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Treatments (Face) - Garden of Wisdom - Mandelic Acid Serum

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rated 4.2(45 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.2
  • 77% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.6
  • Price: $$$

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 1/23/2012 11:53:00 AM More reviews by annehelge

Age: 44-55 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

At the moment, I am using the 15 % yes alcohol, yes seaweed Mandelic Acid from GoW.

I use just one drop on my nose every night after cleansing.

Ive been fighting blackheads on my nose ever since my teens, trying everything, and this stuff really, truly makes them *so* small, almost annihilates them. I am VERY happy. Shrinking, invisible pores, yay!!

PLEASE NOTE - you need to work your way up to the 15 % strength! I did, and I still get some mild flaking. (I dont mind it at night, and I just apply moisturizer during the day.)

Really. If you just buy this strength and apply it, I think you are going to wake up with major flakies. REALLY.

Ive also tried this on my face but did not work my way up to it, well major flaking, duh! I will try it again, but will start with a less potent Mandelic Acid, then use this maybe every third night, every second night, etc.

Ive heard this helps with sun spots, I tried it on one and it was lighter the very next morning. I will try this again for a longer time, I am convinced this is the solution.

Oh and the customer service at GoW is EXCEPTIONAL!! Very friendly, personal help.

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rated 5 of 5 on 9/21/2011 12:07:00 AM More reviews by michellethreefold

Age: 36-43 Skin: Very Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Along with the Light & Bright Serum, the Mandelic Acid is definitely working to shift my pigmentation!

I started with 5%, and then moved up to 15%. Both are quite drying (since they are exfoliants), but as long as you follow up with a good moisturiser (or in my case facial oil), then you'll be fine. I only use the 15% formula every couple of days.

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rated 4 of 5 on 6/29/2011 6:20:00 AM More reviews by xlitlbitx

Age: 36-43 Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Coarse Eyes: Brown

I have used the 5% no alcohol and no seaweed version of this and purchased a sample of it to see if it worked, I don't care much for the sample bottle since its white and unable to see how much is in the bottle but dealt with it since it was a sample. It was suggested by one of the ladies that help answer questions on the GoW forum for my hyperpigmentation that I have as a spot treatment along with a couple other products they carry (light n' bright and maritlyme).
It has helped me out a lot with lightning up my spots but after a couple months I think my skin got use to it as your skin will do with many products so I was suggested another acid to use until I get the results that I want.
I plan on buying this product again just to keep my skin the way I want it with the discolorations and may even try it on my entire face as I have read it also helped others with acne and getting smaller pores.

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rated 4 of 5 on 6/2/2011 12:48:00 AM More reviews by sunkissedbeach

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I've been using the 5% no alcohol no seaweed version for the past two weeks, but I probably could've gotten the 10% version too.

This tightened my pores almost immediately, which was great! My skin is mattified, and looks very calm. It doesn't sting, but since it's only 5% it would be weird if it did (my skin is used to acids; I've used almost all of MUAC's glycolic products before - Lactic peel, Glycolic peel, Gly-luronic serum, TCA peel etc).

On the bottle, it says that you should leave this on for 20 minutes before applying anything else.
It is a bit drying, but I can manage the 20 minute wait for moisturizer.

I don't like this particular packaging. The bottle is way too light, and easily knocked over. I knocked it over twice (!!), and lost 3/4 of the product.
Also, GoW's droppers are a little weak somehow, they don't hold the liquid. When you hold the dropper without pinching the top, the serum just seeps out.
Skin Ceuticals makes much better bottles, which are heavy glass, can handle an accidental bump, and their droppers have more "holding power".

Nevertheless, this is a great serum so far, will update later.

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/25/2011 3:24:00 PM More reviews by tadpole02

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

This is one of those things that you have to use for a couple or a few weeks before you will notice a difference. I had developed acne in my 30's, nothing too major, but I had at least one "mark" or active pimple (some cystic) every day on my face. The old pimples would dry up but leave horrible scars. I also have a huge problem with clogged pores. So, in comes the mandelic 10% no alcohol, no seawees. I started out using it about every 3 days, then worked up to every other night. Now, I can use it every day if I want to, but still try to keep it to every other night. My skin has done a total turn around. I have no need to wear foundation, which would always cause clogged pores for me, no matter what formuation and brand. And, my scars have mostly faded. I would suggest to anyone to try the sample first, it lasts ages and then you could find out if it works for you.

