December 27, 2018

Aveeno Positively Radiant Maxglow Serum + Primer Tries a Little Too Hard

2 stars out of 5

Aveeno Positively Radiant Maxglow Serum + Primer ($19.99) is a new hydrating facial serum that acts to not only hydrate skin and seal in moisture but also illuminates as well as primes it for makeup. According to Aveeno it’ll provide a lit-from-within-glow while multitasking as your facial primer and your serum all-in-one and that all sounds fantastic but I find that products that set out to perform a variety of different things are trying a little to hard and never quite succeed at accomplishing all that they promise.

None the less I was determined to try out Aveeno Positively Radiant Maxglow Serum + Primer to see how things went.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Maxglow Serum + Primer was appealing to me because I use Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Bi-Phase Serum which I love. Considering that Clarins formula doesn’t do half the things Aveeno’s does it seemed like a no brainer to check out Aveeno’s version to see if was a cheaper dupe.

I’ve said it a plenty but it deserves mentioning I don’t like to glow. I’m not a big highlighter person nor one that likes illuminating foundations or serums and such. I was concerned about the lit-from-within glow promise but decided to give it a whirl none the less. I think on some levels Aveeno might be reaching out to the Instagram generation with this. At the risk of sounding ancient once again, have you ever watched those really annoying mini videos on Instagram where people are dripping serum down their face with a dropper during a quickie makeup application? Typically it’s a Farsali serum. I think in some ways maybe Aveeno was sort of headed in this direction and it wouldn’t surprise me too much if we see sponsored videos of people pouring this down their face.

But I digress, let’s chat formula.

This arrives in a 1.5 oz plastic bottle with a tiny spout that you can dab gently into your hand to release product. A lot of reviews I read didn’t know how to get the product out or said the bottle was messy etc…! I can’t say I felt that way as a lot of Korean essences pretty much have the same style bottles. It’s just a matter of tipping the bottle into your hand and tapping it against your palm to release the essence. Fairly simple in my opinion and not messy or difficult. Once you have a few drops in your hands you simply pat it gently onto your face. It is a bi-phase formula which is part oil and part water much like an eye makeup remover. You’ll have to be sure to shake it well prior to applying it for the best results. It has a slippery feel as you apply it on your face and does take sometime to absorb and I liked it well enough as an evening essence but not something I’d use in the day since it leaves a little bit of an oily film behind which isn’t pleasant when worn under makeup.

I was expecting some sort of mica in here but there is nothing of the sort nor are there any ingredients that would give a glow. So, in this area it does fail. I wouldn’t expect to see some sort of luminous glow or brightening when using this. Secondly, it doesn’t act as a primer and will likely decrease the wear of makeup versus extend it simply due to the fact it doesn’t contain any binding ingredients to hold makeup on and does contain a good deal of plant oils such as jojoba and sunflower which act to hydrate but also, might make your makeup slip off. Again, in this are it fails. So far, we can tick off makeup primer and highlighter off the list.

I wouldn’t call it a serum either but more of an essence that adds some extra hydration to your skin which will work lovely for drier skin but might be a bit much for oily skin and might even break some users out due to the very strong fragrance. It’s a fresher fragrance that’s pleasant but quite overpowering.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Maxglow Serum + Primer has some nicely hydrating ingredients that will add moisture to drier skin but doesn’t exactly work as the intended all-one-product it is intended to be. At $20, I feel like I can get a much better essence from any number of K-Beauty brands with formulas that provide much more moisture with formulas that aren’t quite as oily.

This failed to impress sadly.

Where to buy

Ulta Target Walmart Aveeno

Aveeno Positively Radiant Maxglow Serum + Primer is a new all-in-one serum that promises to hydrate, prep skin for makeup, and give your complexion a lit-from-within glow. In my experience using this product it is a one trick pony and works best as a lightweight serum of sort that adds some nice moisture to skin but doesn’t work as a makeup primer nor a highlighter. I thought the formula was a bit oily which made it ideal for night use but not comfortable worn in the day under makeup. This type of formula also made it difficult to wear over foundation.

Water, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Macadamia lntegrifolia Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, 1,2-Hexanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Yeast Extract, Butylene Glycol, Fragrance, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Water, Benzophenone-4, Xanthan Gum, Tromethamine, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1.


  • Lightly moisturizing.


  • One trick pony, doesn’t do all it promises.
  • A bit oily and most suitable for dry skin.
  • Not terribly innovative or interesting enough to warrant the $20 price!


Perhaps a good pick for those who want a little lightweight moisture after cleansing to wear under their richer night cream!