I will be the first to admit that I treat my skin with the kind of affection and commitment most people reserve for their significant others. And most of the time, I feel appreciated for my efforts. But as soon as it got cold recently, it was like my face didn't even care about the fact that I was trying my best to speak its love language (through a persuasive vocabulary of spa-grade masks, gentle peels, and daily face massages). Everything started flaking and drying out. I felt deeply betrayed on a personal level. Really, what more did my epidermis want from me?!
It was around this time that K-beauty brand Glow Recipe secretively informed me that it was about to release something amazing—something that would provide "long-lasting hydration." Was I interested in getting a preview? Yes, screamed my poor parched cells. Save us.
Glow Recipe and I have made some good memories together. Its Pineapple-C serum is the stuff glass-skin dreams are made of, while its most recent Avocado Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask did the unthinkable and actually made me look marginally more awake. So I read up on its mysterious new addition with the sunny optimism of a woman who can sense that salvation is close at hand.
The Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream, which officially launches today, is inspired by the fruit's calming and anti-inflammatory properties. According to cofounder and co-CEO Sarah Lee, it's a powerhouse of magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants—the ideal combination to smooth on if you need to reset. In order to maximize magnesium's soothing properties, it's added in multiple ways: naturally (from banana and chia seed) and through an additional dose of magnesium powder. "All of the magnesium sources work together to heal," she says.
To top it off, a few more anti-inflammatory ingredients were mixed in. Cofounder and co-CEO Christine Chang points to centella asiatica and turmeric, which she loves for taking down redness and irritation. (She also notes that the addition of chia helps lock in water, provide essential fatty acids, and maintain your moisture barrier.) Vitamins A, B, and C finish off the ingredients list, working together to maximize hydration and counteract dullness.
All of this gets whipped into a pale yellow cream that comes in one of the brand's cute glass jars. If you love bakery-style banana pudding as much as I do, you will be overjoyed when you unscrew the lid and smell dessert. (And if you don't, fret not; like all of Glow Recipe's other offerings, the scent dissipates as soon as you apply it.) The moisturizer has a texture that's much less dense than you might expect from a winter-grade product. It's more bouncy gel-cream than buttery lotion, which means it spreads into the thinnest of layers and sinks in instantly; you won't feel like you're wearing a banana-infused mask and can easily pat it on under makeup.
Miraculously, it achieves the same level of evaporation-free hydration it usually takes me several serums, a leave-on face mask, two layers of salve, and a face oil to accomplish. I treat it as a final layer morning and night, ditching the heavy ointments in favor of this lightweight barrier. As soon as I layer it over my glow-boosting serums and essences of choice, it smooths out dry patches, takes my dehydrated midface region from parched to plump, and keeps it that way until I wake up in the morning (or remove my makeup at night). Truly, this is how the universe intended bananas to be used. Winter, go ahead and do your worst.