As many of you know, I’m on a quest to find skin products with active ingredients that get real and visible results. I’ve had incredible results myself over the last 6 months with one rather expensive range and wanted to find something more affordable. And I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot with a range that is incredibly well priced and is literally jam packed with all the active ingredients you could need.
Garden of Wisdom is like a dream come true
Called GOW for short and found exclusively at Victoria Health in the UK, the products range between £10 and £20 with most of them at the cheaper end. How amazing is that?
And even though the products aren’t completely natural, they use top notch ingredients, are cruelty free and suitable for vegans.
- No Synthetic Fragrances
- No Synthetic Colorants
- No Parabens
- No Formaldehyde Releasers
- No Petrochemicals
- No Phythalates
- No SLS (sulphates)
The packaging is simple with all money being spent on what’s inside
All the bottles are 100% recyclable making it eco friendly as well. It’s a small family run business from Arizona and the formulas available on Victoria Health have been created by Shabir Daya, pharmacist at VH, exclusively for them.
The range is quite big so they helpfully suggest regimes to use on their website, depending on what you want to address.
I was lucky enough to be advised by Shabir himself who suggested an assortment of their hero products.
Retistar Retinol Serum –
Retinols are hugely important as they truly can transform your skin. My skin has always struggled to tolerate them and in the past they’ve left me with dry and flaky skin. However the last expensive one I used was an encapsulated retinoid which was completely non-irritating and I wanted to make sure I didn’t get a bad reaction this time. Shabir suggested I start with this GOW version as it’s one of their mildest. A patented retinoid offering gentle resurfacing properties as well as cell turnover.
It’s perfect if you’ve never used a retinol before
I started by using it twice a week and built up to every day usage which is advisable with any new retinol product you are trying. And I’m pleased to say that I had no irritation whatsoever so will progress to one of their stronger ones when it’s finished. However everyone’s skin will react differently. If you haven’t used retinol before, do please start with a mild one. And always use an SPF during the day as skin will be more sensitive. This one may be mild at only 1% but it’s effective and potent.
Vitamin C 23% Serum & Ferulic Acid –
I’m a huge fan of vitamin C as it really brightens and evens out skin tone and protects the skin from free radical damage. The ferulic acid in this version makes it particularly effective. Vitamin C is hard to stablize and can lose potency but this is a powerhouse one with it’s high 23%.
I could literally see my skin brightening after a few days of use
All with no side effects or stinging which amazed me.
I usually wear C during the day but this one Shabir recommends to use at night. It’s fine to use alongside the retinol as they work in synergy with each other. However acids should always be applied first so apply the vitamin C and then follow with the retinol.
Neurophroline Serum –
Shabir declared this to be one of his favourite serums because it’s suitable for any skin type and works to mitigate inflammatory hormones and chemicals in the upper layers of skin. In other words it will protect against pollution which can do untold damage to the skin. I love it because it’s anti-ageing and reduces fine lines as well as making your skin look really clear. I use this in the AM and apply it first before anything else. You can also use it in the PM. This is one of their most popular products.
Hyaluronic Acid Serum –
I like to use this one if my skin is feeling a bit dry as hyaluronic acid is one of the best hydrators and leaves your skin super soft. This one absorbs very easily into the skin and is very light. In fact all the GOW serums are very light which makes them great for layering on top of each other. I also sometimes just add a drop to my other serums to give an extra hydrating boost. It’s great with the neurophroline serum.
Just to add, as all the GOW serums and acids are super light, it almost feels like you have nothing on your skin. It’s a different feeling to using a creamy moisturiser and you may wonder if your skin is being nourished enough. The short answer is yes it is and to a deeper level as the serums will absorb better into your skin than any cream.
The hyaluronic acid is suitable for all types of skin including oily and sensitive skins.
Azelaic Acid –
I must confess I hadn’t heard of Azelaic acid before. However it turns out to be very useful for some common problems like rosacea, inflammation and hyperpigmentation.
