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79% would repurchase
Package Quality: 3.5
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on 12/29/2015 12:10:00 PM
More reviews by MUAsAlbino
Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral
Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine
This "serum" is more of a toner to me. It has the consistency of water and doesn't really add any moisture to the skin. If I use it as a toner however, the price becomes ridiculous as I go through the small bottles quite quickly. So I apply it like a serum and don't wipe it with a cotton pad. What I really like about this product is I know where the ingredients are coming from. Garden of Wisdom is a small company. If you have any issues or questions, you can call up the owner. Chemical exfoliation has done amazing things for my skin. It gives my crater face that plastic look, where all my pores look smaller. It won't permanently tighten them. However it does clean them out and that is what minimizes their appearance. Mandelic acid (or alpha hydroxy acids in general) have lessened my acne. In addition to all that, my face doesn't have a single freckle. All of my sun damage is GONE and my acne scars are fading. Do I attribute all of this to Garden of Wisdom Mandelic Acid serum? Hell no! I am not new to using chemical exfoliators as I already disclosed. However this IS a good formulation and deserves credit. I've had a lot of problems with companies putting rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, oils, extracts, vitamin e, ect into the ingredient lists for alpha hydroxy acid products. Garden of Wisdom keeps it simple though. None of the ingredients in this product are acne triggers for me.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.
on 9/2/2015 7:57:00 AM
More reviews by superpower
Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Not Sure
Hair: Brown, Other, Other
I have oily, sensitive skin that is also prone to dehydration and mild rosacea flares, but oddly acids are one of the few things I've never had issues with (except peels...that was a bad idea). I've had issues with closed comedones (and picking at them) since I hit puberty. More recently I've also been dealing with some very painful, relentless adult acne. I've never really had to deal with inflammatory acne before and the amount of scarring on my face now has really been affecting me emotionally. Since spring (when they breakouts began) I've tried just about everything from retinoids to finacea to BHA...you name it. Every single thing I tried either did nothing or made it worse. Finally I decided to completely strip my routine back to what it was when my skin was clear -- cleanser, BHA (not sure if I'll be adding this back yet), AHA, and gel moisturizer (sunscreen in the AM).I've used mandelic acid in the past with very "meh" results due to the fact that it was in the form of a MUAC peel which my skin just can't tolerate (all that alcohol = OUCH), but I felt that it was worth trying in another product since it seems to work better than glycolic on acne. I started out with the 5% no/no serum, but didn't see much improvement likely because I had previously been using 8% glycolic semi-regularly. On my most recent order I decided to step up to the 10% no/no version and THANK GOODNESS. After one use all of my active spots are much less inflamed and well on their way out. My skin also looks calmer and more even-toned not to mention that it feels smooth for the first time in about 6 months. Because it does appear to be so effective for me I'll likely only be using it every other or every 2 nights to prevent overexfoliation.The next step is to see if this will keep new spots from coming and get rid of the slew of scarring and closed comedones on my cheeks and jawline. So far I'm feeling extremely optimistic and only wish that I had decided to try AHA again sooner. Only con I can see with this product is perhaps the texture which is basically like water. I just put however many drops I need in my palm and then use both hands to smooth it all over my skin. I also find this to be a good thing in my case because it leaves no residue whatsoever...that's what always annoyed me big time with Paula's Choice acids. 5 stars for now, but I will be sure to update later on.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
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on 10/11/2014 6:40:00 PM
More reviews by autumn95
Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure
Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium
UPDATE: Purchased full size. My skin is looking better with continued use. Up to 5 overall rating.I have the 5% no alcohol and no seaweed version. I purchased a small sample size that is .25 oz for $6.25.My skin is oily but often looks as if it has a layer of dry skin. I cannot use a lot of exfoliaters as my skin is sensitive, but this I can use.List of ingredients (GOW site)List of IngredientsDistilled Water- hydrant- solventRooibos (red) Extract- excellent anti-oxidantMandelic Acid- improves skin texture- refines pore size- lightens hyper pigmentation- improves skin tone- excellent surface exfoliantLactic Acid - gentle AHA exfoliantL-lysine- water binding- moisturizing- emollientSodium PCA- natural moisturizer- water binding to the skinPanthenol B-5- penetrating moisturizerSodium Lactate:- pH adjuster- moisturizerHyaluronic Acid- hydrates skin- can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in waterDescription frow GOW site:Mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that helps clear away dead skin cells that have built up on the skin's surface, and because of its smaller molecule size it can also work within the pore as well. Unlike glycolic acid, it cannot penetrate the skin's layers to enable deeper exfoliation, but it can help to refine pores. Mandelic acid has antibacterial properties.**************************************************************************Pros:Reasonable cost at $18.90 per one ounceSample size availableDoes not irritate my sensitive skin, but gently exfoliatesFormula does not have a lot of fillers or items I do not want ie: perfume, siliconeI spread a few drops over skin. Moisturizer over it if required. Suggest wait time is 20 minutes.PH 2.4Cons:Only available from Garden of Wisdom onlineRunny, thin formula. I need to be careful when applying.I do plan on purchasing the full size with my next GOW order.
