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Meet the Crystal Iceplant Pressed Serum

I’m excited to share with you my rave review of the Blithe Crystal Iceplant pressed serum– aka the product that reminded me how to love moisturizers again!


When I first learned about Blithe’s Pressed Serums, I was all about the balm texture of the Tundra Chaga formula. Thick as custard, the Chaga serum melts into skin and acts as a wonderful protective barrier during windy New York winters. Then spring rolled around, and my beloved balm became less of a necessity for my combination skin. When the weather turns warmer, my face isn’t interested in thick creams- I have combination, oily skin that I work hard to keep acne free. That means a strict double cleansing and exfoliating regimen, as well as rotating products throughout the seasons to combat any sebum buildup triggered by winter worthy, heavier formulas during the warmer months.

I rummaged through the drawers in our offices in the middle of April to find something that could take the Chaga’s place, and my eyes fell upon the jade-green jar of the Crystal Iceplant pressed serum. I popped it open and tested the texture- it’s a gel-like substance that has the same emollience that I love in a cream while also seeming to liquefy on contact with skin. The gel texture of the pressed serum got me thinking about creams in the K-beauty world- and why I often neglect to change mine up as frequently as I should.

While other skincare fanatics are eyeing up pricey creams, K-beauty fans seem to be far more fascinated by serums, essences, and ampoules- the thin liquids one can use to build a routine into double digits if you feel the need for Mo’ Steps. Straight up creams seem like the workhorses of the skincare world, and run the risk of seeming one-note because they’re more familiar to us. Therein lies the magic of the pressed serum. Formulated to be an AIO or ‘all in one’ product, pressed serums pack the nourishment and hydration of a serum into a moisturizing step that streamlines a skincare routine. These formulas are ‘skincaretainment’ worthy, though: the Crystal Iceplant is a very hardy plant that survives in the tundra. Just thinking the words “crystal iceplant” is like a welcome blast from the air conditioner on a balmy day.

glow recipe pressed serum

I had forgotten about the concept of gel creams for a while until I pulled this baby out of the depths of our office drawers. The idea is that gel creams are best suited for people with normal to combination-oily skin types, as they’re not super occlusive. These skin types still need hydration, but the hydration should be very breathable and lacking in anything that can further inflame congested skin. The texture of the Crystal Iceplant pressed serum reminds me of pudding- a very refreshing pudding. When you smooth it onto the skin, it dries down to a matte finish with no sticky residue. The serious upside of gel weight creams is their fast absorption- a key factor for me. If I feel a ‘layer’ of product on my skin during the warmer months, I can’t stand it. I dislike going to sleep with a sticky face- I worry that in the night, the stickiness will only exacerbate any inflammation or acne I’m experiencing.

The Iceplant pressed serum is made with 63% of the named extract- promising to boost hydration and soothe skin. A particular thing that I love about the pressed serum’s ingredient list is the inclusion of several fermented oils. I love using oils to plump and firm my skin, though working them into a routine can be a pain when you aren’t sure which oils will be a good match for you. Fermented oils are broken down naturally by the fermentation process, meaning they’ve become more easily absorbable by the skin. The blend in the Iceplant pressed serum includes Olive, Argan, and cooling Eucalyptus, along with other botanical oils. If you’re curious about adding oils into your routine but are worried about heaviness, this pressed serum is a great place to start. You’ll get the potent plumping and hydrating benefits that come with oils in a super lightweight format that’s also going to soothe breakouts. This formula just doesn’t quit!


Gotta love a bouncy gel-cream.

After switching to the Crystal Iceplant for about two weeks, my skin was feeling lighter and clearer than it had since winter had begun. In the morning, my skin feels perfectly soft, and the smile lines around my mouth are plumper. Any active acne looks soothed and is less sore and red than it was the day before. I’ve also noticed that this pressed serum helps to heal damaged skin extra quickly.

Each jar of the Iceplant Pressed Serum comes with a spatula that can be used to dispense a quarter sized amount into your palms. I use it each evening as the last step in my routine, and in the morning use it directly after cleansing and underneath the J. One Jelly Pack I use to prime my face for makeup. Summer is coming, and I know I’ve made the right switch. I’ll keep my Iceplant handy until September rolls around, and after that… I’ll have to dig deep into our office cabinets for something else that can quench my newfound thirst for skincaretaining moisturizers. The confused looks from my coworkers are always worth it!

Get your Glow on,

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  • Anna May 5, 2016 2:33 pm

    I also have combination, acne-prone skin, and I'm always looking for a moisturizer that will soothe current breakouts without causing more. I believe I've read that argan oil can cause breakouts. What ingredients in this pressed serum are soothing your breakouts, and what, if any, ingredients could be potentially problematic in this formula?

  • jimmyinpa May 3, 2016 8:42 am

    I second the above request! I always read what Katie has to say - in this review and elsewhere on this blog - because she has combo-oily skin as I do. Also, she's quite knowledgeable and a very good writer! So, yes, I would be most interested in reading about her regular routines and any other products she uses on an occasional basis. PS: This Pressed Serum sounds marvelous - just the ticket for the warmer months ahead!

    • glowcathy May 3, 2016 12:37 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment, Jimmy! I'm a fan of yours as well ;). My routine roundup is topping my to-do list now. -Katie

  • Tialda May 3, 2016 5:44 am

    Hi, i'm curious about you're skincare routine. Can you make a post about that? Or do you already have a skincare routine post? (:

    • glowcathy May 3, 2016 12:34 pm

      Great idea! I'd love to share my routine. I'll put it on the to-do list ;) -Katie

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