This $28 Serum Was Made by MIT Scientists—and It Keeps Selling Out

Updated 06/30/19
Vitamin C Serum
@brooketestoni

Luxe skincare products often come at a steep price. Some are worth the cost, but you can find affordable alternatives with similar active ingredients that won't break the bank. Enter Maelove, the skincare startup with a $28 vitamin C serum developed by MIT scientists that has a habit of selling out. It's flown off the shelves four times in 2018, to be exact, Business Insider reports.

What Exactly is a Face Serum?

For the uninitiated, let's back up a bit. What is serum? As a skincare product, a serum is typically applied after cleansing and before moisturizing. Its purpose is to deliver a potent dose of active ingredients directly into your skin, which it's primed to do since it's made up of smaller molecules that can get deep into the skin.

Unlike a moisturizer, serums can come with moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides, though skincare experts advise keeping up with your usual moisturizing routine because face lotions and creams are richer, and create a barrier on the skin to lock everything in. Be sure to read the label before using a serum, though applying it once a day is typically fine for most skin types.

Serums are particularly beneficial for acne-prone skin because water-based serums (which many are made from), absorb quickly and don't leave behind breakout-causing residue. And, since serums are designed to deliver active ingredients into skin, there's no room in the formula for any fillers like mineral oil and petroleum; bad news for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Maelove's The Glow Maker Serum

The Glow Maker antioxidant serum is formulated to hydrate and brighten the skin thanks to a combination of vitamins C, E, ferulic acid, and hyaluronic acid. Created by Jackie Kim and a group of MIT graduates with experience in everything from cancer and brain research to chemical engineering, it's no surprise that the science-backed skincare line is seriously effective.

According to the more than 3500 reviews, the product seems to live up to the hype. "I love the Glow Maker serum. Previously I was using a vitamin c serum that is triple the cost of Maelove. I'm very happy with the Glow Maker's results," a user named Lynnette T. writes.

Another fan, Georgette D., shares, "I'm 42 and starting to really change up my skincare game and this product is the MVP! Good vehicle for vitamin C because it works wonderfully under makeup."

Business Insider points out that the serum's ingredient list is similar to that of the popular high-end brand SkinCeutical's award-winning C E Ferulic Serum, which will cost you upwards of $150. Both include ascorbic acid, ethoxydiglycol, glycerin, ferulic acid, sodium hyaluronate, phenoxyethanol, tocopherol, and triethanolamine, which is a very academic way of saying that these ingredients work to provide skin with day-long hydration, protection, and brightness. 

The brand also offers a face cleansing oil and mineral sunscreen; which had both been out of stock, but is now available in 2019. Shop the serum and other Maelove skincare products below.

Maelove The Glow Maker $28
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Maelove The Sun Protector, 2 oz. $18
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Maelove The Day Eraser $19
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