Review – Garden of Wisdom Skincare

I know this review is long overdue, I have no tangible excuse but when I saw I had two empties of products I was meant to review after four weeks….forgive meeee!

Anyway….when I read about this brand on Instagram and watched reviews from Nadine Baggott and Wayne Goss, I decided to get 4 products from the brand. I am not one to shy away from a super affordable brand but after my experience with some of the products from The Ordinary, I was a bit skeptical but went ahead anyway.

Garden of Wisdom is a family run skincare line based in Arizona, United States but are now in the UK (hence the different labels and products to fit the UK market I presume).

Background Info/Claims: Garden of Wisdom (GoW) skin care and serums promote a natural, gentle approach for the treatment of skin concerns encouraging skin balance and stability. Your skin can, and will change. The needs of your skin can shift because of age, stress, seasonal and environmental factors, “skin complacency” using the same formulations month after month and of course, your overall health.Garden of Wisdom serums incorporate the least number of inactive ingredients allowing the actives to work more effectively than many other serums currently available on the market. GoW serums use the correct strength of actives in order not to disturb their physiological action on skin – website

Though they have several acid serums, a moisturiser, face oils and a face wash, I got the Mandelic Acid 10% serum, RetiStar Retinol, Niacinamide and the 2% Alpha Arbutin with 1% kojic acid serum. Started using the retinol and mandelic acid in August and the alpha arbutin and niacinamide in September

 Mandelic Acid 10% serum

Mandelic acid is the lesser know sibling in the alpha hydroxy family with larger molecules making it less irritating. This product has a clear and watery consistency like a toner and says to apply and wait 20 minutes before applying any other product. I used this 3 nights a week instead of a toner just so that I don’t over exfoliate my skin.

Ingredients: Spring Water, Mandelic Acid 10%, Sodium PCA, D-Panthenol, Lactic Acid, Leucidal SF (lactobacillus fermentation), Hyaluronic Acid (sodium hyaluronate).

pH: 3.6

Verdict: Skin was glowy by the next morning (seriously guys) without drying out my skin. Really great product. I think more people should look beyond glycolic acid.

RetiStar Retinol Serum

This serum is formulated with 1% RetiSTAR stabilized retinol and is a lotion-ey (is that a word?) texture due in a liposome base. I used this 4 nights a week after a toner.

Ingredients: Spring Water, Chardonnay Grapeseed Oil, Gluconolactone (Glucono Delta Lactone), Retistar Retinol 1% (retinol, tocopherol, sodium ascorbate and PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil in caprylic/capric triglycerides), Sclerotium Gum, Sodium Lactate, Liposomes (Phospholipon), Optiphen (Phenoxyethanol and Caprylyl)

Verdict: an effective retinol, not drying and I really enjoyed the results. I could easily use this with other acid toners without any sensitivity. This is great for beginners too.

Niacinamide serum

This is currently my favourite antioxidant to use. Looks like a light lotion but can be slightly sticky or should I say tacky. I use this twice daily every day; in the morning after alpha arbutin and mixed with retinol at night (this mix is SUPER). Skin feels “plump” and hydrated after each use.

Ingredients: Spring Water, Avocado BioFermentation, Pantothenic Acid (B-5), Sunflower Seed Extract, Niacinamide (B-3) 5%, Aspen Bark Extract, Xanthan Gum, Cosmocil CQ (Polyaminopropyl Biguanide),

Verdict: this used with the alpha arbutin and retinol, really helped my hyperpigmentation and make my skin look “bouncy”. Even at 5% concentration, this delivered far better results than both The Ordinary and Paula’s Choice serums.

Alpha Arbutin 2% and 1% Kojic Acid

A natural derivative of hydroquinone which has received a bad rap. It helps in brightening and uneven skin tone. I fell in love with the deep orange colour and slightly “sweet” smell. Used this as an AM serum and followed with the niacinamide or hyaluronic acid then followed with a moisturizer. I had used two arbutin based products before and I really don’t think it is fair to compare results especially with the first one as I had not treated the cause of my spots then, the other also didn’t do a lot for me though some people got results from it.

Ingredients: Distilled Water Paper Mulberry Infusion Alpha-Arbutin 2% Sodium Ascorbyl Palmitate 2% Niacinamide 1.5% Kojic Acid 1% Leucidal SF Optiphen

Verdict: I loved this serum. I also had some for sale and almost everyone who got this bought a backup! I don’t want to give this product all the credit for my hyperpigmentation fading as I was also using the niacinamide and retinol but my skin has really improved and it is glowing if I may say so myself!If you have hyperpigmentation issues, try this serum.

Final Verdict: Overall, this is a really good and affordable brand. I especially like that there isn’t too much hype around it as I lowkey feel that jinxes a brand sometimes. I was quite skeptical when I saw “natural” but honestly it exceeded my expectations and I will definitely repurchase and try more from the brand. One thing I wish I did was to take pictures to compare so you guys can see the difference. I would also like to use the American versions as they have higher concentrations and lower pH.

Where to buy: Online only which is kind of frustrating!

Have you tried anything from this brand? Did you love or hate it?

Let me know in the comment section





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8 Responses

  1. Sal Ummbaby says:

    Thank you so much for this post. As I mentioned to you on IG I have seen this brand here and there and didn’t know anything about them. I actually thought they were a luxury boutique brand with sky high prices. I am so thrilled to learn more about them and you can bet I have added all the things you’ve mentioned here on my shopping list. I don’t currently use any alpha arbutin product after a disappointing experience with the one from The Ordinary but sounds like this could be the one.

  2. Golda says:

    Thanks for stating the ingredients…seems like a good brand. The ingredients used indicate that that they care about sensitive skin. Did you purchase the products from their website?

  3. Isi says:

    I am definitely trying these out…thanks Bisi for this revew

  4. Amaka Owoh says:

    i had to refer back to this post just as i was about to purchase one, thanks!

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