Few things send K-beauty enthusiasts into a tizzy like the words ‘Glow Recipe’ does.
The Korean beauty and skincare startup started out as a leading online destination for natural K-beauty exports under the helm of former vice presidents of global marketing at L’Oréal, Sarah Lee and Christine Chang.
Today, the million-dollar business has gone beyond bringing cult products from Korea and onto the vanity tables of people worldwide. Its eponymous brand — although launched a mere three years ago — has become a smash hit with bloggers, editors, and the average women seeking answers to that elusive glowy Korean “glass skin”. The brand also uses no parabens, SLS, SLES, phthalates, and mineral oils amongst many other skin irritants, so that checks all the boxes as a clean beauty brand.
We’re not exaggerating when we say that you had to leap over hurdles or know a who’s who to get your hands on a jar of their best-selling product, the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, but such was the reality of those who wanted to try this highly-raved gently exfoliating overnight miracle for themselves.
Thankfully, you won’t have to travel to South Korea nor beg a pen pal to ship it to you anymore, because it’ll soon be available at Sephora ION and on the beauty retailer’s online store come 20th August. Ahead of this, we’ve had the pleasure of testing out a few of Glow Recipe’s products. Here’s what you should be putting on your shopping list when it hits the shelves.
There’s a reason why this overnight mask has sold out seven consecutive times and attracted a 5,000-person waitlist since it launched. Besides smelling deliciously similar to a watermelon Jolly Rancher, it differs from the usual thick creams in that it has a bouncy gel-like consistency that instantly sinks into your skin. After all, unique textures are key to the brand’s commitment to making skincare rituals fun and accessible.
Made from watermelon rind and flesh, the pillow-proof formula harnesses the hydrating and antioxidant properties of the juicy fruit to promote radiance and plumpness. Hyaluronic acid helps retain moisture, while pumpkin extract repairs the skin while defending it against free-radical damage. The multi-tasker also has AHAs to gently slough off dead skin, diminish dark spots, and clarify pores, so you’ll wake up to noticeably dewier looking skin.
This eye mask is another destined for your bedtime routine. If the word ‘retinol’ flashes disturbing images of dry, irritated and sensitised skin in your mind, know that the brand has used encapsulated retinol instead for gentler, slow-release results to minimise the risk of irritation and sensitivity.
Besides retinol, this eye saviour is chockfull of the good stuff — think antioxidant-rich avocado, ultra-moisturising hyaluronic acid, plant-derived squalane and coffeeberry. Expect deep hydration (bye, fine lines) while the mask de-puffs and awakens the delicate area throughout the night.
We love this cleanser because it did exactly what it promised to: Break down even the most stubborn of makeup (yes, even mascara). Again, this product has a texture that’s on the thicker side for a gel, but that’s because it also doubles as a clarifying mask if you leave it on for five minutes — a perfect in-shower indulgence.
Besides hyaluronic acid, the cleanser comes packed with the goodness of blueberries, along with five others berries (groundcherry, raspberry, bearberry, mulberry, and bilberry) to deliver antioxidants that protect the skin. AHAs help remove makeup from deep within the pores while sloughing away dead skin, creating the perfect canvas for the other products by the brand.
First of all, let’s recognise the fact that this is easily the cutest bottle a vitamin C serum has ever come in. Inside, this potent, lightweight serum is concentrated with smoothing pineapple juice and hyaluronic acid to brighten and even skin tone. Pineapples are naturally rich in vitamin C, natural acids and bromelain enzymes, which target damaging free radicals, dark spots, and dead skin cells. The serum is also infused with vitamin E, chamomile extract, and aloe to replenish moisture and soothe inflammation.
The perfect summer solution for those who want calm, prepped skin before make-up, this brightening, lightweight moisturizer is another in the series that offers a fresh hit of hydration with the benefits of watermelon extract, hyaluronic acid, and botanicals.
The light, gel-like product can be used day and night as a moisturizer for oily/combo skin or as a serum for dry skin, absorbing instantly without any stickiness to provide a soft glow throughout the day.
It looks as delicious as it smells, but this sweet soufflé of banana, magnesium, turmeric, and cica was made for calmer, hydrated, and even skin — not your stomach. Rich in magnesium for skin re-balancing, as well as cica and turmeric to heal dry and irritated skin, this lightweight moisturiser is gentle enough for the most sensitive of skin — even those with rosacea tendencies. This nourishing cream also counts chia seeds as a star ingredient to keep skin healthy with essential fatty acids.
Pro tip: Mix one drop of the Pineapple-C Bright Serum with a dime-sized amount of this for a big boost in the glow department.