9 Top Korean Whitening Creams: Unlock a Luminous Glow

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Looking for the top Korean whitening creams? We’ve got you covered.

Asian women wearing white bathrobes smiling while the center person applies facial cream

And no, we’re not talking about skin bleaching.

In K-beauty, “whitening” means to even out your skin tone and fight hyperpigmentation.

With so many choices, we’re here to guide you to the perfect product for your needs. Discover the top K-beauty whitening creams among our top picks now!

NELLA Whitening and Brightening Tone-Up Cream
Best Overall
  • Smoothens skin texture
  • Brightens and evens out skin tone
  • Has anti-aging properties
Mizon Good Night Whitening Sleeping Mask
Budget Pick
  • Lightens dark spots
  • Gets rid of freckles
  • Brightens skin
The Face Shop Whiteseed Brightening Serum
Premium Pick
  • Lightens and brightens skin
  • Helps in providing dewy skin
  • Uses sustainable, natural ingredients

What Are Korean Whitening Creams?

Korean whitening creams are called so because they have gained significant popularity and recognition in South Korea, where the skincare and beauty industry is highly influential and innovative.

They do not necessarily aim to make the skin significantly lighter but rather to improve its clarity and even out skin tone.

Here are some key features and ingredients commonly found in Korean whitening creams:

  1. Brightening ingredients: Korean whitening creams often contain ingredients that are known for their brightening properties. These can include:

    Niacinamide: A form of vitamin B3 that helps to reduce pigmentation and even out skin tone
    Arbutin: A natural compound found in plants like bearberry, which can inhibit melanin production
    Licorice root extract: Can help reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation
    Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant that can help fade dark spots and boost collagen production
  1. Sunscreen: Many Korean whitening creams also contain sunscreen or sun protection ingredients. This is essential because exposure to UV rays can worsen skin discoloration and cause further damage.
  1. Hydration: Keeping the skin well-hydrated is important for overall skin health. Many whitening creams include moisturizing ingredients to prevent dryness and flakiness.
  1. Anti-aging benefits: Some whitening creams also have anti-aging properties to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

9 Top Korean Whitening Creams Worth Buying

APLB Glutathione Hyaluronic Acid Brightening Cream

We love this hydrating whitening cream because it provides amazing benefits for sensitive skin.

Key Benefits: whitening, brightening, and hydrating


  • Centella 3x Complex helps soothe sensitive skin
  • Contains glutathione to help with skin whitening
  • Contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and niacinamide

Mild and effective, APLB’s Brightening Cream provides an incredible whitening effect without aggravating your skin.

Finding a whitening cream for sensitive skin is a struggle. But don’t lose hope!

If you have troubled and easily irritated skin, try APLB’s Brightening Cream. It’s an effective yet soothing lightening cream that many people swear by for a good reason!

This K-beauty whitening cream is made with Centella 3x Complex, which takes care of your sensitive skin. As for brightening, the cream contains glutathione, along with vitamin C and niacinamide.

It’s also quite hydrating, thanks to hyaluronic acid!

TONYMOLY Panda’s Dream

We love this tried and tested sleeping mask for helping the skin achieve a radiant glow.

Key Benefits: helps achieve healthy skin, brightens skin, evens skin tone


  • Has niacinamide to even out pigmentation
  • Has a whipped texture but can still penetrate the skin easily
  • No irritants added

Loved by skincare enthusiasts for many years, this is the sleeping mask to get if you want healthy and bright skin!

TONYMOLY’s Panda’s Dream sleeping pack has been on shelves for several years now, and it has become a product many people swear by.

This night cream is known to be effective in letting you achieve less dull and healthier-looking skin.

Even as a whipped product intended as a sleeping pack, when applied to the skin, you will feel that the formula is lightweight. Also, it’s formulated in a way that can penetrate the skin easily.

The best part is that it doesn’t have irritants, so it’s perfect for every skin type!

Secret Key Snow White

We love this popular whitening skin for its potent yet safe skin-brightening formula.

Key Benefits: controls skin’s oil production; soothes and calms troubled skin, fortifies skin barrier; skin brightening


  • Contains niacinamide, targeting tan and dark spots
  • Has nourishing ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, and natural vitamin E
  • Lightweight and can be used as a skin primer

Treat your sensitive skin to incredible brightening effects with Secret Key’s Snow White cream.

Secret Key’s Snow White cream is arguably the most popular whitening cream. It’s formulated in a way that is potent enough yet safe enough for most skin types.

It has niacinamide, and it primarily targets tan and dark spots on your skin. Apart from this, the Snow White cream contains nourishing ingredients like shea butter and jojoba oil.

