Should You Add Crystals To Your Beauty Routine?

Design: Norah Stone.
I'm an only child who grew up off Laurel Canyon in a house that frequently smelled of pot. One would think I'd be a hippie-dippie, tree-hugging, crystal collector — and yet, I was skeptical (fine, cynical) about the whole chakra-aura-energy movement until about six months ago. That's when I met Mashell Tabe, a crystal healer-meets-facialist who divides her time between New Mexico, L.A., and New York.

Within minutes of lying down on her table for the first time, closing my eyes, and tuning in to her voice, I drifted into this warm place of white light. (You know how certain people can touch your back or arm and you get that full-body tingly feeling? I get that every time I walk into Tabe's room now. It's weird.) I found myself opening up about my personal struggles and desires as Tabe microneedled my skin, prayed over me, and walked me through visualization exercises. I left with glowing skin and the sense that I'd just gotten to a place of understanding and calm at which one only arrives after years of therapy. I've been a convert ever since.

For whatever reason, Tabe helped me get in touch with my spirituality, but that's not to say I don't think there's a lot of bullshit out there capitalizing on the somewhat recent trend of young women, at least in major cities like L.A. and NYC, gravitating toward all things New Age. It seems you can't walk into a beauty boutique nowadays without passing a quartz-infused cream in a recycled-glass jar with a crescent moon on the label. So I asked cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson, along with Tabe, to weigh in on spiritual skin care: Do crystal infusions really do anything, or is it all a matter of just believing?

"Look," said Wilson to me over the phone, "I'm never one to say what someone believes is complete BS. Coming at it from a chemistry standpoint, some of the crystal essences contain trace minerals, like calcium and magnesium, which are beneficial for the skin. They help to energize the cells and assist the ATP [adenosine-triphosphate] cycle." Basically, according to Wilson, the minerals found in crystals like amber, malachite, and quartz can work to strengthen the cells' metaphorical batteries and increase cell turnover, and when the batteries are working better, the skin looks better.

"If you're tired and dragging, your skin shows it and doesn't have as much vitality. So there is a science behind why your skin looks healthier and has more of a glow when you use these products," says Wilson. As for products that also claim to improve your mood or reduce stress, well, the chemist isn't sold: "Feeling is much more subjective. It could be a placebo effect because you know it's in there, so you're perceiving it to have that effect on you," she says, adding that it's usually just the aromatherapeutic scents giving one a sense of calm.

Tabe echoes Wilson's claim that crystals, which she views as "a pure form of God energy," enhance the nutrients going into the skin, but for her, it starts with intentions. "You would hope that the creator of the product, who is taking the essence of something really pure and healing, and infusing it into products, would have the right intentions," she says. (The founder of shamanic beauty line Ceremonie is an example of someone who takes this seriously, according to Tabe.)

Before dipping into any crystal-infused product, Tabe recommends connecting to your heart center — which happens "anytime you think about something you love or that brings you joy" — and setting the intention for the product to heal in whatever way you want it to. "If you're believing that the product can nourish your skin or help with hyperpigmentation, what's the harm in believing it can heal, too? What do you have to lose?"

Ahead, seven of our favorite spiritual serums, fragrances, and oils for believers and skeptics alike.
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Do you feel like you were a princess in your past life? You might find answers in the Past Lives Mist, which contains liquid-amber attar, or "fossilized tree sap containing minerals that date back for centuries," according to founder Mimi Young, and has been blessed by a shaman and infused with positive energy. Oh, and the bottle is also wrapped in healing mantras.

Burn some sage and spritz it around to cleanse your space post-breakup, on the first night in a new apartment, or just when you want to reconnect with your roots.

Ceremonie Past Lives Mist, $35.71, available at Shop Ceremonie.
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Famed makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury has ventured into fragrance — and it's a far cry from your run-of-the-mill fruity floral. In fact, Scent of a Dream is pretty darn out-there, marketing itself as a "mind-altering fleurotic" (that portmanteau's been trademarked by Tilbury) with "psychoactive magic molecules" that enrich "everyone who wears it with the power of universal attraction." Trippy, man. I mean, sign us up, but what?

The top and middle notes are lovely, but nothing new — a whole bunch of citruses, black pepper, jasmine, patchouli, rose — but things get really hot and heavy down at the base. There's hedione, a chemical shown to activate the part of the brain that releases sex hormones; Ambroxan, a woody, musky synthetic (how we imagine David Beckham might smell the morning after); and fire tree (a.k.a. Balga), which symbolizes rebirth among Australia's Nyoongar tribe and is said to attract like-minded souls to the wearer. Basically, it's sex in a bottle.

Charlotte Tilbury Scent of a Dream, $100, available at Charlotte Tilbury.
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Sapphire, the stone of wisdom, royalty, and virtue; and aquamarine, representative of serenity and peace, are infused in this anti-aging oil, which restores moisture levels and helps tone your skin. Does that mean patting it on before taking the LSAT will magically boost your score? Probably not (though, admittedly, we haven't put it to the test). But it will seriously chill out any redness (you can thank the blue chamomile for that) and soften lines the natural way with its botanical retinol alternative.

Själ Saphir Concentrate Anti-Aging Face Oil, $175, available at Själ Skincare.
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Friends help friends raise each other's vibrational energy levels. Grab your BFF or S.O. for a rubdown with this crystal-infused oil, which wakes up your senses with its bright, zesty scent and claims to target the throat and crown chakras. Bonus points if you use it alongside Reiki techniques.

Aquarian Soul Aura Cleanse Gemstone Massage Oil, $28, available at Aquarian Soul Designs.
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Think of tourmaline crystal as a Patronus Charm — it's believed to ward off negative energies and ground your spirit. You'll find it, along with a bunch of awesome essential oils, in this hydrosol mist, which can be sprayed around your body or your space "to protect against life's turbulence." In other words: Keep it on hand at your next family reunion.

Poppy and Someday Marfa Moon Mist, $30, available at Poppy and Someday.
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Beauty products make us happy simply by virtue of being beauty products. Give us a good lipstick or mask, and our mood immediately improves. When a serum takes it a step further by being infused with red garnet — the stone of joy and energy — well, it can't hurt. The brand claims that "most people feel a dramatic difference in their everyday state of mind within two to three days," but we aren’t planning to bail on our therapist or yoga-studio membership just yet.

Lotus Wei Joy Juice Balancing Serum, $50, available at Lotus Wei.
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Not only does this aromatherapeutic face spray pack a triple chakra-balancing punch with amethyst, rose quartz, and aqua aura quartz, it also soothes stressed skin with cucumber and licorice. Also, it makes you smell really damn good thanks to a blend of citrus and flower oils.

Therapie Roques O'Neil Restore Aura Spray, $44, available at Shen Beauty.
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