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When It Comes to Anti-Ageing, Is No Treatment Too Ridiculous?

December 6, 2009

The quest for young-looking skin rattles on, ever an exercise in the shockingly brutal (needles, ripping, nipping and tucking) for very little return (skin that either looks no different, really, or only better for a week, or actually much worse).  But for those who prefer inanity and mumbo jumbo masquerading as science to the injection of Botulinum toxin type A (related to the bacteria that causes botulism) to paralyse the nerves (Botox), then I may have the treatment for you. It’s the Gold Mask Facial at celebrity acupuncturist John Tsagaris’s studio in Marylebone ( It involves lots of pleasant facial massage, dermabriasion, hot towels and the application of a gold-tipped roller of spikes that pummels your face and brings the blood to the surface (there bloody bloody, there boy!).

Then comes the gold, in the form of pure 24 carat applied in square sheets all over the face, before being steamed into place, and eventually, rubbed IN to your skin. Once my face was covered, Tsagaris cooed that I looked just like Cleopatra – in fact, looking at the pictures I made him take, I looked dead. Or like a mummy.(see below).

Me with 24 carat gold mask on my face

Now, looking like Cleopatra is all very well. But is it worth hundreds of pounds (350 to be precise – I went for work, so no worries there) and promises of youth? Tsagaris says so, and all those youth-seeking suckers out there are likely to agree. “Pure gold has been considered most effective in Oriental medicines for thousands of years. The ancient Chinese, Greeks, Egyptians and Romans also used it. The Chinese Royal Dynasty and Cleopatra were it’s earliest converts,” it says on Tsagaris’s website.  Here’s why: “Gold can help stimulate lymphatic drainage and blood circulation, facilitating the removal of toxins and had the ability to regenerate healthy new cells while improving internal nourishment.” And – drumroll please – for how: “Gold slows down collagen depletion and the breakdown of elastin to prevent sagging skin. Stimulates cell growth creating firm skin cells giving a tightening effect. Improves the skins blood circulation and enhances the metabolic activity.Decreases skin inflammation, reduces age spots and lighten and brightens the skin.” Well, to be fair, rubbing a face-worth of gold leaf into your skin WOULD give a glow.

But the science of it -for all the Eastern Medicine and Cleopatra’s wisdom – is probably nil. I’ve had diamond facials before too – and seaweed, coffee, chocolate, and yoghurt. But the fact remains that for truly young-looking skin, you have to be, well, young. Then again, believing is half the battle. I might try a Champagne facial next.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Editor-in-chef permalink
    December 7, 2009 12:30 am

    Right-on Zoe – to have young skin one needs to be, well, young. But it’s well worth trying a platinum, a zirconium encrusted molybdenum, and niobium facial – especially if they cost more than gold these days. How about seeing if you could implant ions into your skin using a beam lithography machine? Maybe your skin could double up as a motherboard?

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