Top Skin Whitening Cream for face

The 5 Best Korean Whitening Cream In 2023 For Lighter Skin Tone

If you want brighter skin check out these top Korean skin whitening creams and other products that make your face and body glow.

Koreans are simply obsessed with fair skin. And they all seem to look so beautiful too? What’s their secret? Using the best Korean whitening cream for face.

Fair skin has always been prized in Korean culture. Since the medieval ages whiter skin tones have been associated with nobility, beauty, and purity.

So it’s no surprise that the K-beauty industry has come up with several skincare products to help Koreans achieve their white skin dream. 

A Korean whitening cream for face is one such product! They can be day moisturizers, but are sometimes a night cream too. 

The purpose of these products is to reduce the melanin production on skin, remove the dead cell layer, revealing brighter complexions, and fading dark spots and blemishes. 

Skin Whitening CreamsBest ForChief Ingredients
Tonymoly Panda White Magic CreamOily SkinNiacinamide, Bamboo Extracts
Mizon Good Night White Sleeping MaskMature SkinNiacinamide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Natto Gum
Secret Key Snow White CreamDark Spot CoverageNiacinamide, Glycerin
Face Shop Brightening CreamReducing PigmentationNiacinamide, Adenosine, Herbal Complex
Seoulceuticals All-In-One Snail Repair CreamDry, Damaged SkinSnail Mucin, Vitamin C, Shea Butter

What is the best Korean whitening cream?

After looking at several whitening creams in the market and testing the most popular ones on basis of formula, ingredients, price, scent, etc. I’ve found the TonyMoly Panda Cream to be the best Korean whitening cream for face.

The TonyMoly Panda cream is a fantastic whitening cream for face thanks to the presence of niacinamide, a skin brightening agent. It’s also very lightweight and doesn’t make face appear greasy. The whitening cream is also gentle on sensitive skin types.

How I tested the best Korean whitening cream for face?

I tested some of the more popular Korean whitening creams in the market on the basis of 5 parameters which I’ve listed below. Then I rated them on a scale of 1-5. 

Moisturizing – How well the Korean whitening cream nourishes the skin. I also checked if the product is good for dry skin or oily skin. Or if it leaves your face greasy after application.  

Whitening  – The effectiveness of the Korean cream in brightening complexion and reducing pigmentation

Scent – How good the product smells and is there any artificial perfume in the formulation.

Quantity – Does the whitening cream last for a long time? Will a little product be enough, and does the given quantity suit the price tag. 

Price – Price is also an important factor when buying the Korean whitening cream for face as the product’s effectiveness should match the price tag. 

Top Korean Whitening Cream for Face 2023

How To Select The Best Korean Whitening Cream?

If you’re looking to buy a Korean whitening cream to enhance your skin tone, you need to keep in mind the following factors:

  • Ingredients: The most important part of a Korean skin whitening cream is the ingredients. These ingredients can include Niacinamide, glutatione or even Vitamin C (usually added in the form of lemon or citrus-based products). They help reduce the products of the enzyme tyrosinase in the skin which helps create melanin. So these melanin-inhibitors are the first things you need to look out for when buying a whitening cream.
  • Formula: The formula of the Korean whitening cream is important as this product is something that still goes on your face. So you need to make sure it’s good for your skin. So the formula should be nourishing, free of harsh chemcials like alcohol and mineral oils, and parabens.
  • Skin Type: Your quest for a whiter skin tone shouldn’t make you neglect the other needs of your skin. So make sure to buy a whitening product that suits your skin type. Avoid a very heavy, cream-based formula if you have oily skin. Or a very light, astringent-based cream if you have dry skin. Likewise, make sure your whitening creams do not have any additives that can irritate sensitive skin.

Top Ingredients used in a Korean Whitening Cream

Korean skincare products, including whitening creams, often contain a variety of ingredients that are believed to help brighten and even out the skin tone. Please note that formulations may vary between different brands and products. Here are some common ingredients found in Korean whitening creams:

