Are They Dupes?: MaeLove Glow Maker Vs Paula’s Choice C15 Booster

by Gio
is maelove glow maker a dupe for Paula's choice c15 booster

Move over, Paula’s Choice C15 Booster. There’s a new Skinceuticals CE Ferulic dupe on the block – and it’s cheaper than you.

It’s called MaeLove Glow Maker and it sells out quickly every time a new batch is released. Should you hurry to get yours while you can?

Here’s how it compares to Paula’s Choice C15 Booster, my fave (until now?) Skinceuticals dupe:


L-Ascorbic Acid To Fight Premature Aging

Both Paula’s Choice C15 Booster and MaeLove Glow Maker use the same form of Vitamin C (yes, there’s more than one!), L-Ascorbic Acid.

L-Ascorbic Acid is the pure and most-effective form of Vitamin C. Here’s how it keeps your skin young:

  • It fights the free radicals that cause premature wrinkles
  • It brightens the complexion
  • It fades dark spots
  • It boosts collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm and elastic

The catch? L-Ascorbic Acid must be formulated at a pH below 3.5 to work its magic. But low pHs can be irritating for sensitive skin. If yours can’t tolerate Vitamin C serums, this is why.

Paula’s Choice C15 Booster has a ph of 3, while MaeLow Glow Maker‘s goes a little higher at 3.2. Both are still low enough to be effective.

One more thing: L-Ascorbic Acid goes bad within weeks. You can’t order these serums now, leave them in a drawer for 6 months, and expect them to still work when you finally decide to use them. If you buy them now, use them now.

Related: What’s The Best Form Of Vitamin C?

Vitamin E And Ferulic Acid To Supercharge Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidants alone. But pair it with its BFFs ferulic acid and vitamin E and it becomes unstoppable.

A study conducted by Duke University has found that “its [ferulic acid] incorporation into a topical solution of 15% l-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and 1%alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E) improved chemical stability of the vitamins (C+E) and doubled photoprotection to solar-simulated irradiation of skin from 4-fold to approximately 8-fold as measured by both erythema and sunburn cell formation. This combination of pure natural low molecular weight antioxidants provides meaningful synergistic protection against oxidative stress in skin and should be useful for protection against photoaging and skin cancer.”

In plain English, when used together, ferulic acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E double their own sun protection properties and help you fight premature wrinkles much faster.

Paula’s Choice C15 Booster uses the perfect combination: 15% L-Ascorbic Acid, 1% Vitamin E and 0.5% Ferulic Acid.

MaeLove Glow Maker has all three antioxidants as well, but doesn’t disclose percentages. They make be higher or lower, no one knows.

Related: Why Your Vitamin C Serum Should Always Contain Ferulic Acid

Sodium Hyaluronate To Hydrate Skin

Both MaeLove Glow Maker and Paula’s Choice C15 Booster contain their fair share of Sodium Hyaluronate, a form of Hyaluronic Acid.

Hyaluronic Acid is a moisture magnet: it attracts moisture from the environment into the skin, helping to keep it hydrated for longer. It’s so powerful, it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water!

All that moisture makes skin plumper, softer and brighter. (Moisture is the secret behind Korean skincare, remember?)

Related: The Complete Guide To Hyaluronic Acid In Skincare

What About The Rest Of The Formulas?

MaeLove Glow Maker has sneaked in a couple of antioxidants, including grape seed extract, magnolia extract, and orange stem cells, to fight free radicals before they give you wrinkles.

The catch? Citrus extracts aren’t the best choice for sensitive skin. There’s always the risk their fragrant components can irritate your skin.

Knowing the irritating potential of Vitamin C, Paula’s Choice C15 Booster focuses on soothing ingredients. Bisabolol and Panthenol both have anti-inflammatory properties that calm down redness and irritation.

Related: 9 Soothing Ingredients To Calm Down Irritated Skin

Which Of The Two Should You Go For?

It depends on what your skin needs the most right now.

Go with MaeLove Glow Maker if you want to double down on antioxidants or are on a tight budget.

Opt for Paula’s Choice C15 Booster if you prefer a more soothing formula or need to know the exact % of ingredients.

Related: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic VS Paula’s Choice C15 Booster: Which One Is Better?


MaeLove Glow Maker ($27.95): Available at MaeLove

Paula’s Choice C15 Booster ($49.00/$46.00): Available at Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Feel Unique, Net-A-Porter, and Paula’s Choice

Is MaeLove Glow Maker A Dupe For Paula’s Choice C15 Booster?

I wouldn’t call MaeLove Glow Maker an exact dupe for Paula’s Choice C15 Booster – for starters, we don’t know the exact concentrations of the active ingredients in the former. But the formulas are so similar, you can expect very similar results.

Want more dupes? Click on the image below to subscribe to the newsletter and receive the “Skincare Dupes” cheatsheet with all my fave dupes:

Have you tried MaeLove Glow Maker and Paula’s Choice C15 Booster? Share your fave pick in the comments below.

MaeLove Glow Maker Ingredients: Water, Ascorbic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vitis Vinifera/Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Ferulic Acid, Lecithin, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Metabisulfite, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Callus Culture Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Maltodextrin, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol.

Paula’s Choice C15 Booster Ingredients: Water, Ascorbic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Glycerin, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate, Lecithin, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Bisabolol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Hordeum Vulgare Extract, Propyl Gallate, Sodium Gluconate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

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chicklus October 24, 2019 - 10:36 am

Have your looked into Timeless 20%vitamin C serum as a dupe for Skinceuticals? This serum also contains Ferulic acid & vitamin E This serum also lists the mfg. date. I have never seen that before. I have used Skinceuticals vitamin C for at least 10 years. I do not see a difference using Timeless.

Gio November 7, 2019 - 5:39 pm Reply
shimmeringly October 29, 2019 - 5:41 pm

Do you think that DermaDoctor Vit C serum is also a dupe? It has Ferluic acid and Vit. E.

Gio November 8, 2019 - 12:18 pm

Shimmeringly, it uses a different form of Vitamin C than Skinceuticals. It’s less effective but gentler, so it’s up to you to determine if the trade-off is worth it.

Kristina October 30, 2019 - 10:08 pm

I was excited to see that Maelove being covered here! I stumbled across Maelove several months ago and tried their niacinamide + zinc serum, which I liked. Maelove is a great in-between brand, in that it’s affordable (more than The Ordinary, but less than Paula’s Choice, Skinceuticals, etc.), and their products seem to have a nice blend of actives + antioxidants. I’m looking forward to trying their Vitamin C serum.

Elcy Wang November 5, 2019 - 12:44 am

I see on Maelove’s web site that it’s 15% L-ascorbic acid but no info about the Vit E or Ferulic.

Susan Warrilow December 5, 2019 - 9:32 pm

I’ve been using Alumiere product vitamin C. What’s your opinion on this line of product compared to say Paula Choice?

Gio December 20, 2019 - 4:05 pm

Susan, Paula’s Choice has more antioxidants in their products, but Alumiere is still an excellent line.


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