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Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA +BHA Pore-Tight Toner Ingredients Explained

3.5   from 11 ratings

Updated on July 18, 2023


What it is

Toner with 22 ingredients that contains BHA, hyaluronic acid and PHA

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Glow Recipe is from United States. This product is used in 931 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

Hyaluronic Acid


Hydrating (2)
Good For Oily Skin (3)
Skin Texture (2)
Reduces Large Pores
Anti-Aging (2)
Dark Spots
Scar Healing (2)
Brightening (2)


Acne Trigger
Rosacea (2)

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
fungal-acne safe

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Skin Conditioning
Skin Conditioning
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Humectant, Moisturising, Skin Conditioning
Hyaluronic Acid IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Skin Conditioning
PHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
BHA IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing, Tonic
Good for Oily Skin Icon
Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance IconGood for Oily Skin Icon
Skin Conditioning
Skin Conditioning
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Moisturising, Skin Conditioning
Bleaching, Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing, Soothing
Good for Dark Spots Icon
Astringent, Humectant, Soothing
Good for Scar Healing Icon
Skin Protecting
Skin Conditioning
Skin Conditioning
3 / 0
Bad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance Icon
Skin Conditioning
Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 22 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Opuntia Ficus-Indica Extract comes from the cactus known as Prickly Pear. Prickly Pear extract has soothing and antioxidant properties.

The flavonoids in prickly pear help reduce inflammation. Prickly pear is also rich in polyphenols, a potent antioxidant.

What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Citrullus Lanatus Fruit Extract comes from the watermelon. Watermelon has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Watermelons are rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and lycopene. It also contains sugars and amino acids, such as arginine and glutathione.

Lycopene is a potent antioxidant. Besides helping to protect your skin against free-radical molecules, it also helps soothe the skin. Lycopene gives watermelon the distinct red color.

Learn more about Citrullus Lanatus Fruit Extract
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin
What it does: Humectant, Moisturising, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in healthy skin. It is a humectant, meaning it draws moisture to your skin.

Hyaluronic Acid has the capacity to bind to large amounts of water. This ingredient helps hydrate, soothe, and protect the skin.

Fun fact: It is already naturally found in our bodies, such as the fluids of our eyes and our joints.

Studies find this ingredient to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. This can help speed up wound-healing,

These are some other common types of Hyaluronic Acid:

Learn more about Hyaluronic Acid
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Gluconolactone is a PHA. PHAs have a larger structure than AHAs and BHAs and are more gentle. It is an created by reacting gluconic acid with an alcohol.

When applied, Gluconolactone has the same affect on skin as AHAs such as lactic acid. It helps dissolve the dead skin cells in the top layer of your skin. This helps improve texture and brightens the skin.

Gluconolactone is a humectant and helps draw moisture to your skin. This helps keep your skin hydrated.

PHAs are more gentle than AHAs due to their larger structure. They do not penetrate as deeply as AHAs and take a longer time to dissolve dead cells. Studies show PHAs do not cause as much irritation.

PHAs also exhibit antioxidant activity by neutralizing free-radical molecules. This can help with anti-aging.

In a 2004 study, Gluconolactone was found to prevent UV damage in mouse skin cells. However, we still recommend wearing SPF especially after using exfoliating ingredients.

Learn more about Gluconolactone
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Polyglutamic Acid is made up many glutamic acids chained together. It is created from bacterial fermentation.

Polyglutamic Acid is an effective skin hydrator and may help speed up wound healing. As a humectant, it draws and holds water to the skin. This ingredient is often compared to hyaluronic acid or glycerin. Similarly to hyaluronic acid, it can vary in molecular weights. This means polyglutamic acid is capable of bringing hydration to lower levels of the skin.

Polyglutamic Acid is found in the Japanese food, natto. It is also being used in cancer treatment studies.

Learn more about Polyglutamic Acid
What it does: Antimicrobial
Community Rating: Liked

Betaine Salicylate is a salicylic acid alternative. It is created with betaine and salicylic acid.

Betain Salicylate is a keralytic ingredient. This means it breaks down the top layer of skin. Due to its similarity to salicylic acid, it can be considered a BHA alternative.