10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.
on 5/25/2014 4:13:00 PM
More reviews by apereira9
Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure
I love Garden of Wisdom products and really wanted to like this mandelic acid, especially because it's the purest formulation out there that I could find. But this mandelic acid serum was just too watery for me. It was difficult to apply. The container was good for dispensing the product, but it was so watery it would just drip between my fingers before I could apply it to my face. It also didn't seem to work as well as other mandelic acid products I've used.
on 11/29/2013 5:29:00 PM
More reviews by Gonelvik
Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure
Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine
It does a good job with unclogging pores and keeping them clear. I've been using 5% at first and then moved on to 10%. I recommend this to everyone I met :)
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
on 10/27/2013 10:40:00 AM
More reviews by cherchesesmots
I've been fighting blackheads & clogged pores since i was 10 and never really had a chance to say that any product worked for me. Blore pore strip has always been my weekly chore but it never really solved my problem. I am now started with 5% w/o alcohol / seaweed and I'm already seeing my blackheads disappearing and becoming smaller by the day. On alternate days I also apply GoW's AHA/BHA 4% Synergistic Exfo Tonic Gel. About just half a week of using, while I was washing my face, I noticed a whitish plug coming off from the corner of my nose. This particular clogged pore have been the hugest one I know and it never end, like a clogged bottomless pit. But this time the whole plug came loosen and I didn't even squeezed it. Now the empty pore is slowly closing up and I'm such a happy girl who has finally found her right product after godzillion products and years. On a side note, because of this product, I've to make sure that i always apply sunscreen b4 i step out of the house and I don't really like the heavy feeling. Nonetheless, my excitement has turned grateful~ thanks Gow!
7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.
on 6/2/2013 4:22:00 PM
More reviews by lemonfresh
Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure
Hair: Other, Other, Other
I tried the 10% without alcohol or seaweed because of the rave review of a MUAer who seemed to have the same skin issues I do, but I guess that ultimately we don't. This didn't do a darned thing for me except to cause breakouts--not the cystic kind, luckily, just small ones that could be dried up easily, and clogged pores. My skin was looking pretty good beforehand, though, so back to the old regimen of moisturizers, exfoliators, and a weekly masque.
on 4/23/2013 8:25:00 PM
More reviews by Iampo0kie
Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm
Hair: Black, Straight, Medium
While this product isnt a miracle worker, I feel like it has really improved the quality of my skin. I use it every other day after I have cleansed.I am plagued by tons of milia, which are tiny bumps with hardened gunk inside. There is no head so you can not pop them. This sloughs off the skin on top so that the gunk can escape without extractions. It is also good for keeping the skin smooth, shrinking pores, and making the skin less oily. I love how on days I use this, I don't get oily!My only complaint is I get very dry after using this, and the PRICE. I wish there was a cheaper way to manufacture this. UPDATE: I have now owned this product for over a year. Bought 1 refill, used it consistently for periods and sometimes not at all. It definitely helps acne, but you have to be careful not to overuse it. On oily areas with texture problems, I have been using it every day at night. I even use it as a spot treatment on large pimples 2x a day, and it prevents them from becoming full blown cysts.I STILL have texture problems, but this has helped. You definitely need to use it consistently. I thought I wasn't seeing results, so I stopped using it for some time. Texture improved immediately after, but skin became bumpy after a month of not using it. Increasing my rating to 5 stars because you actually see results with it.
