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Add to Cart: Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Treatment Serum

Megan K.
ByMegan K.Oct 22, 2021 | 2 comments

Photo via Glow Recipe.

Add to Cart is a new reader interest series that breaks down products and launches in beauty and skincare from your wish list. Has something caught your eye and preoccupied your desires? What products are you curious to learn more about? Let us know what's living on your wish list in the comments - each month, we'll select, buy, and review one product to see if it lives up to the hype!

We all know that feeling when we see a spoiler for the latest and greatest, and the excitement of it maybe, just maybe showing up in our upcoming IPSY or Boxycharm delivery. Sometimes, well, we miss out, even here at MSA! (I'm looking at you, IPSY X)

Consider this a place to check out our impressions on the latest and greatest. But, I can't pick a product without your help! I sent out a call back in September asking you which out of three new launches you would like to see reviewed, and you delivered! So I added it to my cart and dissected below. This series depends on you entirely, wonderful readers, so always feel free to leave a comment if you are being trailed around Instagram by a new pretty bottle and want us to get our hands on it to help you decide if it's worth the click.

The Product You Chose: Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Treatment Serum, 1 fl oz - $45

My Subscription Addiction paid for this product. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

First of all, thanks for choosing this one as the first product for this new series! I am Glow Recipe obsessed, and also a huge fan of vitamin C, for almost everyone because it has so many benefits. Notably, it helps fade hyperpigmentation, improves texture (including fine lines), protects against aging, and provides an overal brightening effect. The downside? Vitamin C is pretty unstable and prone to oxidization, meaning it just loses its ability to work when exposed to temperature disruptions or light. For this reason, Glow Recipe decided to build this super blend of FIVE super-stable types of C, and fortify them with boosting ingredients like ferulic acid and vitamin E, which help keep it stable and effective. I would still really discourage you from leaving this in your hot car or displaying that pretty pink bottle in your window, but hey, you do you.

It is also worth mentioning that vitamin C takes time to really shine. Seriously, I would guess like 3-4 months to see dramatic results. I feel like a lot of people don't see results sooner and think they have an ineffective product when in actuality, just like Adele's latest album, sometimes good things just take time.

Price-wise, I think this bottle is a bargain compared to some vitamin C options out there. Whenever I see vitamin C combined with ferulic acid, I always think of the cult-fave (and incredibly expensive) SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum ($166). And while these two formulas aren't identical, they do share some significant similarities which might make this a cuter and more affordable alternative. Namely, they both contain vitamin C, ferulic acid, tocopherol, and hyaluronic acid. I would argue that this Glow Recipe formula might take the cake because it contains 5 different types of stable vitamin C and is more affordable. And.. well, much cuter. Because brands are not required to disclose the exact percentages of each ingredient, I am hypothesizing a little bit here.

The Ingredients

Here is a closer look at the ingredient list for those of us who don't feel like squinting:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Propanediol, C9-12 Alkane, Psidium Guajava Fruit Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tranexamic Acid, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Psidium Guajava Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ferulic Acid, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Extract, Pyrus Communis (Pear) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Betaine, Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-10 Dipalmitate, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Phytate, Potassium Sorbate, Decyl Glucoside, Lauryl Glucoside, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol.

The Key Players and What They Do

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate: Five highly stable forms of vitamin C.

Tranexamic Acid: This acid helps fade hyperpigmentation and is safe for all skin types.

Tocopherol: Good old vitamin E! Big antioxidant energy here, and it also works with vitamin C to protect skin from damage from the sun.

Sodium Hyaluronate: AKA hyaluronic acid. This humectant holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water, and is great for keeping moisture in the skin.

Ferulic Acid: Helps stabilize vitamin C and also boosts photoprotection (protection from sun damage). This is not a permission slip to skip SPF. It is just a great SPF enhancer!

My Takeaway

What Does It Smell Like?

It has a sweet fruity scent that is both light and also a little weird on the end. I actually don't know how to explain it more than that other than the word "putty" comes to mind. It is very light though, and super non-offensive. It also doesn't last long at all, so even if you aren't into it, it fades quickly.

What Does It Feel Like?

It is a medium-weight gel that absorbs in a snap. I didn't notice any stickiness, and I think you would have to be over-applying to experience that. I have worn this under SPF as well as makeup, and I have yet to experience any pilling issues. It also leaves my skin just a little bit softer, and certainly more moisturized, but is pretty unremarkable otherwise.

When Should I Apply This?

Honestly, whenever you will remember to do so. Vitamin C takes time and consistency to get work done, so I recommend applying daily. I personally like to apply this during the day because vitamin C and SPF are BFFs; they enhance and protect each other. So my morning face is cleanse, apply this serum, then apply my SuperGoop Glow Screen. And maybe lipstick, if I am awake enough. I have also applied it before bed when I have forgotten in the morning, and everything was fine. It layers great before a night cream.

Who Is It For?

If you want to help fade and also prevent dark spots/hyperpigmentation, this stuff is for you.

Should You Buy Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Treatment Serum?

In my opinion? Yeah, totally. If you want to add a fool-proof vitamin C serum to your routine, this is one of my favorites ever, and the price is very reasonable compared to other brands. I also like that this stuff seems very gentle and non-irritating, making it a great choice for those with more sensitive skin.

Ready to Add to Cart? Get it here!

What's Next?

Well, I need your input on what you want to see reviewed next! Here are the newer launches that have been living inside my head rent-free:


Or, I would love to see your suggestions in the comments! What new launch has you wondering if it is worth an Add to Cart? Let me know in the comments below!

Megan K.
Megan K.
I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

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Jody E

Another win for Glow Recipe. I have purchased this brand the most since becoming aware of them in boxes. I can’t wait to get this serum and try it.
I was going to say review Olaplex hair product for getting smoother straight hair with less frizz but hair isn’t your favorite. lol
If it has to be skincare I got a bottle of the new Strivectin Multi-Action Super B Barrier Strengthening Oil. I am always wary of oils since I don’t have dry skin.Thanks.

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So weird….I was going to mention Olaplex too!

I received that Strivectin oil as well. I have combo skin but love using oils. A little goes a long way…and can be used like a serum. I also like to slather oil on before a sheet mask or while using a facial massager tool.

I always wondered why the SkinCeuticals products were so dang expensive. I couldn’t imagine ever (ever!) paying $166 for one serum…

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