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

rated 4.3(46 reviews)

Average Rating.4.3
Would buy this product again.78%

rated 5 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* AmyDbaby on 5/30/2010 11:02:00 PM more reviews by AmyDbaby

Age: 36-43   Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium   Hair: Red   Eyes: Brown    

I hardly know what to say about this product. Life-changing would not be an exaggeration. After a horrible altercation with Mama a few year back the simple word "mandelic" sent chills down my spine. Think out of control cystic acne that took months to get over. I thought never again would I ever look at such a product. But, I've watched the glowing reviews for GOW mandelic and wanted to place an order for a few other things so I decided to try the no seaweed stuff since I'm pretty darn sure that was the culprit of the MaMa crap. I ordered the 10% no alcohol no seaweed as I have used AHA's regularly for years and figured that would be fine. It was. I tried it every other night and had NO irritation, redness, stinging, nothing. After just a few days my skin seemed clearer and more refined. Over the first month I noticed a marked improvement in my clogged pores, the clogged pores that had plagued me all my life really. Most surprising though was that it completely rid my skin of the horrendous peeling and flaking I experienced from Taz. I was only using Taz twice a week and spent the rest of the time trying to exfoliate that stupid peels off my face or cover up the redness. It was a never ending battle. Until this. I just took my makeup off and stood looking in the 10x mirror at a face that is completely clear of acne in all its forms and without a peel or flake to be seen anywhere. My skin is plump and glowy and I can hardly believe my eyes. All this in about a month. It's crazy. The only bad thing is that I waited so long to try this miracle product. I could not be more thrilled. I have few HG products but this is now one of them and I'd even put it at the top of the list. Amazing stuff.

Edit: I just ordered a sample of the 15% no seaweed, no alcohol and my skin is not happy. I'm a big flaky mess. I've only used it for a week and am going to stick with it but I'm surprised at my skin's reaction. I've gotten so used to being flake and peel-free it's upsetting to see my face look so bad. I'll update again once I've used this for a bit longer (if I can stick it out - I miss my pretty skin!) but just wanted to warn people that the 15% seems pretty strong. I always seem to think that more is better. Apparently not always (yeah, I'm a brain surgeon, right?)

23 out of 23 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 Johnamua on 8/19/2010 7:13:00 PM more reviews by Johnamua

Age: 30-35   Skin: Acne-prone, Medium   Hair: Black   Eyes: Brown    

Review is for GOW 10% mandelic acid, no seaweed, no alcohol. I've been looking for a product that would lighten my post-acne brown spots and overall smooth the appearance of my skin. I used to get acne flare in the form of white heads, during stress, lack of sleep or hormone/cycle related. I read the reviews on this and decided to give it a try. I've been using this product for 3 months now. I use this product every other night, right after I wash my face. After applying, I allow it to "sink in" for 20-30 minutes as the directions indicate. The nights I use this, I don't layer anything else on top of it. Other nights and every morning, my regimen includes a BP cleanser and lotion that I've been using for years. The results.... since using this for 3 months, my skin is more even in tone, brown spots are about significantly lighter, I have a more natural glow, refreshed - even when I lack sleep! For me, the results really started to show in the past 2-3 weeks. I've used all kinds of other serums and treatments for my specific concerns. I feel confident going bare - without foundation if I don't really need it. I am in my early 30's and my skin hasn't looked this good since my early 20's - before I started getting adult acne. This is worth at least a try, IMHO. They sell a sample size that actually lasted me about 2 months. I know the frustration of trying different products, hang in there and if you find something that works...STICK WITH IT. I'm sticking for sure with this product. Thank you GOW!

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

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

Age: 19-24   Skin: Dry, Medium   Hair: Black   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.


10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 fortiesn on 7/20/2010 3:23:00 PM more reviews by fortiesn

Age: 36-43   Skin: Acne-prone   Hair: Brunette   Eyes: Green    

I don't want to call this a miracle since that seems so over the top, but seriously, this is a miracle product. I have only been using for several days and I have seen such a drastic difference it's almost unbelievable! I have extremely oily skin that just doesn't seem to know how to exfoliate properly. I literally have tried just about everything on the market (microdermabrasion, light therapy, lasers, tca peels, etc) and nothing has worked like this. After 3 days of use, my skin is less oily, more even toned, pores are smaller and my zits are literally drying up. Try a sample first - 15 bucks with shipping. I hope it works as well for you as it does for me!!!!! And I hope it continues to work - I'd be happy with the results as is, but what if it gets even better? WOW!

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 Bunnybear9 on 4/8/2010 1:49:00 AM more reviews by Bunnybear9

Age: 25-29   Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool   Hair: Blond   Eyes: Green    

This review is for the 10% no alcohol/no seaweed version, which I have been using nightly for about 3 weeks. Over the last 10 years I have used salicylic acid products (PC 2% BHA liquid/gel/lotion, Stridex red box, Dermalogica overnight clearing gel, etc) glycolic acid products ( AHA, MUAC glyluronic acid serum) MUAC 55% lactic peels, Nucelle mandelic acid (10%), combo products (PTR 2% SA/10% AHA, Murad exfoliating acne treatment gel) name it, I've tried it. Many worked well for me, but somehow this is just as effective (or maybe better) while being much more gentle on my combo/sensitive/acne-and-clog-prone skin. I am seeing less breakouts, some fading of post acne marks, less redness and better overall tone, and I think my pores look a bit smaller, too. I am really liking GOW products, and I'm looking forward to what my skin will look like in a few months time!

