Last January, while staying at Camp Zero, one of my favorite ski-in and ski-out spots in the Italian Alps, I came across a brand called Gemology in the hotel spa. When I spoke with a consultant to find out why a cosmetics company would choose the name Gemology, I was immediately intrigued by the history of the brand. Stones are often believed to have healing powers, but Gemology was not interested in their spiritual side. The approach is completely scientific, based on the chemical composition of each stone and how the trace elements present can help nourish and beautify the skin.
I asked Chrystelle Lannoy, CEO and Founder of Gemology, a French businesswoman who started her career at the Clarins Group, to further explain the thinking behind Gemology. He told me that the stone is composed of trace elements such as iron, selenium, copper and zinc, as well as trace minerals such as sulphur, sodium and magnesium. To function properly, the body constantly needs both, which we get from the food we eat, the water we drink, and the supplements we can add to our diet. Unfortunately for our skin tone, the body first serves the vital organs before focusing on the epidermis. If we don’t get the optimal amount of minerals from our diet, our skin is the first to be robbed.
It seems self-evident that if we use lotions and creams containing these minerals, our skin will get an instant good supply. But you can’t launch a new cosmetics brand based on principles and instinct alone. So in 2004, Ms. Lannoy began a three-year scientific research program to prove her theory. It contains a lot of copper and a powerful antioxidant. It was promising, but one stone was not enough. So I commissioned a laboratory to study the values and properties of other stones in more detail. At that time, he was a true predecessor. Although many brands have talked about using stones, no one has really done it.” Based on this innovative and mineral-rich concept, Gemology was launched in 2007.
All Gemology products are based on the minerals of more than 20 stones and it is fascinating to get to know their individual properties. For example, rose quartz silicon moisturizes and firms the skin, and magnesium-rich peridot energizes skin cells. The combination of sapphires’ iron and lapis lazuli’s sulfur improves collagen synthesis and strengthens the epidermis, while tourmaline raises the skin’s temperature by 0.5 degrees, which increases microcirculation. And diamond, the most precious gem of all, when mixed with other stones, gives the skin an instant brightness and glow.
As a child, Ms. Lannoy remembers going rock hunting with her grandfather, an antique dealer with a passion for minerals. He suspects his love of gems was born during these expeditions, and smiles at the thought of carrying on the family tradition of buying stones from all over the world for gemology. “We have the same suppliers as jewelers,” he explains. With the exception of diamonds, all stones are washed, crushed and converted into talc or powder in our laboratory in Limoges. We do not yet have proper equipment on site to process diamonds, so we get them directly from the Antwerp laboratory, ready for use. Once all the ingredients are at hand, we make our products at our two French locations according to recipes created by our research and development team, who are constantly discovering new stones.”
When asked if gold, silver or emeralds were ever thought of, Lannoy points out that they only use elements already present in the human body, so gold and silver are of no interest. As for the emerald, it is composed of beryllium, a harmful substance whose use is prohibited in all cosmetics.
So, do Gemology products really help improve the skin’s appearance? I’m anything but a cosmetics expert, but they have certainly helped me achieve healthier looking skin and the texture of creams, lotions and serums is so smooth and soft that it is a real pleasure to use. And of course, as a jewelry lover, there is something unique and fun about starting the day by applying luxurious creams of jade, pearls, sapphires and diamonds to my face before putting on my jew