Over the past five years or so, the world of men’s skincare products has exploded.
Previously, guys who wanted to take care of their skin had two options:
They could do nothing, or they could bite the bullet and use products that were both intended for and marketed toward women, which made for awkward glances at the checkout counter.
The good news is that today things are different, and there are a ton of skincare products aimed directly at men.
The bad news is that, while there’s definitely a much higher quantity of men’s skincare and body products available, they’re not all equal in quality.
Some lines are the shit, many others are… well, just shit.
I recently spent a few weeks trying out Lumin, one of the more popular men-specific brands on the market, to see which end of the quality spectrum they fall on.
Read on to learn the full results of my Lumin skin care review and find out if their Age Management Set lived up to the hype (and the price tag).
This review came about because a Lumin rep reached out to ask if I would review their product.
As I always do when brands reach out, I told them I’d be happy to try it, but only if they were comfortable with me writing a thorough, honest and transparent review.
They agreed and sent me the set of products, and the review that follows consists of my honest, unfiltered (and occasionally alliterative) opinions.
So with that disclosure out of the way, let’s look at Lumin. (And again, I can’t stress this enough—the alliteration is all me, baby.)
In-Depth Lumin Skin Review
Is Lumin legit?
An Irreverent Gent Investigation
- In-Depth Lumin Skin Review
- Overview: Lumin Skin Care for Men
- Product 1: Lumin Moisturizing Balm Review
- Product 2: Lumin Dark Circle Defense Review
- Product 3: Lumin Anti-Wrinkle Serum Review
- Other Considerations
- Try for Yourself
Lumin Skin Care for Men
As I mentioned above, for years men who wanted to protect their skin had to resort to trying products designed for women, if they tried anything at all.
But women, as you can imagine, have very different skincare needs from guys.
Men’s skin tends to be both thicker and more coarse, so products created specifically for female users didn’t always work that well for us.
Lumin’s goal is to help solve that problem by creating skin care products that address the issues men face most often, including dry skin, wrinkles and fatigue lines.
Age Management Collection
Their Age Management Collection consists of three products:
- An Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizing Balm
- The Dark Circle Defense (which is kind of like a gelatinous cream),
- And their Anti-Wrinkle Defense, which they call a “serum,” but you apply by rolling onto your skin, kind of like the way you roll lip chap onto your lips.
When used together, the stated goal of the collection is to pinpoint early signs of aging and help restore your skin to healthier levels.
The instructions are pretty simple: you wash your face before going to bed, then apply the complete collection to your face.
The moisturizer you use on your entire face, the dark circle defense you dab underneath the eye area, and the anti-wrinkle serum you rub over (you guessed it) wrinkles and other age lines.
Aging is obviously a physiological issue that can’t be slowed, solved or reversed by rubbing cream on your skin, and right from the jump Lumin makes it clear that they’re not pedalling some miracle cure.
As they say on their website, “you’re not trying to look 20 years younger, just the best version of yourself.”
I’m always skeptical of companies and products that make exorbitant (and sometimes even scientifically impossible) claims, so I appreciated the honesty.
So, is Lumin legit? Here’s a more in depth of breakdown of each product, and how it worked for me.
Product 1: Lumin Moisturizing Balm Review
The first product Lumin sent me as part of the Age Management Collection is their premium-grade moisturizing balm.
It’s designed to help guard against sun damage and dehydration, which for me is great:
I have a dry skin type, and dehydration has always been an issue.
As one of their flagship products, it’s included in all three of their main collections:
While the full ingredient list is pretty long, the key ingredients are:
Meadowfoam seed oil, which I had never heard of but skin experts apparently love; apple extract, which guards against free radicals and promotes skin health; and ginger extract, which helps heal dull skin and can even provide some relief for sun damage.
The moisturizer came at an opportune time for me.
I have pretty oily skin, but for reasons I’ve never quite understood, when the cold weather of winter starts to transition to spring, my skin starts to crack. A lot.
(Like I said, dehydration’s an issue for me.)
But for whatever reason, I’ve never moisturized my face on a daily basis, unless you count using a basic sunscreen on sunny days.
So I was both excited and a little apprehensive to try the moisturising balm.
In the past when I’ve used other creams on my face I found that they resulted in acne break outs, hence my apprehension, but I’m happy to report that there was no need to worry.
After using the moisturizer throughout the crucial “it’s so dry my knuckles are literally bleeding” transitional weeks, my face fared a lot better than my hands.
