There’s no shortage of weird ingredients to put on your face, like seaweed and mud. At the other end of the gross spectrum are prized ingredients like gold and pearls. Adding those to your skincare regimen might sound pricey, but you don’t need a Kardashian-sized budget to afford pearl beauty treatments.
What is pearl powder?
Pearl powder is good for you both on the inside and outside. And yes, it really is a powder made from pearls, just like those found in jewelry. Freshwater pearls are ground into a super fine powder that’s easily absorbed and used by the body.
Pearl powder is primarily made of calcium and has trace minerals such as sodium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, aluminum, and copper. It also contains many amino acids, including the eight essential amino acids that cannot be produced in the body but are required for health [source]. Pearl powder also may reduce the enzyme that causes the production of pigment (melanin), helping reduce the appearance of dark pigmentation.
What do you use pearl powder for?
Chinese cultures discovered pearl powder’s beauty benefits centuries ago. The first female empress of China famously used pearl powder to keep her skin looking young into her 70s.
In Chinese medicine, pearl powder is used as an anti-inflammatory [source] and in Shen tonics for nervousness, anxiety, and tension. Its adaptogen properties support and stabilize mood, help regulate sleep cycles, and increase libido. Moon Juice’s Amanda Chantal Bacon calls it her “mood food” for its calming effects. It’s a key ingredient in her popular Beauty Dust.
Does pearl powder work?
Recent scientific data supports the antiaging effects of pearl powder. A 2018 study showed pearl powder increased both the level and activity of antioxidants when taken as a supplement [source]. So not only will your body be producing fewer free radicals that cause cell damage and speed up aging, but it will also scavenge more of them.
When used externally, pearls gently exfoliate, accelerate skin metabolism to tone and rejuvenate skin, fade blemishes, reduce pores, decrease redness, and heal wounds [source]. Pearl protein acts like keratin to hydrate skin cells, accelerate cell metabolism, facilitate the repair of damaged cells, and increase circulation [source].
DIY Whitening Pearl Mask
You can add pearl powder directly to lotions or mineral makeup. It helps control oil and won’t clog your pores [source]. It’s also a popular face mask ingredient to lighten age spots and even out skin tone.
Stir together to make a paste and apply to your face, chest, or hands. Basically, anywhere skin aging is showing. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse with warm water. The mask can be drying, so follow with moisturizer and only use 1–2 times per week.
You can mix pearl powder with just about any ingredient for a face mask. Try honey, milk, yogurt, or cooled green tea.
Pearl Powder Strawberry Iced Latte
Pearl powder is perfect for folding into energy bites or bars for using internally. But easiest of all is to add it to a smoothie or drink, like in this iced strawberry latte.
Pearl Powder Strawberry Iced Latte
- Add all the ingredients into a blender and process to obtain a smooth liquid.
- Add ice cubes into serving glasses, and pour the liquid over.
- Garnish with dried rose petals and serve.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Rina Mary Allawh, M.D., a dermatologist who practices adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer treatment, and cosmetic dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.132