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GLAMGLOW

GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 49.00
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Brand Overview

GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer makes skin look fantastic, at least if what you're after is a noticeable glow. But looks can be deceiving because beneath the sheer, tinted soft shimmer lies a rather lackluster formula beset by problematic packaging and too much fragrance.

The lightweight, slightly runny cream formula is best for normal to slightly dry skin owing to the lightweight hydration it provides. It feels silky and glides over skin, setting to a non-greasy finish that won't interfere with makeup application.

As mentioned, the glow is noticeable but not in a garish manner. Applied sparingly, it works fine for daytime; a heavier application can make your face look like one big highlight!

The jar packaging is a letdown because it won't help keep this product's light- and air-sensitive ingredients (which in better packaging provide anti-aging benefits) from deterioration. See More Info for details.

The fragrance, while not present in a large amount nor all that noticeable to the nose, still presents a risk of irritation—although we can think of several products whose strong fragrance make our recommendation impossible.

On balance, GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer is an OK option if you want an alternative moisturizer to instantly increase skin's glow. However, a more state of the art moisturizer in better packaging will deliver more than just cosmetic benefits (read: shimmer) to skin—and you're likely to find such a product beautifully restores your naturally youthful glow, no cosmetics trickery needed! See our list of Best Moisturizers for examples.

Pros:
  • Universally flattering super-sheer tint imparts a healthy-looking glow.
  • Silky, hydrating texture.
Cons:
  • Somewhat basic in terms of anti-aging ingredients.
  • Jar packaging won't keep the plant extracts stable once opened.
  • The fragrance poses a risk of irritation.
More Info:Jar Packaging: This anti-aging formula is packaged in a jar, which means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable for long once it's opened. All plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients are air-sensitive and begin to break down in the presence of air. Therefore, once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective.

Jars are also unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, contaminating the product. This leads to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.

When shopping for an anti-aging moisturizer, the ingredients that provide the most benefit for addressing visible signs of aging among many other concerns need to be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging.

References for this information:

Pharmacology Review, July 2013, issue 14, pages 97-106

Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, issue 3, pages 252-259.

Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, issue 9, pages 4676-4683

Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, issue 6, pages 640-660

Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82-88

Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1-10

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: Yes

Skin is Sexy. Instant Mega Moisture and Sexy Illumination in One Step. Give your skin a perfect hydrated glow with GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer, designed to help create a flawless smooth complexion and boost the look of dull fatigued skin. Universal shade in Nude Glow.

WaterAquaEau, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Distearate, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Trisiloxane, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cholesterol, Steareth-10, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cetyl Esters, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Ceramide NG, Isohexadecane, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Sucrose, Polysorbate 80, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Linoleic Acid, Panthenol, Fragrance (Parfum), Limonene, Citral, Linalool, Disodium EDTA, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, [+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Blue 1 (Ci 42090), Red 4 (Ci 14700), Red 33 (Ci 17200), Yellow 5 (Ci 19140)]

Created by the husband-and-wife team of Glenn and Shannon Dellimore, the Hollywood, California-based GLAMGLOW line consists of several masks and cleansers. Their marketing claims may have you thinking these masks are revolutionary skin-care treatments but they are notnot even slightly. GLAMGLOW also claims their masks are sought out by actors and celebrities for their ability to "tighten skin and shrink pores". The celebrity allure is a good one, as most of us want to know what the stars use to get or stay gorgeous, but celebrity cache alone isn't a great reason to try any product. A lot of celebrities do things that aren't good for them, like smoke, tan, or drink too much, and they make skin care and cosmetic surgery mistakes too.

But back to the masks. The GLAMGLOW masks contain fragrant essential oils, irritating plant extracts and ordinary clays (despite being named "French clay", in the world of skin-care formulation, clay is just clay and being from France is as special as a French fry is to a potato).

The reality behind the ingredients used in the GLAMGLOW line is much less interesting than the story would lead you to believe. Aside from the mix of clay and fragrance, their "hero ingredient" is the trade-named ingredient called "Teoxi", which is just green-tea extract. While green-tea extract is an excellent antioxidant, isnt capable of the the skin perfecting, Benjamin Button-age-reversing results promised. As the body's largest organ, your skin is far too complex to have its anti-aging needs met by one antioxidant, however good it may be. But even if green-tea extract were as amazing as GLAMGLOW asserts, it wont remain stable in the jar packaging the company chose for their masks.

Aside from "Teoxi", GLAMGLOW uses trade names instead of using the actual ingredient name in their marketing claims, on both the box and their website. You may think "Teoxi" sounds impressive, but you're only getting standard ingredientstheir use of trade names simply makes the formula seem more intriguing than it really is. For example, their "Bio-Life-Cell-Science" technology claims to be an "Advanced Scientific Skincare" blend, but in reality it's just a mix of eucalyptus, peppermint, comfrey, ivy, marigold and other standard plant extracts. It would take some advanced scientific Photoshopping to get anti-wrinkle/anti-blemish results from this cast of ordinary problematic ingredients!

If you're interested in a clay mask for absorbing excess oil or helping clogged pores, there are many alternatives which easily beat GLAMGLOW for a fraction of the cost. There is nothing unique about the masks this line sells.

GLAMGLOW also makes exfoliating claims, but these don't live up to their promise for reasons discussed in each mask's reviews. You are better off using a soft washcloth with your cleanser for physical exfoliationyou will get virtually identical results and save your skin the irritation (plus spare your bank account the wasted money). If brighter, more even-toned skin is your goal, consider any of the well-formulated AHA/BHA exfoliants recommended in the Best Products section.

In the end, despite lots of hype, GLAMGLOW is a disappointment that isn't worth the expense and puts your skin at risk of irritation. If only a fraction of the marketing efforts behind the brand were put into formulating their products, they might have ended up with products truly deserving of celebrity accolades!

For more information about GLAMGLOW, email at info@glamglowmud.com or visit www.glamglowmud.com (there is no available phone number).

Note: As of January 2015, GLAMGLOW has been acquired by Estee Lauder.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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