The most obvious signs that the moisturizer was working were around my mouth.
Sometimes when it gets really dry, not only do my lips get chapped, but the skin at the tips of my mouth does too.
In past years I’ve literally started bleeding just by opening my mouth wide enough to take a big bite. (It’s as gross as it sounds.)
Fortunately, this year I suffered no such fate. The moisturizer worked as advertised and did exactly what moisturizer should: it kept my skin from drying out.
Total Score for the Moisturizing Balm: 4.8/5
Product 2: Lumin Dark Circle Defense Review
The second product I tried as part of the collection was the dark circle defense.
While dark spots under my eyes aren’t really a skincare challenge I face (at least not yet), puffy eye bags definitely are.
Fortunately, the dark circle defense is formulated to guard against not just circles, but wrinkles and puffiness.
The first thing I noticed about it was the texture. While the moisturizing balm was basically exactly what I expected – a soft white cream, like most moisturizers – the dark circle defense was more gelatinous, unlike the eye cream you get from other skincare brands.
It felt a little bit like Vicks VapoRub, but softer and more viscous.
During the weeks-long period when I used it, I definitely noticed that my eyes looked less puffy, despite the fact that my usage happened to coincide with the start of allergy season, which usually does a number on my eyes and nose.
(Between that and the cracked skin, the early spring is basically a hellscape of bodily afflictions for me.)
Since I was only putting it under my eyes, the dark circle defense lasted a lot longer than the moisturizing balm, which I smeared all over my face.
It continued to keep the puffiness at bay after the moisturizer ran out, but I have to admit that I think I looked better when I was using both together.
Since my problem is more puffiness than dark circles, I’m not sure if I would use this one on its own, but in conjunction with the rest of the collection it definitely helped me look better.
Total Score for the Dark Circle Defense: 4.6/5
Product 3: Lumin Anti-Wrinkle Serum Review
Rounding out the Age Management Collection is the most age-specific product of the bunch, the anti-wrinkle serum.
This is the product I was both the most curious and the most skeptical about.
My curiosity stemmed mostly from the fact that I’m in my mid-30s, which is to say I’m at exactly the stage in life where men have to start dealing with things like fine lines, wrinkles and (gulp) grey hairs.
And my skepticism stemmed from the fact that the premise just seemed too good to be true, coupled with the fact that they insisted on calling this an anti-wrinkle “serum,” which just sounds inherently science-fictiony.
So, can you really just roll some stuff onto your wrinkles and watch them disappear?
Well, sort of, as it turns out. While the effects of the anti-wrinkle serum certainly weren’t instantaneous, there were effects.
Over the roughly month and a half that I used it, I noticed a reduction in hard lines around my eyes and across my forehead, the two places where my wrinkles tend to be the most noticeable.
My wife even looked at me one morning when I came downstairs, paused, then said, “Wow—that skin stuff is working for you.”
Now, is she an impartial and unbiased observer? She most certainly is not. But is she prone to doling out compliments on my physical appearance? Again I say, she most certainly is not. So I took it as a pretty good sign.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying this stuff Benjamin Buttoned me.
But I am saying that it made my face look a little fresher, which made me feel just a bit younger. And if that’s not the goal of an anti-wrinkle serum, I don’t know what is.
Total Score for the Anti-Wrinkle Serum: 4.7/5
(Relax, fellas—it’s not what you think…)
While there’s a lot to like about Lumin’s skincare products, they suffer from the same issue that a lot of high quality grooming products seem to share: the packages they come in are pretty small.
This wasn’t such a big deal for the Anti-Wrinkle Serum or the Dark Circle Defense, since both of those products are meant to be applied to a fairly small area of your face.
But, speaking as someone with a pretty ample forehead, I have to admit that I found the Moisturizing Balm a little too limited.
After the first couple days I realized I would really need to ration it to make it last the whole month, which was a shame, since as mentioned it was probably the one I was looking forward to trying the most.
The problem with the packaging obviously didn’t have any bearing on the effectiveness of the products within, which again, was largely quite impressive.
But the sooner you run out of each product, the sooner you have to reorder.
For me personally, this was more an annoyance than a strong argument against the brand.
I found the quality of all three products to be quite high and was surprisingly pleased with their results, so while I would have obviously loved to make them last longer, I wasn’t exactly devastated when it was time to order more.
