The beauty landscape is awash with brilliant and affordable skincare lines, yet one we return to time and time again is Geek & Gorgeous. As one of the benchmarks for affordable skincare brands, Geek and Gorgeous was designed for those wanting effective, science-backed products that are potent and intelligent yet still at a low cost.
A concise collection of hero products developed by ingredients experts, this impressive range incorporates all the industry heavy-hitters – from Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to Vitamin A and glycolic acid – along with innovative formulas to deliver real results at a fraction of the price. Geek and Gorgeous will appeal to both skincare novices and ‘skintellectuals’ on a budget.
It amazes us at THE GREAT ADDRESS how a small skincare brand from Hungary just keeps nailing skincare basics in a way even larger brands often cannot, whilst consistently maintaining the prices at a very fair level. Launched by a leading industry ingredient expert, Geek & Gorgeous is a premium skincare brand that focuses primarily on scientifically-proven actives and sometimes innovative yet always best-in-class ingredients.
The skillfully crafted, quality-obsessed formulation process employs a focused yet multi-faceted combination of potent actives and innovative ingredients. The brand does not rely on a single ingredient to address any dermatologic concern but finds the best combinations of synergistic actives to amplify their potency and efficacy. For instance, the Geek and Gorgeous Vitamin C uses a synergistic antioxidant combination of pure Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E to enhance your skin’s protection against environmental damage caused by free radicals and improve signs of ageing and photodamage all in one product.
Offering high-efficacy and skin-enhancing formulas at affordable prices, Geek and Gorgeous is for everyone, from the skincare masters to the beginners. Without any sticky feel, the brand’s elegant textures sink into the skin beautifully. The evidence-based actives are carefully formulated, with far less irritation potential. And sensitive skin is clearly in for a treat. The formulas contain no alcohol, no essential oils and as few allergens as possible.
We love everything this quality skincare brand stands for – from the ingredients and the formulations to the ethos and the results.
Established in 2015, Geek and Gorgeous was founded by Péter Budaházy and Judit Rácz, who is a computer scientist turned cosmetic formulator. She has an MSc in Computer Science from Budapest University of Technology and Economics and also a Diploma in Cosmetic Science from the Society of Cosmetic Chemists in the UK.
Judit’s skincare journey began in 2010 after struggling with severe acne for several years. She tried out tons of cosmetic products, facials, and visits to the dermatologist for years, without any success. She then began searching for scientifically proven ingredients and active ingredients to help heal her skin. She started to read and learn obsessively. With her new-found knowledge, she figured out a skincare routine, which she used patiently and consistently until her skin finally cleared up.
After success with her own skin, Judit realised that there was nothing in her native Hungarian language on the internet to help people learn about skincare and choose products wisely. She decided to launch a “skincare blog – Hungarian makeupalley.com-CosDNA all rolled into one” website called kremmania.hu. She launched kremmania.hu in 2010, and today it is the biggest beauty website in Hungary.
Encouraged by the success of Kremmania and by her passion for science-based skincare, she started INCIDecoder in 2015. The editorial team at THE GREAT ADDRESS are long-standing fans of INCIDecoder, which allows you to decode skincare ingredients fast with the company’s science-based but easy-to-understand explanations.
Thanks to kremmania.hu, Judit got to know Peter Budahazy, the CEO of the biggest Hungarian mass-market brand called Helia-D. In 2015, they came up with the idea to create a new brand together. Judit came up with the concept of the brand, the products, and the active ingredients to be used, Helia-D helps to bring the products to life, and the result of this collaboration is Geek and Gorgeous.
Top reasons why Geek & Gorgeous is a smart choice
In the past couple of years, we have seen a (welcome) influx of affordable skincare brands. The Ordinary may have begun the trend, then The Inkey List came, and now we have Geek & Gorgeous. The brand offers a range of efficacious but accessible products made with science-backed actives at the right percentages.
Here, we will look at some of the most important aspects and features of Geek & Gorgeous that set it apart and beyond other affordable skincare brands.
EVIDENCE-BASED ACTIVES: Rooted in science and formulated with carefully selected ingredients, Geek and Gorgeous creates products with clinically proven actives at effective concentrations necessary for optimal results. The cosmetically elegant formulas absorb quickly with no greasy residue.
As an example, for one of the best over-the-counter retinols, Geek and Gorgeous chose RetinAL (retinaldehyde) for its Vitamin A serum (retinaldehyde). RetinAL is the strongest retinoid available without going into the prescription-strength territory. It only requires one conversion step before becoming retinoic acid (Retin-A/Tretinoin), converting more than ten times faster than Retinol, making retinAL an outstandingly effective member of the retinoid family (Vitamin A family).