Many also love this cream due to its lightweight texture and because it can double as a makeup primer.

NELLA Whitening and Brightening Tone-Up Cream

We love this famous and well-loved whitening cream because of its consistency in providing a brighter and more even skin tone. 

Key Benefits: smoothens skin texture, brightens and evens out skin tone, has anti-aging properties


  • Contains anti-aging ingredients (bifida ferment filtrate and Pseudoalteromonas ferment extracts)
  • Has avocado oil, honey, and glycerin that help maintain skin moisture
  • Has vitamin C that helps with skin brightening

Put your trust in NELLA and try it out for that bright, glowing, and young-looking skin!

If you want a product that consistently brings results, it’s NELLA’s Whitening and Brightening Tone-Up Cream. 

NELLA has several whitening products in its lineup, but this tone-up cream is what many tout to be the best. 

Many men and women vouch for its effectiveness in brightening your skin and its anti-aging benefits.

If you want to pick up a product that would undoubtedly work, it’s this one.

INNISFREE Jeju Cherry Blossom Tone-Up Cream

We love this fantastic tone-up cream because it gives your skin new life while also protecting it.

Key Benefits: brightens, protects, and hydrates skin


  • Has niacinamide for brightening skin
  • Has betaine for hydrating skin
  • Gel-like formula keeps skin hydrated

Breathe new life into your skin with INNISFREE’s Jeju Blossom Whitening Cream!

Looking for a product that will protect and rejuvenate your skin? Look no further than INNISFREE’s entry on this list. 

The Innisfree Jeju Cherry Blossom Tone Up Cream is known to not only brighten your skin but also make sure to protect it and keep it hydrated.

Niacinamide is the star ingredient, similar to many creams on this list. It’s helped by betaine, which brings the hydrating factor of the product. 

Plus, this cream has a gel-like texture that’s lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin.

Related: 9 Top Innisfree Products for Your Skin Type

Mizon Good Night Whitening Sleeping Mask

We love this famous whitening sleeping mask because it's an affordable and effective brightening cream.

Key Benefits: lightens dark spots, gets rid of freckles, brightens skin


  • Contains niacinamide to brighten skin
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Has a smooth, easy-to-apply consistency

Effective and worth your money, see the hype behind Mizon's whitening sleeping mask by adding it to your skincare lineup. 

You don’t have to skip a good whitening cream if you’re on a budget.

Mizon’s Good Night Whitening Sleeping Mask is one of the most budget-friendly creams on the market. It’s potent but safe for all skin types, making that return on investment easy to rich.

It uses niacinamide to brighten your skin. This cream is also hypoallergenic and has a smooth and easy-to-apply consistency that many appreciate. 

The Face Shop Whiteseed Brightening Serum

We love this brightening serum because it uses natural ingredients to help you achieve glowing and youthful skin.

Key Benefits: lightens and brightens skin, helps in providing dewy and glowing skin. 


  • Uses white lupin seed and white daisy extract as its star ingredients
  • Has a gel-like, moisturizing texture that can easily penetrate the skin
  • Uses sustainable, natural ingredients

Sustainable, natural, and effective, treat your skin with the care this brightening serum can provide!

Looking for a cream that uses natural ingredients?

Priding itself on only using sustainable ingredients, The Face Shop’s Whiteseed Brightening Serum is just as efficient and effective as the other products on this list. 

It’s formulated with white lupin seed and white daisy extract. Hence, this cream helps brighten and lighten your skin tone and ensures hydration.

Better yet, this cream has a lightweight, gel-like texture that your skin can absorb easily. None of the greasy stuff.

G9 Skin White In Whipping Cream

We love this amazing whitening cream because it can provide you with dewy skin with a lighter complexion.

Key Benefits: lightens and keeps skin moisturized.


  • Has niacinamide and milk protein to help brighten your complexion
  • Uses a lightweight formula
  • Potent (a little goes a long way)

Keep your skin hydrated while achieving a lighter, brighter complexion with G9’s whitening cream!

Want to achieve healthy, dewy skin? Try out G9 Skin White in Whipping Cream.

This product aims to leave your skin with an even tone and moisturized skin. It uses niacinamide and milk protein as primary ingredients to achieve this. 

These nourishing ingredients are delivered to your skin via a lightweight but potent formula. And since it’s quite potent, a little goes a long way, so every penny you pay is well worth it.

NACIFIC Phyto Niacin Whitening Tone-Up Cream

We love this incredible tone-up cream for its flexibility and effectiveness in fighting hyperpigmentation.

