The story behind Stratia Liquid Gold isn’t like most skin care products. It began in 2016 when former chemistry minor Alli Reed started Stratia as a side hustle from her kitchen. Reed also started a blog and joined Reddit skincare groups, which turned out to be the key to her success.
After formulating Liquid Gold, Reed shared samples with fellow forum readers on Reddit — and it went viral. Since then, Reed has formulated an entire line of Stratia skin care products, although Liquid Gold remains one of the brand’s best selling products.
But is Stratia Liquid Gold right for you? To help you answer this question, below we’ll give you all the details on the key ingredients in this formula, as well as the research that supports (or doesn’t support) their use in skin care.
We’ll also share some Stratia Liquid Gold reviews so that you can get an idea of what customers really think of this product.
Is Stratia Liquid Gold Right For You?
Before we get into the details, here’s the TL;DR if you just want to know whether or not Stratia Liquid Gold is right for you.
- Key ingredients? Niacinamide, sea buckthorn oil, rosehip oil, ceramides
- Skin type? Recommended for all skin types, but works especially well for dehydrated or over-exfoliated skin
- Texture? Lightweight serum
- Fragrance? No
- Cruelty free? Yes
- Cost? $27 USD for 2 fl oz
What is The Texture of Stratia Liquid Gold?
Liquid Gold is a lightweight serum that absorbs into the skin quickly, providing hydration without feeling sticky, greasy, or heavy.
Those with normal to oily skin may find Liquid Gold is moisturizing enough to be their only moisturizer, while drier skin types may want to follow it with a heavier cream.
What Are The Key Ingredients in Stratia Liquid Gold?
In order to determine how well Stratia Liquid Gold performs, we’ll have to evaluate the key ingredients in this formula. Let’s get started.
Stratia calls niacinamide “an all-around skin hero” and we couldn’t agree more.
Here’s why we love niacinamide: A publication in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, states that niacinamide can repair the skin barrier and improve skin moisture, as well as reduce inflammation, blotchiness, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkling. Pretty impressive, right?
Niacinamide is able to provide all of these benefits because it’s a potent antioxidant.
Antioxidants protect skin from free radicals, the unstable molecules that can attack important cellular components — such as DNA, cell membranes, and proteins like collagen — causing damage. This damage is known as “oxidative stress” and over time this stress can lead to signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration.
A final benefit is niacinamide’s ability to prevent and reduce acne due to its antimicrobial and sebostatic effects, meaning it can help protect against the bacteria that cause acne while also helping to reduce oil production.
Sea Buckthorn Oil and Rosehip Oil
Liquid Gold’s signature golden color comes from two types of oil from the sea buckthorn plant.
Sea buckthorn oil contains unique unsaturated fatty acids, such as palmitoleic acid (omega-7) and gamma-linolenic acid (omega-6), which give this oil skin regeneration and repair properties. In addition, sea buckthorn oil easily penetrates through the epidermis, where it improves blood circulation and facilitates oxygenation of the skin.
Stratia Liquid Gold also includes a decent amount of rosehip oil, an excellent skincare ingredient that includes beneficial components like beta carotene, all-trans retinoic acid, and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). These components stimulate cellular regeneration and improve the skin’s barrier function, resulting in healthier, brighter skin.
Ceramides are a family of waxy lipid molecules that are naturally produced by the skin and are vital in supporting the stratum corneum (the outer layer of skin).
According to Healthline, the stratum corneum is sometimes described as a brick wall. The layers of corneocytes (dead skin cells) are like bricks, mortared together by lipids (ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids) that create the skin barrier.
A properly functioning stratum corneum is essential for healthy skin as it maintains epidermal hydration and serves as a barrier that responds to environmental stressors, infections, irritants, and allergens.
Without ceramides, the skin barrier is weakened, just like without mortar a brick wall would be weak and unstable. The result is skin that can easily become dry, itchy, or irritated.
That’s why applying products that contain ceramides — such as Stratia Liquid Gold — can help to replenish ceramide levels, thus restoring the skin’s natural barrier.
While we love almost everything about Stratia Liquid Gold, we were pretty disappointed to find that the formula includes two parabens. Parabens are preservatives used to extend the shelf life of a product by preventing microbial contamination.
