Garden of Wisdom

Super dynamic skin products

Glynis BarberBeauty, Skincare 5 Comments

I’m still using and loving my Garden of Wisdom (GOW) products and have now added some of their super active products to my regime. These are all designed to give your skin a real boost so that you get real and visible results.

If you missed my first two articles about these amazing products just click on the links below:



I bet you’re wondering what could be even more dynamic than the products I previously wrote about? What do I actually mean by super dynamic skin products? Well how about a stronger retinol, a vitamin C that goes really deep and a glycolic acid to give you super smooth youthful skin? These will all supercharge your skin increasing cell turnover.

Granactive Retinoid 5% Serum –

I started off on their mildest version which is the Retistar Retinol Serum. This one is a retinoid and is the next step up. Now everybody reacts differently to retinols and I happen to be extremely sensitive to them. In fact until last year I had given up on them as previous attempts had left me with skin so dry and flaky it just wasn’t worth it.

I’ve now had a good run with retinols

AlphaRet, the first retinol that I tried last year, left me with no side effects and neither did the Retistar. Hooray! Having gained back my confidence in retinols I decided to to try the Granactive Retinoid.  I applied it all over my face but was alarmed the next morning to find I had seriously swollen eyes. This was odd as I hadn’t applied it to my eyes at all. This was clearly some sort of allergic reaction. Was it the retinoid? I couldn’t be sure but couldn’t think of anything else I’d used that was different. It took a full week for the swelling to go down.

I felt so disappointed after the success of the last year

However I wasn’t convinced that the retinoid had caused it. Normally the bad reaction is flaky skin and this was so different. I was trying to decide if I dare try again.

Shabir Daya (the formulator of the products from Victoria Health) had told me that Granactive Retinoid is gentle but more potent than the Retistar which means there’s a small chance of inflammation. My reaction was clearly a lot more than that.

I waited 6 weeks and then decided to go for it. I used very little and was careful not to go anywhere near my eyes. And guess what? Nothing. No reaction at all.

I’m now using it very carefully twice a week with no side effects whatsoever and will build up my usage slowly. Which just leaves me with the mystery of what caused my swollen eyes?

Why am I bothering I hear you ask? This retinoid is one of the most bio-available, non-prescription forms of vitamin A and is even more powerful than retinol in the fight against wrinkles and ageing skin. So in answer to the question why bother? Because it’s worth it.

Remember to start slowly and to always apply an SPF during the day when using retinols and retinoids.


Glycolic Acid Serum 5% –

Glycolic acid is part of the alpha hydroxy acid group. The GOW version is the most natural form of it derived from sugar cane as opposed to many synthetic versions.

It’s main purpose is to exfoliate. The top layer of skin is the most damaged and becomes rough, dull and hyper pigmented. For lovely smooth skin it’s important to slough off these dead skin cells regularly. The small particle size of glycolic acid makes it easy for it to penetrate the skin and work effectively. It’s much gentler than scrubs and physical exfoliaters that can lacerate the skin.

It has the added benefit of boosting collagen production and helps hydrate the skin through increasing levels of hyaluronic acid.

I use in the evening about twice a week. I don’t use my vitamin C or retinol on the nights I use it.


C-Deep Vitamin C Serum –

I’m already using the GOW Vitamin C 23% Serum & Ferulic Acid which I love. However when they   brought out this gold standard version, I had to check it out. This one works differently as it’s oil based meaning it can penetrate both the dermis and the epidermis. The water based L-Ascorbic versions (most on the market) are unable to do this. They also tend to be unstable, degrade easily and can cause irritation.

This new one uses Tetrahexyidecyl Ascorbate and has none of the above problems. Deeply protective against free radicals, it goes much deeper than other vitamin C skin products. It’s absolutely amazing.

I’ve always been a fan of vitamin C for boosting collagen and fading sun spots and this incredible deep penetrating version is a must as far as I’m concerned.

It’s suspended in squalene oil which penetrates quickly. I’m using this one during the day and the Vitamin C 23% at night. When that one is finished I think I’ll just stick with the C-Deep.


Alpha Arbutin 2% & Kojic Acid 1% Serum –

It’s a mouthful I know but this is what you need if you have melasma or hyperpigmentation in your skin. And I have a lot. My many years of intense sunbathing have left me with browny pigmented bits all over my face. This serum is a natural alternative to hydroquinone which can cause inflammation.

This light weight but effective serum will inhibit pigment formation and even out skin tone, fading age spots and hyper pigmentation. Doing this results in a much clearer and more youthful complexion.

This is another must have as far as I’m concerned.

I use it once a day usually in the AM.


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Comments 5

  1. I’ve always been a bit afraid of retinols and I’m not even sure why! I’m braving it though and my GOW Retistar arrived this morning so I’m going to give it a try tonight. Thank you for recommending GOW, I have the Vitamin C 23% serum too because I really wanted something much more affordable than the Ole Henriksen truth serum (which I love but which I also need a mortgage to afford!).

  2. Hi Glynis

    Just wanted to say I have been using some of the the GOW serums for almost a month now and am really pleased with them. As you say they are also much more affordable than other similar products. Will definitely be trying others in the range in the weeks to come.

    Always find your articles interesting and informative.

    You are certainly a good advert for your care and attention to your body and mind!!😊

    Keep up the good work and here’s to a better 2021!

    Best regards

    Nicky Mundy x

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  3. I’ve just ordered the one for age spots and really looking forward to trying it. I would love some recommendations for dark circles under the eyes as it’s something I’m very self conscious of. x

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      Dark circles are a difficult one. I have them too! If they are very bad it could be allergies or just lack of sleep. Unfortunately some people are more prone to them than others. the best thing is to find a great concealer. Nothing too heavy as that won’t look good, but rather something that will lighten the darkness and look natural.

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