  1. Niacinamide: This is a form of vitamin B3 and is a popular ingredient in many whitening products. It helps to inhibit the transfer of melanin (pigment) to the skin’s surface, thus reducing the appearance of dark spots and promoting a brighter complexion.
  2. Arbutin: It is derived from bearberry plants and is known for its skin-lightening properties. Arbutin helps to block tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin production, which can help fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
  3. Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is a potent antioxidant that can brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots. It also boosts collagen production, leading to improved skin texture and radiance.
  4. Licorice Extract: This natural ingredient contains glabridin, which can help inhibit melanin production, leading to a more even skin tone.
  5. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): AHAs, such as glycolic acid and lactic acid, are exfoliants that help remove dead skin cells, allowing for the growth of new, brighter skin. They can also aid in fading dark spots and improving skin texture.
  6. Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs): Salicylic acid is a common BHA used in skincare products. It can help penetrate the pores and exfoliate the skin, making it useful for addressing acne-related dark spots.
  7. Kojic Acid: Derived from fungi, kojic acid is another ingredient that can help inhibit tyrosinase, thus reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
  8. Adenosine: This ingredient has anti-aging properties and may help improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
  9. Hyaluronic Acid: While not directly related to skin whitening, hyaluronic acid is often included in Korean whitening creams for its ability to deeply hydrate the skin, leading to a plumper and more radiant complexion.

Remember that individual reactions to skincare products may vary, and it’s essential to patch-test new products to ensure they are suitable for your skin type and do not cause any adverse reactions.

Tonymoly Panda White Magic Cream

This TonyMoly Panda White Cream is one of the best Korean whitening cream for face out there. And my skin loved it too.

It’s a water-based product, so you don’t have to worry about it feeling greasy or heavy on your skin.

At the same time, the formulation is very hydrating, so it helps retain moisture too. This makes it the perfect combination for acne-prone skin and combination skin.

It also has a very feathery, whipped-cream like consistency that just melts into your skin. So you don’t require more product.  

The chief ingredients here are bamboo extracts that help soothe irritated skin and niacinamide that is the main skin brightening agent.

And honestly, it does it’s job as I could see a lot of reduction in pigmentation after using this product for just 4 weeks.

I could also see some of the dark spots around my forehead disppear.

Oh, and I absolutely loved the cute Panda packaging it came in!

best korean whitening cream for oily skin

And now for the disappointing bit. The scent of this TonyMoly cream is just too overpowering. And then there’s the whole issue of it containing perfume in the first place.

I also noticed that it left a whitish cast on my face, so it can look weird unless you’re using powder or foundation afterwards. 


  • Lightweight formula won’t leave skin greasy
  • Hydrating despite being lightweight thanks to the bamboo extracts
  • Fades dark spots as it contains niacinamide
  • Good for combination skin types


  • Heavily perfumed so it’s not good for sensitive skin and scent can be overpowering.

My Ratings:

  • Moisturizing – 4/5
  • Whitening  – 4./5
  • Scent – 2/5
  • Quantity – 4.5/5
  • Price – 4/5

Mizon Good Night White Sleeping Mask

The next product I tried out was this sleeping mask by Mizon. Skin experts agree that your skin repairs itself during the night time. 

So this is the best time to use a Korean whitening cream for your face. 

The Mizon Good Night White Mask is also water-based like the TonyMoly cream.

And the thing I loved most about this product is how it is hydrating while being light at the same time.

So it’s a great pick for oily or acne-prone skin types.

It has a very light consistency, somewhere between gel and a cream. And I also liked how this mask also gets absorbed very quickly on my face.

But I could see that it helped lock in moisture a lot. And as you’re supposed to use it in the last stage of your nighttime skincare routine, you can always apply a moisturizer beforehand. 

The ingredients include niacinamide (the skin whitening agent), natto gum, alba bark extract, and sodium hyaluronate. 

All of these ingredients help add and retain moisture while reducing pigmentation and brightening complexion.

best skin whitening products

Now for the drawbacks! The Mizon cream also contains animal placental extracts. So it’s not vegan or vegetarian.

I was also disappointed by the inclusion of silicone (dimethicone) as it can trap in dirt and other impurities, and alcohol which causes dryness and inflammation in people with sensitive skin. 

There is also a mild lavender scent thanks to the added perfume. But the artificial fragrance is another irritant.


  • Lightweight formula that suits oily and combination skin types
  • Very hydrating thanks to the sodium hyaluronate
  • Fades dark spots, red marks, and pigmentation because of niacinamide in it
  • Pleasant lavender aroma


  • Can be drying for more dry skin types
  • Can cause breakouts due to silicones as these buildup in pores
  • Animal-derived ingredients that might not be suited to vegans
  • Contains artificial fragrances and dyes so it can irritate very sensitive skin

My Ratings:

  • Moisturizing – 4/5
  • Whitening  – 4/5
  • Scent – 4.5/5
  • Quantity – 4/5
  • Price – 4/5

Secret Key Snow White Cream

If you want a more instant Korean whitening cream for face, you should check out this Secret Key Snow White Cream.