MULTI-FACETED FORMULAS: One of the things that makes Geek & Gorgeous special is its multi-faceted formulas. As opposed to single-ingredient driven products, Geek and Gorgeous does not focus on one single ingredient – no matter how good it is for skin – to the exclusion of others. The brand uses profoundly effective combinations of active ingredients that work synergistically within the formulation and effectively on the skin. The synergistic effects of these unions will perform significantly stronger than each of the ingredients individually. For example, Geek & Gorgeous’ bestseller C-glow boasts a combination of 15% Ascorbic Acid with a considerable amount of Ferulic Acid (a potent antioxidant of plant origin) and a small amount of Vitamin E, which together may help to increase the efficacy of Vitamin C.
INTELLIGENT FORMULAS: Geek & Gorgeous’ formulator researches, sources and selects the gold standard of active skincare ingredients along with innovative ingredients, which are used in effective combinations, at powerful concentrations. This ensures the most complementary synergies to amplify the ingredients’ potency and efficacy whilst achieving noticeable skincare results that last.
EU COMPLIANT – ONE OF THE STRICTEST REGULATIONS IN THE WORLD: Geek & Gorgeous’ hard-working products are carefully formulated to the highest standards. The brand goes by the European Union Commission Regulations – over 1,300 have been outlawed or restricted in the entire European Union – to ensure our products are safe for our bodies and the planet. The brand also follows the latest research publications to err on the side of caution.
CONCENTRATIONS ARE DISCLOSED: Geek & Gorgeous values transparency and believes in smart beauty geeks who read ingredient lists and want to know the exact amount of the main actives. More is not always better. Too much of a good thing can cause irritation. Not enough, and you will not see the results, leading to frustration.
With Geek and Gorgeous, you will know the exact concentrations of each product’s active ingredients, helping you to make smart, informed product decisions.
MADE IN EUROPE: By keeping product manufacturing, testing, and packaging within Europe, you can be sure that Geek & Gorgeous product quality meets high European standards. Its Vitamin C product is thoughtfully prepared every week in small batches for optimal freshness and effectiveness.
NO HARMFUL INGREDIENTS: Geek & Gorgeous’ philosophy is based on maximising what is good for the skin and minimising everything else. Made with safe and effective ingredients, the quality products are free from cheap fillers, fragrances (synthetic or natural), dyes and drying alcohol. The brand aims to minimise all helpers and fillers while also avoiding using common allergens and plant extracts, which sound good but are scientifically questionable for the skin – such as most essential oils, lavender or citrus extracts.
Geek and Gorgeous also does not use controversial ingredients – such as parabens, sulphates or mineral oil – to give you total peace of mind. Most of the products are Malassezia-safe, and with only one exception, they are also vegan.
100% CRUELTY-FREE: Geek & Gorgeous is a 100% cruelty-free brand. The brand’s products are never animal tested, and it does not use any ingredients that are tested on animals. Geek and Gorgeous does not sell products in countries where animal testing is required, which means that the brand is not available in mainland China (though good news: legislation is changing in China).
As a side note, animal testing for cosmetic purposes was banned in the European Union in 2009. Since then, all EU brands have been required to be cruelty-free.
INFORMATIVE WEBSITE: Each product is explained brilliantly on the website, so it does not leave any room for guessing. Each product provides an easy-to-digest breakdown of its ingredients, concentrations of actives, pH value, what it is, what it does, who it is for, the texture, how to use it and research references.
PACKAGING: Geek & Gorgeous’ premium skincare products are packaged in amber glass, which protects the integrity of the product. The dark packaging helps protect the serums – for example, those containing potent antioxidants like Vitamins C, E and Ferulic Acid – from breaking down when exposed to light.
Glass bottles also reduce exposure to harmful chemicals – using glass instead of plastic, which contains hormone-disrupting chemicals like BPA, ensures that no harmful chemicals leach into our products. Finally, glass is recyclable.
GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY: By formulating its products in its in-house lab, producing them in the company’s own factories, and cutting unfair retail markups, Geek & Gorgeous can offer skincare at fair prices.
Why is Geek & Gorgeous so inexpensive
Geek & Gorgeous’ product prices are low, but it is important to be mindful that this is not budget skincare. Geek and Gorgeous is a super premium skincare brand that has not got the price tag attached to it. The key to achieving these affordable skincare prices is investing in active ingredients rather than fancy packaging and expensive marketing campaigns. Also, Geek and Gorgeous is mostly a DTC (Direct-to-Consumer) brand and currently does not work with any big retailers needing huge margins.
Geek and Gorgeous is vertically integrated with its own development and manufacturing, enabling the brand not only to have full control over its formulations but to create products more cost-efficiently than having to go to third-party contract manufacturers.
Geek & Gorgeous is a true testament that good quality skincare does not have to be expensive.