I don’t mind parting with my money as long as I feel like I’m getting great value back in return, and after a few weeks of using Lumin, I can say with confidence that was the case.
Other Lumin Reviews
While I definitely enjoyed my experience with Lumin, my experience is obviously anecdotal, so I highly recommend seeking out second, third or fourth opinions before deciding to try it yourself.
Fortunately, Lumin has been around for a while now, so it’s fairly easy to find a slew of reviews on social media and other review sites.
They have 4 out of 5 stars on Trust Pilot after more than 13,000 reviews, which is good for a “great” rating.
That’s pretty close to the (obviously more tilted) reviews on their own website, where they have an average score of 4.2 stars after more than 3,000 reviews.
Over on Reddit, the reviews have been more mixed, which is not surprising. Some guys rave about the positive results, some love the customer service but wish the formulas were more personalized, while others dislike the subscription model (and apparently had a hard time figuring out how to cancel it).
So, overall the online reviews for Lumin skew quite positive, but it’s worth keeping in mind that skincare is very subjective:
What works for some – or even most – guys might not work for you.
Does Lumin Work?
After four weeks and a lot of stuff smeared on my face, I can say with confidence that Lumin’s Age Management Set is more than up to snuff.
For guys like me, who are in our mid-30s and suddenly find ourselves noticing that the visage we see in the mirror has a few more lines and creases in it, every advantage helps.
As I mentioned at the start, we can’t slow the sands of time.
So anything that can keep us looking just a little younger for a little longer is a pretty big win. (And if we happen to like the way our skin feels after using, it all the better.)
While my sample size was relatively small, anecdotally I can say that Lumin’s Age Management Set is a great product that definitely gave me that win, at least for the six weeks or so that I tried it.
While I haven’t tried all their different products, my experience with the aging products was so strong that I definitely intend to give them a shot.
(The Classic Maintenance Collection will probably be my next go-to; it includes the balm, but swaps out the wrinkle serum and dark circle defense for the Reload Exfoliating Rub and the No-Nonsense Charcoal Cleanser.)
If the other Lumin products perform as well as the ones in this collection, then I’ll consider it money well spent.
Total Score for the Age Management Collection: 4.7/5
Can Lumin be trusted?
In my opinion, yes, Lumin can be trusted. In addition to receiving a ton of honest reviews from sites like Trustpilot, the results of my own Lumin review have convinced me that, while no product is perfect, Lumin’s premium products do a pretty good job.
Is Lumin a Korean brand?
No, Lumin is not a Koren brand, but it does owe its origin to Korean skincare techniques. It was co-founded by Richard Hong after his sister created a personalized line of Korean skincare products for him. His friends liked the products so much, Wong decided to start selling them.
Funnily enough, that’s actually not the only reason for the confusion.
While Lumin the skincare brand is based in Los Angeles, there’s also a Korean K-pop singer named M.Pire, who previously used the stage name Lumin, which is why his face sometimes comes up when you’re looking up Lumin’s origins.
Is the Lumin free trial worth it?
I would say yes, the free trial is worth trying, because it’s a great way to sample the products without having to shell out for them. Free trials are kind of a high-risk, high-reward proposition for brands:
If their products suck, you’ll probably never pay for them, in which case they’ve wasted a lot of money by giving you the first ones free.
But if their products are excellent, you’ll likely be happy to pay for them after trying them free for the first time. In my opinion, Lumin’s products fall into that second category, but there is one word of warning here.
Unlike hair products, when it comes to skincare, even the very best product doesn’t work instantaneously. The best results tend to come after continued use, so you kind of have to stick with new products for awhile.
So if your free trial doesn’t convince you to sign up for their subscription service right away, I would recommend making a one-time purchase of the products to give them one more go before making a final decision.
Does Lumin skin get rid of acne?
No, Lumin doesn’t get rid of acne. If your acne problem is severe, your best bet is to consult a dermatologist, who can recommend prescription treament options that aren’t available over the counter.
With that said, Lumin does have a couple products that can help with acne scarring, which is a related (but separate) issue.
The charcoal cleanser contains ingredients that most face wash products don’t have, including charcoal, which is excellent at removing dirt, oil and dead skin cells from your pores, and rosemary flower oil, which helps calm irritated skin.
And the ginger root extract in the moisturizing balm mentioned above can also help reduce acne scars by softening the skin and evening out uneven skin tone imbalances.
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