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Ad/Anzeige* I’m back with a “slow burn” style K-beauty romance – don’t worry, it has a happy ending! See, because in this review of the AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum, I go from “meh” to “hm” to “ah!” within the span of a few months…
AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum: Insta Love or Slowly Burn Smoulder?
Some products you fall in love with overnight, waking up glowing and all fuzzily warm inside, stroking their pretty packaging longingly, excited to use them again within the next 24 hours. With some products, you instantly know they aren’t meant for you, even if it pains you, but your pimply, white head plagued face just says “no!” in a very decisive way.
And then there are those products that need a bit of time to win you over. With some of them, you may at first think they don’t do anything at all, only to take them out of your routine and suddenly realise the subtle changes they did bring to your skin. Or your skin simply takes a while to adjust to the new ingredients, acting out at first, only to gradually transform your skin to achieve a new level of “wow!”
These types of “slow burn” products are sometimes tricky to review, because you may at first judge them harshly, writing a frustrated review how they “just don’t do anything at all”, all the while your skin develops a subtle, easily missable healthy glow. Especially products that kind of just do their job of hydrating and supporting your skin barrier are often judged under the “doesn’t do much” umbrella, which honestly tends to irritate me quite a bit. Except if you use, say, a retinol or AHA, you probably won’t see extreme, dramatic changes within weeks (retinols take a tad longer, mind you). Most skincare products that are formulated to support the natural functions of your skin do quite a lot indeed, thank you very much, but you may fully overlook the amazing things they do because you are so desperate for a K-pop idol’s flawlessness and don’t accept anything less from that newfound K-beauty “holy grail.”
To me, a good slow burn K-beauty romance involves products that take a bit of time to work their magic – products that win me over slowly, but surely, until I wonder how I ever managed to exist without them in my life. And, well, long story short: this is exactly what I feel the AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum managed to do! So, let’s go into the heavy details, shall we?
AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum: The Basics
I’ve written about AXIS-Y before on this blog, a relatively new Korean skincare brand that has made it their mission to develop plant-based, gentle formulas for troubled skin. Especially people with oilier, blemish-prone skin are their target audience, with their Spot the Difference Blemish Treatment the latest product release.
The AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum is one of the bestsellers of the brand, beloved by both skinfluencers and customers alike. I was really excited to try this serum, with its promise of brightening and evening out skin tone and texture. With my now almost 43 years (yikes!), I definitely suffer from a general lack of vibrancy in my skin tone, and the odd age spots here and there are becoming a bit bothersome if I’m honest.
This serum is part of the AXIS-Y “6+1+1 series”, a line of products that are formulated with “6 nutrient-rich base ingredients, 1 core goal-oriented ingredient, and 1 quality-producing effective technology”, according to the brand’s website. The “core goal oriented ingredient” in the AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum is one of my all-time favourite skincare goodies, niacinamide. Truly, if you have oily to combo skin and/or struggle with enlarged pores and redness, niacinamide is your best friend. Not only does it help refine skin texture, niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, also has an overall brightening effect on the skin. Research also suggests it can even help fade hyperpigmentation when used consistently over a long period of time.
Now, lately more and more skincare brands like to sell those super popular, The Ordinary style 10% niacinamide serums. However, skincare experts actually agree that the “sweet spot” for niacinamide as a skincare goodie is around 5%, which is exactly the dosage used in the AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum. I actually tend to mix those 10% niacinamide serums into other serums and creams, because I find that anything higher than 5% can irritate and slightly dry out my skin.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum:
“Water, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Propanediol, Erythritol, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Malpighia Emarginata (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Chlorphenesin, Arginine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Carbomer, Glutathione, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Allantoin, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil.”
Remember those six “nutrient-rich base ingredients”? In the case of the Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum, those six skincare goodies are: squalane, a moisturising superstar, rice brand extract, said to subtly brighten and nourish skin, papaya extract, another skin brightener, sea buckthorn extract, a potent source of antioxidants, as well as allantoin and calendula, classical skin-soothers. The “quality-producing effective technology” used in this serum, by the way, is the combination of niacinamide and rice bran extract, carefully blended for maximum brightening effect.
The formula also contains glycerine and hyaluronic acid, two hydrating humectants that help to make your skin feel and look plump and juicy. If you are sensitive to fragrance, be aware that this serum also contains rosemary essential oil. The serum is free from any potentially drying alcohol.
AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum – Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
I’ve always had a soft spot for a good serum. Truly, I feel it can easily make or break a good routine! As someone who has tried all sorts of amazing serums in my years as a skincare writer, my expectations for a good serum are, I am not going to lie, pretty high overall. The first thing I adored about the AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum was its packaging: no annoying drop applicator, but a tube with an airless pump, so much more convenient and hygienic! There is nothing worse than trying to get those last drops of serum out of a glass bottle, and I will never understand why so many brands insist on this type of inconvenient packaging (which isn’t even always the most eco-friendly option either).
The Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum has a thicker, more compact consistency than some of the ampoule-style serums from Korean brands I’ve tried lately. Its gel texture glides onto skin nicely, and you can definitely feel the extra moisturising powers of the squalane when applying it to skin, making it more nourishing than other gel serums.
So, packaging- and texture-wise, I was pretty much insta sold on this AXIS-Y serum, and I also didn’t mind the faintly herbal scent at all. But, yeah, at first I just wasn’t sure if it did anything spectacular for my skin. It definitely felt very hydrating and plumping, so that was another instant plus in my eyes. But when it comes to the promised brightening effect, I think I just got a bit impatient during the first weeks of using the serum.
The longer I consistently used the AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum, however, the more I started to notice the effect it had on my skin! Not only does my complexion always look particularly bright and naturally dewy after using it (usually in my morning time routine, though it also works equally well at night!), I also noticed a beautifully subtle, natural glow to my skin that I absolutely attribute to this serum.
Truly, I’ve learned to love this little skincare darling so much since I received it in late summer/early autumn, and it has become a steady companion in my routine. If you want a gentle, yet effective brightening serum with niacinamide, this is a great choice. Its gel texture works particularly well for combo to oily skin, but dry skin could also enjoy this as a hydrating serum with more nourishing power than, say, a runnier/more watery serum or ampoule. Given the pretty fair price point for this product, I feel it’s a great addition to an early anti-aging routine!
After trying out three AXIS-Y products and genuinely loving all three, I have to say the brand has managed to win me over thoroughly. The formulations and textures are so appealing, and you can tell they authentically care about their skincare community! The Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum was maybe my favourite out of this trio, even though it took me a bit longer to fully “get” what it does for my skin. But, aren’t those slow burn romances always the most satisfying ones anyway? When you finally get that affectionate happily ever after, doesn’t it feel just so much more satisfying than overly rushed passion?
So, where can you purchase the AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum? The 50ml tube is available at the AXIS-Y online shop for 22$ – they ship globally to 32 countries. Alternatively, Yesstyle* sells this serum for currently only around 18$, and you can also purchase it at Stylevana* for roughly 16$. Stylekorean* has the AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum available for currently 22$. Here in Germany, you can also purchase the serum at Douglas for currently 25,99€.
Let me know in the comments: Have you ever had a product that you weren’t certain about at first but then slowly but surely learned to love?
Take care guys, and stay safe – don’t forget to check out my review of the AXIS-Y Quinoa One-Step Balanced Gel Cleanser and make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for all the latest K-Beauty and skincare news!
*Ad/Anzeige, in collaboration with AXIS-Y – all views in this review are entirely my own! Links marked with an * are affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission when you use them, and a tracking cookie is placed. This does not increase the amount you pay when you purchase via these links.