The best products from Geek & Gorgeous to stock up on
Geek & Gorgeous’ results-driven products are honest, straightforward and effective, at a fair price. The brand celebrates the simplicity of the daily routine with an edited line of essentials that can benefit everyone. The low-cost premium skincare range is for everyone, from the skincare obsessed to beginners.
Here, the editorial team at THE GREAT ADDRESS has rounded up some of our favourites from Geek & Gorgeous:
A-GAME 10 – 0.1% RETINAL SERUM: Having used various Vitamin A serums for more than a decade, our Editor regards the Geek and Gorgeous 0.1% RetinAL serum as one of the best over-the-counter retinol serums on the market today. This silky, light emulsion contains a high-strength amount of retinAL to help against all signs of ageing.
RetinAL is the “big brother” molecule of the better known anti-ageing superstar, retinol. While retinol needs two metabolic conversion steps to reach the active form, retinoic acid (aka tretinoin), retinAL is the direct precursor, only one conversion step away from the active form the skin cells understand. It is estimated that retinAL can convert more than ten times faster to retinoic acid than retinol, making retinAL an outstandingly effective member of the retinoid family (Vitamin A family).
Once converted, retinAL helps the skin cells to produce more collagen and other structural elements, making the skin more youthful, firm and elastic. It also speeds up the renewal process of the upper skin layers making it smoother and more even. It is also useful as an adjacent product for fading pigmentation, as well as helping acne-prone skin.
In terms of strength and knowledge, the 0.1% retinAL serum is comparable to a high-strength retinol product (typically in the 0.5-1% range) but with less irritation potential and possibly quicker results.
Allantoin and Biosaccharide Gum-1 have been added to the formula, which means that the serum also has soothing and moisturising properties.
A smart-ageing must-have, the A-Game 10 should only be used by experienced retinoid users. If you are just starting your retinol journey, we recommend A-Game 5, the brand’s mid-strength retinAL serum.
A-GAME 5 – 0.05% RETINAL SERUM: When it comes to anti-ageing skincare, vitamin A is the absolute gold standard in keeping your skin looking younger for longer. If you are looking for a medium-strength retinol product, choose the A-Game 5. This silky, light emulsion contains a medium-strength amount of retinAL to help against all signs of ageing while being gentle on the skin.
RetinAL is the “big brother” of retinol, the more well-known anti-ageing superstar. RetinAL is only one conversion step removed from retinoic acid, also known as tretinoin. Retinol is two conversion steps removed and is converted to retinAL first and only then to retinoic acid. RetinAL is thought to convert to retinoic acid more than ten times faster than retinol, making it a highly effective member of the retinoid family (Vitamin A family).
When retinAL is converted, it aids skin cells in producing more collagen and other structural elements, resulting in more young, firm, and elastic skin. It also speeds up the renewal process of the upper skin layers making it smoother and more even. It is also useful as an adjacent product for fading pigmentation, as well as helping acne-prone skin.
In terms of strength and knowledge, the 0.05% retinAL serum is comparable to a mid-strength retinol product (typically in the 0.2-0.5% range) but with less irritation potential and possibly quicker results.
The addition of Allantoin and Biosaccharide Gum-1 to the formula ensures that the serum also has soothing and hydrating qualities.
C-GLOW – 15% VITAMIN C SERUM: One of Geek & Gorgeous’ bestsellers, C-Glow is a powerhouse in terms of efficacy. The super-light, water-like Vitamin C serum contains 15% Ascorbic Acid, enhanced by extra antioxidants, to give a healthy glow, even and firm the skin.
The formula is simple, effective and to the point. The real difference between classic Vitamin C serums, apart from the Ascorbic Acid, lies in the inclusion of Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E in Geek and Gorgeous’ formulation. This excellently researched and complementary cult trinity of ingredients is indispensable for the best Vitamin C serums due to its exceptional antioxidant and photoprotective synergistic action.
Pure Vitamin C (or Ascorbic Acid) is a clinically proven superstar that gives the skin environmental protection (antioxidant), boosts the skin’s own collagen production and fades hyperpigmentation. The additions of Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E are antioxidants that help to stabilise Vitamin C and increase its antioxidant power by up to 8%.
The disadvantage of pure Vitamin C is that it is super unstable and hard to formulate with. To ensure maximum freshness, Geek & Gorgeous creates C-Glow in small batches once a week – on average, by the time a C-Glow reaches customers, it is about two to three weeks old. The brand also stores C-Glow in the fridge in all of its warehouses. Also, the stability of the Vitamin C is maintained by keeping the pH under 3.5 – the Geek & Gorgeous Vitamin C shows a pH value of 3.2 to 3.4.