This ingredient is most effective at a pH range of 3.8-4.2.

Learn more about Betaine Salicylate
What it does: Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing, Tonic
Community Rating: Liked

Salix Alba Bark Extract comes from the white willow tree, which is native to Europe and Central Asia.

Salix Alba Bark Extract has often been described as salicylic acid's cousin. This is due to the salicin it contains. However, studies are limited showing salix alba bark to be an effective salicylic acid alternative.

Salicin does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has shown to decrease the formation of inflammatory mediators, such as tumor necrosis factor-Ξ± and nuclear factor-kappa B. Salicin also has a mildly exfoliating effect on the skin.

Several other components in salix alba bark extract also contain antioxidant properties, such as flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants may help with anti-aging as they neutralize harmful free-radical molecules.

Willow Bark extract has been used for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations used white willow to help treat pain and fevers.

Learn more about Salix Alba Bark Extract
What it does: Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Extract comes from the Tea Tree, Melaleuca alternifolia, Myrtaceae. This tea tree is native to Australia.

Tea Leaf extract contains antimicrobial and anti-acne properties.

Tea tree extract is fragrant and contains volatiles such as linalool and limonene. These fragrance and terpinen components can cause skin sensitivity.

Learn more about the benefits of Tea Tree Oil here.

Learn more about Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Extract
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

This extract comes from the Roselle flower, or Hibiscus Sabdariffa. Roselle flowers are rich in antioxidants and have anti-aging benefits.

Studies found the antioxidants in Roselle flowers to potentially help reduce UV-B damage.

What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

We don't have a description for Lactobacillus/Watermelon Fruit Ferment Extract.

What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract comes from the cucumber. Cucumis Sativus is native to South Asia and can now be found on every continent.

Cucumbers are mostly made up of water (95%), and the other 5% is composed of: vitamin C, caffeic acid, fatty acids, amino acids, and other minerals.

Cucumbers have anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and hydrating properties.

Vitamin C and Caffeic acid are potent antioxidants that may help with anti-aging. Antioxidants help neutralize free-radical molecules, or unstable molecules that may damage our skin cells and DNA.

Cucumbers contain shikimate dehydrigenase, an enzyme shown to help reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. The amino acids help nourish our skin's natural acid mantle. Our acid mantle is formed from the mixing of sebum and sweat. This slightly acidic film acts as a barrier to protect us from bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants.

Unless you have an allergy to cucumbers, it is generally a non-irritating ingredient.

Learn more about Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract
What it does: Moisturising, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

This ingredient is also called sugarcane extract. It is a moisturizing humectant and has skin soothing properties.

Similar to hyaluronic acid, sugarcane can attract moisture to your skin.

Glycolic acid is a derivative of sugarcane. While glycolic acid is an AHA with exfoliating properties, sugarcane is not an AHA.

A study from 2021 found the compounds in sugarcane extract to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory activity. The study also suggests these compounds can inhibit skin ageing enzymes and promote collagen synthesis.

Learn more about Saccharum Officinarum Extract
What it does: Bleaching, Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing, Soothing
Community Rating: Liked

Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract is an extract of the roots of Licorice. It has been found to have several benefits such as skin hydrating, conditioning, and soothing.

One component, glabridin, has extra potent antioxidant and soothing properties. It has also been found to block pigmentation from UVB rays in guinea pigs.

Licorice Root also contains a flavonoid. Flavonoids are a natural substance from in plants. Flavonoids also have antioxidant properties.

Another component, glycyrrhizin, has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits. This may make licorice root extract effective at treating acne. However, more research is needed to support this.

Liquiritin is one of the flavone compounds found in licorice. It has been found to help lighten skin by preventing tyrosinase from reacting with tyrosine. When the two react, protein is converted to melanin. Melanin is the substance in your body that gives your features pigmentation.

Learn more about Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract
What it does: Astringent, Humectant, Soothing
Community Rating: Loved

Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract comes from the Baikal skullcap or Chinese skullcap plant. This plant is native to Northeast Asia and can be found in China, Mongolia, Korea, and Siberia.

