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Amber is known for its beautiful and translucent yellowish gold color, though it can come in a variety of other colors as well. It is fossilized resin from ancient pine trees. You may have noticed amber appearing in a variety of places recently, from skin-care products and perfumes to teething necklaces and, of course, jewelry.
Amber is listed among the ingredients in many skin-care products today, either as an extract or a ground powder. It is said to be especially beneficial in tanning products and as an antiseptic and biostimulant. While it may seem an odd ingredient for a face wash or moisturizer, amber has a long history of use in traditional Baltic healing and skin care.
When used in perfume, amber imparts a pleasantly sweet and woodsy aroma. This smell does not come directly from amber but from the replicated the smell of ambergris, often mixed with other scents, creating a fragrance reminiscent of how amber looks. Just as amber stones have a warm and calming color similar to honey, the aroma is designed to be soothing and sweet and similar to vanilla.
Amber teething necklaces, designed for babies to wear and to chew on to relieve teething pain, have been increasing in popularity in recent years. While no one knows definitively why this may be effective, some people believe a chemical in the amber, called succinic acid, heats up when in contact with the child's body and then is absorbed into the bloodstream. It is also possible children just like them because chewing helps to ease teething pain. Parents should always use caution with these necklaces to ensure that babies do not become entangled and choke.
Adults often enjoy wearing jewelry made of amber as well. In addition to its beautiful honeylike color, and the fact that it feels warm against the skin, some people wear amber because they believe the stone has healing properties and can improve joint pain and other ailments. It also has a history of being associated with increased courage and safety.
Regardless of whether you like the look, smell or feel of amber, you're sure to find something to appreciate about this lovely and prehistoric gem.