It’s also a gentle yet highly effective acne treatment
This powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory is gentle enough to be used on any skin-type including sensitive skin and has a calming effect on skin prone to rosacea and acne.
It additionally removes dead skin cells which makes it extremely effective in the treatment of mild to moderate acne. However it’s the ability to brighten and lighten skin with pigmentation problems including post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, age spots and freckles, that made me want to try it.
It’s still a work in progress but I’m really impressed with the results so far.
It can be used in the AM and PM but Shabir recommends using acids in the PM. I therefore just use it at night and apply it first.
There are many, many more products, in fact it’s like an Aladdin’s cave of beauty products, and I intend to try as many as I can. I will therefore be revisiting the GOW products in another article in the coming months. Please do remember that if you use retinol or any active ingredients, it’s important to use an SPF, even in winter.
In the meantime you can check out the range yourself by clicking on the link below.
All of these items sound great but surely I can’t put them all on my face so how do I choose which to use because they all sound like what I need!!!
Ha ha I know what you mean. They all are so good! You could start by using just a couple of them. Shabir says to always apply acids first and says you can layer up to 3 of them and then if you like add an oil on top. Because they are serums and acids they very very light. It’s very different to using creams so they do layer very well. It took me awhile to get used to how light they are and I was worrying they wouldn’t be nourishing enough. But my skin looks great and hydrated so they really are very effective.
Hi Glynis, just ordered the Azelaic Acid also Hydrating Eye Creme with Hyaluronic Acid, can you recommend a foundation please! Hope you don’t mind me asking, does the diet still work for you? Understand if you don’t wish to answer the latter!
Let me know what you think of them? Regarding foundations it all depends whether you want to go the all natural route or not? if you do I’ve been enjoying one by Madara called Skin Equal. It gives a lovely glow to the face although the texture is slightly thick. However it gives a natural light coverage. For the non natural route I love Charlotte Tilbury foundations. Their Light Wonder is just that (light) and gives a nice natural coverage.
And yes I absolutely still stand by The In-Sync Diet and that by following the basic guidelines, you will keep both healthy and trim.
Hi Glynis, I’ve only just seen your reply, the products I bought are truly fantastic, the Azelaic Acid has disguised my spider veins, just something unfortunately has been passed to me my Grandma had and Mom has! The Hyaluronic Acid, has most certainly rehydrated my skin! Kind regards!
I have just started to use a few of the GOW products on your recommendation and I’m looking forward to seeing what sort of results I get over the coming weeks. Thank you for sourcing a more affordable range.
The prices are really amazing. I’d love to hear what you think of them?
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Hi Glynis – I was wondering if you’re still using GOW’s Vitamin C and finding good results? I’ve been using Ole Henriksen Truth Serum for about a year or so but my goodness it’s a bit pricey! I’d love to switch to something less expensive but that still feels like it gives some brightness to my skin.
Thank you for your articles here, always such good research!
Yes I am indeed and have also started using another C serum of theirs which is groundbreaking. Will be posting about it next week.
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It is a big leap with retinols because some of them van cause unpleasant reactions. However the Retistar is gentle I feel confident you’ll be fine with it. Do start slowly though. If you have a reaction stop and wait a good few days.
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I got indian skin which is dry and I got those dark spots since becoming 57 of she. Dark circles I think it is pigmentation.
I don’t have a clue what products I should use.
My skin can become sensitive react with wrong products or chemicals.
Can you recommend? I like 👍 your garden of wisdom products as they seem affordable.
Would love your feedback
Meant dry Indian skin
Dark sun spots I think have appeared can’t get rid of them
Dark circles ⚫️ under eyes which I think is pigmentation due to my dark asian skin.
I would love to know what you recommend in garden of wisdom range.
I canreact to chemicals in products so have to make sure they are gentle on my skin.
Loved your video
Would love to hear what you recommend for Indian skin
Yes it’s sure to be pigmentation which is quite tricky to get rid of. There are products that can help fade pigmentation a bit and I’m going to do an article about it soon. In the meantime you could try Azelaic acid from Garden of Wisdom.