August 14, 2018

Maelove The Glow Maker Review

Maelove The Glow Maker is an antioxidant serum that’s received a ton of buzz since it first hit the market in early 2018. After reading a feature about The Glow Maker on Refinery29, I decided to try it for myself. Today I’m sharing my experience with this serum and whether or not I think it’s worth the hype.

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored. This post does not contain affiliate links. I purchased this product myself with my own money.

Maelove The Glow Maker

maelove glow maker review 5

Maelove The Glow Maker is an antioxidant serum primarily focused on treating hyperpigmentation, nourishing the skin, and increasing hydration.

About Maelove

Maelove is a skincare company dedicated to providing high-quality, effective, research-supported products at an affordable price point. The Maelove team believes that skincare products can be elegantly formulated and intelligently designed without having to carry a luxury price tag. Maelove worked with expert chemists, top production labs, and clinical research to develop their line of skincare products. However, one of the most unique and exciting parts of the development process for Maelove was the use of artificial intelligence to gather consumer feedback on a massive number of skincare products. According to Maelove, they assessed “over 3 million online skincare product reviews to better understand what attributes correlate with customer satisfaction.” On top of all of the research that went in to developing this line, every single product is under $30, making it easily accessible to most consumers.

How to use The Glow Maker

maelove glow maker review 4

As the instructions explain, you should use this serum after cleansing your skin. If you choose to use a vitamin C serum such as this one, it should typically be the first product you use after you’ve cleansed and dried your skin. Apply The Glow Maker, then continue on with any other products you may be using. Most days, I use this in the morning and then apply moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup. It wears really well under makeup, and using it underneath sunscreen helps to boost sun protection. On days when I’m not leaving the house, I use it as part of my nighttime routine, which would go cleanse –> The Glow Maker –> Differin gel –> any other serums I want to use –> moisturizer –> face oil (sometimes).


maelove glow maker review 3

Maelove The Glow Maker is packaged in an opaque glass bottle with a dropper. This packaging has its pros and cons. The opaque glass helps to protect the ingredients inside the bottle from light, which can degrade the quality and effectiveness of a product over time. Exposure to air is another way that a product can be degraded over time. Products are typically formulated to prevent as much degradation as possible, but there’s only so much that can be done, especially with a substance that’s difficult for scientists to work with such as vitamin C. No matter how a vitamin C serum is packaged, it’s going to oxidize over time, meaning it will slowly lose effectiveness. You can tell that your vitamin C serum has oxidized when it turns from clear or slightly yellow to a bright orange or brown. Obviously the glass packaging isn’t going to be very travel-friendly, but it was probably the best option for protecting the quality and effectiveness of the serum.



  • Ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C, is an antioxidant that helps to fade pigmentation (such as the pigmentation left over after an acne spot has healed) and brighten the skin. It encourages the skin to produce more collagen, which is a substance that occurs naturally in the human body. Collagen has many roles, but one of the most notable in relation to skincare is that it helps skin to keep its youthful, bouncy appearance. As we age, we produce less collagen, which leads to fine lines, wrinkles, and a loss of elasticity (check out the image below to see how this process effects the skin). Using a serum such as this to help stimulate collagen production is going to help prevent skin from showing signs of aging. Vitamin C can also help to protect the skin from sun damage when it’s used underneath sunscreen. It works best when it’s combined with vitamin E and ferulic acid, as it is in The Glow Maker.
  • Ferulic acid is an antioxidant that helps to stabilize ascorbic acid and also has the potential to double vitamin C’s ability to protect skin from sun damage. Vitamin E (tocopherol) is another antioxidant that also helps to prevent sun damage when used in conjunction with a sunscreen.
  • Aloe is a hydrating and anti-inflammatory ingredient that also aids in healing damaged skin (that’s why it’s typically used to treat sunburns!).
  • Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract is also anti-inflammatory.
  • Glycerin and sodium hyaluronate improve the skin’s hydration levels.
  • Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Callus Culture Extract is orange stem cells which have demonstrated an ability to contribute to wrinkle-prevention, increased skin elasticity, and improve skin firmness according to CenterChem.
  • Grape Seed Extract contributes even more antioxidants to this serum.


The Glow Maker does not contain fragrance, but it does have a slight scent naturally. To me, it smells similar to grape seed oil, but if you’re not familiar with that scent I would describe it as light and fresh without any sort of sharp or citrusy notes. I do notice the scent as I’m applying the product, but it doesn’t linger after the serum has absorbed. It’s not something likely to trigger a migraine, so if you’re sensitive to scent, you shouldn’t have any issues with The Glow Maker.


maelove glow maker packaging

The Glow Maker is a thin, lightweight serum that absorbs quickly and easily in to the skin. It has a lot of slip, so it spreads easily. Once it has absorbed, the skin just feels soft and hydrated, there’s no film or greasy feeling left behind.