The use of parabens in cosmetics and skin care products is controversial because there is conflicting research on the potential health consequences of long term exposure to parabens.
According to the EWG, parabens can act like the hormone estrogen in the body and disrupt the normal function of hormone systems affecting male and female reproductive system functioning, reproductive development, fertility, and birth outcomes.
How to Use Stratia Liquid Gold?
Apply to clean skin in the morning and in the evening. Those with extremely pale skin may experience a temporary orange tint (due to the natural color of sea buckthorn oil), so may want to only use Liquid Gold before bed.
Where to Buy Stratia Liquid Gold?
Stratia Liquid Gold and other Stratia skin care products are sold on the brand’s website. You can also purchase Stratia skin care products through New London Pharmacy, the brand’s exclusive retailer partner, on NewLondonPharmacy.com or in-store at 246 8th Ave in New York City.
How Much is Stratia Liquid Gold?
Liquid Gold costs $27 USD for 2 fl oz on the brand’s website. If you subscribe to receive Liquid Gold at a set interval (30, 60, or 90 days), you can receive a 5% discount.
What is The Stratia Return Policy?
The Stratia return policy states, “We offer refunds if a product was faulty or broke in shipping. Unfortunately, we don’t offer refunds if a product didn’t work for you. Once a product has been used, we can no longer resell it, so we would have to throw away all returned products. As a small company, we simply don’t have the margins to accommodate this without raising our prices.”
Is Stratia Cruelty Free?
Yes, Stratia is cruelty free and the products are officially Leaping Bunny Certified. Leaping Bunny Certification means Stratia skin care products are free of animal testing at every stage of product development.
Is Stratia Liquid Gold Vegan?
Liquid Gold is not vegan because the formula includes cholesterol derived from lanolin (the oil on sheep’s wool).
Stratia Liquid Gold Reviews
There are many 5-star Stratia Liquid Gold reviews from customers who love how well it moisturizes while also brightening skin.
For example, one review says, “I love using this — it has improved my skin so much! I am very sensitive to actives like retinoids and Liquid Gold helps to prevent flakiness and dryness beautifully without being too heavy! Absorbs into my skin quickly and is great under sunscreen as well.”
And another 5-star review says, “This stuff is FABULOUS, I just got done with almost a year on accutane and my skin is so dry and so sensitive, and this stuff is like butter, it brightens my skin, and makes it so incredibly soft it’s unbelievable. I hooked two of my best friends and my mom on it, they are equally as pleased.”
However, there are a handful of negative reviews for Stratia Liquid Gold from customers who noticed breakouts after using this product.
For example, one review says, “I was so excited to try this product but unfortunately by the third day of use I woke up and my skin looked worse, red, small breakouts. Super disappointing to find out they don’t offer returns.”
And a similar 1-star review says, “Bought this supposedly lightweight moisturizer that made my skin even more oily than it is and it caused my skin to break out. Now I’m stuck with something I can’t use because they don’t do refunds. If your skin is oily and acne prone, I wouldn’t buy this product.”
Overall, we think that Stratia Liquid Gold is formulated well and should help to moisturize and brighten skin, but we wish the brand would reformulate with a different preservative so that the formula would be paraben-free.
- Beneficial key ingredients (niacinamide, sea buckthorn oil, ceramides, etc.)
- Fragrance free
- Many positive Stratia Liquid Gold reviews
- Stratia Liquid Gold contains parabens
What Are Some Alternatives to Stratia Liquid Gold?
If you’re looking for skin care products to address the signs of aging, one brand we recommend is Formulyst. Formulyst maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in clinically advanced skin care solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin.
For example, Formulyst’s Retexturing and Perfecting Serum is expertly formulated to gently exfoliate, clean, and refine pores, as well as help remove dead cells and visibly reveal the brighter, healthier skin beneath. It contains glycolic acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that increases the rate of cell turnover and stimulates collagen production. Ultimately, this helps to improve uneven skin texture, resulting in smoother, softer skin.
Another brand that balances the power of plants with cutting edge science is Carrot & Stick. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skincare products.