Even though Geek & Gorgeous’ formula uses a low pH and extra antioxidants to help to stabilise Vitamin C, C-Glow comes only with a couple of months shelf-life. Geek and Gorgeous recommends storing it in the fridge, where it keeps fresh at least for three months (if unopened, it keeps for a couple of months more), while it keeps only about six weeks at room temperature. If going to the fridge every day for your C-Glow does not sound comfortable, the brand recommends using its empty 10 ml mini bottle. You can easily decant up to ten days worth of C-Glow into it and store the mini bottle in the bathroom while having the C-Glow bottle in the fridge.
JELLY JOKER – GENTLE LOW PH CLEANSER: This is gentle but hard-working jelly cleanser is designed to cleanse the skin thoroughly without drying it out or disrupting the skin barrier.
With a gelatinous texture and conditioning ingredients, this silky no-foaming facial cleanser is ideal as a gentle morning cleanser or as the second step in a double cleansing routine. It cleanses the skin thoroughly and dissolves water-soluble make-up.
Universally usable, this cleanser is suitable for all skin types and concerns, including people with sensitive skin or redness. Also, the cleanser is fungal acne Malassezia safe.
The Jelly Joker cleanser is formulated with a skin-friendly pH of between 5 and 5.4, making it a gentle everyday cleanser. The main cleaning ingredients are PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides and Poloxamer 184 – two very gentle yet effective surfactants.
The Geek & Gorgeous jelly cleanser is a no-frills product, and that is what we love about it.
The brand’s exfoliation collection contains three all skin type exfoliators that combine different acids in different strengths to suit everyone’s individual sensitivity to exfoliant acids:
CHEER UP – MANDELIC (AHA) & BHA EXFOLIATOR: Another bestseller, Geek & Gorgeous’ medium-strength exfoliator, with Mandelic Acid (AHA) and Salicylic Acid (BHA), addresses enlarged pores, oiliness, acne and post-acne marks. Everyone can use it, but it is especially recommended for combination skin that struggles with acne, blackheads, too much oil production and enlarged pores. The non-irritating and non-drying formula is also gentle enough to use on sensitive, redness-prone skin.
Both gentle and effective, this lightweight, fast-absorbing exfoliating liquid is packed with a duo of
6% Mandelic Acid and BHA. With antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it works both on the surface of the skin and inside the pores to clear and balance the complexion. The acid duo is joined by Sarcosine, an amino-acid derivative that further helps to tighten up enlarged pores and balance oil production. The low pH formulation – between 3.2 and 3.6 – preserves the strength of the acids for optimal efficacy on the skin.
SMOOTH OUT – AHA EXFOLIATOR: Powerful yet gentle, Smooth Out is Geek & Gorgeous’ strongest anti-ageing focused exfoliant. The brand has designed Smooth Out to give your skin a clinically proven collagen-boosting amount of AHAs and, at the same time, to be as gentle as possible. The 12% glycolic and lactic acid combination removes the dead skin cells gently but effectively from the skin’s surface and gives you a healthy glow overnight. With ongoing use, it boosts the skin’s own collagen production, smooths fine lines, fades hyperpigmentation and boosts the effectiveness of treatments and moisturisers used afterwards.
Geek & Gorgeous combined the AHAs with Nopal Cactus Extract that is designed to reduce potential neurosensory irritation caused by higher amounts of alpha-hydroxy acids, and extra humectants were added to boost the water-binding ability of lactic and glycolic acid.
To let Geek and Gorgeous’ glycolic exfoliator works its magic, the product is formulated at a pH range between 3.5 and 3.9. The product is still effective in this range, but it is also gentle to the skin. If the pH is less, glycolic acid works stronger; if the pH is more, it works milder.
CALM DOWN – PHA & BHA EXFOLIATOR: Calm Down is a super-gentle, soothing exfoliator with 4% PHA and BHA acids that works to give you a healthy glow while soothing, protecting, and hydrating the skin.
Perfect for sensitive, redness-prone skin types. PHA acids are gentler on the skin than the better known AHAs and similarly remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. PHAs are also great at moisturising the skin and giving it extra antioxidant protection. BHA (Salicylic Acid) is a gentle exfoliant known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Geek & Gorgeous combined PHA and BHA acids with several soothing, antioxidant and moisturising ingredients so that Calm Down not only gently exfoliates but also soothes and hydrates the skin.
For maximum effectiveness, the PHA exfoliator is formulated at a pH of between 3.5 and 3.9.
If you have sensitive skin or are looking for a really gentle, almost impossible to overdo exfoliant, Geek & Gorgeous’ PHA & BHA exfoliator is for you.
One of the best affordable skincare brands on the market, delivering high efficacy and stellar results
Premium ingredients without the price tag and the confusion – it is something we all want, but finding the right formula can seem like an overwhelming task.
Geek and Gorgeous takes clinically proven ingredients, formulates them for effectiveness, and offers them at a fair price. The result? Well-researched, science-backed and carefully formulated products that truly work – without breaking the bank.