There’s been a lot of buzz around squalane oil in the beauty business in recent months, so Nancy Buckland Kirk decided to shake up her skincare routine and incorporate some of GOW (or Garden Of Wisdom’s) cult favourite product into her daily regime.
I hate to admit this, but I have been using the same foaming, facial cleanser for most of my adult life. I have tried literally everything else. I remember getting the train home from London once with a big box of Eve Lom in my handbag – I had paid for it, by the way! The revolutionary approach of a balm that you washed off was a new phenomenon. But, of course, I was always forgetting to wash the muslin cloths, and I struggle with most new innovations that are over-complicated. There are some skincare items I won’t stoop to. I can’t abide any type of face wipe. I still love a toner, although they get called tonics now. I will try almost anything, once, but keeping something as a staple is a whole other beauty ball game.
Skincare can be terrifically expensive. There has been a huge furore recently amongst experienced beauty bloggers about really inexpensive, direct copies or ‘dupes’ of really high end skincare and cosmetic ranges. I have always thought if you want the original, go for the original if you can afford it. If you can’t, go for tried-and-tested brands that have huge research and development budgets.
However, over the last year or so I have been hugely impressed by Garden of Wisdom, or GOW, as it is shortened to. It’s entirely original. I find pharmaceutical ranges a little bit frightening, as I still worry about the paint stripper effect. Some people are fearless, and will use skincare until their skin is literally falling off, in the hope that at some point afterwards their complexion will have lost ten years of its natural life.
I am not that brave. However, I gladly tried GOW as they have convinced me that using the same regime over and over again is not your skin’s best friend. It makes sense. The range is all about active ingredients that work efficiently, in formulations that are gentle and kind. Some new ranges over the past couple of years look hugely impressive, but between rows and rows of percentages and acids and peels, I just run for the hills. How am I supposed to know what to use with which, when there are upwards of forty bottles to choose from?
GOW targets real skin problems, though, and as I have rosacea, pigmentation, a greasy forehead, dry cheeks, and the usual suspects of wrinkles and lack of luminosity, I am a key candidate for help being both needed, and appreciated. In fact, re-reading that list, my skin sounds an absolute delight, does it not?
I have fallen in love with GOW 100% Pure Sqaulane Oil, which is a steal at just £9. I have to admit, I usually have a huge aversion to facial oils. If you have the absolute joy of greasy patches and rosacea lumps, the last thing you want to do before bed is throw oil on the top of them. However, this has won me over. It is light, easily absorbed, doesn’t block pores, and is totally brilliant in that you can use it around your eyes and on your lips. If I’ve ever used a facial oil in the past, it has made my eyes water and does not sit well on my lips, either.
It is also free from alcohol and silicones, which really strip and then irritate the skin. So you really get the bonus of effective formulations without interfering with your skin’s essential health, as the active ingredients do their work without leaving your skin distressed.
The GOW range is comprehensive without being over extended, so you can simply pick a cleanser, a serum, an eye treatment and a daily hydrator to suit you without having to pay for a whole apothecary, which looks lovely on an Insta pic, but causes confusion when you are faced with it in your bathroom.
To say I don’t like change is a bit of understatement, which is a bit odd as I write about new products quite a lot, but the one thing we all ask behind-the-scenes when talking to other writers and esteemed bloggers is that age old enquiry about what we are all actually wearing and using. Well, as soon as this bottle is finished, I’ll be quite happy to plump for another and I have huge plans for the Daily Cleanser, which is especially designed for battleground skin, is free from parabens, but does have, joy of joys, a little bit of foaming action.
For me, that means I get to enjoy the best of both worlds. I am happy to still rinse off my cleanser, but glad that I have a whole new formulation, from an expert, cruelty-free brand in a box fresh bottle.
Sometimes, even for beauty creatures of habit like me, a change really is as good as a rest.
Website: Victoria Health, GOW
About the author: Nancy Buckland Kirk is a writer with a keen interest in fashion and beauty and a career which has spanned modelling, teaching and spreading the word about leading beauty brands. She’ll be back soon with a new GOW skincare review. Related feature: Nancy falls in love with Chanel all over again this Christmas.