Who knew one of 2016’s Pantone colours of the year, Rose Quartz, would have such a profound effect on our collective psyche? The focus on rose quartz in 2016 has paved the way for a heightened interest in crystals that has grown in momentum this year. Crystals, in all their incarnations, are having a moment as we look for ways to balance our hectic lifestyles or for a temporary escape from our always-on digital existence.
“I think people are looking for some element of spirituality in their lives, and crystals are one aspect of this,” says Anna-Marie Solowij, co-founder of BeautyMart. And it seems quite prophetic, really, that Pantone should select Rose Quartz as its focus for 2016; the crystal is thought to cancel out negative energy, plenty of which was thrown at us from all directions last year. But can a piece of rock really help boost our energy levels and brighten our mood? And how on earth do you even use a crystal in your everyday life? Keep scrolling to find out more about this New Age practice.
how crystals work
Each crystal has its own stable and unchanging vibration, as well as a colour that you may be drawn to depending on your current mood. "Everything in this universe is a vibration, including you," explains Azalea Lee, founder of Place 8 Healing in Los Angeles. "As a whole, you are an intricate symphony of resonances, with some vibrations out of whack. Crystals have a specific and clear vibration. By openly engaging with these vibrations, crystals can act as a tuning fork to help recalibrate your vibrations to a more 'in-tune' place, helping you to be more balanced physically, emotionally, and spiritually."
“They act like tuning forks, bringing the energies around them into harmony,” says Judy Hall in The Little Book of Crystals (£6). “Our bodies have very unstable energy fields and any disruption creates “dis-ease,” but if you put the stable energy field of a crystal alongside a disorganised human field, the energies entrain—come together—and the disharmonious field is brought back to its pristine form. Harmony and wellbeing are the result.”
It may sound a bit woo woo, but more and more women are turning to crystals. Emma Lucy, who is an executive assistant at a publishing house and a psychic reader and crystal healer in her spare time, explains how she uses hers, “Personally I select mine like choosing an eye shadow. I ask myself, What mood am I in? or What do I need? and I always find I’m drawn to a crystal. So for example, if I’ve got a big meeting or I’m worried about a day, I’ll choose a tiger eye stone for confidence.”
And while you may think it all sounds a bit airy-fairy, crystals are used in modern technology. “Certain crystals have electrical, optical and mechanical properties: quartz crystals have been used in technology for their vibrational properties and are used in sonar, ultrasound, computer chips, LCD, digital displays, satellites, and watches. Ruby, garnet and sapphire are used in lasers as energy conductors,” explains Solowij.
How to Buy Crystals
Ideally, you want to head to a brick-and-mortar store and spend time exploring the crystals; which ones are you drawn to? Pick them up and see how they feel. “It’s said that the stone will find you, so buy stones that you are naturally drawn to,” says Kristin Petrovich, founder of Själ Skincare and author of Elemental Energy: Crystal and Gemstone Rituals for a Beautiful Life (£17). “Look for a reliable store or online shop to make sure you are buying authentic, good-quality, stones. Sometimes they will even give them grades based on size, quality and purity. However, you certainly don't need a cut stone to have its effects. Tumbled (polished) and raw work just as well,” she adds.
Facialist Nichols Joss send her clients to the Buddha on a Bicycle spiritual centre for specific crystals based on their state of mind during the treatment. Emma Lucy recommends heading to The Astrology Shop or Mysteries in Covent Garden.
“Each crystal has a personality trait, but you might get something different from it on a particular day. It’s a bit like choosing your outfit: You may have something in mind and then put it on and it doesn’t look how you wanted it to.”
How to Use Crystals
There are various ways to use crystals in your everyday life. “I think we’ve all read that Victoria Beckham carries rose quartz around in her pockets,” says Solowji. “There’s a lot to be said for having a talisman, or some kind of worry stone or tactile, physical object to focus on in the rush of the day.
“We all used to have great chunks of rose quartz on our desks in the ’90s to neutralise the radiation coming off our computers! Crystals are ancient, from the earth, and we are often disconnected from this in our everyday lives. Just having that reminder that everything exists on an atomic level is humbling,” says Solowij.
“I put them in my pocket, I have them on my desk, I even wear them in my bra!” says Emma Lucy.
“At home, you can create elixirs by placing crystals in oil or water to charge the liquid. You can use these elixirs in your skincare routine, perhaps spraying on an elixir before applying your day cream or you can mix with your products like serum or cleanser. They can give a refreshing and recharged boost to the skin,” explains Petrovich.
“Tumbled stones or wands make for great massage or acupressure treatments,” she adds. And like Emma Lucy, Petrovich places them on her person. “Place grounding stones in your shoes when you are seated,” she suggests.
