Comparing 2020 to a neck-cracking roller-coaster ride would be an understatement. That said, there have definitely been some silver linings, and the fact that I've been able to spend the majority of the last three months with my family, safely hunkered down in Tucson, has been one such gift. Not only do I feel thankful for the quality time I've been able to spend with my parents, but they're also the best when it comes to helping me out with my day job—like, you know, covering, testing, and reviewing all of the coolest new innovations to hit the beauty circuit. After all, there are only so many new products I can try, and being that my parents are in their 70s and have led rich, full lives (with some inevitable wrinkles, sagging, and sun damage to show for it), they're the perfect guinea pigs to put "anti-aging" and "glow-boosting" products to the ultimate test.
The most recent glow-inducing installment? Alo Yoga's brand-new, skin-centric beauty line, Alo Glow System, which features seven Ayurveda-inspired formulas with a special superberry called amla (one of nature's most potent sources of antioxidants) as the ringleading hero ingredient.
Of course, you can get that coveted post-yoga glow by getting your flow on while wearing Alo's celebrity-adored line of activewear, but we love that the brand has taken said glow a step further by bottling it into clean, vegan, and cruelty-free formulas designed to marry the transformative practice of yoga with smart, efficacious skincare workable for all skin types—anytime, anywhere. (The formulas are especially brilliant pre- and post-workout, naturally, but we'll get to the nitty-gritty product details later on.)
As it's fantastically rich in vitamin C and known for its inflammation-fighting and healing properties, the choice to celebrate amla soundly reverberates everything Alo Yoga stands for and CEO and Co-founder Danny Harris’s own transformative experience within the practice.
"While amla has been used for millennia in Ayurvedic medicine, Alo has unlocked the true power of this superberry through cutting-edge beauty science," explains a press release from the brand. In fact, research shows that amla is nature's number one source of antioxidants and vitamin C, boasting 75 times more antioxidants than goji berries and 50 times more than blueberries.
The ingredient is carefully laced through the entire Glow System and is said to reduce fine lines, improve skin texture, boost glow and hydration, build collagen, and protect against environmental damage. But… does it actually?
In true beauty editor form, I coerced my 73-year-old parents into trying three of the seven products, complete with non-retouched before-and-after photos and (very honest) verbatim reviews. And because I'm a sucker for glowy skin and always need to put my own two cents in, I gave the sleek trio a test-drive as well. Keep scrolling! We're sharing our honest thoughts on Alo Yoga's exciting new skincare line, Alo Glow System, just below.
The Glow System Picks We Tested
This serum is all about hydration and plumping, meaning wrinkles and fine lines will look softened and less severe. It's brimming with luxe ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, vitamin C star amla, fermented ingredients inspired by K-beauty's glass-skin esthetic, and more, to supply a youthful and bouncy end result.
Meet the ultimate moisturizing compromise that's not too heavy or too light but still supplies skin with a surge of glow-giving hydration. It's unscented just like the serum, and MVP amla is matched with other premium skin-brightening additions such as aloe, avocado oil, marula oil, and more. Feel free to use it morning or night.
When your muscles are in a pinch (literally and figuratively), this stress-relieving combination of magnesium, arnica, amla, and valerian saves the day. FYI: Just three pumps deliver 45mg of magnesium for direct absorption into the body, and the other aforementioned ingredients soak in fast and seamlessly for quick relief.
The prep: For some context, all three of us started with a clean, freshly cleansed face. I didn't receive Alo's cleanser in my pre-launch set, so we all used my favorite formula, Shani Darden's Cleansing Serum ($38).
Additionally, we all applied Alo's Magnesium Reset Spray first (on our shoulders, upper back, and lower neck) so it could marinate while we tested out the other products. Obviously, this product is all about how it feels and the effect it has on sore muscles and/or areas of tension, so before-and-afters aren't as relevant. However, we'll still provide our thoughts and reviews on the spray below!
Dad (aka Steve), 73 Years Young
"The first thing I want to say is that my face still feels super clean—cleaner than it ever does when I normally wash my face with bar soap in the shower. My skin definitely feels soft. It feels like my face is breathing. It's moisturized, but it's not like when I put a regular lotion on, which makes my face feel greasy and kind of congested. I mean, holy sh*t! This moisturizer is the total opposite of that! I don't have that immediate reaction that I want to just wash it off. Moisturized without any feelings of residue. It makes your skin feel silky, but it doesn't feel like you're wearing anything, which is really so surprising to me! In summary, it makes your face feel really, really clean, light, breathable, and comfortable. Out of all of the facial treatments Erin has ever given me, this is the most pleasant. I don't feel like I've been treated with any chemicals or gimmicks.
"I was also extremely shocked when I looked in the mirror and at the before-and-after photos Erin took. Both products made my skin look more youthful and less wrinkly. I would give it an outstanding grade on its youth-enhancing benefits. I wouldn't say it tightens your skin, but it seems to moisturize so well that it makes everything feel softer. I guess it plumps it up? I don't know how much this stuff costs, but if anyone is looking for a really nice luxurious, comfortable moisturizing conditioner, I would say this stuff is totally worth it."
