Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening Review: KFDA-Approved Brightening Moisturizer

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Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening Review

Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening Review

Brand new from Huxley, Cream; Glow Awakening ($32 for 50 ml) is the latest addition to an existing lineup of products that are designed to target dehydrated skin [don’t mistake for dry skin, it’s a totally different issue]. When I first heard about Huxley from one of my favorite Youtubers, I immediately checked out their offerings. I was surprised that they didn’t have any brightening products, but that just changed with the release of the new cream and serum duo.

As you can see from the packaging and the promo video below, named after the Brave New World author, Huxley embraces a minimalistic, Western millennial aesthetic, which is actually quite uncommon for Korean skincare brands.

The star ingredient in all of the brand’s formulations is Prickly Pear Seed extract. The plant was chosen for its resilience and the ability to thrive in extremely harsh environments. Its cells can store large amounts of water, delivering it slowly to the parts of the plant that need it most. Prickly Pear seeds are also loaded with antioxidants and essential fatty acids that nourish and protect the skin. That is why Huxley’s tagline reads “Secret of Sahara” in honor of this fierce succulent. – Note: This cactus species is actually native to the Americas, and was later introduced to other parts of the world, including Sahara. Thanks for the info, Jen!

Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening was released alongside Essence; Brightly Ever After, and together they are supposed to combat dehydration, soften and nourish rough patches, and address hyper pigmentation, while protecting the skin from free radicals and oxidative stress. The brightening claims were tested and approved by KFDA, which has much stricter standards for cosmetics than US FDA.

Key ingredients include:

  • Prickly Pear Seed Oil – potent antioxidant and nourishing occlusive
  • Niacinamide – brightens and moisturizes
  • Odeetox™ – potent antioxidant and melanin inhibitor
  • Glutathione – evens out the skin tone, improves radiance
  • Bisabolol – soothes and brightens the skin
  • SC-glucan – helps improve the skin’s barrier function

Note: This moisturizer contains a melanin inhibitor, so it is considered to be a skin lightening product. If you do not wish to make your skin lighter, I would advise against using products with melanin inhibitors, such as arbutin, kojic acid, ellagic acid etc.

Ingredients: Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Butyloctanol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysilicone-11, Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Steareth-21, Steareth-2, Glyceryl Stearate, Ethyl Oleate, Ethyl Stearate, Ethyl Linoleate, Ethyl Palmitate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Unsa, Squalane, Caprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglycer, Water, Morus Nigra Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Sorbitan Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Isostearate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Allantoin, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Fragrance, Glutathione, Beta-Glucan, Propanediol, Xanthan Gum, Bisabolol, Farnesol, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Seed Oil.

Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening Review


The packaging is lovely. It’s minimalistic, it’s chic, and very simple. It looks classy on the shelf and in your Instagram feed. It’s the type of packaging that makes you focus on the product and the ingredients, yet still manages to be the center of attention.

I am personally not a fan of moisturizers in jars, but it’s not like I had a choice here. Huxley included a handy dual-ended plastic spatula in the box, so you can either use the big scoop or the small one, depending on how big an area you need to cover. I currently use the small scoop, and it’s plenty. In fact, I still can’t figure out what’s the good amount to use, because sometimes it seems like I am applying too much, and other times – too little.

Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening Review

This is twice the amount I use on my face. The cream is very concentrated.

Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening Review

Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening – swatch.

Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening Review

A quick smudge of Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening to show texture.

Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening Review

Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening doesn’t immediately absorb, leaving the skin feeling moisturized, with a slight dewy sheen.

Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening has a highly concentrated formula, and a little goes a long way. Just a pinch would be enough to cover my entire face and neck. The cream has a thick, whipped consistency that feels slightly oily and tacky when warmed between the fingertips prior to application. I have combination/dehydrated skin, so I need to be careful with oil-based products. If I use too much of the wrong oil, I can easily clog my pores. And yes, it did happen to me a few times after using Cream; Glow Awakening in wrong quantities.

As far as its skin brightening properties go, this moisturizer shows very promising results. I’ve been using it alongside Tiam Csource C20, a 20% Vitamin C serum formerly called OST C20, and it noticeably sped up the fading of post-acne hyperpigmentation [aka post-acne scars and marks].

There is one thing I strongly dislike about this formula – and it’s the fragrance. Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening smells like a mix of roses and freshly cut grass, both of which I don’t mind, just not in this concentration. It’s so strong, it’s almost unpleasant. And yes, the fragrance does linger on the skin for at least an hour.

