facetheory Exaglow Serum with 5% Tranexamic Acid – a great supporting act | Doctors Review



I have mentioned the facetheory Exaglow Serum in three different posts already without giving you a proper review, and the only explanation I have is that I received it at the end of summer when I usually switch the focus of my routine to fighting hyperpigmentation. (You can find them here: The 10 best ingredients to fight hyperpigmentation, The best way to deal with hyperpigmentation on the body and The benefits of Licorice Root Extract for hyperpigmentation)


A bottle of Facetheory Exaglow Serum standing in front of a dark background with white flowers
Facetheory Exaglow Serum


Targeting hyperpigmentation requires a combination of different ingredients, and this serum contains quite a few, so I slapped it on the second I opened the box.

Time to tell you how I feel about it, don’t you think?



What the facetheory Exaglow Serum S10 5% Tranexamic Acid claims

Formulated to lighten dark spots and pigmentation, and smooth rough areas for a luminous and uniform complexion.


Facts about the facetheory Exaglow Serum

Prize and size

One dark glass bottle – it comes with a dropper – contains 30 ml and is available for 32 € on the website here.


Texture and smell

The serum has no added fragrance, smells like nothing and texture wise sits in the middle between a watery and an oily serum. It has more body than the really runny ones, but is much more lightweight than the richer versions, and leaves only minimal tackiness on the skin.


Close up of the Facetheory Exaglow Serum
The Facetheory Exaglow Serum in the pipette


How to use the facetheory Exaglow Serum S10 5% Tranexamic Acid

As it contains a bit of Lactic Acid – I don’t know the exact percentage, but below 2 %, I wouldn’t necessarily use it twice a day, but using it daily should be possible depending on the rest of your skincare – the more potentially irritating products you already use, the more careful you need to be. That being said, I used it daily despite using Tretinoin and had no issues with irritation. (More info: The 5 steps you need to take to repair your skin barrier)

It goes on after cleansing and toner, should you use one and can be applied all over or with a focus on the areas where you have hyperpigmentation, which for me is my temples and both of my cheeks. (More info: What is a serum and do you need one?) I used it in the mornings, but night time use would be fine as well, and topped it up with a hydrating sunscreen, as it leaves the skin smooth, but isn’t enough to keep in hydration unless your skin is very oily.


Ingredients of the facetheory Exaglow Serum S10 5% Tranexamic Acid

Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
Now what is there to tackle hyperpigmentation? You have Tranexamic Acid at 5%, Niacinamide at 2% – a little lower than usual – and Licorice Root Extract that hinder melanin production in different stages, so make a good combination. (More info: The benefits of Tranexamic Acid in skincare explained and The benefits of Niacinamide in skincare explained) Lactic Acid is present at less than 2% as I already mentioned, so the beneficial effect through surface exfoliation is probably low, and there is also Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a Vitamin C derivative with a potential beneficial effect on pigmentation as well. (More info: The benefits of Vitamin C in skincare explained)
As humectants you will find Glycerin and Sodium Hyaluronate, but I admit I didn’t find this to be very hydrating on its own.

More info: How to read the ingredient ist in your skincare products


Does it live up to its claims?

In parts.

It helps fade hyperpigmentation – don‘t expect miracles, treating hyperpigmentation needs patience and a combination of different ingredients – but I didn‘t find it the best to smooth rough areas.


How does it compare to…


The Inkey List Tranexamic Acid Night Treatment Review - your secret weapon against hyperpigmentation?
The Inkey List Tranexamic Acid Night Treatment – your secret weapon against hyperpigmentation?


The Inkey List Tranexamic Acid Night Treatment

This is actually the first Tranexamic Acid product I have tried and it sold me on the ingredient as supporting pick in my hyperpigmentation routine. The Inkey List has 2% opposed to the 5% facetheory offers and pairs it with a Vitamin C derivative and Lactobacillus Ferment, but not with Licorice Root Extract and Niacinamide. It is also important to know that the version from The Inkey List smells like Barbecue Sauce – I like that, but I understand some people don‘t want that in their skincare products.

You can read my full review of The Inkey List Tranexamic Acid Night Treatment here.


The Inkey List Alpha Arbutin Serum Review
The Inkey List Alpha Arbutin Serum


The Inkey List Alpha-Arbutin

Alpha-Arbutin as Hydroquinone precursor is another ingredient working very well in tackling hyperpigmentation, so this one would be a good addition to pair with the Exaglow Serum. It is more hydrating and feels more like a gel cream than a serum, so on my skin it can replace the moisturizer during the warmer months.

You can read my full review of The Inkey List Alpha-Arbutin Serum here.


Would I repurchase and which skin types do I recommend it to?

If you have seen my video on the ten best ingredients to target hyperpigmentation, you will know this serum contains 3 of them, four if you count the Lactic Acid. Five if you also count the Vitamin C derivative (which I don’t, I prefer Ascorbic Acid). These three together with the Tretinoin I use and my Vitamin C make a powerful combination that helped me fade my pigmentation quickly after summer, so it is safe to say I am a fan.
It should work for all skin types that want to target pigmentation, but you will probably need to pair it with something hydrating.


facetheory Exaglow Serum Review
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