The Magnesium Reset Spray: "This feels really nice and like it's conditioning my skin. We live in a dry climate (Tucson, AZ), and my skin definitely felt calmer after Erin sprayed this on my neck and shoulders. Also, the smell was not unpleasant."
Mom (aka Elise), 73 Years Young
The Radiance Serum: "I love this serum. I was a little concerned at first because it seemed pretty thick when I put a few drops into my hand, but I was stunned that, when I applied it, it absorbed so beautifully and easily into my skin and felt wonderful. My skin definitely felt smoother and looked brighter, and this might sound a little weird, but I literally couldn't stop touching my face! I was in disbelief about how quickly it absorbed and how wonderful it made my complexion feel."
The Luminizing Facial Moisturizer: "Even though the serum was my favorite product, this moisturizer has to be a close second, and it absorbed really well into my skin. My face feels amazingly soft, and even after it's been on my skin for a while, my skin still feels insanely soft. I like that it's unscented, and it almost feels as if my skin is less tight, more relaxed.
"I was also astounded by how less prominent my fine lines and wrinkles looked. The combination of this moisturizer and the serum is quite incredible, and I would absolutely recommend the combination. It's like I never want to wash it off!"
The Magnesium Reset Spray: "The scent of this smells really clean and fresh. I couldn't exactly identify what it was, but I enjoyed it. I was really amazed that, after a few moments, I felt a slight warming sensation, which was very soothing and calming. I can honestly say that my shoulder area where Erin applied it feels less tense and like my muscles are more relaxed. I know it has arnica as an ingredient, and that's something I've used before to help with bruises and pain. I know it works, so I was pleased to see that in the ingredient list."
Erin, 27 Years Young
The Radiance Serum: "I've been working really hard to pare down my skincare routine, and hyaluronic acid serums (spiked, of course, with a few other fab ingredients) are really my main prerogative right now. So I was super pleased to see this serum was something I would totally use on a regular basis. It does come out quite thick with kind of a viscous consistency, but as soon as you apply, it slides easily over every inch of your face and sinks in almost immediately. You're left with this really dewy, soft, plumping effect sans a lick of residue. It's lovely and perfect for layering. I'm sure it would be super dreamy under makeup since it leaves such a silky, practically velveteen finish to your skin."
The Luminizing Facial Moisturizer: "I'm so picky when it comes to moisturizers—I blame my acne-prone skin—but I have to admit this one totally blew me away and truly rivals other "holy-grail" creams that are on the market right now in both feel and efficacy. It feels nice and rich and thick as you apply it, but it absorbs really beautifully. The texture is really smooth, and I noticed my face immediately looked smoother, brighter, and more even. I know my before-and-afters aren't particularly compelling, but if you look closely, you can definitely see less pigmentation on the tip of my nose and around my mouth and nose area, which I totally attribute to this moisturizer's ingenious ingredient roster. I give it an A+ and am keen to keep using it in my daily routine."
The Magnesium Reset Spray: "Ugh, I am obsessed. I'm that person who is constantly complaining about a sore neck and back, and I noticed immediate relief with this spray. I work out almost every single day somewhat vigorously, and I have a habit of contorting my body as I ferociously type out stories each day. So between the two, I'm always achy and stiff. This stuff smells divine—the mix of mandarin, rice milk, and essential oils is light, energizing, and refreshing—and I found myself wanting to reapply all day long. I also appreciate that it absorbs quickly with absolutely zero residue. I was worried it would leave me feeling sticky or greasy, but I had no reason to worry. This stuff is legit and is a definite must for anyone who deals with sore muscles and pains and is looking for a holistic antidote at home."
Shop the Rest of the Alo Glow System
Not only does this gentle enzymatic cleanser offer a top-notch reset post-sweat sesh, but it's also absolutely brimming with juicy antioxidants and superfoods your skin will happily lap up both day and night—workout or no workout. Specifically, it features the line's hero ingredient, vitamin C–rich amla, aloe for a super-soothing finish, and pineapple for a hit of cell-sloughing radiance.
If you currently feel ho-hum about bodywash, Alo's new tube will definitely convert you. Again, its magical superstar is nature's most potent antioxidant superberry, amla, and it's supporting roster of nutrition-packed ingredients includes avocado and marula. This puppy will effectively cleanse your bod of sweat, protect your skin from environmental distress, and maintain a perfect ratio of hydration so you're never left feeling tight or stripped post-shower.
After you shower, lightly towel off and follow suit with this nourishing and reparative body lotion. Sure, it boasts supreme moisture suppliers like argan oil, aloe vera, and coconut oil, but Alo's taken the formula even further by enriching it with arnica to help soothe tension and aching muscles.
Of course, you can use this luxurious body oil to give yourself a head-to-toe glow without Alo's new body lotion (see above), but the combination of the two is pure dynamite and sure to keep your skin drenched in nutritious hydration until your next shower or workout. The handy pump design makes application a snap, and the lush melding of calming turmeric, soothing marula oil, aloe, avocado oil, and potent botanicals lends skin a practically gilded luster. (Psst! You can even use it on your strands!)