Skincare Review: Garden of Wisdom R-ALA Serum and German Chamomile Hydrosol Gel

Garden of Wisdom’s a US based site that offers a plethora and I mean a plethora of natural skincare products that does away with unnecessary fillers and focuses on what works, naturally. “Cultivating Beautiful Skin with Natural Wisdom“, that’s what they do.  They ship internationally and at cost, which is a boon. If you’re new to Garden of Wisdom (also known as GoW), the FAQ is worth reading, with links to recommended skincare routines.

Small sizes

These are the last 2 sample bottles that I have of GoW’s serums & gels from December 2010. They were part of a kit and I was very impressed by how all individual small sized bottle arrived shrinkwrapped and spill-free!

Strong in natural chamomile scent!

German Chamomile Hydrosol Gel, 0.5 oz, USD$5.65 (http://www.gardenofwisdom.com/catalog/item/7491975/7933692.htm)

Product Information

German Chamomile is one of the best anti-inflammatory herbs around. In addition, German Chamomile helps to fight spider veins and fine lines, is antibacterial, hydrating, and balancing. Appropriate for all skin types, our German Chamomile Hydrosol is the “comfort food” of skin care. Encased in a liposome base, this serum penetrates through the dermis offering superior hydrating properties, and strengthens the power of the actives within.

A Quick Note Regarding German Chamomile

Chamomile is related botanically to the ragweed plant, persons who are highly allergic to ragweed should use chamomile with caution.

Patch test area in the crook of the elbow, wait 12-24 hrs for results to show no reaction.

Method of Application

Apply a few drops of this serum on your clean finger tips, and smooth it across clean skin. Use during the water soluble phase of your skin routine (after you cleanse, tone, and exfoliate . . . before you apply any oils or creams).

List of Ingredients

German Chamomile Hydrosol in a liposome base
– penetration enhancer
– antioxidant
– anti-inflammatory
– antiseptic
– analgesic
– relaxing
– healing
Liposome Base [this contains soy based liposomes]
– penetration enhancer
*Liposomes frequently favor the disposition of encapsulated active ingredients in the epidermis and dermis, while the permeation rate is decreased. This helps to fix active ingredients to the outermost skin layers as desired for cosmetic products. Simultaneously, the washing out may be delayed so that, for example, aqueous sun care products containing liposome-encapsulated UV filters are water-resistant.
Leucidal
– preservative, natural
Cellulose Gum
– thickener
German Chamomile [blue] Oil
– antioxidant
– anti-inflammatory
– antiseptic
– analgesic
– relaxing
– healing

Lightest serum I've ever tried!

R-ALA antioxidant serum (no oil), 0.25 oz, USD$11.20

(http://www.gardenofwisdom.com/catalog/item/7012656/7732960.htm)

Product Information

R-Alpha Lipoic Acid is a natural antioxidant, which has been used in European skin care products for years. Known as “the universal antioxidant”, it works in conjunction with other essential antioxidants like Vitamins C and E. It is quickly absorbed by all parts of the skin. It is one of the best antioxidants available on the market to help keep the skin fighting free radicals. It also has the benefit of recycling Vitamin-E from its oxidized form back to its reduced form which allows it to once again become a beneficial antioxidant. It is known to diminish fine lines and wrinkles while reducing pore size and helps to reduce puffiness under the eyes.
R-ALA is simply the organic/natural, stabilized form of ALA.

Method of Application

Apply a few drops of this serum on your clean finger tips, and smooth it across clean skin. Use during the water soluble phase of your skin routine (after you cleanse, tone, and exfolitate . . . before you apply any oils or creams).

List of Ingredients

Distilled Water
– hydrating
– solvent
Bio-available, natural, stabilized R-ALA Acid
– “universal” antioxidant
Liposomes [phospholipids]
– increases penetration ability of actives
Cucumber Distillate
– hydrating
– soothing
– calming
– healing
Watermelon Distillate
– hydrating
– calming
– refreshing
– rejuvenating
Optiphen
– broad spectrum, paraben free preservative
    [does not release formaldehyde]

Although the German Chamomile gel is blue in the bottle, it goes on colourless. In case you’ve ever wondered about the difference between the texture of a gel and serum, the 2 samples on the back of my hand ought to be self-explanatory.  The R-ALA Serum is the lightest serum I’ve ever tried. It has the exact same consistency as water. The cucumber and watermelon distillate smell fresh, refreshing and very natural, I would like this scent in a body spray. The German Chamomile gel is light in texture too, though much less runny. If you’re not a fan of hyaluronic acid and the slight tackiness it leaves behind, do consider the hydrosol gel.

Both get absorbed very rapidly by my skin. I usually layer on the lightest textured serum (in this case, R-ALA), followed by a moisturising or hydrating serum and then topped off with a sunscreen or a moisturiser. I’ve been using these 2 products for a couple of weeks and while I can’t report any miraculous improvement in skin, both do not irritate me. The R-ALA is so light, even if you have the oiliest of skin, you probably would not have any problems with it. Great for teenagers too. The German Chamomile hydrosol gel has a distinctive scent which while isn’t unpleasant, is notable. It does dissipate after a couple of minutes on the face. While I don’t find it as hydrating as, say hyaluronic acid serum, it’s a good product for oily skin or skin that’s just sensitive to anything stronger. It does calm my face somewhat  after a facial session, without causing further irritation.

R-ALA Serum
Rating out of 10
Price: 6.5 (pricey, not something I’d purchase because of the price)
Quality: 7.5 (I love the light texture, but the same size probably isn’t enough for me to see if it does anything with wrinkles or puffiness at the undereye area)
Packaging: 8.5
Ease of usage: 10
Overall score: 8.1 
 
German Chamomile Hydrosol Gel
Rating out of 10
Price: 8.5 (affordably priced)
Quality: 8
Packaging: 8.5
Ease of usage: 10
Overall score: 8.8 
 
~*Items reviewed purchased by me*~
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About lipglossfiend

Lipgloss, Makeup galore and other yummy goodies by the score :)
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