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* pecantan on 8/16/2009 10:31:00 PM more reviews by pecantan

Age: 36-43   Skin: Oily, Dark, Cool   Hair: Black   Eyes: Brown    

i use the 5% w/ no alchohol or seaweed.really like it. no irritation,smooth skin, and its helping to fade my marks.
had to cut back to using this just once a week. couldnt take the purging!

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

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

Age: 36-43   Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium   Hair: Blond   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.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 GRUDGRIME on 4/17/2010 1:42:00 PM more reviews by GRUDGRIME

Age: 36-43   Skin: Combination   Hair: Brown   Eyes: Brown    

This is for the 10% No alcohol/No Seaweed. I have been using this for about 4 weeks now. (I also JUST started the complete Nucelle line with it). Before I even started Nucelle the GOW serum really helped purge my skin, clean it up and smooth it out. And my skin is terrible!!! Nothing has ever worked before.

I started the Nucelle line because I heard how gentle it was (true) but will not stop the GOW Mandelic. It seems to be a little more effective as an overall pore cleaner/skin "smoother-outer". Now that my zits are clearing I am maintating and using it on my cheeks for my hyperpigmentation. I understand after prolonged use it will lighten this.

For those that started on 15% and had a bad reaction...this is an acid. You MUST start out slow (with a 5-10% every other day) and work up to 15%. The peeling will creep up on you if you are not careful.

Keep in mind too that mandelic is more of a cumulative product. It takes a little while to really see the results you want, sometimes months. Also be warned as your skin peels or purges you may get a little worse at first then its like magic!!!

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

rated 4 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* ambodidi on 2/21/2010 3:40:00 AM more reviews by ambodidi

Age: 36-43   Skin: Very Dry, Medium, Warm   Hair: Black, Curly, Fine   Eyes: Brown    

This review is for the 15% with alcohol, with seaweed version. I've used various AHA and retinoid products over the last 5 years, so I felt comfortable going straight to the 15%. I've used this product for just over two months at night, and I've used it alternate days on average, though sometimes I have used it daily and sometimes twice a week.I bought 0.25 oz bottles, which look like eye drop bottles, and each lasted me just over a month, and would have lasted about 6 weeks each if I alone was using it.
I've had blackheads on my nose for probably 20 years, they form a little dark line where the bone of the nose meets the cartilage. I've used retinoids, glycolics and Dermalogica Skin Renewing booster, all with only some improvement. However, within 3 weeks, they were all pretty much gone. I went for a facial, and for the first time ever, the beautician said I didn't have blackheads! I cut down use in the last 2 weeks because I was about to run out and they started coming back again, so there's no question it was what helped the blackheads. My pores look smaller and my skin just looks smooth overall.
I've also been getting my mother to use this, she is just over 60, and it has helped her pores to shrink (or look smaller anyway) and it also seems to make her melasma look better. I don't know how much it has helped my own smaller patches of pigmentation, probably not much so far, but pigmentation always takes longer to treat, and mine was already treated with more products than hers.
I don't like that it evaporates so fast that I have to have my hand on my face before I put a drop of it on because if I wait even 5 seconds, it evaporates. This is almost certainly because of the alcohol, and I'd suggest not getting the one with the alcohol. This product is drying: mandelic acid in itself is drying, and the alcohol makes it super drying. I have dry skin already, so I'll buy the no alcohol version next time.
It is also quite expensive; a 1 oz/30 ml bottle costs approx $43, which actually makes it more expensive than most other mandelic acid serums (which are branded). NuCelle costs $60, and you get 4 oz/120ml, M2 skin refinish costs about $48, and the website I like for both NuCelle and M2 skin refinish has a 20% discount for MUA members, so both work out significantly cheaper than the GoW. There is also a UK ebay seller who sells Mandelic acid. GoW has fewer overhead costs than big brands and the Mandelic Acid is lab-derived (it comes from almonds in nature), so it should be cheaper than it is now.
I'm trying out M2 skin refinish now, and I may try NuCelle later depending on how I like the M2, but I've still said I'd buy it again because if I don't like the other two, I will be buying it again or if there was no other brand, I'd buy it again.

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

rated 5 of 5 msTaps on 10/27/2008 2:39:00 PM more reviews by msTaps

Age: 30-35   Skin: Oily   Hair: Brunette   Eyes: Brown    

i agree about getting the sample size first because THAT will last you a long time. i had the full size and it lasted more than 1 year, i had to toss out about 1/4 of what was left coz it has turned a funky color & scent on me. of course i didnt know i wasnt supposed to refrigerate this :(

my face was a mess last year cystic acne, dry itchy peeling skin, red all over, you name it. i went back to the GoW forum ( ) and read, read, read. then i quit everything (that time i was using philosophy) and let my skin heal just by using oats +honey + aloe vera gel as my cleanser plus a seamollient+ aloe vera gel rinse. GoW cranberry HA which has never let me down and GoW plain base cream to moisturize. no make up for 1 week so i can let my skin calm down. i was so surprised that IT DID!! one by one i added products every week so id know if my skin liked it. the first one i added was the mandelic acid 3x/wk and on the first week, i noticed how much my acne has calmed down, not so much redness in my skin from rosacea and my pores have shrunk. my skin was no longer dull as well. i think i used this from november to april. i went to down to using this once week since april because i find that i no longer need it so much. now im down to once every two weeks since i use the lemongrass cleanser which gives me enough exfoliation daily but doesnt strip out my skin. i still use a seamollient rinse, tho :) it like conditioner for your face.

when in doubt choose mandelic 10% no alcohol.

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

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