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Farmacy Honeymoon Glow: Thank U, Next

One of the most talked about products on Instagram this fall has been Farmacy Beauty's Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum with Echinacea GreenEnvy™(with the proper trademark and all.( It's an exfoliating serum that's meant to soften the look of fine lines and pores, while also hydrating the skin.

I've lost count at the number of times I've personally been asked about the serum, so I figured it was time to write a post and compose my thoughts in a semi-organized, centralized manner. So the next time someone asks me what I think of it, I can say "I got you, boo" and point them in this direction instead of scrambling to fit my thoughts into Instagram's DM limits.

Disclaimer: I received this serum as PR from the brand but as always, all thoughts are my own!

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Price, Size, & Availability

$58.00 for 1 oz/ 30 mL via Sephora, Farmacy, & Beautylish

Ingredients

Water, Lactic Acid, Propanediol, Jojoba Esters, Glycolic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Citric Acid, Honey Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Root Extract, Propolis Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Salvia Hispanica Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Arachidyl Alcohol, Sclerotium Gum, Coco-Glucoside, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Sodium Benzoate, Tocopherol, Potassium Sorbate, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Gluconolactone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Flower/Leaf Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, T-Butyl Alcohol, Glucose, Calcium Gluconate, Citral.

According to the brand, it contains a 14% blend of AHAs, BHAs, and gentle flower acids-- although they don't disclose the breakdown. (side note: when Glossier doesn't disclose the skincare community goes wild, but when other brands don't disclose either, nobody mentions it? 🐸☕️)

From a peek at the ingredient list, from highest concentration to lowest concentration, the active ingredients are lactic acid, glycolic acid, willow bark extract, and hibiscus extract. Personally, my experience with willow bark and hibiscus as exfoliating agents has been lackluster. I like them as skincare ingredients, I just don't find them to be effective exfoliators.

So while the serum has a published 14% acid blend, 2 of the 4 "acids" listed are meh to me. On a more positive note, lactic acid and glycolic acid are very effective and they're more prevalent in the formula than the other two.

Packaging

A lux glass bottle with a pump + cap! They definitely didn't skimp out on the packaging.

Texture

Like a light gel. It absorbs readily without making my skin tacky. I haven't had any issues with it pilling.

Scent

It's hard to properly describe the scent-- it's almost sour? It kind of reminds me of the scent of Sunday Riley's good genes. It doesn't smell very good but I honestly don't notice it much, I'm used to putting stinky serums on my face for the sake of better skin 😅 The scent lingers for a bit and only goes away once I layer other skincare on my face.

When do I use it?

I generally stick to a one acid max per routine rule and it treats me well. That usually means vitamin C in the morning 4-5 times a week and an AHA at night 3-4 times a week (be it in the form of mask, serum, or toner.) Actives are amazing for smoothing out dark spots and texture issues, but it's also easy to overdo them. My skin is particularly sensitive but I think it's better to be safe than sorry!

Because this does have a 14% blend (which I consider high) I only used it 2x a week and didn't use any other active ingredients of physical scrubs on those days, so not to potentially irritate my skin. And on the other 5 days of the week, I didn't use any other exfoliating products in my nighttime routines.

I also applied this as my first step post cleansing, because I wanted to maximize the benefits.

Also a friendly reminder: you must wear sunscreen during the daytime if you're using an AHA like honeymoon glow because they make your skin photosensitive. It doesn't matter if you apply the serum at night, ya still gotta wear sunscreen in the morning.

Results

Not so good.

The first time I used this, my skin felt like it was on fire. It wasn't a stinging sensation, but rather like my face was heating up. It was very uncomfortable and lasted for over half an hour. You might be wondering why I didn't rinse it off at that point... laziness. I was already in bed and didn't want to get up to wash my face again.

Come morning, I didn't face any negative effects from the weird burning sensation, but neither did my skin look particularly glowy or smoother. For me, acids generally work their magic overnight. If a serum or toner works for me, the next morning whatever bumps or spots I have on my face will be smaller. With this serum, meh.

Every single time I used it over the period of 3 weeks, I experienced the odd heating up feeling. It was shorter and shorter each time, but it was still there. Also after 3 weeks, I barely noticed a difference in my skin. It was a little smoother and a little brighter, but not where I wanted it to be. I ended up stopping using it after 3 weeks because I didn't like dealing with the heating up sensation. Usually, I like using actives for longer to really see if they deliver on their claims, but I could already tell this wasn't doing much for me.

I will say, it delivered on its hydration claims. A lot of exfoliators dry me out but this one didn't-- it actually added moisture to my skin! Like a lot of Farmacy's products-- this serum includes multiple honey based ingredients. There's royal jelly, propolis, honey, plus sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid and their signature echinacea extract. I think they did an excellent job balancing the potentially irritating ingredients with all these soothing ones.

farmacy honeymoon glow vs drunk elephant vs good genes

Farmacy Honeymoon Glow vs. Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment?

In many ways, honeymoon glow reminds me a lot of good genes. Both feature lactic acid (although farmacy's also has glycolic), both come in glass jars with pumps, both have a light gel consistency that absorbs well, both have weird scents. Both also come with 1 oz of product except good genes costs $105 and honeymoon glow costs $58. Both are pricey but there's a significant $47 price difference between the two!

Personally, good genes is worth the extra $47. While it's only a 4% acid blend, it has a very low pH so it's quite potent. I see overnight results with good genes. My skin is smoother and brighter the next morning. And with longterm use my skin gets a beautiful glow to it and my acne scars fade more quickly. Those aren't results I saw with honeymoon glow.

Like honeymoon glow, good genes is also somewhat hydrating. It balances out the exfoliation action with calming ingredients like prickly pear extract and aloe. Good genes also includes fewer potentially sensitizing essential oils.

Both are cruelty-free and made in the US.

Farmacy Honeymoon Glow vs. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum?

Drunk Elephant's TLC serum also reminds me of honeymoon glow because really, how many ways can you make an effective exfoliating serum? Both feature a blend of acids, although I prefer Drunk Elephant's-- glycolic, salicylic, and lactic vs. Farmacy's lactic, glycolic, willowbark, and hibiscus.

The Drunk Elephant has a more serumy texture and doesn't absorb as well as Farmacy's. It's easier to over appl and will make your skin tacky. It also doesn't hydrate my skin (although it doesn't dry it out either.) Of the two, DE has the superior packaging. It's an opaque airless pump which is about as protected as you can be. The DE doesn't have a strong scent and it dissipates almost immediately.

Price wise the DE is $90 for 1 oz vs Farmacy's $58 for 1 oz, but once again, it comes down the results. And for me, Drunk Elephant's delivers superior results. Drunk Elephant's serum delivers similar overnight results as good genes-- skin is brighter and smoother. And similar to good genes, with long-term use my acne scars fade much more quickly.

Like good genes and honeymoon glow, the TLC serum is also cruelty-free and made in the US.

Final Thoughts

While this did have some nice ingredients and did deliver on the hydrating claims... ultimately my skin didn't love this. The burning sensation + lack of results prevent me from using this up/ repurchasing it. I wanted it to be a more affordable alternative to Sunday Riley and Drunk Elephant, but alas it wasn't for me.

I am in the minority though-- as most of the reviews of this serum are positive! If you're curious about it, I definitely recommend grabbing a sample the next time you're at Sephora to see how your skin reacts to it! If you've tried it out, what's been your experience with it?



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