Skin care: To buy


Turning 21 years old this year. Goal to have a clearer, brighter, more radiant skin! Previous post has a list of brightening ingredients (read risks of each!) will try find products with those ingredients listed as the first few.




Brightening ingredient checklist:

  • Must be part of top 4
  • On which number was it listed on the ingredients
  • Concentration

Brightening ingredients:

  • Niacinamide
  • Licorice extract & Arbutin -more on Skin lightening
  • Vitamin C



  1. Nature Republic Saccharomyces Ferment The First Essence


Saccharomyces Ferment, Propanediol, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexandiol, Betaine, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Piper Methysticum Leaf/Root/Stem Extract, Pueraria Thunbergiana Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Lavandula Angusifola (Lavender) Extract, Althaea Officinalis Leaf/Root Extract, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Flower/Leaf Extract, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hibiscus Esculentus Fruit Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Water, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Soluble Collagen, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Rose Flower Oil, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit/Seed Oil, Water, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol.






Ingredients: Water, Glycyrrhiza, Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin,Polyglutamic, Acid, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA.

3. OST C20 Vitamin C


Ingredients: Water, Ascorbic Acid, Ethanol, Sodium Lactate, Butylene Glycol, Glucose, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rosa Davurica Bud Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius Flower Extract, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Bis-PEG-18, Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Diethoxyethyl Succinate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Xanthan, PEG-180, Gluconolactone, Beta-Glucan, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Oil, Zinc PCA, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Tocopherol Acetate, Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ubiquinone, Diisopropyl Adipate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben

  • it is highly acidic and contains 20% vitamin C which a relatively high concentration
  • using it every day can cause irritation and chemical burns on your skin
  • the product is a thicker serum, and using more will cause it to leave a film on your face that is unpleasant
  • using too much can actually cause the product to cause discoloration on your skin because it oxidizes on your skin before it is absorbed
  • Store well! Oxidise easily! Preferred: Store inside box placed inside the ref.
  • There are some ingredients that work well with L-AA.  Vitamin E (aka Tocopherol or Tocopherol Acetate) is the John Watson to L-AA’s Sherlock.  They’re great by themselves, but even better together(synergy).  Adding Vitamin E to an L-AA serum, among other things, keeps it from oxidizing for longer.  Ferulic Acid, another powerful antioxidant, can stabilize a Vitamin C+E solution and makes it eight times(!!!) more photoprotective.
  • DO NOT USE WITH NIACHINAMIDE AT THE SAME TIME!! But you can use Vitamin C – morning, and Niacinamide – evening.

4. Cosrx galactomyces 95 whitening power essence


Ingredients: Galactomyces ferment filtrate, niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate, betaine, panthenol, glycerin, 1,2-hexanediol, allantoin, butylene glycol, xanthan gum, ethyl hexanediol, adenosine

“95% fermenty goodness means that the rest of the ingredients only comprise 5% of the formulation. Still, the small amounts of niacinamideand adenosine may contribute brightening and anti-aging effects, while the sodium hyaluronate and glycerin provide hydration.”


Shara Shara Bomb


Benton Snail Bee High Content


Snail Secretion Filtrate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Arbutin, Human Ogliopeptide-1, Bee Venom, Plantago Asiatica Extract, Laminana Digita Extract, Dios Pyros Kaki Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Ulmus Campestris (Elm) Extract, Bacilus Ferment, Azelaic Acid, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Beta-Glucan, Betaine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Cross Polymer, Adenosine, Panthenol, Allantoin, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Arginine

Ingredient description/review:

“lightening my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and brighten my overall skin tone. It also has some lovely tightening properties that have been nice for the few fine lines I have. I really appreciate the fact that this product tightens without making my face dry.

Even though I have been using the Snail Bee High Content Essence in conjunction with other products, I highly suspect that this product is doing a lot of the heavy lifting, due to the high concentration of actives in the formula.” -skinandtonics


Naruko Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic

Mizon Recovery Gel


Occlusive for oily skin (gel type, cream are too heavy=skin cannot breathe)

Occlusive to ‘lock in’ or ‘seal in’ moisture. Humectants (glycerin, Hycluronic Acid, etc) draws moisture out from your skin when air is dry, making your skin dry. Occlusive will prevent it from doing this.

Affordable! (below php 500)


Mizon Hyaluronic Acid 100 (humectant)



Hyaluronic Acids: (moisture+skin plumpness)

Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion


Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion (light / moist)



Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Lotion


Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Gel


Common cons: clogged pores. too sticky, barely doing anything (light version), breakout!

Few drops goes a long way!


The SA:EM Power Hydra Ampoule


Ingredients: Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Butylene Glycol


Hada Labo Shirojyun Arbutin Lotion (Not affective)



Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Arbutin, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Disodium Succinate, Methylparaben, Styrene/ VP Copolymer, Tremella Fuciformis Polysaccharide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Succinic Acid, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate


After cleansing with HADA LABO Goku-jyun Face Wash, pour a pea-size amount into your palm and rub between hands to warm. Gently pat onto face until it is thoroughly absorbed. Follow with HADA LABO Shiro-jyun Milk for additional hydration. Use twice daily after washing face.

  • Arbutin contains hydroquinone, and has great skin lightening/melanin-inhibiting properties.  Again, no, doesn’t bleach your skin, deals with PIH and unevenness.
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is actually the reason why I bought this.  MAP is a form of Vitamin C, like L-Ascorbic Acid, although much more reasonable and stable.  It can whiten/brighten, act as an antioxidant, stimulate collagen production, reduce PIH, and all kinds of other fun stuff.  I don’t think that its concentration in this toner is enough for collagen production, but I definitely appreciate it being included.
  • Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid/Sodium Hyaluronate are forms of hyaluronic acid, which is a great humectant.  It’s known for being able to hold 1000 times its weight in water.  Hyaluronic acid on its own is too large to penetrate the skin, so companies shear hyaluronic acid to different weights, also known as LMW (Low Molecular Weight) hyaluronic acid.  This article on Barefaced Truth is a must-read on Hyaluronic Acid.  Other humectants in here are glycerin and sorbitol.

“As for the whitening toner, I think it is quite ineffective in terms of moisturizing or brightening. If you look carefully, it also contains some irritating or acne-causing chemicals that are harmful for your skin especially for those with sensitive skin. A friend of mine develops strong sensitive reaction towards this toner.”


Sidmool Fast Turn Over Rebuilding

Ingredients: water, portulaca oleracea extract, glycerin, niacinamide, glycolic acid, butylene glycol, centella asiatica extract, paeoina suffruticosa root extract, scuttelaria baicalensis extract, potassium hydroxide, algin, allantoin, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, panthenol, salicylic acid, xanthan gum, 1,2-hexanediol



8. NuFountain Celsignal serum


Ingredients: Purified Water, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Niacinamide, DL-Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Oats, Nannochloropsis Oculata, Pullulan, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid. pH of 5.5.



Hanyul serum

Hada labo Shirojyun (but arbutin was listed 5th)









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