Glow Recipe: What’s Worth Buying? What To Skip?

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Last year I purchased a bunch of products from Glow Recipe. After trying them, I thought about skipping the review. But I’ve decided that you really should know which products are good and which I don’t recommend and why.

In this post, you will find reviews for each product I tried, alternative recommendations, and my thoughts on who might like this brand.

Don’t want to read this entire post? Click for my YouTube video that you can watch or listen to instead.

Glow Recipe Review

About Glow Recipe

Glow Recipe is a skincare brand that has made waves in the beauty industry for its commitment to natural ingredients, playful packaging, and dedication to skin-enhancing formulas. Founded in 2014 by beauty industry veterans Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, the brand originated with the mission of bringing high-quality South Korean beauty products and skincare practices to the global market.

With their rich background in the global beauty sector, Lee and Chang leveraged their expertise and deep understanding of rigorous skincare routines to introduce a line of products that embody both fun and functionality. The duo’s approach wasn’t just about importing South Korean beauty products; it was about integrating the innovative ingredients, technology, and skincare routines of K-beauty into a range of products that cater to an international audience.

Glow Recipe’s philosophy centers around “natural, fruit-powered skincare” designed to bring out the skin’s inner glow. Their products are known for harnessing the power of fruit-based ingredients, which are rich in antioxidants and essential vitamins, alongside the latest advancements in skincare science. This intersection of nature and technology is evident in their offerings, with products that are free from harmful components like parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, emphasizing clean, toxin-free formulations.

Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser

Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser

The Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser is formulated with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and gentle AHAs. Glow Recipe claims that this gentle formula will remove makeup with minimal rubbing, while hyaluronic acid and AHAs help improve the look of pores. 

Overall, I don’t find this cleanser to be worth the purchase. At around $34 for a small bottle, this is a very expensive product. Not only that, but it does not remove makeup as it claims. You would need to use a cleansing balm first and the Blueberry Bounce Cleanser as your second cleanse.

If you are looking for an AHA cleanser, there are plenty of options that are cheaper and work better.

Shop Blueberry Bounce Cleanser

Alternatives: Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser or Hero Cosmetics Clear Collective

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist

Advertised as a refreshing and hydrating mist, this product is formulated with watermelon extract, hyaluronic acid, Centella Asiatica, apple cider vinegar, and licorice root extract. Glow Recipe suggests spritzing your face with this mist throughout the day to refresh the skin.

I do really like the mister on this product. The spray is very fine and even. Even though you will be tempted to keep spraying, you really only need one layer. Applying just one layer will leave your skin glowy and it will make the product last longer.

Shop Watermelon Glow Mist

Alternative: Acure Seriously Soothing Superfine Mist

Watermelon Glow PHA +BHA Pore-Tight Toner

Watermelon Glow PHA +BHA Pore-Tight Toner

This toner has hydrating ingredients like cactus water and hyaluronic acid. The willow bark and tea tree are good for pore cleaning. There are also ingredients to gently exfoliate the skin like gluconolactone.

While this Glow Recipe toner isn’t a bad product, my personal preference is to use a hydrating toner not an exfoliating one.

Aside from those with very dry skin and people that don’t enjoy the fragrance, this toner would be a good option for someone wanting a gentle exfoliating toner.

Shop Watermelon Glow Toner

Alternative: The INKEY List – Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) Gentle Exfoliating Toner

Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

The Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops is a serum formulated with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and watermelon extract. It is described as a serum that hydrates, brightens the skin, and minimizes the appearance of pores, while also providing a nice glow to the skin.

Including these ingredients in your routine is great. They are good for clogged pores, reducing oil production, and keeping the skin hydrated. However, I would not pick this up for the glow factor. You should not be using this as the last step in your routine, adding moisturizer and SPF is a must.

If you want to keep things simple while also using Glow Recipe products, I would suggest picking up the Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream instead. It has niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and squalane. It would give you the benefits of two products at the cost of one.

Shop Watermelon Glow Dew Drops

Alternative: Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum

Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum

The Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum is formulated with avocado butter, ceramides, and allantoin to moisturize and soothe the skin. Glow Recipe also includes a variety of natural extracts including ginger, turmeric, grape, and apple.

