review: Garden of Wisdom Natural Majik Green Tea HydraGel

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2013

Second of two green tea-based serum reviews. Original at MUA; again, five stars / lippies. To which I would add this comment (from the MUA Skin Care Board):

[…] a pretty decent approximate dupe for [Topix] Replenix P[ower of Three Serum]. Not exact, to be sure; but it feels very like it on my skin, and has some of the same key ingredients. One can Franken it up; I’ve mixed it with the Matcha HA serum. One could add resveratrol. And so on…

It would be great if anyone has done (or would be willing to do) side-by-side comparisons, especially as proper testing over at least a 6-8 week period. If anyone feels self-sacrificing in the name of science, the furthering of knowledge, and love of fellow-man?

Good antioxidant serum: the main ingredients being green tea and oat extracts, and caffeine, in a liposome base. A dark cream to slightly yellowish colour, somewhat opaque, cream-gel in texture. Smells of green tea; no added scent.

PURPOSE:

As a heavy-duty antioxidant sunscreen-booster;

I first tried this out as I was looking for a cheaper antioxidant serum to replace the Topix Replenix Power of Three serum. See JoshuaP and his MakeupAlley notepad for further details on using antioxidant serums for sun protection…

APPLICATION: on skin all over: eye area, face, neck, throat, hands, arms, rest of body–all areas that are exposed to sun, plus some that are covered up but right under The Glare From Above (shoulders, upper arms).

Applied in the morning after washing. Followed by moisturiser (plain oil) and sunscreen.

JULY-AUGUST: mixed it in with GoW Matcha Green Tea HA Serum (ratio of around 1:2 Majik:Matcha).*

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER: Majik alone: perfectly adequate, and more soothing.

EARLY SUMMER: the Matcha serum alone: this is a time of year when, on me anyway, skin feels drier: going through late spring to early summer allergies, and then using more sunscreen than usual which will dry skin out a bit.

gow natural majik 1

COMMENTS:

Have used this for a short while now: long enough to be able to say there’s no irritation or clogging with it (i.e. more than 6 weeks). I like it so far.

UPDATE AFTER MORE THAN SIX WEEKS’ USE: thumbs up. Still no irritation, and more soothing than either the Majik-Matcha mix or Matcha alone.

This feels (on my skin, anyway) very like the Power of Three serum; it does have a similar base, and several functional ingredients in common. Both companies are cruelty-free.

Differences:
—Majik GT is less than 1/3 of the price of Po3
—Po3 has resveratrol and hyaluronic acid, this doesn’t
—Majik GT has oat extract, and Po3 doesn’t; all things oaty are ace on my skin (dryish, eczema occasionally), and hydrating; but NB not on all skins as some are actively irritated by it, break out, and so on. YMMV.
—Po3 has other soothing ingredients: cucumber and chamomile extracts (inc. bisabolol); but NB chamomile extracts can irritate, worth looking out for if you have allergies (especially severe) to any plants in the ragweed family.

Majik GT is nice, feels pleasant, sinks in straight away. I didn’t find it drying, but on the other hand, I didn’t find it (or indeed the Po3) particularly hydratingly skin-plumping. Even though the Po3 contains hyaluronic acid too: but not as much as the GoW HA serums. Hence my compromise: mixing Majik GT (for its green tea and oaty marvellousness) with one of the GoW hyaluronic acid serums, the Matcha Green Tea HA Serum.*

It may be helping sunscreen to work by adding that antioxidant layer underneath. MAY, that’s all: I can’t honestly say more than that.

I haven’t done proper scientific testing so can’t give you side-by-side results for antioxidant protection on skin. In that while I haven’t burned this year, or seemed any more wrinkly, I’ve also used sunscreen, clothing, hats, sunglasses, etc. so couldn’t claim any one of these factors to have been the principal one in protecting skin. And I haven’t done good sample testing, double-blind with controls.**

INGREDIENTS: Green Tea Infusion, Liposome Base (soy based), Green Tea Hydrosol, Oat Beta Glucans, Caffeine, Cosmocil CQ, Cellulose Gum, Geogard

Garden of Wisdom product information: http://www.gardenofwisdom.com/catalog/item/8295308/9037512.htm

PRICES:
$5.90 / 0.25 oz
$18.60 / 1 oz
+ shipping: I’m in Canada and usually get enough GoW stuff to fit in a Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope, so $12.95 for 4 lbs. That takes somewhere in the region of 1-3 weeks, depending on time of year and our lovely friends at the border and in Canada Post. For other international locations, that’s $16.95; US rates are lower, being domestic… See here for full information: http://www.gardenofwisdom.com/shippingpolicies.html

gow natural majik 2

FOR COMPARISON: TOPIX REPLENIX POWER OF THREE SERUM

INGREDIENTS:
Purified Water, Caffeine U.S.P., Sclerotium Gum, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Polyphenols, Sodium Hyaluronate, Resveratrol, Bisabolol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Chamomilla Recutila (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Glycolic Acid, Polysorbate-20, Sodium Benzoate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol.

PRICES:
$62.00-68.00 for 1 oz
often with 20% off at various etailers, bringing the price down to $50.00 or so.
+ shipping if you’re in Canada or elsewhere outside the US: add US$15.00 – 40.00 (bah humbug)

* I tried some other ratios, that one seems to work out best for getting / not reducing excessively the full hydrating effects of the Matcha serum. The reason I do this is to add a hydrating layer to skin. My skin is dryish and dehydrated, irritably, damage-prone (it’s thin), and has had on-off eczema all my life. This skin works best with layers of hydration and moisture slapped on top. By “works best” I mean: I don’t feel anything and can get on with life; skin doesn’t flake, split, crack up, feel tight, and hurt.

GoW MATCH GREEN TEA HA SERUM INGREDIENTS: Distilled Water, Matcha Green Tea, Hyaluronic Acid 1% (bio-engineered source), Optiphen

Garden of Wisdom product information: http://www.gardenofwisdom.com/catalog/item/7436406/7793129.htm

PRICES:
$ 4.85 / 0.5 oz = good size sample, probably around 2 weeks’ worth with generous use
$12.90 / 2 oz = full size

** How one would do that: separate off sections of skin (areas that get the same exposure: ex. forearms), apply one thing to each (this may include areas that get two items if you’re testing for combinations). Someone else should do the applying, not you; and ideally, neither of you should know what you’re applying (get a third trusted person to repackage everything in blank containers, and only they know which is which; there’s more sophisticated ways of randomising this…)

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