As soon as I saw a picture of the gorgeous glass jar full of the millennial pink-hued Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, I needed to know more. What is this “Glow Recipe?” What magical things does it do? And why does it have a 5,000+ person waitlist?
Glow Recipe is a K-Beauty (Korean Beauty) brand developed by the creators of an online K-Beauty shop, also called Glow Recipe. The shop sells a curated collection of “harsh-free” skincare brands that avoid the use of common skincare ingredient no-nos like parabens, sulfates, triscolan, etc.
I tried to find out if the brand (and shop) are cruelty-free but didn’t come across anything definitive on the store’s website; however, elsewhere (pop-ups, etc.), the brand has marketed itself as vegan (yay!). Also, a page on Korea Blog mentions that the Glow Recipe shop sells cruelty-products (and ditto on this Tumblr). So far, so good!
Onto the famous mask itself–the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask did have a crazy-long waitlist, was briefly in-stock at Sephora, and as I write this, is now out-of-stock at Sephora, and it’s no wonder. Reviews for this mask are as glowing as the mask’s celebrated results—which leads me to my next question—is it magic/ laced with crack?!
Sort of! It contains a combination of skincare ingredients that most complexions will likely find addicting—hyaluronic acid (plumping, hydrating), alpha-hydroxy acid (gently exfoliating, brightening, evening), and watermelon extract (reportedly soothes skin). While hyaluronic acid and AHAs are common, scientifically-backed ingredients (we’ve even covered them on Peaceful Dumpling), watermelon extract is a bit of a wild card.
Given how mild and refreshing watermelon is, it makes sense that watermelon extract would have a mild and refreshing effect on skin (I’m imagining the cooling effect of cucumber and aloe). Although watermelon extract is a lesser-known ingredient, the success of the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask suggests that it may quickly become the new It ingredient, destined to show up in everything from high-end natural beauty products to the green-washed bottles lining the drugstore aisles.
Another factor behind the success of the Glow Recipe mask may be its functionality. It can be worn as a sleep mask—it’s non-greasy, so it won’t mar your pillows—or as a 10-minute exfoliating mask. Sleep masks are currently having a moment (Bella Hadid loves them!), and let’s be honest, everyone is looking to glow a little more these days! Also, I was a bit surprised that the mask is only $45—okay, not exactly cheap, but after hearing the hype, I was expecting it to sell for triple digits.
Finally, given the soothing-hydrating-brightening trifecta of the starring ingredients, it’s quite possible that the mask may really deliver. But you should also feel confident that you don’t have to wait in line with everyone else to get your glow on—there are several cruelty-free and “harsh-free” (I love that expression) products that contain hyaluronic acid and AHAs—as well as soothing extracts (think cucumber, aloe, rose hydrosol, chamomile…).
So to sum, a combination of buzz, pretty packaging (millennial pinkness!), and perhaps some rather pleasing results seem to be fueling the Glow Recipe watermelon mask craze. And it might be worth checking out! But a focus on the ingredients that benefit your skin will also lead you to a healthier, happier complexion.
Have you tried the much-coveted Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask?
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Photo: Glow Recipe