The New Rock Stars

Have you heard? Mineral activity is heating up ... compliments of your latest and greatest skin care product lines. These megacreams, that utilize gemstones, minerals and precious metals from deep below the earth's surface, claim to erase wrinkles and energize skin cells. With ingredients such as sapphires, citrines, diamonds and gold ... what will they think of next?

Ingredient: Obsidian Pantelleria. It's a form of petrified lava made from quick-cooling magma chambers. It's supposedly rich in restorative, therapeutic minerals and elements. Giorgio Armani developed Cream Nera, a water-in-oil emulsion that dissolves upon contact with the skin. It releases microscopic ampules of silicon (skin firming), potassium and sodium (moisture balancing), and iron (energy boosting).

Ingredients: Malachite, sapphire, citrine and tourmaline. These gemstones are naturally rich in skin-essential minerals and elements like copper, zinc, magnesium, iron and silicon. Bulgari’s Crème Precieuse and Emulsion de Lumiere contain a polypeptide complex (collagen boosting) and hydroporine (a potent hydrating molecule) for smooth, supple skin. These products promise to help improve hydration (with zinc), regulate the production of melanin (with magnesium) and fight free radicals (antioxidant effects of silicon, copper and iron). However, little research has been done to attest to the ability of these minerals to actually penetrate the skin’s surface. It's set to launch October in Italy and in 2008 in the States.

Ingredient: Amber. Mined from the Baltic Sea, Amber is said to trigger the skin’s production of tensotrophin (a natural collagen and elastin-boosting polypeptide) and decrease production of the enzymes that contribute to fine lines and wrinkles. Guerlain’s Success Future skin care line was developed with Amber as its secret ingredient.

Ingredient: Gold. Gold is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and cell-energizing ingredient. The question is, can it penetrate the skin? Lab tests have been done to determine just that. What's interesting is that the highly stable micro-particles of the metal allow for a potential pass through to skin tissue and into tumors, where it may be heated to destroy cancerous cells. Chantecaille’s Nano Gold Energizing Cream is loaded with silk fibers (collagen boosting) and gold particles that promise to fight fine lines and free radicals. It launches in November. Oh, and Orlane’s Crème Royale and La Prairie’s Cellular Radiance Gold Concentrate go for the gold, as well!

Ingredient: Azurite. From the Congo, Azurite is a bright, glittering blue stone teeming with copper (for collagen) and magnetized Brazilian hematite, which attracts iron. La Mer’s new Eye Concentrate blends azurite into its concoction, for increased circulation and to decrease puffiness.

diamond-magnetic-2.jpgIngredient: Diamonds. Not really sure what to say about this luxury ingredient. It's shown up in exfoliators many times before. Natura Bisse’s Diamond Magnetic cream is a gritty, lavender-scented paste that aims to recast shoulders, collarbones, and legs as glimmering diamonds themselves. It also claims to detoxify the skin and relieve stress. It will be available in November at Neiman Marcus.

These product gems come at a very hefty price. What I wouldn't do to get my hands on one of these to road test (somebody please send me some!). I have to go back to my frame of reference, though, and question - what will these antioxidants do for me that my regular antioxidant won't?

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