My Experience

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Here you can see that my serum has oxidized a little bit. I took this photo a few days ago in August 2018, while the previous photo was taken on April 29 2018. It’s definitely still in the usable range, but I probably only have about 2 months to finish it up before it goes bad. That’s a completely normal shelf life for a vitamin C serum.

I’ve been using this serum consistently since mid-May, so about 3 months. In that time period, I’ve noticed that my skin tone looks more even overall and the fine lines on my forehead have completely disappeared. The improvement in my fine lines is probably due to a combination of products I regularly use, such as Stratia Rewind and Differin Adapalene gel. However, I noticed the most improvement in the time since I started using The Glow Maker, so I definitely think it played a large role in the improvement of my skin.

I love the texture of this serum because it absorbs very easily in to my skin and layers well with other products. The Glow Maker is also a very skin-friendly formula, and I would say that’s exactly what I experienced while testing this out. This is also something that’s going to work for every skin type and any age. The photoprotective ingredients are going to help prevent damage to your skin, while vitamin C and orange stem cells are going to help to repair existing damage.

Final Thoughts

After using The Glow Maker, I definitely feel that it’s worth the hype. True to Maelove’s goal, this really does feel like a luxury product from the packaging to the formulation to the results I observed. Everything about this is so bang-on that I don’t even have anything critical to say about it, and if you’re a regular reader of mine, you know how rarely that happens. This is a product I can easily recommend to anyone and everyone.

$27.95 for 1oz/30ml at Maelove.com 

You might like this if…

  • You have hyperpigmentation that you’re trying to fade
  • You want to prevent or treat signs of aging such as fine lines and loss of elasticity

Skip this if…

  • You’re allergic to ascorbic acid or any of the other ingredients in The Glow Maker
  • You need something that’s more travel-friendly or you’re extremely clumsy and there’s a good chance you’ll break the bottle. Alternatively, just transfer the serum into a plastic bottle.


Thanks for reading!



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If you enjoyed this post, you might also like Sunday Riley Power Couple: Luna Sleeping Night Oil and Good Genes Treatment

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  • Marlene

    Is it safe to use this 2X/day, morning and night everyday? Thank you!

    January 8, 2019 at 7:20 pm Reply
    • Cristine


      January 13, 2019 at 10:41 am Reply
  • Wu Shuang

    This product arrived at Nov 10th, today is Dec 3rd, it’s already turned into a light yellow color. Did you put your serum in fridge to extend the life of the VC?
    I do like the product, like you said I think it is comparable to the drunk elephant and much cheaper!

    December 3, 2018 at 8:04 pm Reply
    • Cristine

      I didn’t keep mine in the fridge, but I did keep it away from light and heat. Sorry to hear it’s already starting to turn yellow, but I’m really glad you’re enjoying Glow Maker so far! 🙂

      December 3, 2018 at 10:34 pm Reply
  • Lenny

    How do you add this to a routine with retinol? I read you’re not supposed to apply retina & vit C same time/night.

    September 27, 2018 at 4:16 pm Reply
    • Cristine

      It’s a myth that retinol and vitamin C can’t be used together. It’s actually fine to use them at the same time, the only possible concern is the pH. Vitamin C works best at a lower pH than retinol does, so you’ll want to use vitamin C right after you wash your face, do the rest of your routine up until your retinol step, and then wait 15-20 minutes before applying retinol. Some research actually says the wait time isn’t necessary at all, so it’s really up to you if you want to wait in between steps.

      September 27, 2018 at 8:57 pm Reply
  • Jessica

    Very good read and thank you for posting. I am trying to find a more cost friendly dupe to Sunday Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment, would you say this compares?

    September 12, 2018 at 4:53 pm Reply
    • Cristine

      Thank you! I think Good Genes and The Glow Maker are slightly similar in the effect they create, but they’re not completely interchangeable. Good Genes and The Glow Maker are both good for brightening the skin, fading pigmentation, and addressing fine lines. However, Good Genes is going to give much quicker results (1-5 days) than The Glow Maker (around 3+ weeks). They do both have exfoliating properties, but Good Genes is a much more aggressive exfoliant, which is part of why it produces quicker results. As a result, The Glow Maker may actually be the better option for sensitive skin. Overall, they’re both excellent products and I do think you could use The Glow Maker to achieve similar results, it’s just not going to provide the same level of exfoliation and it’ll take longer to see results. A closer alternative to Good Genes would probably be a facial peel from Makeup Artists Choice, though I haven’t tried this myself.

      September 12, 2018 at 10:40 pm Reply
      • Jessica

        Thank you for your feedback. Very helpful and for now I’ll stick to Good Genes because who doesn’t want to see results asap. What I may do is switch it every other day with my Triple C Lightning to make the product last longer. Happy I came across your blog and look forward to more reads, Thank you!

        September 13, 2018 at 7:43 am Reply
  • Amy

    This serum sounds amazing!

    August 14, 2018 at 7:29 pm Reply
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