My review of K-Beauty brand Beauty of Joseon’s Glow Serum.
Every time I’d wanted to get a bit of a glow going, I’d do two things: exfoliate, and use a vitamin C serum. My preferred weapon of choice was a chemical peel, while using a pure vitamin C serum in the mornings.
Then one day, shock horror: I broke out in adult acne AND I was sunburnt. A massive full-day hike out in the hot sun had my body feeling good, but my skin looking BAAAAD. As a result, my skin was all the three P’s – pink, peeling and painful. And not pleasant.
I had no hope of applying active ingredients or exfoliants on my skin until it had healed, but I was dying to do something about the redness and inflammation that came with the breakout. Applying ceramides and nourishing serums on my face helped with its healing but weren’t doing much for my sebum levels, which were out of control and clogging everything in sight.
That’s when I decided to introduce propolis into my skincare routine.
What is propolis?
An age-old beauty and medicinal ingredient, propolis is a resin made by bees to coat their hives. Just like honey, its chemical composition varies according to the regional flora they pollinate. This makes it a little hard to generalize its health benefits, but it’s broadly agreed that propolis contains strong anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial property. It’s rich in polyphenols, which is that magic ingredient in red wine and dark chocolate which makes the “healthy” (bless). These potent antioxidants help revitalize the skin and protect from environmental aggressors, which is same-same-but-different to a vitamin C serum. While it doesn’t have the same brightening power, it’s not as irritating either, especially on broken skin. To the contrary, propolis is a great soothing ingredient, and can help take away the redness associated with acne as well as promote healing.
I turned to the Glow Serum from Beauty of Joseon. It’s from the best-selling serum of a trio from this Korean brand known for their clean, Korean herbal formulations. The Glow Serum in particular is said to restore radiance to acne-prone skin. Bingo. That’s exactly what I needed.
The ingredients list of Beauty of Joseon’s Glow Serum reads like The Who’s Who of skincare goodies. It uses propolis as a base (~60%), along with niacinamide (2%), sodium hyaluronate, turmeric root, tea tree, centella and vitamin E. Niacinamide is excellent at treating skin sensitivity and pore appearance, while tea-tree and centella offer anti-inflammatory properties to counter acne. Turmeric root is a natural brightener and antiseptic. Rounding off the formula are the moisture-retention stars, sodium hyaluronate (i.e. hyaluronic acid) and vitamin E. Sounds promising so far!
Where it fit in my routine
Because this serum sounded quite hydrating, I used it after cleansing and toning in the morning, and skipped my moisturizer to apply SPF straightaway. In the evenings, I’d only moisturize once every second day, because that’s how oily my skin was at that point. I also started introducing a BHA exfoliant into my routine once-a-week.
Texture and application
I adored Glow Serum’s texture. It’s like a thick, champagne-coloured watery gel that just sank into my face and cooled down my skin in an instant. As soon as I applied it, I felt that my chin (a problem area) was already less red. Win! The finish is also quite dewy. Initially, I thought it needed time to dry but it leaves a soft, glossy sheen on your skin. So quite literally, it gives it an immediate glow. Because my skin is so oily, I was able to skip my moisturizer frequently after applying this serum, but dry skin types will want an additional layer of moisture on top.
Results and final verdict
While Beauty of Joseon’s Glow Serum wouldn’t be my glow-making go-to when my skin barrier is in good health and can handle stronger products (vitamin C is still the hot favourite), it is my number 1 substitute when my skin is damaged, irritated or broken out. It treats redness, and made my zits look less angry (no mean feat, my pimples all have terrible tempers). Having used this stylish bottle to completion, my skin looks balanced, more even-toned and less red around the nose and chin area. It hydrates, but doesn’t feel greasy or clog pores. I even felt that it helped my skin become less oily over time. Frankly, I can’t complain! It’s just a great little serum.
Find Glow Serum from Beauty of Joseon online in Australia at Kanvas Beauty
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