Goldfaden MD is one of those skincare brands that seems to perfectly blend both science and nature together in its formulations. It is the first dermatologist-developed, naturally inspired skincare brand on the market, co-founded by Dr Gary Goldfaden himself, a dermatologist for over 40 years. The brand tries to build the gap between natural luxury and physical strength/dermatologist formulated skincare, merging tried and tested actives with more gentle formulations based on 'cleaner' and 'greener' skincare. The Goldfaden MD range prides itself on creating superior formulations featuring naturally derived ingredients with effective delivery systems. Most formulations have been inspired by Dr Goldfaden's in-office experiences and patients needs and wants. "We couple scientific, results-driven products with globally-sourced natural ingredients, bridging the “natural” and “physician” product categories at the prestige level in a way no other brand has" says Lisa Goldfaden, Co-Founder of the brand.
I love the Goldfaden MD's philosophy of nature and science working synergistically together to create a product that is gentle, 'clean' and easy to incorporate into an everyday routine. It is rare to see a skincare brand that merges both nature and science and do it well. As you may know, I have been testing the Goldfaden MD Brightening Elixir on and off now for the past 9 or so months, reaching out for it on a regular basis in the mornings. This serum, whilst loaded with tried and true antioxidants and vitamins has been so gentle on my skin. I find that I can use this on days where my skin feels quite sensitised, without any irritation. However, what I have enjoyed most about Goldfaden MD's Brightening Elixir is the how it has left my skin feeling healthy, balanced and radiant - it really feels like this serum has given it all the vitamins the skin needs to protect itself and have it working at an optimum.
***Please note that this product was kindly gifted to me with no expectation of a review. However, I have been so impressed with this that I had to share my love for it via a review. Please note that all my opinions are my own and honest opinions.
What Is It?
Goldfaden MD’s Brightening Elixir is essentially a thin serum that has been meticulously formulated with active ingredients to create a more gentle and clean alternative to your typical brightening/antioxdant serum.
What Does it Do?
The Goldfaden MD Brightening Elixir is a skin-refining treatment helps to enhance firmness, diminish dark spots, protect the skin from environmental stressors and improve skin’s overall tone so that the skin is left looking fresh and radiant. This serum is perfect for those who are concerned with skin issues such as dullness and lost elasticity. It contains some specially chosen actives such as addition of Vitamin C, B3 (niacinamide), B5 (pantothenic acid) and E to help create a brighter, healthier complexion.
Purified Water (Aqua), Ethoxydiglycol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, TEA, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium PCA, Niacinimide, Phenoxyethanol.
The Goldfaden MD Brightening Elixir is one of those 'all in one' products - helping to hydrate, brighten and protect the skin. It is also one of those products that seem to blend both science and nature together so effortlessly and perfectly, taking the very best out of both worlds. What I love about the formulation of the Goldfaden MD Brightening Elixir is its simplicity, gentleness and efficacy on the skin. I personally have really enjoyed using the Brightening Elixir as I have found it hydrating enough to be used on its own. The real magic of this serum happens over time though and I have noticed that my complexion looks healthier, radiant and appears somewhat brighter when used consistently.
There is no doubt that looking at the Goldfaden MD's ingredient listing that the formulation is simple, with only 12 ingredients - an impressive feat for a serum which is often much more complex. However, when delved in further it is obvious that each and every ingredient serves a purpose in its formulation, with a fantastic blend of great actives. The first active ingredient is L-Ascorbic Acid, one of the best forms of Vitamin C on the market. As many know, Vitamin C is a powerhouse ingredient in the world of skincare. It works as a potent antioxidant that can be used topically to treat and protect the skin from environmental stressors and it can also be used for the treatment of hyperpigmentation by brightening the complexion. The Brightening Elixir contains 9% L-Ascorbic Acid, which is gentle enough for most skin types. Ferulic Acid is another key active ingredient (3% concentration) in the Goldfaden MD's Brightening Elixir. Ferulic Acid is another powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the skin and is often found naturally in fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet corn, and ricebran. Niacinamide is another key active ingredient found in the Brightening Elixir (2% concentration). This essential nutrient has been proven to help with skin concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, texture, and uneven skin tone. Finally, Goldefaden MD's Brightening Elixir also contains Tocopherol, otherwise known as Vitamin E at a concentration of 2%. This essential vitamin is a naturally occurring antioxidant which helps to protect the skin but also assists in hydration. Along with a few other fantatsic ingredients, it is obvious that this serum aims to not only protect the skin with its plethora of proven antioxidants, but also to help hydrate, brighten and assist in overall skin health. I love the simplicity of the ingredients listing - clearly each and every ingredient serves a purpose in keeping the complexion healthy and radiant. Its simplicity also makes it fantastic for those who may have quite sensitive skin, as its short ingrdients listing makes it so easy to navigate and understand.
