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If you're one of about 4 people who catches every single post on this blog, you might be thinking: 'Take 2? I don't remember a Take 1!' And you would be correct. I was gifted a bunch of products from Glow Hub in late summer 2020, and purchased a few more myself. I meant to review them but I kept bumping it back and bumping it back within my schedule, until I finally realised: I just didn't want to write the post. The original products (I don't think there were any actives in the launch lineup) were lacklustre and I felt totally unenthusiastic about writing a post on them and thought you'd probably be bored reading a forced review. However, in the second half of last year they launched several interesting-looking serums, so I thought I might as well give them a go!
This brand is aimed squarely at a Gen Z audience and I'm not mad at it! Prices range from £6 to £14, which is really reasonable, though (as I mentioned) I didn't really rate the cleansers, mists toners etc. that highly. The packaging is cute, fun and eye-catching, and the products can now be found at Boots, which is definitely handy.
The first product I tried for Take 2 of Glow Hub was The Barrier Builder | £14. This is a lightweight, slightly milky serum that feels near-enough water-light once applied to the skin. It's formulated without fragrance and with a prebiotic (which could help support the skin barrier by encouraging good bacteria to propagate), fatty alcohol to really replenish the skin, Vitamin E as a moisturising antioxidant (neutralising free radical damage from the environment), there are several ceramides in here, which are a fundamental fatty component of the skin barrier, cholesterol (which is another) and also glycerin, a humectant that pulls water into the skin. My only slight negative - or perhaps question - is that this is in a clear glass bottle, and ceramides can be unstable when exposed to light, so for the most efficacious formula I'd prefer to see this in opaque pump packaging.
However, does it work? Yes, I found this great when my skin had a little wobble at the start of winter, providing that pretty immediate soothing effect. I also love how light this is considering the ingredients in here; it really is a rarity! The benefit of this is twofold for me: firstly, it means that those with oilier skin can get these ingredients into their routine without overwhelming their skin, but also, this can be layered effortlessly with stronger actives. If you've just used a strong acid mask or toner: slap this on and then a really nourishing moisturiser, if you've recently upped the concentration in your retinoid then this can easily be slipped in before applying it. Or, you can use this and a basic moisturiser. Its versatility is really what makes this a winner for me.
I also recently tried The Scar Slayer | £14. Surprisingly, this has a similar milky-water consistency to the Barrier Builder, so you can actually layer them together quite easily if you fancy it. This is active, but it's not overly-strong and it's not going to irritate the majority of people's skin. This is formulated with a number of ingredients that are fantastic for evening out the skin tone and generally boosting your overall glow. Whether it's post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation after acne or melasma, combining these sorts of ingredients can really help decrease the appearance of pooled pigment so your skin looks nice and even. The Scar Slayer is formulated with ethylated ascorbic acid (3, which is the most well-researched iteration), a derivative of Vitamin C. There's not a ton of proof this is as good as pure-form ascorbic (or l-asborbic) acid this in terms of antioxidant and collagen-boosting benefits, but the aim of this serum is to even-out the skin tone and give it a glow, and I think this ingredient is capable of that. Again, my criticism is the packaging: whilst ethylated ascorbic acid is more stable, I would still have more faith in this product if it wasn't in a clear glass dropper bottle.
Other ingredients include lactobacillus ferment, a probiotic (inert live bacteria) and glycerin for its humectant properties. We also have a Vitamin E derivative, for its antioxidant and moisturising benefits, but I'd also imagine to stabilise the Vitamin C. Then there's Tranexamic Acid in the mix to support the skin-tone-evening benefits of the Vitamin C. This has been used as an oral treatment for melasma in the past, but has more recently been formulated as a topical in cosmetics to help harmonise the skin's tone. I've personally had good results with it in my routine, and it's generally very non-irritating, as are all the ingredients in here. Overall, I do feel I saw a mild improvement in the evenness of my skin and it definitely gave me a nice glow-boost, but I do think this could be taken to the next level if they improved the packaging.
Have you tried anything from Glow Hub?