"I like my products to do double duty," says Armstrong. "I want something that looks good, that's effective, that's high performance. And I didn't just want to buy a gallon of body wash. So I thought, if there's any chance of getting consumers to modify their behavior, to practice a body care routine, I should make it attractive, inviting, elevated—an experience."
Gilded Body uses efficacious ingredients and places them in gorgeous vessels that you'll want to leave on your counter. The line comprises skin-care products like body oil, dry brushes, bath salts, and more. They're meant to help you care for your skin and your soul simultaneously.
Products that feel as good as they look
Beyond making beautiful products, Armstrong wanted to create formulas that would effectively nourish the skin, because preventing dryness is about much more than vanity.
"When we're drying out that skin barrier, we're more likely to have those little microscopic breaks in the skin barrier. So it's less effective in terms of preventing infection," says Ivy Lee, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Pasadena, California. "That's why sometimes we can get superficial infections from really dry skin."
The two big ways to manage dry skin are exfoliating and moisturizing. For the former, Gilded has marble dry brushes ($129) and a Brightening Body Scrub ($45). For the latter, there are two really fabulous body oils, one for summer ($95) and one that's soon to come for winter ($95).
“Dry brushing is a really great moment to stop in the morning or the afternoon and to be mindful about taking care of your body,” says Armstrong. “Dry brushings really only takes a few minutes a day, or every few days, so. If it’s in the morning and my schedule’s not too busy, I do take time to use it as an opportunity to lavish and love on myself.”
“The body polish, that’s made with imported, fresh sea salt that is hand-harvested and I think it does a really great job at exfoliating the skin,” says Armstrong. It also contains cupuacu seed butter, one of Armstrong’s favorite ingredients. “I discovered it during my [PA] training and it just has so many great benefits,” she says. “It restores elasticity to the skin, which is important for the body. It’s described as a super moisturizer because of its hydrophilic, or water-loving properties. And it makes the skin really supple and soft. Sort of an elevated lotion, but better.”
This is Armstrong’s go-to in the summer. It’s great to rub on the body, but is also a fantastic addition to your bath water to help your skin retain moisture. This can make it so you can enjoy as nice long soak without irritating your skin. “I’m a huge proponent of bathing, not just for cleansing, but for the meditative, the restorative; there’s nothing like a great bath to me,” she says.
Body care that looks like art
Gilded products are housed in such gorgeous packaging, they belong displayed on your vanity instead of hidden away in a cabinet.
"I really wanted to elevate the experience and make products that are beautiful to look at; not just nice to use, but something you'll keep out on display so that you'll be reminded to use them," says Armstrong. "When we think about things that are created to last, many of them are made of marble, like some of the buildings or the coliseums, the material of choice is marble. This choice was really inspired by my love of art and history and architecture."
The marble offerings include a candle, a bath soak, and a dry brush. The vessels are refillable and you can send the dry brush back to Gilded to have the bristles refreshed when you're ready.
"These are objects that you can use for a really extended period of time," says Armstrong. "Think of how many vessels are created for one-time use. We see a lot of lip service, a lot of talk around sustainability. So I think it's important to actually be forward thinking and make modifications where and how we can."
Aside from the dry brushes, Gilded's refillable marble assortments include bath salts and a candle.
This sphere houses a blend of French gray salt, Fleur de Sel de Guerande, Mediterranean black salt, and essential oils “to add an element of the at-home spa experience to your bath,” says Armstrong. “And the minerals are really good for the skin.” Once you’re out, you can get a refill for $38.
Armstrong's brand is about caring for yourself in a way that feels special. The products are more expensive than many of the body products on the market, but if they're within your budget, they're worth it. It can feel so much easier to justify spending serious money on skin care for your face rather than your body. But with Gilded, Armstrong wants to change that mindset.
"There is such an imbalance—our face is only 2 percent of the entire surface of our body, of our skin," says Armstrong. "Yet we spend 99 percent of our routine with face care. So I do think it's important to slow down and to have a body care practice that really feels good."
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