As someone who has easily irritated skin, I was very excited to try this product. Unfortunately, this serum did not soothe my skin, it made my sensitive skin even redder and caused me to break out.

When I did a deep dive into the ingredients, I was surprised by how much they stuffed into the formula. Not only does it contain skin soothing ingredients like ceramides and avocado butter, but it also contains countless botanicals, including lavender, rose, and sandalwood. These natural ingredients help give the product a pleasant smell but are also known irritants. I am not sure which ingredient irritated my skin, but suffice it to say I will not be using this product again.

Shop Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum

Alternative: Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief

Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream

Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream

This moisturizer is packed with a ton of good ingredients. Most notably, the formula includes hyaluronic acid, polyglutamic acid, niacinamide, and squalane. This combination of ingredients paired with the cream’s lighter texture makes it a great moisturizer for most skin types.

I really like this moisturizer, so much so that I actually purchased another one after I did my initial testing.

Shop Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream

Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturize

Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturize

The Watermelon Moisturizer is a lightweight gel that is meant for those with combination and oily skin. It is formulated with glycerin, antioxidants, and sodium hyaluronate.

Please note that his moisturizer provides very little in terms of hydration or moisture. It can also leave a sticky feeling on the skin once applied.

If you are looking for a drugstore option that is a bit more hydrating (but still light), check out Yes To Hydration Super Fresh Facial Gel Moisturizer.

Shop Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturizer

Alternative: Yes To Hydration Super Fresh Facial Gel Moisturizer

Watermelon Glow AHA Night Treatment

Watermelon Glow AHA Night Treatment

This Watermelon Glow sleeping mask is designed to exfoliate while you sleep. With glycolic acid, lactic acid, and pumpkin this mask helps to slough off your skin. Watermelon extract and sodium hyaluronate are included in the mask to help keep the skin hydrated.

If you decide you want to try this overnight mask, make sure you are not overdoing it. On nights that you use this, you will want to limit the other actives in your skincare routine. For example, you wouldn’t want to use an AHA-based serum on the same night. I wouldn’t pair it with a strong retinoid either. Doing so is likely to dry your skin out or disrupt the skin barrier.

Ultimately, I would not choose to purchase this sleeping mask. Instead, I would opt for the Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask. It is more expensive but it does the job of brightening the skin while being a bit more hydrating.

Shop Watermelon+ AHA Glow Sleeping Mask

Alternative: Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask

Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask

Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask

Glow Recipe formulated this sleeping mask with antioxidant rich avocado, retinol, coffeeberry, and shea butter. These ingredients work together to help improve the look of fine lines and dark circles.

One thing to note is that the package does not indicate the strength of the retinol used in this sleeping mask. When testing I did not experience any irritation, but I am a long-time retinol user. If you are new to retinol or you are worried about reacting to it, start by using this eye cream a couple nights a week and work your way up to every other day.

Of all the products I tried from Glow Recipe, this is the one that I love the most. I highly recommend trying it.

Shop Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask

Final Thoughts On Glow Recipe

All of the products are very sensuous.  The products are in pretty packaging, they are colorful, and each product has a fruity smell. It is an experience to use their products.  If that is your jam, you’ll enjoy using Glow Recipe. 

When Glow Recipe was first established, they only offered a couple of products. Now that they have a much bigger selection. You can find textures and products that will work with a variety of skin types, but most of their products are geared to combination and oily skin.

My personal favorites from Glow Recipe are the Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer and the Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask. They are the two most unique products and they are the ones I enjoyed using the most. 

There are several Glow Recipe products that I have not tested. Should I end up trying more products from the brand, I will update this Glow Recipe review.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are Glow Recipe products vegan and cruelty-free?

A: Yes, Glow Recipe products are vegan and cruelty-free.

Q: Are Glow Recipe products suitable for all skin types?

A: Glow Recipe products are formulated to cater to a wide range of skin types, including normal, oily, combination, and dry skin. However, it’s always recommended to check the product’s label and ingredients to ensure it’s suitable for your skin type.

Q: Where can I purchase Glow Recipe?

A: Glow Recipe products are available at their official website as well as various authorized retailers like Sephora and Ulta.

Shop Glow Recipe

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