Whenever I receive a press release for diamond-infused skincare products — which is surprisingly often — I think of that scene in Arrested Development where Lindsay discovers the awe-inspiring absurdity that is diamond cream: “I can actually smear diamonds on my face and it’s only $400 a tub! That’s what, like, a million diamonds for $400?” Prices have risen since that episode aired in 2004 (there’s actually one mask that’ll run you $2,200 per five ounces), but strangely enough, so has the legitimacy of diamond skincare. Experts agree: It kind of sounds like a scam, but it’s not. At least, not always.
Diamonds' main claim to fame in the beauty world is that they're excellent for exfoliation. “Diamond dust can be beneficial to exfoliate the skin because of its physically hard properties,” Dr. Devika Icecreamwala, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Icecreamwala Dermatology, explains in an email to The Zoe Report. Diamond is the hardest natural substance on earth, so it makes sense that it can buff away dead skin cells like nothing else (after being ground up into microscopic powder particles, of course). You can harness this power with an at-home face mask, like Too Faced Glow Job Radiance-Boosting Glitter Face Mask, but dermatologists prefer in-office microdermabrasion.
“Diamond-tipped microdermabrasion exfoliates the skin, just as crystal microdermabrasion does,” Dr. Icecreamwala says. “Diamond-tipped is easier and cleaner compared to crystal microdermabrasion, because there are no crystals to clean up after.” (That would be because crystals are softer than diamonds.) “Also, it is safer in my opinion, because there is no risk of crystals getting into the eyes,” she adds. Plenty of aestheticians offer this service; celeb-favorite Joanna Vargas even incorporates it into her Triple Crown Facial.
That’s basically where the science on diamond skincare ends. The rest of the information out there is speculative — but I personally love a little good-intentioned speculation, so why not dive in?
Many beauty brands say that diamond dust detoxifies pores and increases product absorption (111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Serum, Shangpree Diamond Luminous Cream). While there’s no hard proof of this, there is a pretty compelling chain of thought behind the claim: Diamonds are made of pure carbon. Charcoal is made of mostly carbon. Charcoal is known to “detoxify” skin by drawing impurities up to the skin’s surface, and thus, increase absorption of subsequent skincare products (since they’re not getting stopped by the “gunk” in your pores). So, in theory, diamond dust might do that, too.
Then there are its crystal properties to consider. (Yup, diamonds are crystals.) On a physical level, crystals are reflective, so adding diamond powder to your beauty routine — for instance, with PÜR Crystal Clear Iconic Glow Oil — may make your skin appear more radiant. On a metaphysical level, diamonds are said to have unique “crystal healing” characteristics. “Ancient Ayurvedic tradition prizes these brilliant gemstones for their rejuvenation qualities,” Elina Fedotova, a celebrity esthetician and founder of Elina Organics, tells TZR. “Diamond is believed to amplify energy and is the best stone for rejuvenation. It brings success and is very uplifting.” And really, who doesn’t want a successful, uplifting skincare routine?
“If you read about crystal healing therapy, you will learn that every crystal or precious metal has a certain vibration and therapeutic qualities, which can subtly affect a person on the physical and emotional levels,” she says. (The vibrational part is true: All earthly substances vibrate at different frequencies, and the high vibrations of quartz crystals are often used in watchmaking to accurately keep time.) “Bio-energetic patterns [can be] captured and then transferred into other substances like pills or liquids, using different methods,” Fetodova explains. She's “bio-energetically imprinted" Elina Organics' new Diamond Elixir with diamonds, using a method pioneered by research scientist Dr. Yury Kron. Basically, the product doesn’t have literal diamond dust in it, but it carries the energy of diamonds.
All things considered, I wouldn’t necessarily say diamonds are your skin’s best friend… but are they a lovely acquaintance you should catch up with from time to time? Definitely. Ahead, 12 diamond-infused products to pencil into your skincare routine.