Skincare Serums – GOW

The launch of budget skincare brand The Ordinary got me seriously into skincare a few years ago. However, the more I learnt and watched YouTube vloggers, the more I bought  into expensive products. Now I’m stripping it all back and concentrating on well formulated serums with active ingredients at a reasonable price. I don’t want to spend over the odds for gorgeous packaging or coveted brands.

Garden of Wisdom (GOW)

I had limited success with The Ordinary and when they parted ways with Victoria Health I was interested to see that it was replaced with a number of products from an American brand, Garden of Wisdom, which they reformulated and repackaged. I’ve been using three of the serums for a couple of months now and am extremely happy with them.

“All Garden of Wisdom products are cruelty free, suitable for vegetarians and free from alcohol and silicones. Garden of Wisdom uses as few ingredients as possible to allow the actives to reach the deeper layers of skin to improve the appearance of skin.”


Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant which combats the damage done by pollution and UV exposure. It also has a skin brightening effect. However the formula has to be stable and at a decent percentage. The GOW offering is Vitamin C 23% + Ferulic Acid (£10 for 30ml) and has a pleasant cream formulation which isn’t too grainy or sticky.

It contains the gold standard of Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid). I could tell it is a high strength from the sharp tingle I felt on my skin the first few times I applied it, however my skin has become accustomed to it. The air-tight packaging with pump is very welcome although after a couple of weeks it started to catapult the product across the room so I had to cup my hand over it. At this price it’s not a deal-breaker.


Peptides boost collagen which keeps skin plump and bouncy. GOW’s Anti-Aging Multi-Peptide Serum (£20 for 30ml) is a clear, almost jelly-like serum that has a hydrating effect thanks to the presence of hyaluronic acid. It feels lovely on the skin. It can be used over the Vitamin C.

Niacinamide is another ingredient with proven skin benefits. It helps regulate oil production, improves the skin’s barrier function (preventing dehydration) and minimises dark spots. I found the Ordinary’s Niacinamide very drying but I’ve had no such problems with GOW’s Niacinamide Serum (£9 for 30ml). I use it on nights I’m giving my skin a break from retinols or on weekend mornings when I’m not using Vitamin C.GardenOfWisdom_SD-1024x681

I’m going to continue with these products and intend to repurchase when they run out.

Let me know in the comments whether you use any serums in your skincare routine and if you’ve tried GOW.

All products purchased by me. 



Filed under Beauty Review

19 responses to “Skincare Serums – GOW

  1. GOW is not easy to get in Germany, but i used some Serums and Ampoules from Korea and Japan. At the moment i use MelanoCC Vitamin C Serum and Scinic Honey All in One Ampoule plus Resveratrol/Ferulic Acid from TO. I still have a Purito Centella Green Level, which i will test soon. And i love the HadaLabo Gokujiun Premium Lotion as a hyaluronic toner


    • Thanks for sharing your current serums, Tanja. I’m also using the Hada Labo hyaluronic acid. I like it for the money but found the NIOD one sunk into the skin better.


  2. Jillie

    I am so interested to read about this new – affordable – line, so thank you.

    My skin is very irritable (like me!) and these days I find the less I do to it, the happier it is, and I have been searching for something simple, affordable, pleasant and effective. I’ve recently started using Pixi Jasmine Oil. It’s a little more expensive (I think just over £20) but it lasts forever as you only need a few drops. Although my skin is sensitive and dry, it also comes out on spots so most oils I have tried have caused breakouts, but this so far has been great. It has the added bonus of smelling really pretty.

    I didn’t get on with The Ordinary either.


    • Hi Jillie,
      I feel you with skin mirroring your mood, haha.
      Totally agree that when your face is irritated, a simple routine is the way to go. I have stopped buying skincare with fragrance/essential oils, but if the Pixi Jasmine Oil is working for you that’s great. I have heard rosehip oil is good for those prone to breakouts and squalene oil is good for hydration.


  3. francescabelanger

    I use serums from time to time, usually when I’ve been given a sample of something spendy like Valmont or La Prairie. I do like the way they make my skin look and feel, and I’ll definitely investigate GOW. Thanks for the tip! ❤️


    • Hi Francesca!
      I’d love to try La Prairie’s Black Rose Mask. Heaven knows how much it costs. I really enjoy skincare (much more than make-up) so I do like to use a fair few serums, but I appreciate most people don’t feel the same.


  4. Hey Tara,
    I love the idea ofd this stuff but never use any of it. Luckily I have been blessed with good skin and I worry that doing stuff to it will make me dependent. So I continue my routine of soap and water, use after shave balm when I shave and leave it at that.
    When I remove my make up I do use oil to do it, so that may be the key? Dunno.
    It’s interesting to read what you all do use though. Jin asked for some stuff recently and I dutifully bought him some stuff but I have no idea if he’s using it.
    Portia xx


    • Hey Portia,
      If want you’re doing works, there’s no reason to change. You are blessed with lovely skin but thoroughly removing your make-up no doubt helps A LOT.
      I find skincare fun and interesting and I love watching YouTubers talking about it. Another weird hobby!
      Whatever it takes to keep our Jin happy.


  5. Hamamelis

    Late to comment! Thank you for posting, I will have a look at GOW. I used both Deciem and the Ordinary but I am sensitive to some of the preservatives in their serums. I think GOW is free from those so I may try them.
    I use Whamisa Deep Flower Toner often, several layers, and although it isn’t a serum it does hydrate really well. I have used various oils, rosehip, camelia, green coffee seed (all Arc en Sels) but have switched to Martina Gebhardt and I think these may be the products for me. I have a little bit of rosacea and it seems to really clear up since I have used her products (but ofcourse it may be other things I am trying, more diet related). They are not too expensive and I think quite high quality but packaging etc quite sound, no nonsense and plain, a bit German I suppose (no offense meant to any Germans!).


    • Hi Hamaelis,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your own products. Rosacea is not an easy condition to deal with, even if it’s only slight, so it’s great that this skincare line is working for you. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!


  6. Ooh, I have not heard of the GOW line, but it sounds right up my street. I currently use serum products with niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, and am tempted by Vit C, but thought it might be too much for my eczema prone skin. You have emboldened me to try it now, especially at this price!


    • Hi V,
      It really is a well formulated budget skincare brand. Not an easy thing to find even though more are popping up. I think the Vitamin C may be too strong for eczema prone skin but I’ll always buy it from you if that turns out to be the case.


  7. As I’m still on “no buy”… I mean “no use” for most skin products trying to keep my newly acquired skin allergies under control :(, I’m not looking at any new products at the moment. But if I manage to re-introduces anything beyond my “safe” 4 products skincare wardrobe (3 products from Paula’s choice – cleaner, day cream with SPF and night gel and a Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer), I will look around to see if there’s anything from the GOW line close-by to try.


    • I’m sorry about your allergies. It’s so annoying that we can develop them at any time. You are doing the right thing sticking with just a few products that you don’t react to. Paula’s Choice is a great line. I’m just trying to save some cash with GIW.


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