constitution.
How to choose the right gems for your skin
There are people who make entire careers out of helping people choose the right crystal and use it for healing; and like with plants–I feel it takes more than one lifetime to learn all the stones and ways they can help.
So here’s a very introductory guide to some different properties crystals have, as it relates to skin:
- Jade protects the skin and increases circulation. It is the most common tool used to gua sha, the facial massage technique mentioned above.
- Rose quartz is one of the most common crystals used to improve the skin. It is popular for reducing fine lines and wrinkles and smoothing out rough skin. Also used in gua sha, this stone improves circulation while calming nearly every complexion.
- Moonstone gives skin a youthful glow and helps balance your yin-yang energies.
- White gold is known for its graceful aging properties and its abilities to treat sun-damaged skin.
- Rubies are thought to be great blood cleansers, removing toxins and clearing up acne. They also recharge your energy, helping you feel powerful and in control.
- Amethyst eases nerves
- Tourmaline crystals warm as they are rubbed onto skin, becoming positively charged on one end and negatively charged on the other. This unique feature increases skin absorption, meaning that when tourmaline is in your skincare, you absorb all those delicious ingredients better. This energizing stone is also said to make the skin more radiant and youthful.
- Citrine’s optimistic and creative energy makes it useful for dealing with seasonal depression and bringing about opportunity.
- Malachite is a deep energy cleaner and is often used for healing and bringing positive change
- Sapphire helps us face difficult situations and see them clearly. On the skincare front, it can be a great ingredient to keep complexions smooth.
Choosing the right stone for you can be as simple as moving towards whichever you resonate with. Or, choose based on the skincare or emotional concern you’d like to address.
My experience with gemstones in skincare
I wrote about gemstones in skincare a while ago. Those who know me or read my blog often know that I am a big fan of using them not only in skincare, but in my jewelry, throughout my living space… pretty much anywhere I can squeeze them into my life.
In the blog post mentioned above, I talk about my process of choosing the right stones for me, plus I interview a friend of mine who practices stone medicine and simply blows my mind with the work she does. Gemstones have played an important part in my life since I was a child, and once I started working with them more purposefully, I absolutely believe they’ve helped me have skin today that no one ever believes, ever had stage 4 or cystic acne. While other changes had to happen for me to achieve my skin and health goals, during that time, my stones were always with me.
Do you want to learn to make professional quality gemstone-infused skincare products?
You’re in luck! In the Bonus Module of my online course, Create Your Skincare, there are multiple lessons about gemstones in skincare, and how to use them. Throughout the rest of the course, you’ll also learn how to work with the energetic and physical properties of plants to create balanced, customized, and effective skincare regimens for any skin type or skin tone.
Click HERE to learn more and save your spot in our next class now!