After years of testing skin-care products on a near-daily basis, I have to admit that it takes a lot to impress me. (I know, it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.) It’s not that brands aren’t killing it — they very much are — but put simply, there are only so many ways to reinvent the wheel. However, when I tried Gleamin — a sunny beauty startup you’ve probably seen on your social feeds — I have to say that the products exceeded my lofty expectations.
The startup, which launched in 2019 out of New Zealand, is comprised of three hero products — a clay mask, brightening serum, and moisturizer — all of which are vegan and cruelty-free. The best part? All of the products are designed to bestow your glowiest, gleamiest skin ever. And who doesn’t want that? Ahead, read along as I test out two of the brand’s products on my oily, acne-prone skin.
Vitamin C Clay Mask, $39.99
As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, I love a clay mask. Nothing works better to sop up excess oil and temporarily minimize the appearance of pores. After my nighttime shower, I applied a thin layer of Gleamin’s Vitamin C Clay Mask using the mini brush it comes with. Since it has exfoliating properties, I detected some tingly sensation (nothing too crazy) and set a timer for five minutes. (The instructions say you can leave it up to 10, but I like to err on the side of caution the first time I try a product.)
The mask has a base of Australian kaolin clay, plus superfood ingredients like turmeric, aloe vera, and kakadu plum. It’s a marigold color in the jar, but it dried down to a pale banana hue as the clay hardened on my face. After rinsing and patting dry, I paused to admire my skin. It indeed looked brighter and felt balanced AF. Next step, serum…
Supercharged Balance Serum, $44.99
With my face feeling so fresh and so clean post-mask, I took three pumps of Gleamin’s Supercharged Balance Serum and pressed it into my skin. Niacinamide and vitamin C are two ingredients I always look for since both are perfect for breakout-prone complexions like mine. It didn’t have any noticeable scent (there’s nothing that grinds my gears more than a vitamin C serum that reeks of artificial citrus) and was lightweight in texture. My skin readily drank it up, and it didn’t feel greasy afterward. (I could really see what Gleamin was going for since my skin did indeed look pretty great after using the mask immediately followed by the serum.) After letting the serum absorb fully, I applied a bit of my current favorite moisturizer, followed by face oil to lock everything in.
The next morning, I was shook at how soft my face felt as I lathered it up with cleanser. Like, I couldn’t stop touching it — and this was after just one use. Even though hyperpigmentation takes months, if not years, to fully fade (assuming you’re not using lasers or in-office derm treatments), the difference in texture and overall tone was pretty immediate after trying Gleamin’s brightening mask and serum.
At $40 for the mask and $45 for the serum, the stuff isn’t cheap. However, I’d say the products are on par with luxury brands that easily charge double for the same amount of juice. (Plus, I’m a sucker for good packaging, and the yellow jar really stands out on my bathroom sink.) From one beauty lover to another, I’d say Gleamin’s future is nothing but sunny.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?