Crystals Need Charging (Yes, Really)
It may sound bizarre, but your crystals need to be charged, just like a mobile phone. There are various ways you can do this, but you should charge your crystals when you first buy them. “When you purchase a stone, there’s no way of knowing who has come into contact with it and whether that person’s energy was positive or negative. So before you use the stone for any treatment or technique, you’ll want to clean and charge it. By doing both, you’re basically erasing others’ energy,” writes Petrovich in Elemental Energy.
The first method involves placing your crystals in a glass or ceramic bowl of salt water so they are fully submerged. Leave them for between 12 to 24 hours in the sun or under the light of the moon like Emma Lucy recommended (sounds odd, stick with us). You then need to rinse the stones in cool water. This method shouldn’t be used on porous stones, ones containing metal, or any that have a water content, such as opal, selenite, calcite, and fluorite. If you’re not sure, Petrovich advises you avoid cleansing crystals that are below Mohs’ (hardness) scale of three, a measurement you can usually find online.”
The dry method involves placing clear quartz apexes, pointed crystals, around the gem you want to clear and leaving it for 24 hours.
If you want to speed up the method, use a Tesla purple plate made from aluminium that has been anodised (placed in a chemical bath to make it more durable); this process somehow alters the plate to vibrate at a frequency similar to that of the stones themselves. “Purple plates are known to raise vibratory frequencies of any living thing, from people to plants to animals,” writes Petrovich.
Crystals in Beauty
As well as using homemade crystal elixirs in the bath or massaging your skin with a jade roller or pink quartz massager, more and more brands are incorporating crystals into skincare products. Brands like Kita and Själ Skincare are infused with crystals. Kita offers just five serums, each based on a different element (there is a quiz on the website to help you discover your element), and each is infused with different crystals, such as energy-enhancing ruby, cleansing jade or soothing moonstone.
“In skincare, crystals, gemstones and minerals enhance the energy of product as well as other ingredients,” explains Petrovich. “As they vibrate at a higher frequency they tend to move toward the weaker cells helping to harmonise the skin. They provide microcirculation and help with the delivery system.
"The skin loves stones such as rose quartz, it calms, aids in anti-redness and promotes circulation," adds Petrovich.
But not everyone believes crystals in skincare can have an effect. Emma Lucy believes that finding your crystals (or them finding you) is key. When it comes to the crystals in skincare, she asks, where’s it coming from? And what’s the quality?
However, crystal-infused skincare can be a good entry into the world of crystals if you’re not quite ready to wear them in your bra. “I like Aveda’s Tourmaline Charged Cleanser, mainly for its scent and texture; I’ve used it since the ’90s—crystals as cosmetic ingredients is not a new trend,” says Solowij. “There’s a French brand called Gemology, and it does a lovely oil called Delice de Peridot. And I like the body care brand Prismologie’s Rose Quartz & Rose Body Balm (£55), which has powdered crystals that make the skin glimmer.”
While Miranda Kerr's Kora Organics beauty products are made with water that was "filtered through rose quartz to give the vibration of self-love.”
Drink Crystal Energy
Water filtered through crystals, otherwise known as crystal elixirs, which Petrovich champions, may be used in Kerr’s Kora skincare line, but you can also drink the waters too. Burberry makeup artist Wendy Rowe is a fan of this high-vibration water (as it’s otherwise known). Proponents believe the water picks up energy from the crystals and is more effective at both hydrating and detoxifying than regular H2O. We have our eye on Vita Juwels Gemwater On-the-Go (£70). You can buy various different filters (depending on the type of energy you want to ingest); whether or not you believe the water is superior, the bottle will be a definite talking point at your workplace water cooler.
Over in Camden, the Triyoga’s Nectar Café sells Blue Moon Dream Water. It’s charged with lapis lazuli, a deep blue semi-precious stone, and blended with the anti-inflammatory clitoria flower and cleansing sage.
Finding the right crystals for you
In the market to give crystals a try? Interestingly, if you wear a diamond ring, Emma Lucy recommends you don’t sleep with it on. “Diamonds are mood setters; they are very powerful, can set a bad mood or even give you insomnia,” she says. Keep scrolling to find out which crystals you should draw on depending on the result you want. Remember, though, crystals and stones are personal to you, and what you find works for you may not work for another, explains Emma Lucy. Essentially there are no hard-and-fast rules.
Learn More About Crystals
You may still be skeptical about crystals (we don’t wholly blame you), and there are plenty of books out there if you want to find out more. Judy Hall is considered the leading authority on crystals, while Kristin Petrovich’s book will look great on your coffee table.
Next up, this is why you should cleanse your crown chakra.