Colloidal Silver: The Brilliant Ingredient Missing From Your Anti-Ageing Routine
If you're reading this whilst wearing silver earrings (an oversized pair, we're guessing) or a handsome sterling watch, you might be surprised to learn that the material your jewellery is made from is also considered an anti-ageing ingredient. The use of colloidal silver (teensy silver particles suspended in liquid) in skincare arguably has its roots in medicine, where the ingredient was used in the 1900s as a disinfectant prior to the invention of antibacterial soaps. Modern research is mixed, but the antibacterial action of colloidal silver is such that it's still used in some hospitals as a wound dressing today.
As far as skincare goes, colloidal silver isn't yet a common ingredient, but it sure is a fascinating one. Joy Isaacs, founder of Argentum Apothecary, is leading the way in anti-ageing with a duo of cult products formulated with silver hydrosol. What is silver hydrosol exactly? "[It'] the purest and finest of the colloidal silver categories. It is made of positively charged pure silver ions, suspended in pharmaceutical-grade purified water, and has incredible antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps to regulate skin flora, stimulate skin elasticity and increase the process of tissue protection," explains Isaacs.
Isaacs was familiar with colloidal silver from an early age, her mother using it to treat cuts, burns and grazes as she was growing up. A chance encounter later in life sparked the idea to use it in skincare. "Just before I dreamed up the idea of Argentum, my doctor used silver-infused wound dressings to treat an infection I had after surgery—its healing powers were truly miraculous," says Isaacs.
Argentum Apothecary La Potion Infinie Face Cream ($340)
Isaacs' cult product, La Potion Infinie ($340), is made up of a large percentage of natural ingredients (99.5%), of which she is very proud: "We are considered as one of the most natural, scientific creams on the market." They're also one of the most luxurious and unique—each pot of cream comes packaged with a random tarot card intended to deliver the customer a dose of self-exploration and guidance. (The meaning of each card is explained on the brand's website.)
In addition to silver hydrosol, Argentum Apothercary's La Potion Infinie contains an ingredient called DNA HP, a marine-based hydrator said to carry 10,000 times its weight in water (hyaluronic acid is just one thousand). According to Isaacs, "It also promotes cell regeneration by stimulating collagen and elastin, helping to eliminate free radicals, and carries the healing properties of silver hydrosol directly into the intercellular space of the skin."
Side note: Ingesting colloidal silver can lead to a condition called Argyria in which your skin literally turns blue. (Really, look.) It's illegal to sell colloidal silver as a dietary supplement or medicine in Australia, but you may still find it in health food stores (it's also sold as a water purifying agent). We love a home face treatment as much as the next girl, but we do not recommend flexing your DIY skills with this ingredient.