In cosmetics, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. This is due to the flavonoid composition of Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract.

In Chinese traditional folk medicine, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract is used to help treat lung and hypertension.

Learn more about Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract
What it does: Skin Protecting
Community Rating: Loved

Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract comes from the Paeonia Suffruticosa plant known as the Peony.

Peony Root extract has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Emerging studies also show peony root may help reduce hyperpigmentation. Ancient Chinese medicine has used peony root to treat dark spots, but studies are looking into this claim more.

Antioxidants help neutralize free-radical molecules. These molecules may damage skin cells and DNA, leading to signs of aging.

Learn more about Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

We don't have a description for Brassica Oleracea Capitata Leaf Extract.

What it does: Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Ipomoea Batatas Root Extract.

What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Sorbitan Oleate is created from compounds in oleic acid and sorbitol. It is used to stabilize a product by preventing ingredients from separating.

Emulsifiers help keep ingredients together, such as oils and water.

Sorbitan Oleate may not be fungal acne safe. It can also worsen oily skin.

Learn more about Sorbitan Oleate
What it does: Perfuming, Skin Conditioning

Levulinic Acid is a fragrance that comes from the degradation of cellulose. It is a saturated fatty acid.

This ingredient is often used a building block for other compounds, such as in pharmaceuticals.

According to a manufacturer, this ingredient smells like caramel.

Learn more about Levulinic Acid
What it does: Skin Conditioning

Sodium levulinate is the a sodium salt of Levulinic Acid. If dissolved in an aqueous solution, the two ingredients become identical.

It is a skin conditioning agent, meaning it helps soften and hydrate your skin.

According to Cosmetic Ingredient Review, the highest amounts of sodium levulinate are found in mouthwashes at 0.62%.

Learn more about Sodium Levulinate
What it does: Masking, Perfuming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, can be a blend of hundreds of chemicals or plant oils. This means every product with "fragrance" or "Parfum" in the ingredients list is a different mixture.

In the US, the alternative name for parfum is 'fragrance'. The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term.

For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance. One example is Calendula flower extract. Essential oil ingredients still impart a scent or 'fragrance'.

Depending on the blend, it can cause allergies and sensitivities on the skin. Some ingredients that are known EU allergens include linalool and citronellol.

Products use parfum often to give products a scent or cover up smells of different ingredients.

The bottom line is: not all fragrances/parfum/ingredients are created equally. If you are worried about fragrances, we recommend taking a closer look at an ingredient. And of course, we always recommend speaking with a professional.

Learn more about Parfum
Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 22 ingredients in this product ✨

68% are loved or liked
9% have mixed ratings
9% are disliked or very disliked
14% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA +BHA Pore-Tight Toner. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Watermelon Glow PHA +BHA Pore-Tight Toner ->
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The data we've presented on this page has been verified by a member of the SkinSort Team.

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Top Reviews

View all 11
glasscasita's Avatar'
Nov 17, 2023

I don't understand this product.
After doing skincare for over a decade, I've tried hundreds of products (yes, my wallet isn't happy). This product was one of the worst out of these hundreds. Most products I've tried are alright. This...

I don't understand this product.
After doing skincare for over a decade, I've tried hundreds of products (yes, my wallet isn't happy). This product was one of the worst out of these hundreds. Most products I've tried are alright. This one was truly not good. It has a strong scent, didn't absorb, and just didn't do anything positive for my skin at all. I gave it 2 weeks and stopped when I started breaking out. I truly cannot understand why people love this toner so much.

Latest Reviews

View all 11
SandyD's Avatar'
Feb 9, 2024

First toner I actually saw a difference with my skin over time. It helped with my larger pores and light texture. Definitely recommend for oily & combination skin. Its a great option to add some exfoliation in your routine while staying...

First toner I actually saw a difference with my skin over time. It helped with my larger pores and light texture. Definitely recommend for oily & combination skin. Its a great option to add some exfoliation in your routine while staying really hydrating from the texture of the product + it smells great! It really surprised m. I am at my 3rd bottle

Absorbs Well
Light Scent
Read more reviews ->