Crystal Skin Care: Overhyped or Major Healer?

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Miranda Kerr’s beauty line, KORA Organics, contains hydrating oils, potent antioxidants, and a plethora of hard-working botanical ingredients. Pretty standard for space, with the exception that all of the formulas are run over and energized with rose quartz—something that the supermodel says takes it from a typical skin-care line to a “crystal” one, and makes the products incredibly special.

“When I first started the development of the line more than 10 years ago, I wanted to create unique products that were more than just skin care; I wanted to create a range that holistically nurtured our mind, body and skin,” she says. “I chose to filter all our products through rose quartz crystals because it’s a very soothing stone that encourages self-love and acceptance amongst many other positive benefits.”

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It’s this unique manufacturing process that Kerr say she personally believes delivers healing and protective powers—via the vibrations of the crystals. “The vibration of self-love flows through the crystals, into the products and onto our customers.”

While the supermodel admits she knows it’s “kind of out there,” she also stands by it: “I’ve used crystals for a long time both in my day-to-day life, during meditation and massage, and in the production of this line, and I think more and more people are starting to look at alternative ways to improve their health and happiness. They’re becoming more open to alternative therapies such as the incorporation of gemstones and crystals.”

The Next Aromatherapy?
Willie Freitas of Herbivore Botanicals (the line has seen phenomenal success at Sephora since it launched there last year, consistently falls in the top sellers under the skin-care category and frequently sells out) agrees that the concept of crystals in skin care can be kind of hard to get your head wrapped around, but, like Kerr, he is also a firm believer—although he does admit it took some reseach to get there.

“First I was intrigued, and then I found out the science that backs this up,” he says. “I was fascinated. There are actual, tangible benefits to applying tourmaline [his company’s crystal of choice] to your skin.”

Freitas also pinpoints the crystal skin care trend to something much bigger in beauty. “With the rise of natural beauty, a lot of ingredients that have been used by ancient cultures and have been used forever are coming back. There’s a focus on non-conventional medicine. There’s the whole ‘back-to-basics’ approach. There’s a respect for ancient traditions. Crystals are a big part of that.”

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Annie Jackson, chief operations officer for natural beauty store Credo (customer favorites include Herbivore, in addition to crystal-based Tony & Tina), agrees, and compares the sparked interest in crystals to the popularity of aromatherapy, although she does admit not that many customers have come in asking specifically for crystal skin care quite yet, although the store does carry brands that specialize in it.

“Customers are seeking brands and products that have a holistic, healing position. They are interested in not only using products that are nourishing with therapeutic ingredient stories, but products that also fit into a lifestyle that expands their wellness regimen. If you have a combination of beautifully formulated and healthful product, which meets with the positivity of the crystal inside, the effects for people on their emotional and skin health can be profound.”

Crystals in the Modern World
Celebrity facialist Tracie Martyn has worked with everyone from Brad Pitt and Kate Winslet to Rihanna and Kim Kardashian. Her New York space is filled with gorgeous geodes and crystals, but her cofounder, Marius Morariu says it’s not just for show. “We thought it would be great to bring crystals into skin care—we were hoping it would appeal to more than the holistic audience. We basically added serious science to the feel-good, spiritual aspect of gems. It’s not just great vibes, it’s great skin science.”

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Both Martyn and Morariu are such believers, that they trademarked the term “gemceuticals,” and plan to incorporate the idea into pretty much every product and treatment under the brand. “There is an undeniable feeling of well-being most of us get from holding a crystal in our hands or wearing a crystal pendant,” Morariu says. “Also, crystals are now studied in helping to neutralize effects from computer screen radiation and other wave pollutants. Christiane Northrup says, ‘If crystals and gemstones appeal to you, there are many that can help mitigate the effects of EMF (electric and magnetic fields) exposure.’ We just added the concept to have a very specific skin care purpose.”

The Benefits, Broken Down
Kristin Petrovich, creator of crystal skin care line Sjal and author of Elemental Energy: Crystal and Gemstone Rituals for a Beautiful Life, has been incorporating gemstones and minerals into skin care since 2001 and agrees that the concept, while it may seem like a “trend,” isn’t totally new. “Eastern medicine has been using crystals for 4,000-plus years and now Western medicine is using them.”

Petrovich also narrows down the benefits pretty simply and says to not get caught up in any confusion regarding a crystal versus a gemstone, as it’s pretty much all the same. “Both crystals and gemstones are based on cut and rarity, it just depends on the stone and its function. Crystals, gemstones and precious minerals all have energy, which resonates with our skin, and body and they can enhance other ingredients or act like semi-conductors. They possess a high vibrational frequency, which we have an electronic exchange with, just as we do with planet earth. This is a part of our chemical makeup. Not only do crystals feel good on the skin, but they provide a targeted cell delivery, microcirculation and have the ability to balance and harmonize skin.”

Freitas says he believes that it’s this energy factor that makes crystals so effective, especially when it comes to your complexion. “Your skin has energy and crystals have energy—that’s why they go together. Like most ingredients, different crystals do different things and you need to do your research. Some have a soothing and calming effect, some help pull toxins out, some increase blood flow. Even if you don’t believe in the rest, those things are proven. I like using tourmaline because it increases blood flow and makes skin work harder—it literally energizes your skin, which makes it look brighter, more luminous, glowing and healthier. Everyone wants that in a product.”

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What the Experts Think Work
New York celebrity facialist Ildi Pekar is another crystal-believer who is the first to admit that most people who come into her spa “don’t believe in the power of crystals”—until they see how they work and get on board. “Most people don’t believe in the power of crystals, but they can actually convert mechanical energy into electricity or vice-versa. They have this power through the frequency in which they vibrate. Everything has energy, if we keep expanding it to its very essence we learn that we are deeply connected to the mother earth.” If that still sounds like a lot to take in, Pekar says to try the two “main” crystals that she believes you’ll see results from pretty quickly:

Clear quartz: Pekar says she uses clear quartz to draw off negative energy of all kinds, neutralizing background radiation/toxins, and electromagnetic smog. “It has the power to cleanse and enhance the organs as a deep soul cleanser that stimulates the immune system and brings the body into balance.” Pekar also says she uses clear quartz in a drinking elixir or facial spray.

Rose quartz: Pekar, like Kerr (who visits the aestheticians for facials), likes rose quartz for giving a boost to the body-mind. “I also use rose quartz face massage stone as well when I see someone needs a little more TLC for their mood. It’s very uplifting.”

Tourmaline: This one is the favorite of Freitas, and the one he says you should look for to “pep up” your skin, as it increases circulation and gets the skin glowing.

Malachite: Morariu says malachite has antioxidant properties and can quench free radicals that may be one of the biggest culprits in the aging process. “Malachite raises the level of the enzyme glutathione reductase in the skin, resulting in the newfound ability to recycle vitamins C and E, both of which are key to glowing, beautiful skin. The natural peptide glutathione not only protects the skin, but can also brighten it.”

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