“Malachite is the Botox of the crystal world,” Colleen McCann, an energy practitioner and crystal expert, tells me over a chai tea latte. I’m simultaneously intrigued and skeptical. I mean, I love me some crystal-infused skincare, but I’m mostly in it for the good vibes… and likening a swirling green gemstone to literal Botox goes significantly beyond vibes. After researching malachite in beauty products, though, I’m convinced: The skin-healing properties of this particular crystal are legit. Even dermatologists think so.
“To make a long story short, the chemical composition of malachite helps do the things Botox is doing — it has age-defying properties, it helps with wrinkles, and it helps with skin tone and skin elasticity,” McCann, the author of Crystal Rx and founder of Style Rituals, says. To make that short story just a little longer, malachite exerts all of the above benefits onto the skin because of its antioxidant properties. “As an antioxidant, it helps fight off free radicals," Dr. Devika Icecreamwala, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist with Icecreamwala Dermatology, tells TZR. Free radicals, as a reminder, are those pesky little pollution particles responsible for all the classic signs of aging: wrinkles, sagging, sun spots. More traditional antioxidants — vitamin A, vitamin C — are often praised for their youth-preserving power; malachite affects the skin in a similar way.
“Malachite can be used to detoxify the skin,” the dermatologist adds — which is precisely why the stone is featured in Själ Skincare’s luxe Bio-Regeneratif Serum. “It’s a deep detoxifier and provides direct cell protection and regeneration of the cell's natural defense system through the stimulation of glutathione reductase — which is considered the body’s most important intracellular antioxidant enzyme,” Kristin Petrovich, the brand’s co-founder, tells The Zoe Report. “By stimulating glutathione, it enzymatically reduces hydrogen peroxide, a toxic radical, limiting its harmful effects.”
The crystal’s other claim to skincare fame? It’s rich in copper, “which is beneficial in smoothing and calming the skin,” Kendra Mark, the co-founder and Vice President of Product Development at natureofthings, says in an email to TZR. “Copper-derived malachite extract helps to protect the skin from electromagnetic pollution, or EMFs,” adds Petrovich — so basically, it protects your pores and your energy.
Speaking of energy… I can’t not mention malachite’s metaphysical properties. “The crystal transmutes negative energy and serves as a guardian of the heart,” Mark says, while Petrovich notes it can aid in “regeneration, transformation, healing, and protection.” All good vibes to funnel towards your face, right?
There are a couple things that set malachite apart from the usual crystal skincare suspects. For one, it doesn’t offer the exfoliating or light-reflecting properties of, say, crushed rose quartz, since malachite isn’t incorporated into products in its solid form. “Malachite extract is made by crushing actual malachite stone into a fine powder, dissolving it in hydrochloric acid and [turning] it into a solution with purified water,” Mark says. For this reason, Dr. Icecreamwala says its important to purchase malachite products from a trusted source; the wrong formulation, with a too-high concentration of copper, could be “toxic.” Other than that, the dermatologist agrees the ingredient is safe for all skin types, especially those that “get a lot of sun exposure and UV damage.”
Ahead, 10 ways to inject your skincare routine with the “Botox of the crystal world.”