I recently given the gift of black pearl powder from my great-aunt who lives in Hong Kong. This, along with other Chinese Medicine herbs, dried fungi, nuts, seeds and solid bird’s saliva. It was a kind of wedding gift and between our language barrier and my natural curiosity, I couldn’t refuse.
As strange and opulent eating pearl powder sounded to me, its actually quite a common thing to do in Asia. And with the rise in popularity of BB Creams from Asia, in some ways I’m wondering just how long it’ll take before pearl powder becomes all the rage. This powder can be taken internally of applied topically. It is said to have extremely high concentrations of calcium and minerals as well as is a strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Its also been found to promote cell regeneration and because of these healing and purifying properties, some hospitals even use pearl powder to treat wounds and topically by sprinkling it on the affected area. Because of these benefits pearl powder has also been used to clarify the complexion and treat acne. Its natural anti-septic also has been said to be the reason it doesn’t need preservatives and helps to preserve creams and other cosmetics its included it. With this, pearl powder is claimed to be good for lightening hyperpigmentation – but I am unsure exactly why. I’m going to make the assumption that its because of its anti-inflammatory and blood cleansing function…so many things lost in translation!
The package of pearl powder I was given had very little information but did say that it was good for calming the mind, eliminating mucous, removing toxins from the liver and treating “heat-evil”. Heat evil, well they had a point there. It sounded like it was Pitta pacifying and I think its important to note that we all need to take things that balance us out. So, if you have high heat and inflammation, pearl powder is ideal but if we have cold-excess, I would think it may be unbalancing.
The pearl package also outlined that the contents had beautifying benefits but didn’t explain why. All I know is that my great aunt kept saying how the Chinese Empress used to use it for beautifying and somehow I was supposed to understand how this would apply to me. I thought it was a bit silly that the skincare regime of a former Royal was to convince me of its powers – and chalked it up to a cultural difference, but then I thought of all those magazine articles about Kate Middleton’s product preferences and realized that things are actually the same everywhere.
Anyhoo, I decided this out and see what all the fuss was about and started to crack open the ampoules of precious pearl powder this week. Admittedly, I felt a little over-indulgent as I sprinkled half a vial into some water. Apparently you can put it into yoghurt or a spoon of honey but I wanted to see what it tasted like so opted for neutral H2O. It was quite tasteless and went down easily – and as a swilled my glass, I tried to use up every last hint of pearl residue. I felt like Lil Kim in the Lady Marmalade Single rapping “I sip champagne with diamonds in the glass”. Lol, me and Kimmy, using what should be made into jewelry as refreshments.
I also used the powder topically and dusted a little into my serum. I thought it was going to be granular but its ground so fine and actually melts into products really well. Though, because its a powder, I did find that it made the moisture-rich finish of my serum less hydrating and a bit drier, almost absorbing my product a bit. But I just applied some face oil over top and my skin felt fine.
Now I imagine this is something I’d need to take long-term, so the jury is still out on my opinion of pearl powder. But I will say that its been a few days and people have been commenting on my skin. It could be coincidence plain and simple, though a client came into the King Street spa location yesterday and exclaimed “God I wish I had your skin….look at it, its flawless”. Coincidence or not, I made note to keep taking my pearly potion.