We put The Glow Maker by Maelove to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
While many of us have turned to niacinamide (vitamin B3) to fulfill our skin’s needs, I’m still (and will always be) a diehard fan of vitamin C. This antioxidant is not only excellent for brightening dark spots and evening out the complexion, but it protects against environmental stressors and plays an important role in our skin’s collagen synthesis.
Reading: Maelove the glow maker reviews
I’ve tried dozens of vitamin C products over my years covering beauty, but one I hadn’t gotten to (until now!) is The Glow Maker by Maelove. This affordable serum promises to brighten, hydrate, and nourish the skin while offering antioxidant protection against premature aging. Plus, it’s a Byrdie favorite for combatting discoloration.
I put it to the test over the course of two and a half weeks, noting its effects both daily and over time, and I love the results.
About My Skin: Texture issues with subtle sun damage
I’ve been using vitamin C daily for about a year now and it’s been a total game-changer. While I have combination skin, my cheeks can sometimes get very dry, leading to a rough texture that makes wearing foundation a nightmare. I also carelessly exposed myself to the sun (and the tanning bed) in my teen years, and now that I’m 30 it’s starting to show. Spots and freckles dot my face, and while they don’t necessarily bother me too much, I’d like to fade them before they get any worse. Overall, vitamin C has majorly helped smooth out my complexion, and when I start to slack on using it daily, I can really notice the difference.
I had gotten a medium medical-grade chemical peel right before starting this review, so my complexion was already pretty glowy, smooth, and bright before. Even so, I figured The Glow Maker would be a great product to use to maintain the benefits of my peel. I used it both morning and night after cleansing and before applying the rest of my oils, creams, and SPF.
Ingredients: Vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid boost glow and while hyaluronic acid hydrates
The key ingredients in The Glow Maker are vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid, a trio of antioxidants that help brighten the complexion and fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation, hydrate, and protect against environmental stressors. (Ahem, another cult-favorite vitamin C serum contains these same three ingredients for almost six times the price, just sayin’.) Hyaluronic acid is another key ingredient, which offers extra hydration and moisture retention benefits.
We know that the product contains 15% vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid. The other key ingredients appear towards the middle of the ingredient list, indicating they’re present in effective concentrations. Additionally, the formula contains a proprietary botanical blend of vitis vinifera, aloe, aurantium dulcis, and magnolia for extra soothing and smoothing benefits.
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The Glow Maker is cruelty-free, vegan, and oil-free, making it a good choice for oily or acne-prone skin types.
The Feel & Scent: Lightweight and hydrating
Some vitamin C serums can have a greasy feel, so I really appreciate how lightweight this oil-free formula is.
It doesn’t leave behind much of a residue, but the skin is left feeling slightly tight (though hydrated and smooth) once it sinks it. This feeling subsides as soon as you move on to your next product.
In terms of fragrance, Glow Maker is unscented but does have a slight smell to it due to the ingredients. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t have that “meaty” smell some other vitamin C products are known for.
Irritation: Less sting than most vitamin C products
Vitamin C serums are known to cause a stinging or tingling sensation when applied, some more so than others. While I sometimes felt a slight sting when applying The Glow Maker (usually if my skin was extra parched), was milder than many of the products I’ve used in the past. Overall, I didn’t experience any redness or irritation while using it and found it to be gentle. Still, if you have extra sensitive skin, definitely apply sparingly at first—you may not be able to tolerate daily use.
Sensitivity: Mixing with certain ingredients can cause irritation or destabilization
If you’re going to use vitamin C daily you should avoid using it with retinol, copper peptides, and alpha-hydroxy acids, which can destabilize it and render it ineffective. It’s also not dermatologist-recommended to be used with benzoyl peroxide, which can oxidize vitamin C. Vitamin C can also cause sun sensitivity, so be sure to wear daily SPF while using it, even if you’re applying it in the evening.
Oxidation: Pay attention to color and dates
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As a skin-care ingredient, vitamin C is really hard to stabilize, so be aware that over time your product may begin to oxidize. Oxidized vitamin C becomes less effective over time and in some cases can cause a darkening or discoloration effect. Pay attention to the color of your serum—if it starts to turn orange or brown, it’s oxidized. Also, be sure to pay attention to the expiration date on your product, and know that, typically, L-ascorbic acid has about a three-month shelf life once the bottle is opened.
The Results: So smooth, so glowy
As I said earlier, I started this review with my skin already in tiptop shape thanks to a medical-grade chemical peel, but I was curious to see how well The Glow Maker would maintain my glow.
It did make my skin feel momentarily tight, but as soon as I applied my next oil or cream, that feeling subsided. By the end of the day, before applying my second dose, my skin was still soft, supple, and hydrated.
I’ve been testing for two and a half weeks and my skin still feels incredibly soft and smooth. I get very dry during the winter, especially being inside all day with heating that I can’t control, so I really love the extra hydration this serum offers on top of my heavier oils and creams. While it didn’t correct my spots in just these few weeks, I do think I would see a difference over time considering it contains the exact ingredients (and L-ascorbic acid concentration) as my other favorite (and effective) vitamin C serum. Spots aside, my post-peel glow is still very much there.
The Value: A total steal
Maelove strives to create products that are simple, effective, and won’t break the bank, and I think they nailed it with The Glow Maker. At $27.95 an ounce, it’s truly a steal. It’s formulated with clean, quality ingredients. It works just as well as some of the pricier vitamin C products I’ve tried in the past.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($166): Okay, I say this in every vitamin C review I write, but this is by far the best vitamin C product I’ve ever used. However, it’s very pricey, ringing in at $166 per ounce. In my opinion, Glow Maker is a pretty solid dupe of C E Ferulic; it contains the same 15% concentration of L-ascorbic acid, as well as vitamin E, ferulic acid, and hyaluronic acid for only a sixth of the price. It’s also much gentler. However, I found SkinCeutical’s product to yield noticeable results more quickly. It also leaves behind a dewy finish that I absolutely love, though that may not be ideal for oilier skin types.
TruSkin Vitamin C Serum ($20): This vitamin C serum is Amazon’s best-selling face serum for a reason: it boosts glow without any irritation whatsoever, making it safe for all skin types. Like The Glow Maker it contains vitamin C, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid—however, it doesn’t contain ferulic acid. They’re pretty similar in terms of texture and feel and, in my opinion, TruSkin’s version is even gentler. Considering how close they are in price (this one is only $19.99 for a full ounce), I would opt for TruSkin’s serum if your skin is extra sensitive.
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