I first came across Cosme Proud's Gold Revitalizer (about $100) a few weeks ago and was impressed by its exfoliating power. I've been finding out more about how gold works with the skin (its all about negative ions, but I'll come back to that) and am now trying the rest of this four-part skincare program from Japan that includes products with platinum and amber aimed at anti-aging and skin lightening.

The first stage, the Gold Revitalizer, is a thick, but not sticky gel flecked with surprisingly large flakes of gold. The procedure requires the gel to be massaged into the skin until all the gold flakes have disappeared. This takes a few moments. Then the skin is rubbed to exfoliate. It is designed to be used twice a week. The gold here is 24 carat (apparently 23 won't do) and comes from Ishikawa in Japan, a place famed for purity of its gold. Gold has a medicinal history going back to ancient times. Recently, gold salts (the ionic chemical compounds of gold) started to be used for injecting to reduce inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Gold nano-bullets are being used, according to Science magazine, as a cure for cancer.

What matters here is that gold's negative ions remove the positive ions from our skin. Negative ions (hard to come by in our polluted atmospheres) are regarded as an important health treatment in health. A new baby's skin has only 20% positive ions, whereas as we age we accumulate more. Positive ions contribute to skin aging and negative ions temporarily weaken the skin barrier, opening up the skin to make it more receptive to the potion's other ingredients: collagen, licorice, a lightener called diacetyl boldine, which comes from the bark of a South American tree, and conchiolin protein from pearls.

The next in line is Gold Amber Rich Lotion ($90), which is actually a thin, colorless serum for daily use. Amber, I now know, was formed millions of years ago from the resin of pine trees. It is a moisturizer and antioxidant (and incredibly expensive at $50,000 for one kilo). There is also nano-sized gold in the lotion along with ginkgo biloba, which with its high levels of quercetin, is a powerful antioxidant. Its anti-inflammatory and defensive properties are also particularly strong and it’s been discovered to help treat acne, eczema, or other types of facial redness and inflammation.

If you have young, unwrinkled skin, you can stop after using the Gold Revitalizer and the Gold Amber. Those with older damaged skin are advised to add the Platinum Deep Treatment ($115) and the Gold Revitarich Emulsion ($135). Platinum is even stronger in negative ions than gold and it is accompanied by hexapeptide-3, or Argireline, the neuropeptide that inhibits the facial muscles that cause expression lines. Arbutin is for skin lightening and horse chestnut for broken veins. Magnolia bark extract is new to me, although well-known in Chinese medicine as a wound healer.

Talk about gold fever, the Gold Revitarich has more nano gold and it has silver to boot. Another key active here is French Maritime Pine (pinus pinaster), which is supposed to be 1,000 times more powerful than CoQ10. There is also antioxidant evening primrose extract.

Although not inexpensive, all four of these products go a really long way. The ingredients are impressively high quality and, apart from a few parabens, there is nothing not to like. I'll post a review on the effects after more testing.

Ingredients in Gold Revitalizer

Water, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Soluble Collagen, Diacetyl-boldine, Polysorbate 20, Methylparaben, Allantoin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Potassium DNA, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin Protein, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Scutellaria Root Extract, Saxifraga Samentosa Extract, Gold, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Squalane, Seaweed Extract, Caprylic Triglyceride, Fragrance

Ingredients in Gold Amber Rich Lotion

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Raffinose, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cellulose Gum, Gold, Silver, Hydrogenated Lecithin , Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Allantoin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Amber Powder, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Hypericum Perforatum Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Tilia Cordata Extract, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract , Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract , Aloe, Barbadensis Leaf Extract , Chlorella Ferment , Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Citrus Aurantium Tachibana Peel Extract, Polysorbate 20, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Carbomer, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben , Fragrance

Ingredients in Cosme Proud Platinum Deep Treatment

Water, Butylen Glycol, Glycerin, Hexapeptide-3, Arbutin, Retinol, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) seed Extract, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Ergothioneine, Magnolia Obovata Bark Extract, Citrus Aurantium Tachibana Peel Extract, Aloe Baradensis Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin Protein, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Extract, Hydrolyzed Royal Jelly Protein, Nephelium Longana Seed Extract, Biffida Ferment Lysate, Polyphosphorylcholine Glycol Acrylate, Hydrolyze Wheat Protein, Allantoin, Raffinose, Quaternium-45, Polysobate 20, Sodium Hydroxide, Carbomer, Platinum, Argin, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben

Ingredients in Gold Revitarich Emulsion

Water, Squalane, Glycerin, Dimeticone, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetyl-ethylhexanoate, Cetearyl Clcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Hexapeptid-3, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl/Lauroyl/Gulutamate, Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, Gold, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cellulose Gum, Silver, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Natto Gum, Oenothera Biennis Seed Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Extract, Hydrolyzed Hibiscus Esculenus Extract, Shale Extract