An honest review of Maelove skincare

I am constantly in pursuit of what I like to call "rich-girl skin"—smooth, poreless, glowy—and I will obediently try any skincare product that promises any of those effects. Maelove had been on my radar for awhile, after I'd seen it mentioned countless times in message boards and beauty-blog comment threads; it has also popped up pretty frequently in my Instagram feed, so clearly their ad targeting is spot-on. Then, like a sign from the universe, Maelove reached out to me about trying a few of their products, so in the name of investigative journalism, I agreed. (Everything I do, I do it for you, dear readers!) I've been using the following Maelove products exclusively for the last two weeks; here's my honest and unfiltered review. 

With a powerful mixture of vitamins C and E and ferulic and hyaluronic acids, this is the product that put Maelove on the map. It's a dupe for Skinceuticals CE Ferulic serum, which, full disclosure, I tried and it did absolutely nothing for me. You could also call The Glow Maker a dupe for Drunk Elephant C-Firma (which I love, in spite of the fact that it smells like hot-dog water), which itself is a dupe for Skinceuticals, and are you confused yet? The Glow Maker is water-based and thus very light in texture; it absorbs very quickly with none of the stickiness that the aforementioned serums have. (It does have a very faint odor, but it fades quickly.) After two weeks of use, my pores appeared slightly smaller and the discoloration in my cheeks seemed to even out a bit. It was not a dramatic transformation, but I'd be willing to give this product more time, most importantly because it's a mere $27.95. That's right, it's a third of the price of the Drunk Elephant and a sixth of the Skinceuticals. Granted, I don't think it's nearly as potent as the other two, but I found myself slathering my skin liberally with it, and at that price, you really can't go wrong. 

I've been using retinol at night for ages and have recently tiptoed into lactic acid, so this glycolic acid-packed cream formulated for sensitive skin seemed like the next logical step. It's a night cream, and they suggest starting out using it only three nights a week, which I agree with, because I was a little too heavy-handed the first time and it made my skin TINGLE. That said, this was my favorite product in the line; I feel like my age spots are starting to lighten, and it made my skin baby-smooth by morning. I also liked the lightweight texture and lack of scent—I don't mind a scent in my day cream but find it really distracting when I'm trying to sleep. Like The Glow Maker, the Night Renewer is only $27.95, and thus totally worth it in my opinion. 

I am very cautious with physical exfoliators because I have eczema and my face does not like to get wet (weird, I know), but since this product came bundled with The Glow Maker and The Night Renewer in the Fade Scar Spots Kit at a 20% discount, I decided to give it a try. The BHAs (otherwise known as salicylic acid) in The Exfoliator make your skin super-sensitive to sun, so Maelove recommends using it two or three times a week at night, then following with The Glow Maker and The Night Renewer. I will say, this product made my skin extra smooth, but if I'm being totally honest, I'm too lazy to wash my face twice at night, first to remove makeup, then with this. So I made the mistake of trying it in the morning in the shower and ended up with irritated cheeks after I went outside (yes, even with sunscreen on). Long story short, be honest with yourself about your hygiene habits, but if you're up for a nighttime double-cleanse, this stuff is pretty effective and incredibly well-priced at $23.95. 

Even if you weren't using the above cocktail of ingredients, you should always wear sunscreen, but when you're slathering on all of the vitamins and acids, sun protection is crucial. I am also a firm believer in mineral-based sunscreens (versus chemical ones), and with a zinc-based SPF 30 formula, The Sun Protector checks all the boxes. Two things to note, however: One, it goes on with an alarmingly white cast that thankfully fades quickly. Two, while the description says that it doubles as a makeup primer, I'd respectfully disagree—I found the drydown to be a bit tacky, and I had a hard time smoothing my cream bronzer on my cheeks afterward. So, if you don't wear much makeup, this is probably an okay option for the price (a reasonable $19.95), but in my opinion, there are better options out there (like anything by Supergoop). 

Of all the Maelove products I tried, I had the highest hopes for this one, purported to be a dupe of Vintner's Daughter, which as I noted a few years back, is worth every last cent (although, at $185, that's a prohibitive amount of cents). At $74.95, Love 31 is Maelove's most expensive product by far, although that's still less than half of Vintner's Daughter; like VD, it has a strong scent (thanks to those 31 botanical extracts and vitamins). Unlike VD, I found it to be super thick, and when I layered it over anything else, including The Glow Maker, it caused whatever I put underneath to ball up, so it felt like my skin was falling off (I'm hoping that was just the product underneath). This didn't happen when I used the oil on its own, but I feel like the point of oil is to lock in whatever you put underneath, so unless you are a one-product-and-done kind of person, this is probably not for you. My other issue with Love 31 is that whenever I used it—serum underneath or no—I'd get tiny closed comedones (otherwise known as bumps) all over my forehead and cheeks. I have ridiculously dry skin and can normally tolerate a super-thick moisturizer, but obviously this was too oily even for me. So unless you're recovering from retinol overload or are literally a reptile, I'd not recommend this one.

In conclusion
Maelove's Glow Maker and Night Renewer were my two favorite products, and especially due to their super affordable prices, I'd definitely buy them again. Maelove also makes a few other moisturizers and serums that I'd be willing to try; I've heard really good things about Hydrator B5 Gel in particular. The formulas are all vegan, cruelty-free, and relatively clean, plus they're made in the USA. If you're looking to step up your skincare routine without spending a small fortune, Maelove is a great brand to try. 


Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom said...

I have not heard of Maelove, but I'm definitely going to check it out. I love honest reviews. I don't have eczema, but my daughter does... but, hers was worse when she was younger and it seems to be the worst in the winter. Thanks for sharing!


Shelbee on the Edge said...

I have not heard of this brand either, but it looks amazing! Thanks for sharing your review and linking with me.


Anonymous said...

I am on my third order of Maelove. Like you I have tried many expensive brands and find them to be unsatisfying. At 56 years old I was very surprised to discovered how much I loved their products!

Anonymous said...

I tried the Maelove Glow Maker and it did absolutely nothing for me. I followed the instructions to the letter and... nothing. I got two bottles and took pictures before and after, also consulted with a dermatologist before and after. Two bottles worth of nothing. I'll stick to Neutrogena for my economical skin needs with much better results.

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