6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.
on 9/30/2012 1:32:00 PM
More reviews by cherinj
Like many of you - I've tried it all. After having been blessed with perfect skin my entire life - at the age of 55 I'm having to deal with issues I've never dealt with before ie: oily tzone, congested pores, blackheads, etc. After alot of research I decided to try GOW's mandelic acid - I'm currently using 5% no alcohol, no seaweed. My skin is pretty tolerant but I've learned from past mistakes that more is not always better so I started with the lowest percentage. For me - this is the magic bullet. I dampen a cotton pad, swipe the serum once over my face concentrating on the tzone - within one week my pores are noticeably clearer, blackheads are almost gone, skin is glowing and overall looks healthier. I did not have the purging that many speak of, perhaps I'm just lucky in that respect, but I found this product to do what it claims. Many of you are quoting a high cost of $40+ however I paid $18.50 for one ounce. I will be re-ording asap. I recently contacted GOW to ask them what adding the seaweed might add - am waiting for a response. Bottom line - if you have congested pores, blackheads, etc - try this - I can recommend it highly enough.
on 8/19/2012 3:19:00 PM
More reviews by Dimplesgalore
Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure
Hair: Brunette, Other, Other
Update #2 10/3/12: My skin has improved dramatically since beginning to use GoW products and cutting out all the traditional commercial products that I always knew were irritating my skin. I now have a full sized bottle of the 5% no alcohol no seaweed, and a sample sized bottle of the 10% no/no. This pared with their Beta-Hydroxy 2% gel, and a few other GoW odds and ends. My old hyperpigmentation marks are fading rapidly, if new ones form they are way less noticeable than they would have been, and my skin is smoother, more even toned, and has a better elasticity. At 24 that's not my main concern but it's a nice additional benefit. Update 9/1/12: After a particularly bad stress related breakout that I, being stressed, picked at and made 100x worse the 5% no alcohol/no seaweed has cleared my face in record time. I still have some hyper-pigmentation marks but many, many others have disappeared completely or almost completely. My skin tone looks like it belongs on the same face, my pores are smaller, blackheads are easily removed, the open pores with gunk in them (not blackheads but not whiteheads...) can be cleaned out easily too. I have never ever had results like this. The only "downside" (not really a downside at all) is that this does make my skin purge a little bit when first using it. However, it's not all at once. More of a slow purge that takes time to get to the surface. I can handle that. I like it so much I just ordered a 2 oz size of the 5% and a sample of the 10% to see if I can get my more prominent and stubborn hyper-pigmentation marks to hit the road. I'm also thinking the stronger 10% formulation would make a nice active acne spot treatment while using the more mild 5% on the rest of my skin to keep it clear, smooth, toned, to prevent fine lines, and just looking generally happy. I also ordered one of GoWs acid blends and a sample of a new 2% salicylic acid tonic serum (no alcohol). I'm looking forward to adding these into my skincare routine as it seems my skin has no idea how to properly shed skin cells, without a lot of help. Even though my skin is sensitive it responds well to regular exfoliation, even daily exfoliation if mild enough like the 5% Mandelic acid serum. End update.I received a sample of the 5% no alcohol/no seaweed in my last order and have begun trying it out over the last month. I have acne prone sensitive skin and at first I over did it. My face got worse but I'm pretty sure it was my fault. After letting my skin recover I tried again. This time using it every other day or less. I use it at night before bed and in the morning my skin looks so much better. Any spots I have are smaller, less red, not as tender, just so much better. The rest of my skin has a more even tone, looks hydrated and firm, smoother and generally healthy. This makes extracting the gunk from my pores a breeze and helps to shed the dead skin from healing acne. It also reduces my hyper pigmentation marks, almost overnight. It's amazing stuff. I will say that it can have a mild *tingling* effect when first applied but it settles down shortly after it dries. I like the watery consistency. To give it a thicker appearance would require extra ingredients, and those ingredients would serve no purpose other than to thicken the product. For my skin, less is more. Fewer applications and fewer ingredients keep my skin happy and healthy. The smell... It's not an over the top perfumed concoction. It's no supposed to be. It's a fabulous facial treatment that does its job and happens to smells nice at the same time. I plan on ordering a full sized bottle soon.
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