Healthy skin is happy skin. This review is of Stratia’s Liquid Gold, a product that is spoken of with (well-earned) reverence in many skincare circles of the internet. It’s main goal is not just to moisturize, but quite literally to help repair and build the outermost layer of skin. (Fun fact: the store’s name, Stratia, comes from the name of that layer of skin, stratum corneum.) If your moisture barrier is compromised, it can lead to breakouts and make your skin much more sensitive.
I’m on the second of four Stratia reviews that I’m going to be uploading over the course of the next couple of days because I am always proud to purchase from small, women-run businesses. Additionally, Stratia is going to be having a Black Friday sale (20% off of everything!), so I want to get reviews out for those interested in purchasing.
Alli, the owner of Stratia, creates all of the formulas for the products and makes them herself. She has meticulously researched ingredients and based on the four products I’ve tried–Soft Touch AHA, Rewind, Velvet Cleansing Milk, and Liquid Gold–her research has paid off! (Read my review of the Soft Touch AHA here.)
Stratia Liquid Gold
The bottle is solid glass, and the pump allows you to control how much you dispense really well. Toward the very end of the bottle, I do have to turn it over and shake it to get everything out of the very bottom.
Like I’ve said before, Alli knows her stuff. Liquid Gold was formulated with a specific ratio of ceramides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids to help build and maintain your moisture barrier. It’s not enough to just have one of the those three ingredients. You actually need all three of them (in a specific ratio) in order to do that work.
Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Niacinamide, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Rosa Mosqueta (Rose) Hip Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Seed Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Oil, Panthenol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Squalane (olive-derived), Cetyl Alcohol, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA
- Niacinamide: helps brighten, lessen wrinkles, and repair skin. This formula contains 4% niacinamide. For my full ode to this wonderous ingredient, click here.
- Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil: an antioxidant-rich oil that also contains fatty acids. It is great for dry skin.
- Squalane: an emollient that is an incredibly moisturizing source of fatty acids and antioxidants
- Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract: Contains antioxidants and is soothing to the skin
- Ceramides NP, AP, EOP: Ceramides (and there are so many in here!) are the substances found in the membranes of skin cells, and they help to strengthen cells and prevent TEWL (transepidermal water loss).
- Sodium Hyaluronate: the version of hyaluronic acid that has smaller molecules that allows it to absorb into the skin more easily; hyaluronic acid is a humectant that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
The (Personal) Evidence
I’ve been using Stratia Liquid Gold since early February, and, not to be hyperbolic, it has saved my skin.
This is a beautiful yellow emulsion–basically a thin lotion–brightens up my routine (literally). It doesn’t stain my skin yellow, don’t worry, but the unique color definitely makes it stand out.
Because my skin leans toward dry in the winter I use this right before a heavier cream, although I found that when my skin skews towards normal in the summer, this was a fine moisturizer before sunscreen.
As you all know, I love niacinamide in skincare, but because I use so many products specifically for lightening PIH and brightening skin, I can’t say whether or not Stratia Liquid Gold has helped with that. However, I do know that this is the product–in part because of that high percentage of niacinamide–that helped to repair my moisture barrier last winter and has helped keep my skin strong and healthy.
I use this on nights of and the morning after I apply an active like Stratia’s Soft Touch AHA or when I use The Ordinary’s Advanced Retinoid 2%. I was using this daily as I worked to rebuild my moisture barrier, but now I mostly think of it as prevention and maintenance.
While I have tried a number of other emulsions, and they have all added to the moisture levels on my face in some way, none of them have really made my skin feel healthy. It’s a hard feeling to describe, but my skin just feels….good. I don’t get the itchy, red, irritated bumps like I was getting last winter, and I no longer want to claw my face off from tightness and itching before I do my oil cleanse at night. My skin feels healthier and more resilient.
A decant of Liquid Gold always comes with me when I’m traveling as a way to get good ingredients onto my skin all at once and save it from the horrors of the awful, drying travel air.
I’m now finishing up my second bottle and will definitely be stocking up during the Stratia sale.
So, will I buy this product again?
- Did you not read the review? Yes, of course. I will spend all of my money on this product!
- Yes. I enjoy this product enough to purchase again in the future, especially if it’s on sale.
- Meh. Maybe. I mean, I bet there are other, better things out there. I’d use it if someone gave it to me.
- No. I won’t use this again and will probably bad-mouth it to others.
- Hahahahaha. Nope. Noooooooope. Not even if you paid me.
The Verdict: Did you not read the review? Yes, of course. I will spend all of my money on this product!
Where you can purchase: Stratia $24