111skin and diamonds

Are diamond’s a skin care junkie’s best friend? Well, if you have $1,000 to drop, you could head to Barney’s to buy a pot of 111Skin Celestial Black Diamond ($1,095) and find out for yourself if diamonds are the secret key to fabulous skin.

Why is 111Skin (a British company that started out selling in Harrods) formulating with rocks? Well, they are “very glamorous,” says founder Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, a plastic surgeon. Lest you think that’s a little superficial of him, Dr. A is quick to add that diamonds are also “extremely effective when used as an anti-aging product. Because the particles are so small, it can penetrate into the skin’s barrier very effectively, often going deeper into the dermis than other ingredients.”

I find it extremely hard to believe that diamond particles easily penetrate the skin. Randy Schueller, a cosmetic chemist and editor at The Beauty Brains, says that diamonds are inactive and any effects are superficial. I did read that black diamonds, which is what 111Skin formulates with, supposedly convert UV rays to blue light, and this creates a diffusing effect on the skin, deflecting normal light from highlighting the skin’s imperfections.

So, 111Skin Celestial Black Diamond is a $1,000 light diffuser. Perhaps this is unfair. After all, there are other ingredients here — such as the patent-pending NAC. This is n-acetyl cysteine, which is commonly used as a cough medicine because it breaks disulfide bonds in mucus and liquefies it, making it easier to cough up. But I am guessing that Dr. A picked it out because it has an amino acid and antioxidant properties.

Other than this, we find our key ingredient to be something of a diamond in the rough. Palm, jojoba and castor oils do nothing to justify Celestial Black Diamond Cream’s price tag. When you see that the formula contains benzyl alcohol and polysorbate 20, Dr A’s “glamorous” remark begins to sound a tad cynical.

But I am not being entirely fair — there’s some vitamin C, arbutin (a skin brightener), green tea and hyaluronic acid. All decent skin care ingredients. And, of course, diamonds are forever.

Ingredients: Aqua/water, Isopropyl Myristate, Glyceryl Stearate Se, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Caprylic/capric Tryglyceride, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Glycerin, Ceteareth-25, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Benzyl Alchohol, Arbutin, Acetyl Cysteine (Nac), Aesculus Hippocastanum Extract, Zinc Oxide, Centella Asiatica Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Diamond Crystal, Peg-7 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polysorbate 20, Tocopherol, Xantham Gum, Aroma/parfum.


Marta Wohrle is an anti-aging skin care and beauty expert and the founder/CEO of Truth In Aging. Marta is dedicated to uncovering the truth behind anti-aging product claims.