Key Benefits: brightens skin and helps get rid of hyperpigmentation


  • Has niacinamide as its skin-brightening ingredient
  • Has bamboo extract, peptide, and adenosine
  • Apart from the face, this can be used on the body as well

If you’re looking for a flexible whitening cream, this NACIFIC tone-up cream is a must-try.


NACIFIC’s Phyto Niacin Whitening Tone-Up Cream is worth the try if you intend to get rid of hyperpigmentation on your skin. It aims to help your skin by fading annoying dark spots while brightening your complexion.

It’s made with niacinamide, bamboo extract, adenosine, and peptides that quickly remove those pesky dark spots. But that’s not the best part! 

Many people are in love with this whitening cream since the benefits you can get from it aren’t limited to your face. Yes, you can use this cream on your body as well!

How To Choose the Top Korean Whitening Cream for Your Skin

Similar to many skincare products, there are several things you need to consider when choosing the right whitening cream to get.

1. Identify Your Skin Type

To find a genuinely beneficial product, you must determine your skin type. If you don’t know already, there are four most common skin types that you may fall under.

These are the following:

  • Normal: Not too dry nor too oily
  • Oily: Characterized by overproduction of oil
  • Combination: Characterized by an oily T-zone while the rest of the face is dry
  • Dry: Identified by parched, sometimes flaky skin
Korean woman with white hair towel on touching her face and feeling fresh

2. Check the Ingredients

Look at the product label when buying whitening creams to see if they contain ingredients that greatly help even out your skin tone or address hyperpigmentation. 

You can also look for added ingredients you would prefer your whitening cream to have for your skin type. 

However, the importance of looking at the label doesn’t end there. If you know your skin type, you would also know what could negatively affect it or even irritate it. 

Here are the top ingredients in Korean whitening creams for each skin type:

For Oily Skin

  • Niacinamide: Regulates sebum production and brightens skin.
  • Hyaluronic acid: Provides hydration without clogging pores.
  • Green tea extract: Offers antioxidant and soothing benefits.
  • Salicylic acid: Exfoliates and unclogs pores for clearer skin.
  • Licorice root extract: Reduces hyperpigmentation.

For Dry Skin

  • Hyaluronic acid: Intensely hydrates and plumps the skin.
  • Ceramides: Reinforce the skin barrier to prevent moisture loss.
  • Shea butter: Provides deep moisturization and nourishment.
  • Vitamin E: Offers antioxidant protection and skin repair.
  • Rice bran extract: Brightens and adds a natural glow.

For Normal Skin:

  • Niacinamide: Balances skin tone and enhances radiance.
  • Hyaluronic acid: Maintains optimal hydration levels.
  • Arbutin: Targets and fades dark spots and pigmentation.
  • Pearl extract: Promotes a luminous and even complexion.
  • Vitamin C: Evens skin tone and boosts collagen production.

For Combination Skin:

  • Niacinamide: Controls oil in the T-zone and evens skin tone.
  • Hyaluronic acid: Hydrates without making the skin greasy.
  • Green tea extract: Calms and reduces inflammation.
  • Licorice root extract: Fades dark spots and redness.
  • Centella asiatica: Balances and soothes combination skin.

Value for Money

Many skincare products, especially creams, don’t come cheap, but some give a bang for your buck. But how will you know?

Every cream is different. Some are more concentrated than others; some are more effective than others.

If you find your skincare lasting a long while with visible results, you can easily see if it’s worth the money you pay. 

Quick Tip

Remember, the most expensive product is not necessarily the top one out there!

Lighten and Brighten Your Skin With Korean Whitening Creams!

You don’t have to be intimidated or scared by whitening skin care products from Korea. It’s safe and free of any bleaching agents that may irritate or damage your skin.

Instead, they’re usually formulated to fit most skin types and help fade out hyperpigmentation. 

The ones on this list perform the top in their intended use compared to the thousands of choices you can find in the market. Hopefully, this list has helped you find the one that can fit your needs!

Ready to lighten, brighten, and rejuvenate your skin? Try out some of the top Korean whitening creams in your daily skincare routine!

Get To Know More About Korean Skincare Here!


  • Ashley Pena

    Ashley Pena brings over 13 years of seasoned writing and editing expertise, fortified by her Bachelor of Science in Management. Esteemed in the beauty domain, her content captivates readers with its depth and authenticity. While she navigates a broad spectrum of beauty trends, Ashley shines particularly as our resident K-beauty guru. Her articles are a harmonious blend of passion and profound knowledge, inspiring readers on their unique beauty journeys.

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