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 4/15/2011 2:06:00 PM More reviews by wws1980

Age: 30-35 Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Warm Hair: Brown, Curly, Coarse Eyes: Green

I had such high hopes for this serum, but it did absolutely nothing for me. My skin is acne prone and used to a tough regimen of Retin A, AHA and TCA peels, and regular microdermabrasion and dermaplaning. I used this religiously for two months and honestly didn't see any difference in my skin. Pass.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 4/3/2011 10:15:00 AM More reviews by sunkissed011

Age: 19-24 Skin: Dry, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

So ive been trying to find something to help with those stubborn clogged pores (small tiny bumps under the skin- you can't really see them unless you look at them under a certain lighting but you can feeel all the tiny lumps if you run your finger across them) and NOTHING i've tried has worked, (i've tried retin-a, bp, salicylic acid, glycolic acid). I also have a lot of acne scars on my cheeks from picking at previous pimples ( i know this is bad >.< but i can't help it). OMG seriously after the FIRST night of using this I would say 90% of the bumps on my cheeks had gone away. I've been using it for about a week now and all the clogged pores on my cheeks are GONE, i even noticed that my acne scars faded a little bit, I'll keep using this and update on how my scars look in a few weeks! I'm using the 10% mandelic acid serum with no alcohol/no seaweed btw. I also only purchased the sample size which is about the size of an eyedropper bottle. It will last me probably a month but i will DEF buy the full size when i run out. The only thing I don't like about this is the packaging (you actually have 3 options of having it come as a dropper, mister or pump. I didn't realize you could change this option so i ended up with the dropper. The serum is very liquidy so it's kind of hard to apply ( it actually feels kinda like water) so next time i order i would probably go with the spritzer, just cause it seems like it would be easier to apply to the face.


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rated 4 of 5 on 3/12/2011 3:36:00 PM More reviews by sophiapirie

Age: 19-24 Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine Eyes: Green

I have been using this product for two nights. Im pregnant and my skin was just all over the place, clear one week then the next black heads and white heads. I've contributed this to mostly my oil production increasing so i layed off the make up and added joboba oil and gow 10% no alc no seaweed mandelic acid. I notice my black heads have already decreased and skin looks better which is a relief. I'll continue using after i have my baby as well. My goal is to not have to wear foundation at all except for concealer under my eyes. So i'd say give it a try if you want to just exfoliate or get rid of blackheads and light acne. I'll update in about a week or two.

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rated 5 of 5 on 3/12/2011 2:56:00 PM More reviews by rougebird

Age: 25-29 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Straight, Coarse Eyes: Green

The best stuff to treat those post acne spots (brown, red and even blue). I have cuperose and somehow tend to break out exactly near those areas. I am using enzyme peeling from Pevonia Botanica to clean the skin and this serum (no alco, no seaweed, 5%) to fight those nasty post acne "memories". I've found this to help heal the acne faster and lighten the spots (btw, more effective then GoW's Light'n'Bright serum). It is believed that mandelic acid is the only kind of acid that can be used with rosacea/cuperose and I am glad I've found it.

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rated 3 of 5 on 3/12/2011 2:42:00 AM More reviews by cadbury

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I have sensitive combination skin with rosacea on my cheeks, and pigmentation (mainly freckles) which is concentrated mainly on my cheekbones. I'm also prone to clogs, blackheads and whiteheads.

I bought the 5% no seaweed or alcohol sample after reading about mandelic acid being great for removing pigmentation, redness and acne without irritation. I was mainly interested in it for pigmentation, based on rave reviews.
I made sure to wear sunscreen and avoid the sun more than usual so that I didn't damage my skin.

I introduced it into my routine slowly, using it over hyaluronic acid toner twice, a week. After the first uses the acid brought what was in my pores to the surface, and I got some whitehead type pimples. Nothing major, and I was glad that my skin was being cleared out.
My nose got a little flaky, but quite minor, and it gets flaky from any kind of exfoliation.
By the end of the second week I used the mandelic without the toner 3x and had no visible irritation. The mandelic made my skin very smooth, and it brought sebum etc to the surface of my skin with ease. It made my blackheads harder to remove though.
The third week I used it only twice as I didn't want to over exfoliate. I used it over the toner because my skin seemed fragile. By the end of third week I noticed that both the texture and tone of my skin looked much worse. Usually I can just put hyaluronic toner and oil free moisture and my skin looks healthy and clear, but now my skin constantly had a red blotchy undertone. I didn't understand this as my skin wasn't irritated in terms of severe redness, rashes or breakouts.
Currently, my skin looks quite awful - my cheeks, which are normally clear of pimples, are somewhat bumpy under the skin, and the tone is equally poor.
I have learned the difference between purging and a bad reaction over the years. Purging is what I initially experienced as the bad stuff was brought (quite easily) to the surface. Now what I am experiencing is my skin disliking this product. I have used an AHA a long time ago (Neutrogena healthy skin) and my skin didn't like that either, so perhaps AHAs are not for me.
To remedy this, I am just going to have to wait it out and hope my skin goes back to normal.

The one place I am going to continue using the mandelic is on my chin, as I haven't had any adverse effects there aside from a couple of whiteheads and I want to see if I can get any of the benefits that the rest of my face will not. If I end up with a bad reaction there too, I will stop the mandelic completely.

I have all the conditions that mandelic is purported to help with, but maybe my skin is just too sensitive or not suited to these kind of products.
It's a shame that this didn't work for me, but I am glad I bought a sample to try. It seems to be fantastic for other people, so the only way to know if it will suit you is to try it for yourself.

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