You will LOVE it if:

  • You want to lighten your skin tone and reduce the appearance of hyper pigmentation.
  • You are looking to invest in a single product to address multiple concerns [dehydration, oxidative stress, hyperpigmentation].
  • You avoid parabens, synthetic dyes, and mineral oils in your skincare products.
  • You have dry, normal, or combination skin.
  • You only buy cruelty-free cosmetics. Huxley brand is confirmed to be cruelty-free; they do not test on animals or sell in China. [Note: other confirmed cruelty-free kbeauty brands worth trying are Benton, Beyond, Blithe, Blossom Jeju, Cosrx, and Whamisa.]

You will HATE it if:

  • You avoid jar packaging.
  • You do not want to lighten your skin.
  • You prefer unscented skincare.
  • You have sensitive or oily skin.
  • You prefer all-natural skincare.

DON’T use it if:

  • You can’t commit to wearing sunscreen daily. Melanin inhibitors lower your skin’s natural defense against UV rays.

Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening Review


As you can see, I have mixed feelings about Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening. On one hand, I am loving the abundance of plant extracts, the exotic Prickly Pear Seed oil, the skin brighteners, and the melanin inhibitor. On the other hand, I am struggling with finding the appropriate dosage to prevent my skin from getting overloaded with product. I am also completely turned off by the strong, overwhelming synthetic fragrance. I honestly don’t know how I managed to avoid getting a migraine, it’s just so freaking pungent. And there I thought nothing can beat some of the Western brands, notoriously known for loading their skincare and makeup with artificial fragrances.

To wrap up my Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening review, I want to say that I still like this moisturizer enough to eventually use it up, all things considered [although it’s unlikely that I will purchase another jar]. This highly effective formula works well with other products I currently have in my skin-brightening routine, and I like being able to reap several benefits from just one cream. I find the product both hydrating and moisturizing, meaning that it can attract water into the skin, and hold it in there with help of several occlusive agents, like Shea Butter, Squalane and Dimethicone. This will come in handy during the upcoming fall and winter seasons when my face suffers from dehydration and splotchiness the most.

I only hope in the future Huxley considers expanding the range with fragrance-free products [or at least tone it down a notch], and put all of their creams into airtight pump bottles or squeeze tubes. I feel like that strong fragrance really ruins the experience for me, and many other users. A girl can dream!

If there anything else I forgot to mention in my Huxley Cream; Glow Awakening review, let me know in the comments below!

This post features products received for editorial consideration and may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details about my product review policy, copyright, and information about affiliate links, please refer to Disclosures & Content Use page.
  • Jen Sky Walker

    I’m going to be THAT person (sorry, too many years in Arizona to not) and point out that the prickly pair (and all true cacti in general) is actually native to the Americas and has been imported to the Sahara where it can thrive. The less than stellar review isn’t winning me over to the brand either. Thank you for your honest feedback about this!!

    • I had no idea it was native to the Americas, thanks for the info Jen! I updated the post 🙂 Yeah, there are just too many cons to consider, which make this moisturizer less than perfect. It is pretty cheap for what it offers, though.

  • I hate strong smelling products but the Niacinamide makes this interesting. I would probably give this a try if they dialed back the scent.

  • BeautyJudy

    This doesn’t sound like something I would need or want, but I so enjoy your skincare reviews and learning more about brands I haven’t heard of!

  • Allison @neversaydiebeauty

    Except for the weird fragrance, this cream looks and sounds lovely. I love that it uses prickly pear extract and has other ingredients that I seek out as well.

  • marciaf

    As I was reading I kept liking this better and better – and then you got to the fragrance! I know it won’t bother most people and it does sound wonderful but it’s not for me.

  • This would work for me, I like strong fragrances and have hyperpigmentation, this is a match.

  • Every time I get a facial, the facialist says my skin is dehydrated. That issue coupled with brown posts from sun damage makes this moisturizer sound like it’s made for me!

  • Kristi Vasquez

    That creamy formula looks so luscious! I hope you can find the correct dosage!

  • FabZilla_Kath

    I’m sensitive to smell so I am definite that I won’t like this. Great review as always

  • That looks lovely but I do prefer unscented skincare!

  • Mai

    I can be a little sensitive to fragrances so I was already iffy but reading that it might be too heavy for oily skin means I might have to look elsewhere!

  • Naked Without Polish

    I think this would be a product I could skip and not feel bad about it.

  • Sounds so luxe!

  • I want just for the jar….so pretty!!!

  • Shelley Polarbelle

    It sounds like a good effective product. I like you do’s and dont’s list and find it really helpful, too.

  • Ehmkay Nails

    The lists are super helpful! Let’s me get a quick review!

  • Sounds like great product. I like your “you will love/hate this if” section.

  • FairyTales Nails

    THE lists are a great idea, loving that packaging x