What I loved about this product is that it isn’t just a daily moisturizer, it also functions as a BB cream and in seconds reduces any pigmentation or dark spots by hiding them.

Like the TonyMoly and Mizon creams, this one too is water-based. And what’s more, it actually helps balance out sebum production. 

So it makes for a great moisturizer for oily skin types. Like most other skin brightening creams, this one too contains niacinamide.

I really liked the results on my face. My skin looked brighter and softer. But since I have a dry skin type, I would have preferred something more nourishing.

korean skin whitening cream at home

It’s a really sheer BB cream too. So there’s no whitish cast or any residue. You can layer it with sunscreen or foundation if needed. 

This Secret Key cream smells good too. But that’s thanks to the added perfume in it. So those with sensitive skin should stay clear of this product. 


  • Lightweight formula won’t leave cast on skin or make it oily
  • Acts as BB cream as well as moisturizer as it’s slightly tinted
  • Smells good but fragrance isn’t overwhelming
  • Fades dark spots very quickly thanks to the niacinamide


  • Not moisturizing enough for dry skin
  • Contains alcohol and fragrance so it’s not for sensitive skin

My Ratings:

  • Moisturizing – 3.5/5
  • Whitening  – 4.5/5
  • Scent – 4/5
  • Quantity – 4/5
  • Price – 4/5

Face Shop Brightening Cream

I bought this Face Shop Yehwadam cream after deciding to splurge a bit. After all, Face Shop’s white lupin seed line is famous for its skin whitening abilities. 

And this Yehwadam cream promises to make your skin brighter and younger-looking too! It’s formulated with something called the “Chil baek seol yun dan complex”. 

Now this is a mixture of skin brightening and anti-aging ingredients and traditional Korean herbs. 

And yes, it includes my favorite niacinamide along with adenosine that helps with fading fine lines and wrinkles. 

The cream works on mature skin reducing signs of aging along with dark spots, pigmentation, and dull complexion, leaving skin bright and glowing.

My only disappointment? The price. It’s too expensive to buy month after month. But hey the consistency of this cream is light and liquidy, so a little product goes a long way.


  • Anti-aging properties
  • Skin whitening and dark spot reducing
  • Smells good
  • Little goes a long way


  • Expensive

Moisturizing – 4/5

Whitening  – 5/5

Scent – 4/5

Quantity – 4.5/5

Price – 3/5

Seoulceuticals Multifunction All-In-One Snail Repair Cream

After much searching, I finally found a Korean whitening cream for face that is also suitable for dry skin.

This SeoulCeuticals Snail Repair cream is aptly named. It is very multifunctional!

The formula is 97 percent naturally derived and the chief ingredient here is snail mucin. A very unorthodox but powerful ingredient that heals, softens, and brightens skin.

There’s also organic aloe vera, jojoba oil, shea butter, and vitamin E to help nourish and protect your face. 

Another major ingredient here is vitamin C, which is well-renowned for its skin brightening properties and ability to reduce dark spots, pigmentation, and blemishes.

So in combination with the snail mucin, this makes one heck of a whitening cream! 


  • Very nourishing and good for dry skin
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Helps fade blemishes, acne scars, dark spots
  • Increase skin brightness
  • Natural ingredients and mostly organic formula


  • The heavy formula can cause breakouts in some people
  • Vitamin c can irritate very sensitive skin

Moisturizing – 5/5

Whitening  – 4/5

Scent – 3.5/5

Quantity – 4.5/5

Price – 4/5

So those were some of the best Korean whitening cream for face! These products contain ingredients like vitamin C or niacinamide that help brighten complexion.

Some of these creams are rich and moisturizing while others are lightweight. You can pick one that best suits your skin type and needs. 

Also, I strongly recommend giving the creams some time to work. As whitening products can take weeks to show results. 

Why You Should Trust Koreatruly?

All our editors including the author of this article, Song-i do extensive research on the products reviewed and recommended in the article. We also use these products ourself to give you accurate, first hand information without any prejudice or bias. Koreatruly has also got a team of medical reviewers and skincare experts to help give accurate advice and provide research-based facts concerning a product, its formulation or ingredients.

Also Read:

Why Koreans have white skin

TonyMoly Panda's Dream White Magic Cream
Top Skin Whitening Creams

A Korean whitening cream helps you get fairer, brighter skin. The TONYMOLY Panda's Dream White Magic Cream is suitable for all skin types.

Product Brand: TonyMoly

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: $12.00

Price Valid Until: 2023-01-22

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:

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