Simple, short and fantastic ingredients aside, does Goldfaden MD's Brightening Elixir perform? In a nutshell, yes it does, keeping in mind some of the claims of this product is hard to measure (I can't measure antioxidant activity). I found that each and every time I used this serum, my skin felt hydrated and I did not need to layer an additional hydrating serum underneath. I felt that the Brightening Elixir performed reasonably well when it came to hydrating the skin, as the serum gave that instant plumping effect. Other improvements that I noticed instantly was the evening out and general calming of the skin when this serum/elixir was applied. The cooling, watery gel consistency felt fantastic upon touch and immediately had a soothing effect. I found that it helped to calm and even out any redness after the serum had sunk into the complexion.
In terms of brightening the actual complexion, I found that overtime the Brightening Elixir helped a little in this area. Whilst it didn't brighten the complexion as quickly as some other formulations I have used in the past, I did notice darker 'spots' in the skin were improving around the 4-6 week mark. It is important to note that Goldfaden MD's Brightening Elixir is also aimed at more sensitive skin types and those who might not be as tolerant to more 'active' formulations. So whilst it did take a little while for me to see results in terms of brightening dark spots and pigmentation, I can understand the reasons why this may be due to active ingredient concentrations. The aim of the Brightening Elixir after all, is to maximise the effects of actives whilst also minimising any risk of irritation. It is for this reason, I appreciated this formulation when my skin was feeling a little more sensitised than normal. However, those who may be used to stronger active ingredient concentrations, may not see much of an improvement in brightening as the percentages in this are much lower than what some may be used to.
What I loved most about Goldfaden MD's Brightening Elixir however was the glow and the overall effect it gave to my complexion, its hard to explain, but my skin just looked and felt healthier and more radiant. The well rounded approach to the formulation and ingredients definitely had an effect to my skin's overall health. I also found that when I reached for the Brightening Elixir often, my complexion didn't break out as much and overall it was more balanced. Due to the plethora of antioxidant and nutrients in the formula, I found that my skin felt more nourished, stronger and resilient - like it was performing at its most optimal. I felt that my complexion had improved immensely in its overall tone and texture and my skin was no longer looking dull or tired - instead it looked and felt rejuvenated and fresh. My skin was obviously happy with me using this and when I did, my skin felt and looked, radiant, healthy and like it was working at its optimal.
When it comes to texture and scent, Goldfaden MD get it so incredibly right with the Brightening Elixir. When pumped from its plastic airless bottle, a slightly viscous clear liquid is dispensed. The texture of this serum is slightly thicker than water and when applied on to the skin, it feels immediately cooling but it also sinks into the complexion with ease. After about 30 seconds, the serum feels weightless on the skin and is ready for another oil/serum or moisturiser to be applied over the top. Its weightless feel makes it perfect for those who like the feeling of nothing on the skin or in summer when it starts to heat up. It also works well layered underneath other products. As the liquid that comes out when dispensing the Brightening Elixir is quite thin, I find that a little goes quite a long way with this. Whilst I have had this for some time now, it's still not finished (I am not complaining) and the USD$80 for 30ml seems quite well worth it. In terms of scent, those who do not like fragrance or are sensitive to fragrances/essential oils will thoroughly be appreciative of Goldfaden MD's Brightening Elixir as there is no scent whatsoever. The brand is really keeping true to their philosophy of trying to keep formulations as non-irritating as possible.
Overall, I think the Goldfaden MD Brightening Elixir is a fantastic product for those who are just starting out with actives as I think the serum is a great introduction to ingredients such as Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid and Niacinamide. It is also a product I highly recommend to those who have slightly sensitive skin types to look into. The formulation of the Brightening Elixir is quite simple and meant to be gentle; yet still have some of those actives and powerful antioxidants to help protect the skin. I also think its a fantastic serum for those who want to invest in one good serum that addresses a few common skin concerns as well as protect and hydrate the skin. In summary, I absolutely love the way that the Brightening Elixir gives me both immediate results as well as long-term results. However, I am so impressed with the way it was helped to boost my skin's overall health and also how it loaded with antioxidants help to protect my skin. For me, the Goldfaden MD Brightening Elixir is almost like an all in one serum that addresses a few main skin concerns but does it so incredibly well in both its cosmetic elegance, formulation and efficacy.
Repurchase YAY or NAY
Whilst the Goldfaden MD Brightening Elixir was kindly gifted to me, I would definitely repurchase this later down the track. As I mentioned earlier, my skin is so balanced and looks and feels so healthy when I use this. For me, it is a great product to use when my skin is feeling a little sensitised and a fantastic product to pull out of the stash when my skin needs a little bit of maintenance. The texture, feel, immediate and overall long-term results that I get from using Goldfaden MD's Brightening Elixir makes this an absolute joy to use. I love the proven science behind the range and the dedication to merging science with nature.